Diagnostic role of FilmArray Pneumonia Panel compared to routine microbiological methods to identify pneumonia pathogens

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Clinical and Chemical Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Egypt.

2 Department of Clinical and Chemical Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University.


Background: Lower respiratory tract infections can be caused by an array of pathogens. Rapid and accurate identification of these organisms is essential for selection of the appropriate antimicrobial regimen. Objectives: Identify microbiology of lower respiratory tract samples by the syndromic multiplex BioFire FilmArray Pneumonia Panel (FAPP) and correlate with the findings by routine microbiological methods. Methods: This study was conducted on 118 non-repetitive respiratory samples, collected through March 2020 to February 2021 for isolation and identification of respiratory pathogens. Results: The FAPP yielded an overall positivity rate of (85/118; 72%). Compared to routine culture; the FAPP were concordantly positive for 37/118 (31.4%) of specimens, and discordant for 39/118 specimens (33%) with 92.5% of positive percentage of agreement. The commonest bacterial pathogens detected by the two methods were Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Of note, Acinetobacter and other bacterial pathogens were frequently detected by FAPP and not by culture, indicating colonization or contamination (false-positive results). False-negative FAPP results were Candida and bacterial pathogens not included in the FAPP panel, as Morganella. At the semi-quantification level, the concordance rate was 93.9% as out of forty- nine bacterial cultures with significant growth, 46 showed a higher semi-quantification of more than 105 copies of DNA/ml by FAPP and (27/46; 58.7%) showed total agreement with target pathogens isolated by the culture too. Conclusion: BioFire FilmArray Pneumonia Panel (FAPP) was sensitive and detected more potential pneumonia pathogens than culture methods, but it should be interpreted cautiously. Semi- quantification of FAPP helped to understand pathogen significance and correlate with true pathogen.


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