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Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2002 Mar;21(3):196-203. Epub 2002 Mar 22.

Comparison of porphyrin-based, growth factor-based, and biochemical-based testing methods for identification of Haemophilus influenzae.

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Medical Microbiology Division, Department of Pathology, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.


The accurate identification of Haemophilus spp. is essential for optimizing the role of the clinical microbiology laboratory in the diagnosis and management of Haemophilus infections. One laboratory-prepared medium and eight commercially available test systems were examined in parallel as a means of identifying 378 clinical isolates of Haemophilus spp. as either Haemophilus influenzae or non- Haemophilus influenzae spp. At least one discordant result was noted with 187 (49.5%) of the isolates tested. Discordant results were resolved either by majority rule for isolates with less than three discordant test results or by confirming the identity using conventional biochemical tests for isolates with three or more discordant test results ( n=20). Among these 20 isolates, 2 were judged not to belong to the Haemophilus genus. Comparisons of three porphyrin-based methods, three growth factor-based methods (1 of which also incorporates a porphyrin testing component), and three biochemical-based methods revealed varying discrepancy rates within each testing method. In general, porphyrin-based methods, with overall discrepancy rates of 1.3% or less, outperformed other testing methods. One important exception was the performance of the porphyrin testing component of the Haemophilus Identification Test Kit (Remel, USA), which produced an overall discrepancy rate of 28.5% and a false-negative rate of 52.2% with non- Haemophilus influenzae isolates. Growth factor-based methods yielded overall discrepancy rates ranging from 1.6% ( Haemophilus Identification Agar Quad; Remel) to 10.4% (hemin and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide disk component of the Haemophilus Identification Test Kit). Biochemical-based assays produced overall discrepancy rates ranging from 4.5% (API NH; bioMérieux Vitek, USA) to 10.1% ( Neisseria Haemophilus Identification Card; bioMérieux Vitek). Collectively, these results suggest that porphyrin-based testing methods represent the most reliable means for identifying Haemophilus spp.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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