One Year in the Life of a Rapid Syndromic Panel for Meningitis/Encephalitis: a Pediatric Tertiary Care Facility's Experience

J Clin Microbiol. 2018 Apr 25;56(5):e01940-17. doi: 10.1128/JCM.01940-17. Print 2018 May.


Early establishment of infectious processes allows for expedited clinical management of meningitis and encephalitis. The FilmArray meningitis/encephalitis (FA-M/E) panel provides rapid detection of potential pathogens associated with encephalitis/meningitis in both immunocompetent and compromised patients. Here, we conducted a 1-year review of the performance of the FA-M/E panel at a tertiary care children's hospital. Two hundred sixty-five samples from 251 patients were tested. We found 87.25% (219/251) were negative, 9.96% (25/251) were positive for viral analytes, and 3.19% (8/251) were positive for bacterial analytes. When possible, positive results were confirmed by alternate testing; 4/6 available bacterial positives and 17/20 available viral positives were confirmed by retrospective culture or molecular testing.

Keywords: FilmArray; encephalitis; meningitis; pediatric; syndromic panel.

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / isolation & purification
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid / microbiology
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid / virology
  • Child
  • Encephalitis / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Encephalitis / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Los Angeles
  • Meningitis / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Meningitis / diagnosis*
  • Molecular Diagnostic Techniques / methods*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tertiary Healthcare
  • Viruses / isolation & purification


  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic