Nonculture techniques for the detection of bacteremia and fungemia

Frances Valencia-Shelton, Michael Loeffelholz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Bacteremia and fungemia account for a substantial proportion of all cases of severe sepsis. Antibiotic resistance is a contributing factor in many hospital-acquired infection deaths. Traditional phenotypic methods for the identification of bacteria and yeasts from positive blood cultures and determining antimicrobial susceptibility require 48-72 h, delaying optimal therapy and negatively impacting patient outcomes. Molecular methods, including nonamplified DNA probe panels and peptide nucleic acid probes, and nucleic acid amplification methods such as PCR, proteomic methods (matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time-of-flight mass spectrometry) and direct biochemical tests provide more rapid identification of bacteria and fungi, and in some cases antimicrobial resistance markers, from positive blood cultures, as well as directly from whole blood. These methods vary in the breadth of organisms that they detect, and equally important, their ease of use. This article examines the principles, performance and practicality of the various rapid, nonculture techniques for the detection of bacteremia and fungemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)543-559
Number of pages17
JournalFuture Microbiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry
  • PCR
  • bacteremia
  • blood cultures
  • bloodstream infection
  • fungemia
  • nucleic acid amplification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)


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