Rapid diagnosis and treatment of infectious meningitis and encephalitis are critical to minimize morbidity and mortality. Comprehensive testing of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) often includes Gram stain, culture, antigen detection, and molecular methods, paired with chemical and cellular analyses. These methods may lack sensitivity or specificity, can take several days, and require significant volume for complete analysis. The FilmArray Meningitis/Encephalitis (ME) Panel is a multiplexed in vitro diagnostic test for the simultaneous, rapid (∼1-h) detection of 14 pathogens directly from CSF specimens: Escherichia coli K1, Haemophilus influenzae, Listeria monocytogenes, Neisseria meningitidis, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Streptococcus agalactiae, cytomegalovirus, enterovirus, herpes simplex virus 1 and 2, human herpesvirus 6, human parechovirus, varicella-zoster virus, and Cryptococcus neoformans/Cryptococcus gattii We describe a multicenter evaluation of 1,560 prospectively collected CSF specimens with performance compared to culture (bacterial analytes) and PCR (all other analytes). The FilmArray ME Panel demonstrated a sensitivity or positive percentage of agreement of 100% for 9 of 14 analytes. Enterovirus and human herpesvirus type 6 had agreements of 95.7% and 85.7%, and L. monocytogenes and N. meningitidis were not observed in the study. For S. agalactiae, there was a single false-positive and false-negative result each, for a sensitivity and specificity of 0 and 99.9%, respectively. The specificity or negative percentage of agreement was 99.2% or greater for all other analytes. The FilmArray ME Panel is a sensitive and specific test to aid in diagnosis of ME. With use of this comprehensive and rapid test, improved patient outcomes and antimicrobial stewardship are anticipated.
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