What is Syndromic Testing?
Symptoms + Signs = Syndrome
A symptom is a feature apparent to the patient—like a sore throat.
A sign is a measurable indication of disease—like a temperature of 102° Fahrenheit
A syndrome is a set of signs and symptoms that characteristically occur together.
The BioFire® FilmArray® System performs syndromic multiplex PCR tests. Each panel targets a comprehensive grouping of pathogens that could be causing a specific syndrome—like an upper respiratory infection.
Learn how BioFire’s symptom-driven tests rapidly detect viruses, bacteria, parasites, fungi, and antimicrobial resistance genes.
How Does Syndromic Infectious Disease Testing Work?
We take a symptom-driven, molecular approach to infectious disease diagnostics.
The BioFire System utilizes multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology—a process that simultaneously amplifies the nucleic acid of multiple targets in a single chemical reaction.
A BioFire syndromic test isolates, amplifies, and detects the DNA of microorganisms that cause overlapping signs and symptoms. The entire chemical process takes place inside a pouch, which has been engineered with an array of several individual wells on a single place. Each well includes the materials needed to amplify and identify one specific organism on the panel menu. After PCR is completed, any target present in the patient sample is identified based on which wells in the array confirm the presence or absence of nucleic acid.
The design of the BioFire® FilmArray® Panels facilitates rapid multiplex PCR while preventing cross-contamination and providing automated, user-friendly results on each target in the array.
Syndromic Testing vs. Traditional Testing
Multiplex PCR is sensitive and specific.
By targeting pathogens and antimicrobial resistance genes at the molecular level, syndromic infectious disease testing from BioFire is more sensitive than culture and more efficient than a serial approach involving individual and send-out tests.
Traditionally, diagnosing a bacterial infection depends on growing the organism in culture, which can be slow and even ineffective. A syndromic PCR test can detect bacteria in a sample within hours instead of days—even if the organism is difficult to grow or nonviable.
Determining the cause of a viral infection, even if there is no specific treatment for it, can help healthcare providers avoid unnecessary antibiotics, reduce hospital length-of-stay, and improve patient satisfaction.
The BioFire System also detects parasites and fungi for relevant syndromes, which helps healthcare providers determine a causative agent sooner to avoid guesswork and downstream testing.
Additionally, identifying antimicrobial resistance genes can promote antimicrobial stewardship and facilitate more informed patient management decisions.
Syndromic Testing with the BioFire System
Across five syndromic panels, the BioFire System provides pathogen-specific results in about an hour for a menu of over 100 targets.
The BioFire® FilmArray® Respiratory (RP) Panels efficiently and definitively rule in—and rule out—the usual respiratory season suspects, including Influenza and SARS-CoV-2.
The BioFire® FilmArray® Blood Culture Identification (BCID) Panel provides results on a broad spectrum of bacteria and resistance markers that help healthcare providers improve septic patient management sooner.
The BioFire® FilmArray® Gastrointestinal (GI) Panel provides a molecular alternative to traditional stool testing methods that is faster, more sensitive, and more comprehensive.
The BioFire® FilmArray® Meningitis/Encephalitis (ME) Panel helps healthcare providers rapidly distinguish between bacterial and viral meningitis and optimize life-saving therapy.
The BioFire® FilmArray® Pneumonia (PN) Panel provides semi-quantitative results to help distinguish between colonizing and infection-causing bacteria to help avoid unnecessary antibiotics.
Blood Culture ID
We Lead the Industry in PCR Testing for Infectious Diseases.
Syndromic PCR testing from BioFire positively impacts patients, physicians, and everyone in between. Each panel offers several proven benefits and empowers healthcare providers to choose the right test, the first time.
It’s fast. Rapid sample-to-answer turnaround facilitates timely targeted therapy. The BioFire System delivers results in about an hour.
It’s accurate. By detecting the DNA of targeted microorganisms, the syndromic PCR testing is sensitive and specific.
It’s easy. Our automated, user-friendly platform requires just two minutes of hands-on time. It can optimize laboratory productivity with automated, around-the-clock diagnostic testing.
It’s comprehensive. With over 100 targets, we offer the largest infectious disease menu on the market.
Request a BioFire System Demo
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Product availability varies by country. Consult your bioMérieux representative.