SAN DIEGO — A 20-minute diagnostic test used to identify Staphylococcus aureus in blood samples reduced hospital durations and eliminated unnecessary antibiotic treatment, according to recent study results.
The QuickFISH assay produced results 98% faster compared with past tests that could take as long as 18 to 24 hours, Wesley J. Candelaria, MPH, a faculty associate from Arizona State University, wrote in an abstract summary.
“After implementing the new testing technology for 1 year, we were excited to see that we made a huge impact in our patients’ lives,” Candelaria wrote.
The researchers assessed the outcomes of 100 patients with gram-positive cocci whose blood samples were either tested with PNA FISH, an assay that takes 90 minutes to complete, or with the 20-minute QuickFISH assay. The researchers tested blood samples with PNA FISH from October 2013 to July 2014, then implemented the QuickFISH assay from August 2014 to February.
Compared with PNA FISH, samples that were tested with QuickFISH had shorter average turnaround times (66 minutes vs. 8-10 hours), which reduced hospital stays by 2.4 days (9.6 days vs. 12 days) among patients with S. aureus and 0.84 days (4.12 days vs. 4.96 days) among patients with coagulase-negative staphylococci.
In addition, the prompt QuickFISH results prevented patients with coagulase-negative staphylococci from receiving inappropriate vancomycin treatment, according to the researchers. Furthermore, the average duration of vancomycin treatment among patients with S. aureus was reduced from 4.35 days to 4.08 days.
“Many health care institutions today need to find ways to improve their skills and reduce costs without compromising the lives and care of their patients,” Candelaria wrote. “Our research supported those efforts and, in addition, generated greater improvement than one could have predicted.” – by Stephanie Viguers
Candelaria WJ, et al. Abstract S-903. Presented at: Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy; Sept. 17-21, 2015; San Diego.
Disclosure: Candelaria reports no relevant financial disclosures.
Editor's Note: On Sept. 25, we corrected this article to clarify that patients had gram-positive cocci. The Editors regret this error.