Background: Conventional methods to investigate suspected infectious diarrhea include stool microscopy, culture, and antigen detection. The BioFire FilmArray GI pathogen panel is a rapid (1hr) multiplex real-time PCR test that can detect the presence of 22 GI pathogens (viral, bacterial, and parasitic) known to cause infectious diarrhea.
Methods: Retrospective data from stool specimens tested via the BioFire FilmArray GI pathogen panel from May 2015 to December 2015 were compared to stool specimens analyzed via conventional methods from May 2014 to April 2015 on cases of suspected infectious diarrhea.
Results: 341 out of 986 GI pathogen panels (34%) were positive for at least one GI pathogen at an average monthly cost of $75,300. Conventional stool studies averaged approximately $35,500 per month with an overall yield of 11%. 106 viral pathogens were detected with the GI pathogen panel which are rarely tested under conventional methods. 34 parasites were identified via conventional ova and parasite testing as opposed to 1 case on the GI pathogen panel. More specific information on E. coli virotypes is also provided with the GI pathogen panel.
Conclusion: The BioFire FilmArray GI pathogen panel detected a higher yield of GI pathogens (34% vs 11%) than conventional methods (table 1), but at more than twice the cost (figure 1). Traditional ova and parasite testing detected more parasites; however, the clinical value needs further assessment. Likewise, viral causes were identified in 11% of all specimens tested with the GI pathogen panel. Further study is needed to determine the cost-benefits in terms of overall diagnostic testing and appropriateness of treatment, including avoiding antimicrobial drugs when not indicated.
K. Matthias, None
M. Al Mohajer, None