Broad-range direct detection and identification of fungi by use of the PLEX-ID PCR-electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESIMS) system

Patricia J. Simner, James R. Uhl, Leslie Hall, Michelle M. Weber, Robert C. Walchak, Seanne Buckwalter, Nancy L. Wengenack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The PLEX-ID system is a novel technology that couples PCR amplification and electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry to identify pathogens directly in clinical specimens. The analytical performance of the PLEX-ID Broad Fungal assay was compared with that of traditional culture identification by using 91 characterized fungal culture isolates (64 manufacturer-claimed and 27 nonclaimed organisms) and directly by using 395 respiratory specimens. Discordant results were resolved by D2 large-subunit ribosomal DNA fungal sequencing. Environmental studies were performed to monitor for potential contamination. The PLEX-ID Broad Fungal assay correctly identified 95.6% (87/91) and 81.3% (74/91) of the culture isolates to the genus and species levels, respectively. Of the manufacturer-claimed organisms, 100% (64/64) and 92.2% (59/64) were correctly identified to the genus and species levels, respectively. Direct analysis of respiratory specimens resulted in 67.6% (267/395) and 66.6% (263/395) agreement with culture results to the genus and species levels, respectively, with 16.2% (64/395) of the results discordant with culture and 16.2% (64/395) not detected by the system. The majority (>95%) of the isolates not detected directly by the PLEX-ID system ultimately grew in low quantities in culture (≤20 colonies). In 20.3% (35/172) of the respiratory specimens where no growth was observed in culture, the PLEX-ID system identified a fungus, suggesting a potential increase in sensitivity over culture in some instances. The PLEX-ID system provides a rapid method for the detection of a broad array of fungi directly in respiratory specimens and has the potential of impacting turnaround times and patient care by reducing the need to wait for the growth of an organism in culture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1699-1706
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of clinical microbiology
Volume51
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)

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