Comparison of ePlex respiratory pathogen panel with laboratory-developed real-time PCR assays for detection of respiratory pathogens
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Infections of the respiratory tract can be caused by a diversity of pathogens, both viral and bacterial. Rapid microbiological diagnosis ensures appropriate antimicrobial therapy as well as effective implementation of isolation precautions. The ePlex respiratory pathogen panel (RP panel) is a novel molecular biology-based assay, developed by GenMark Diagnostics, Inc. (Carlsbad, CA), to be performed within a single cartridge for the diagnosis of 25 respiratory pathogens (viral and bacterial). The objective of this study was to compare the performance of the RP panel with those of laboratory-developed real-time PCR assays, using a variety of previously collected clinical respiratory specimens. A total of 343 clinical specimens as well as 29 external quality assessment (EQA) specimens and 2 different Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus isolates have been assessed in this study. The RP panel showed an agreement of 97.4% with the real-time PCR assay regarding 464 pathogens found in the clinical specimens. All pathogens present in clinical samples and EQA samples with a threshold cycle (CT) value of <30 were detected correctly using the RP panel. The RP panel detected 17 additional pathogens, 7 of which could be confirmed by discrepant testing. In conclusion, this study shows excellent performance of the RP panel in comparison to real-time PCR assays for the detection of respiratory pathogens. The ePlex system provided a large amount of useful diagnostic data within a short time frame, with minimal hands-on time, and can therefore potentially be used for rapid diagnostic sample-to-answer testing, in either a laboratory or a decentralized setting.
Nijhuis , R H T , Guerendiain , D , Claas , E C J & Templeton , K E 2017 , ' Comparison of ePlex respiratory pathogen panel with laboratory-developed real-time PCR assays for detection of respiratory pathogens ' , Journal of Clinical Microbiology , vol. 55 , no. 6 , pp. 1938-1945 . https://doi.org/10.1128/JCM.00221-17
Journal of Clinical Microbiology
Copyright © 2017 Nijhuis et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.
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