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J Clin Microbiol. 2014 May;52(5):1423-8. doi: 10.1128/JCM.03293-13. Epub 2014 Feb 19.

Premarket evaluations of the IMDx C. difficile for Abbott m2000 Assay and the BD Max Cdiff Assay.

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Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Albany Medical Center, Albany, New York, USA.


Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea is a well-recognized complication of antibiotic use. Historically, diagnosing C. difficile has been difficult, as antigen assays are insensitive and culture-based methods require several days to yield results. Nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) are quickly becoming the standard of care. We compared the performance of two automated investigational/research use only (IUO/RUO) NAATs for the detection of C. difficile toxin genes, the IMDx C. difficile for Abbott m2000 Assay (IMDx) and the BD Max Cdiff Assay (Max). A prospective analysis of 111 stool specimens received in the laboratory for C. difficile testing by the laboratory's test of record (TOR), the BD GeneOhm Cdiff Assay, and a retrospective analysis of 88 specimens previously determined to be positive for C. difficile were included in the study. One prospective specimen was excluded due to loss to follow-up discrepancy analysis. Of the remaining 198 specimens, 90 were positive by all three methods, 9 were positive by TOR and Max, and 3 were positive by TOR only. One negative specimen was initially inhibitory by Max. The remaining 95 specimens were negative by all methods. Toxigenic C. difficile culture was performed on the 12 discrepant samples. True C. difficile-positive status was defined as either positive by all three amplification assays or positive by toxigenic culture. Based on this definition, the sensitivity and specificity were 96.9% and 95% for Max and 92.8% and 100% for IMDx. In summary, both highly automated systems demonstrated excellent performance, and each has individual benefits, which will ensure that they will both have a niche in clinical laboratories.

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