Evaluation of the FilmArray Blood Culture Identification Panel: Results of a Multicenter Controlled Trial

Hossein Salimnia, Marilynn R. Fairfax, Paul R. Lephart, Paul Schreckenberger, Sharon M. DesJarlais, J. Kristie Johnson, Gwen Robinson, Karen C. Carroll, Amy Greer, Margie Morgan, Raymond Chan, Michael Loeffelholz, Frances Valencia-Shelton, Stephen Jenkins, Audrey N. Schuetz, Judy A. Daly, Trenda Barney, Andrew Hemmert, Kristen J. Kanack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Scopus citations


Sepsis is a major cause of morbidity, mortality, and increased medical expense. Rapid diagnosis improves outcomes and reduces costs. The FilmArray blood culture identification panel (BioFire Diagnostics LLC, Salt Lake City, UT), a highly multiplexed PCR assay, can identify 24 etiologic agents of sepsis (8 Gram-positive, 11 Gram-negative, and 5 yeast species) and three antimicrobial resistance genes (mecA, vanA/B, and blaKPC) from positive blood culture bottles. It provides results in about 1 h with 2 min for assay setup. We present the results of an eight-center trial comparing the sensitivity and specificity of the panel with those of the laboratories' standard phenotypic identification techniques, as well as with molecular methods used to distinguish Acinetobacter baumannii from other members of the A. calcoaceticus-A. baumannii complex and to detect antimicrobial resistance genes. Testing included 2,207 positive aerobic blood culture samples, 1,568 clinical and 639 seeded. Samples were tested fresh or were frozen for later testing within 8 h after the bottles were flagged as positive by an automated blood culture system. At least one organism was detected by the panel in 1,382 (88.1%) of the positive clinical specimens. The others contained primarily off-panel organisms. The panel reported multiple organisms in 81 (5.86%) positive clinical specimens. The unresolved blood culture identification sensitivity for all target detections exceeded 96%, except for Klebsiella oxytoca (92.2%), which achieved 98.3% sensitivity after resolution of an unavoidable phenotypic error. The sensitivity and specificity for vanA/B and blaKPC were 100%; those for mecA were 98.4 and 98.3%, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)687-698
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)


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