1887

Abstract

Conventional diagnostic laboratory algorithms for determining the cause of infectious gastroenteritis include culture, biochemical identification and immunoassays. In addition, multiplex PCR-based testing has advanced into the gastroenterology diagnostic arena in recent years.

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the performance of a new molecular test (Diagnostics Solutions Laboratory GI-MAP) for the detection of bacterial and parasitic pathogens in stool samples spiked with known organisms.

Faeces from a healthy human subject were pooled into a standard matrix and screened for the absence of bacteria, parasites and antigen. Once confirmed negative single faecal aliquots from the matrix were spiked with solely one pathogen-type from a panel of 14 bacterial pathogens or one of 2 parasitic pathogens at a density of 5×10 organisms ml. Sixteen spiked samples in appropriate transport media were sent to two testing labs, specifically a reference site using the PCR-based BioFire FilmArray Gastrointestinal Panel, and a second lab using the GI-MAP assay. Seven negative control samples comprised solely of stool matrix were also submitted.

Significant variability was found when the GI-MAP assay was used to test normal stool matrix with and without known bacteria and parasites at densities well within the expected limits of detection. The GI-MAP assay displayed a sensitivity of 80 % and a specificity of only 26 % due to many false positive results. This assay also reported quantitative numbers for pathogens. The BioFire FilmArray Gastrointestinal Panel achieved a sensitivity and specificity of 100 %.

The highly variable results for the GI-MAP assay were unexpected due to the precise pre-spike analysis and the overall maturation of nucleic acid amplification methods within the industry. Problematic to this assay is the poor level of specificity displayed by this assay reporting the presence of several pathogens, which could cause clinicians to treat with antibacterial and/or antiparasitic agents in the absence of any true pathogens.

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2020-08-19
2020-12-04
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