Comparison of two rapid assays for Clostridium difficile common antigen and a C difficile toxin A/B assay with the cell culture neutralization assay

Megan E. Reller, Romina C. Alcabasa, Clara A. Lema, Karen C. Carroll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We compared 3 rapid assays for Clostridium difficile with a cell culture cytotoxicity neutralization assay (CCNA). Of 600 stool samples, 46 were positive for toxigenic C difficile. Both rapid common antigen assays were highly sensitive (91.3%-100%) and, therefore, were appropriate screening tests. The rapid toxin assay had poor sensitivity (61%) but excellent specificity (99.3%). Testing stools for glutamate dehydrogenase (step 1) and those positive with a rapid toxin assay (step 2) would correctly classify 81% of submitted specimens within 2 hours, including during periods of limited staffing (evenings, nights, and weekends). CCNA could then be used as a third step to test rapid toxin-negative samples, thereby providing a final result for the remaining 19% of samples by 48 to 72 hours. The use of rapid assays as outlined could enhance timely diagnosis of C difficile.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-109
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican journal of clinical pathology
Volume133
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010

Keywords

  • Clostridium difficile
  • Clostridium infections
  • Cytotoxins
  • Isolation and purification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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