Background: Empiric antibiotics are administered for pneumonia when the causative pathogens are unidentified. Pathogen-directed therapy is impeded by negative culture results and/or culture time lag. This circumstance necessitates a salvage method for pathogen identification, especially when antibiotic therapy has failed. Here, we aimed to preliminarily investigate the HIRA-TAN method in pneumonia with a progressive course despite prior empiric antibiotic therapy.
Methods: This prospective study was conducted for patients who were referred to Dr. Zainoel Abidin Hospital, Aceh, Indonesia, from December 2016 to January 2017, owing to pneumonia with a progressive course. Sputum or pleural effusion was subjected to culture and the HIRA-TAN assay. The HIRA-TAN identified the candidate causative pathogens based on the difference in the cycle threshold (Ct) between the targeted pathogen and the single-copy human gene.
Results: Patients (n=27) were predominantly males (22 patients, 81.5%), with a median age of 62 years. All patients had comorbid disease and were classified as hospital-acquired pneumonia (25 patients, 92.6%) with multilobar infiltrates (22 patients, 81.5%). Bacterial culture identified causative pathogen(s) in some (14 patients, 51.8%), whereas the HIRA-TAN identified pathogen(s) in most (23 patients, 85.2%). The rapid pathogen identification by the HIRA-TAN will provide valuable information in guiding pathogen-directed therapy.
Conclusions: The result warrants a larger clinical trial to confirm the clinical efficacy of the HIRA-TAN in patients with progressive pneumonia despite previous antibiotic treatment.
Keywords: Empiric antibiotics; Microbiological techniques; Molecular typing; Multiplex polymerase chain reaction; Pneumonia.
Copyright © 2019. Published by Elsevier B.V.