282. Use of Broad-Range PCR in Diagnosis of Infectious Diseases
Session: Poster Abstract Session: Diagnostic Microbiology; Novel Molecular Methods
Thursday, October 3, 2013
Room: The Moscone Center: Poster Hall C
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  • Background: Broad-range amplification and sequencing of conserved housekeeping genes provides a culture-independent method to detect infectious pathogens in clinical specimens. The Emerging Infections Network (EIN) surveyed ID physicians to assess use of this novel technology.

    Methods: 1572 EIN members were surveyed in 03/13. Respondents who reported having performed broad-range PCR were asked about frequencies of submitted specimen types, positive results and their clinical usefulness.

    Results: Of the 700 (44.5%) respondents to the survey, 297 (42%) had used broad-range PCR. The most common reason for not using these tests was lack of availability (76%), followed by a lack of knowledge about the test (28%). 201 respondents answered questions about their use of broad-range PCR. 60/201 (30%) had used it more than 10 times; the majority (50%) had used it 1-5 times. The most commonly submitted specimens were osteoarticular, CSF, and endovascular samples, including blood, each submitted by more than 50% of respondents. Most specimens were submitted in the setting of inflammation on histopathology with negative pathogen stains and culture. A majority of respondents (65%) could submit specimens with no laboratory utilization review. Most respondents reported only rare (36%) to occasional (38%) positive results. 89% of respondents who had used broad-range PCR more than 10 times and 80% of respondents who used it less than 10 times reported test results to be helpful (not significant). Contaminant results were reported by similar proportions of respondents regardless of how frequently the test was ordered.

    Conclusion: Increasing the use of broad-range PCR for diagnosis of suspected infections will depend on increased availability and awareness of the test as well as increased specificity and decreased frequency of contamination. Positive results need to be interpreted with caution due to risk of contamination. Studies that help physicians correlate test results with clinical decision-making and treatment strategies can help develop guidelines for use of this test.

    Dilek Ince, MD1, Susan E. Beekmann, RN, MPH1, Anne J. Blaschke, MD, PhD2, Adam L. Hersh, MD, PhD2, Kimberly E. Hanson, MD, MHS3 and Philip M. Polgreen, MD1, (1)Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA, (2)Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT, (3)University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT


    D. Ince, None

    S. E. Beekmann, None

    A. J. Blaschke, BioFire Diagnostics, Inc.: Collaborator, Licensing agreement or royalty

    A. L. Hersh, None

    K. E. Hanson, None

    P. M. Polgreen, None

    Findings in the abstracts are embargoed until 12:01 a.m. PST, Oct. 2nd with the exception of research findings presented at the IDWeek press conferences.