The ability of the BioFire PN Panel to impact patient management, including the ability to change antimicrobial therapy, has also been evaluated. Two groups found that use of the BioFire PN Panel could lead to antibiotic de-escalation in about 50% of patients, with the most common being discontinuation of vancomycin (35%) and piperacillin/tazobactam (23%).4,7
A group in the UK evaluated 120 ICU patients using the results of the BioFire PN Panel.8 Patients were divided into those with positive outcomes (pneumonia resolved) and negative outcomes (pneumonia not resolved in 21 days or contributed to the patient’s death). Empiric antibiotic regimens were assessed to be “active” or “inactive” against organisms detected by the BioFire PN Panel and routine culture. In both groups, the BioFire PN Panel would lead to better antimicrobial therapy, which may improve patient outcomes.8
In summary, lower respiratory tract infections are a common and serious healthcare problem, and there is an urgent need for improved diagnostics to guide targeted therapy. While there is still a lot to learn about the optimal use and interpretation of molecular assays, early theoretical outcomes evaluations provide reason to be optimistic.