1887

Abstract

Acute diarrhoea can be caused by species, species, , species and (SSYCP). In clinical practice, however, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for SSYCP is frequently performed as part of the diagnostic work-up for patients with chronic diarrhoea and gastrointestinal complaints.

This study postulates that PCR for SSYCP is of limited clinical use in patients with chronic diarrhoea and gastrointestinal complaints.

The primary aim of this study is to evaluate whether testing for SSYCP remains sensible in patients with chronic diarrhoea and gastrointestinal symptoms and if earlier testing leads to more positive PCR results.

Between January 2017 and December 2018, data on PCR results, culture results, symptoms, symptom to testing interval (STI) and immune status were retrospectively collected from the medical records of patients with gastrointestinal symptoms for whom PCR results for SSYCP were available. The STIs of PCR-positive patients and PCR-negative patients were compared.

. In total, 146 PCR-positive and 149 PCR-negative patients were included. STIs of <7 days occurred in 55 % of all PCR-positive patients compared to 38 % in PCR-negative patients. PCR-positive patients were more often tested within 7 days after onset of gastrointestinal symptoms or diarrhoea. A third of PCR-positive patients had an STI of >7 days. Immunocompromised patients had a shorter STI. Admitted patients had a shorter STI. Eighty-six PCR-positive patients had a positive culture (58 %). Antibiotic use 3 months prior to PCR testing was correlated with negative PCR results.

This study shows that early testing correlates with more positive PCR results and underlines that PCR for SSYCP is of lesser importance in the diagnostic workup of chronic diarrhoea and/or gastrointestinal symptoms. The shorter STI found in immunocompromised patients is possibly due to a lower threshold for testing in this population. It is also important to take recent antibiotic use into consideration when interpreting PCR results, given the correlation between negative PCR results and antibiotic use. Careful and precise documentation of symptoms in medical records is essential for clinical practice and research.

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2022-04-27
2022-05-18
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