Rapid Identification of Microorganisms by FilmArray Blood Culture Identification Panel Improves Clinical Management in Children

Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2016 May;35(5):e134-8. doi: 10.1097/INF.0000000000001065.


Background: Blood cultures are a common investigation for children admitted to hospital. In routine practice, it takes at least 24 hours to identify an organism as a contaminant or clinically significant. FilmArray Blood Culture Identification Panel (FA-BCIP) is a multiplex polymerase chain reaction that can detect 24 pathogens within 1 hour. We assessed whether results from FA-BCIP lead to changes in clinical management in a tertiary referral paediatric hospital.

Methods: We prospectively studied children having blood cultures taken at our tertiary children's hospital. Blood cultures were monitored and organisms identified using standard methods. FA-BCIP was performed when growth was initially detected in first positive blood cultures per episode, between January 1 and June 30, 2014. Assessment of whether the FA-BCIP result altered clinical management was made, specifically focused on antimicrobial stewardship and length of stay.

Results: FA-BCIP was done on 117 positive blood cultures; 74 (63%) grew clinically significant organisms, 43 (37%) grew contaminants. FA-BCIP results were judged to alter clinical management in 63 of the 117 episodes (54%). Antimicrobials were started/altered in 23 (19%) episodes and de-escalated/withheld/stopped in 29 (25%) episodes. Ten children were discharged from hospital earlier, which saved a cumulative total of 14 bed days.

Conclusions: Rapid identification of microorganisms in pediatric blood cultures by FA-BCIP, led to changes in clinical management for half of the episodes. This improved antimicrobial stewardship and allowed early discharge from hospital for 10% of children. Future studies should focus on how best to use this technology in a cost-effective manner.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Blood / microbiology*
  • Blood Culture*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Pediatric
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Molecular Diagnostic Techniques / methods*
  • Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sepsis / diagnosis*
  • Tertiary Care Centers
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents