Acute diarrhoeal syndromes are usually self-limiting, but diagnostic testing and treatment may be required in some instances. Stool cultures require a significant level of technologist expertise and are labour intensive. The BD MAX™ Enteric Bacterial Panel detects over 90% of bacteria causing infectious gastroenteritis and provide rapid diagnosis. The aim of this study is to assess the diagnostic and clinical value of this rapid diagnostic tool.


Fresh stool samples received from 68 patients were cultured according to SMI methods, and by BD MAX™ Enteric. Further 25 frozen samples were processed by both methods. Any discrepancies between the two methods where sent to reference laboratory for confirmation.


Five samples (4 fresh and one frozen) were excluded from the study due to PCR inhibition. The turnaround time was 48 hours and 4-5 days for negative and positive culture respectively. BD MAX™ Enteric provided same day result. The sensitivity of BD MAX™ Enteric was 100% for fresh samples but this was reduced to 66% if performed on frozen samples. The rapid availability of negative results guided further clinical investigation and management. While the positive results allowed timely implementation of infection control management and guided antibiotic decision process.


BD MAX™ is sensitive and provides same-day results. This allowed implementation of infection control measures in timely manner and guided further patient management. However, as this panel is restricted to bacterial causes of diarrhoea, if PCR there will be a need for further testing to exclude other possible infectious causes

  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.

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