Rapid sepsis testing is imperative

February 24, 2023

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.

Read the full Oxford University Press article

Read more

Learn more about Streck’s comprehensive QC material for the FilmArray BCID2 Panel

Learn more


Webinar: What Lies Beneath: Wastewater Testing for Pathogens

Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) is a powerful tool for monitoring the emergence of infectious pathogens. While WBE has been around since the 1800s…
Read More
Wastewater sample testing

WBE: Which method is fastest?

Sample processing for measuring SARS-CoV-2 RNA in wastewater involves sample preparation, sample concentration, RNA extraction and RNA measurement met…
Read More

Preventing infections in dialysis patients

A recent report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention outlines the challenges faced by 800,000 people in the United States who a…
Read More