T2 magnetic resonance assay for the rapid diagnosis of candidemia in whole blood: a clinical trial

Clin Infect Dis. 2015 Mar 15;60(6):892-9. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciu959. Epub 2015 Jan 12.


Background: Microbiologic cultures, the current gold standard diagnostic method for invasive Candida infections, have low specificity and take up to 2-5 days to grow. We present the results of the first extensive multicenter clinical trial of a new nanodiagnostic approach, T2 magnetic resonance (T2MR), for diagnosis of candidemia.

Methods: Blood specimens were collected from 1801 hospitalized patients who had a blood culture ordered for routine standard of care; 250 of them were manually supplemented with concentrations from <1 to 100 colony-forming units (CFUs)/mL for 5 different Candida species.

Results: T2MR demonstrated an overall specificity per assay of 99.4% (95% confidence interval [CI], 99.1%-99.6%) with a mean time to negative result of 4.2 ± 0.9 hours. Subanalysis yielded a specificity of 98.9% (95% CI, 98.3%-99.4%) for Candida albicans/Candida tropicalis, 99.3% (95% CI, 98.7%-99.6%) for Candida parapsilosis, and 99.9% (95% CI, 99.7%-100.0%) for Candida krusei/Candida glabrata. The overall sensitivity was found to be 91.1% (95% CI, 86.9%-94.2%) with a mean time of 4.4 ± 1.0 hours for detection and species identification. The subgroup analysis showed a sensitivity of 92.3% (95% CI, 85.4%-96.6%) for C. albicans/C. tropicalis, 94.2% (95% CI, 84.1%-98.8%) for C. parapsilosis, and 88.1% (95% CI, 80.2%-93.7%) for C. krusei/C. glabrata. The limit of detection was 1 CFU/mL for C. tropicalis and C. krusei, 2 CFU/mL for C. albicans and C. glabrata, and 3 CFU/mL for C. parapsilosis. The negative predictive value was estimated to range from 99.5% to 99.0% in a study population with 5% and 10% prevalence of candidemia, respectively.

Conclusions: T2MR is the first fully automated technology that directly analyzes whole blood specimens to identify species without the need for prior isolation of Candida species, and represents a breakthrough shift into a new era of molecular diagnostics.

Clinical trials registration: NCT01752166.

Keywords: Candida; T2 magnetic resonance; T2MR; clinical trial; fungal infections.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antifungal Agents
  • Candida / isolation & purification*
  • Candida albicans / isolation & purification
  • Candida glabrata / isolation & purification
  • Candida tropicalis / isolation & purification
  • Candidemia / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Limit of Detection
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Antifungal Agents

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01752166