The T2Bacteria Assay Is a Sensitive and Rapid Detector of Bacteremia That Can Be Initiated in the Emergency Department and Has Potential to Favorably Influence Subsequent Therapy

J Emerg Med. 2020 May;58(5):785-796. doi: 10.1016/j.jemermed.2019.11.028. Epub 2020 Jan 23.


Background: Bacteremia causes a major worldwide burden, in terms of financial and productivity costs, as well the morbidity and mortality it can ultimately cause. Proper treatment of bacteremia is a challenge because of the species-dependent response to antibiotics. The T2Bacteria Panel is a U.S. Food and Drug Administration-cleared and culture-independent assay for detection of bacteremia, including common ESKAPE pathogens-Escherichia coli, Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa-and provides species identification in as little as 3.6 h directly from blood.

Objective: Our aim was to evaluate the T2Bacteria assay performance and potential to affect patient care in the emergency department (ED).

Methods: ED patients from a Louisiana and Florida center were enrolled as part of the T2Bacteria Panel clinical study, which was prospective and noninterventional. Blood samples for blood culture (BC) and T2Bacteria were matched in time and anatomic location.

Results: Data from 137 ED patients were evaluated. Relative to BC, T2Bacteria showed 100% positive percent agreement and 98.4% negative percent agreement. In addition, for species on the T2Bacteria Panel, the T2Bacteria assay detected 25% more positives associated with infection, and on average identified the infectious species 56.6 h faster. The T2Bacteria assay covered 70.5% of all species detected by BC. Finally, relative to actual care, the T2Bacteria assay could have potentially focused therapy in 8 patients, reduced time to a species-directed therapy in 4 patients, and reduced time to effective therapy in 4 patients.

Conclusions: In this ED population, the T2Bacteria assay was a rapid and sensitive detector of bacteremia from common ESKAPE pathogens and showed the theoretical potential to influence subsequent patient therapy, ranging from antibiotic de-escalation to faster time to effective therapy.

Keywords: T2Bacteria; bloodstream infection; culture-independent diagnostics; emergency department.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bacteremia* / diagnosis
  • Bacteremia* / drug therapy
  • Blood Culture
  • Emergency Service, Hospital*
  • Humans
  • Prospective Studies
  • Staphylococcus aureus


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents