PCR-based Sepsis@Quick test is superior in comparison with blood culture for identification of sepsis-causative pathogens

Sci Rep. 2019 Sep 20;9(1):13663. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-50150-y.


Sepsis is an acute, often fatal syndrome that requires early diagnosis and proper treatment. Blood culture (BC) is the gold standard for the identification of pathogens, however it has marked limitations, including that it is time-consuming (delaying treatment) and can only detect microbes that readily grow under culture conditions. Alternatively, non-culture-based methodologies like polymerase chain reaction (PCR) are faster but also have limitations; e.g., the reaction is often inhibited by the abundance of human DNA and thus can only detect limited known target pathogens. In our previous publication, we have demonstrated a proof-of-concept of a simple pre-analytical tool to remove human DNA from patients' blood specimens, hence allowing downstream PCRs to detect rare bacterial genetic materials. In the current study, we reported a better performance of a novel prototype diagnosis kit named Sepsis@Quick that combines human DNA removal step with real-time PCRs compared to blood-culture for identifying sepsis causative bacteria. Our data showed that Sepsis@Quick is superior to blood culture in which the novel diagnostic kit could identify more pathogens and even polymicrobial infection, faster and less influenced by the empirical administration of broad spectrum antibiotic therapy (single administration or combination of cephalosporin III and fluoroquinolon). Additionally, for the first time, we demonstrated that positive results achieved by Sepsis@Quick are significantly associated with a reduction of sepsis-related mortality.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bacteria / genetics
  • Bacteria / growth & development
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification*
  • Bacterial Infections / diagnosis*
  • Blood Culture / methods*
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics
  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Sepsis / blood
  • Sepsis / microbiology*


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S
  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic