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Shock. 2010 Jul;34(1):27-30. doi: 10.1097/SHK.0b013e3181d49299.

Molecular identification of bloodstream pathogens in patients presenting to the emergency department with suspected sepsis.

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  • 1Microbiology and Virology Department, S. Maria degli Angeli Regional Hospital, via Montereale 24, Pordenone, Italy.


The rapid detection of pathogens in blood is critical for a favorable outcome of patients with suspected sepsis. Although blood culture (BC) is considered the criterion standard for diagnosis of bloodstream infection, it often takes several days to detect the causative organism. In this study, we compared BC with a commercially available multiplex real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay to detect bacteria and fungi in blood samples from 144 patients admitted to the emergency department with suspected sepsis. Of 144 blood samples examined, 91 (63%) were negative by both methods and 53 (37%) were positive by at least one of the two methods. In 30 among all positive cases (56.6%),both methods identified the same organisms, in 13 cases (24.5%), BC identified organisms not detected by real-time PCR,and in 10 cases (18.9%), SeptiFast PCR assay gave positive results, whereas the BC was negative. In this study, we wished to compare SeptiFast results obtained by standard procedures, but future clinical studies are necessary to define SeptiFast PCR as support for BC in the early diagnosis of severe bloodstream infections.

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