Lower respiratory tract infections are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the US and worldwide.1,2 Ideally, antimicrobial therapy would be pathogen-specific and guided by the results of microbiology tests. However, current microbiologic methods are slow and fail to identify a causative pathogen in over 60% of patients.3 As a result, patients are often treated empirically, which leads to overuse of broad-spectrum antibiotics.
There is an urgent need for improved diagnostics for lower respiratory tract infections. One promising new diagnostic tool is the BioFire® FilmArray® Pneumonia (PN) Panel. The BioFire PN Panel was FDA cleared in 2018 for the detection of 33 clinically relevant targets—including fifteen typical bacteria, three atypical bacteria, eight viruses, and seven antibiotic resistance genes—directly from sputum and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) specimens. The test takes about two minutes of hands-on time and delivers results in about an hour. Semi-quantitative information is provided for the fifteen typical bacteria, which may provide additional guidance in patient management.
- GBD 2015 LRI Collaborators. Lancet Infect Dis. 2017;17:1133-61.
- Kochanek D, et al. Nat Vital Stat Rep 2019;68:9.
- Jain S, et al. NEJM. 2015;373(5):415-27.
- Buchan B, et al. J Clin Microbiol. 2020;58(7):e00135-20.
- Faron M, et al. ASM 2018 poster.
- Webber D, et al. J Clin Microbiol. 2020;58(7):e00343-20.
- D DeBoer S, et al. CVS 2019 poster.
- Enne V, et al. ECCMID 2019 poster.