Rapid sepsis testing is imperative
Sepsis, a life-threatening progression of organ failure, is caused by improper host response to an infection. These infections can be bacterial, fungal or viral. The appearance of SARS-CoV-2 in 2020 placed another set of risks on patients. Critically ill patients with COVID-19 are at increased risk of contracting secondary bacterial or fungal infections.
A recent article in Oxford University Press – Open Forum Infectious Diseases, “Meeting the Challenges of Sepsis in Severe Coronavirus Disease 2019: A Call to Arms,” established the correlation between COVID-19 hospitalizations, secondary antimicrobial resistant infections and the higher rate of sepsis.
Risk factors that predispose a person to sepsis such as age, socioeconomic status, diabetes, obesity, being immunocompromised or having had an organ transplant also play a factor in the severity of a SARS-CoV-2 infection. Combined, bloodstream infections (BSIs) and COVID-19 co-infections raise the chances of patient death dramatically, as studies since February 2020 have shown.
Rapid diagnosis of a BSI in a hospitalized COVID-19 patient is a major step in meeting the challenges in reducing the instances of sepsis/COVID-19 deaths. Traditional culture-based methods can take up to 72 hours for definitive results. A Molecular Diagnostics (MDx)-based microbial test can provide actionable diagnosis of a BSI, as well as any associated Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) genes in a few hours. This can cut the time for appropriate chemotherapy for secondary infections and increase the odds of patient survivability.
One such MDx-based BSI/sepsis test is the BIOFIRE® FilmArray BCID2 Panel, from BioMerieux. It can detect 33 Gram (+) and Gram (-) bacteria and yeasts, as well as 10 AMR genes in a little over an hour from a positive patient blood culture sample. The BCID2 Panel pouch performs all the steps needed to complete a qPCR-based assay: cell lysis, DNA extraction and purification, PCR Inhibitor removal, PCR, qPCR and results analysis. This comprehensive panel is part of a family of FilmArray tests for infectious disease syndromic testing.