Utility of paired plasma and drainage fluid mNGS in diagnosing acute intra-abdominal infections with sepsis

BMC Infect Dis. 2024 Apr 17;24(1):409. doi: 10.1186/s12879-024-09320-1.


Background: Metagenomic next-generation sequencing (mNGS) has been increasingly applied in sepsis. We aimed to evaluate the diagnostic and therapeutic utility of mNGS of paired plasma and peritoneal drainage (PD) fluid samples in comparison to culture-based microbiological tests (CMTs) among critically ill patients with suspected acute intra-abdominal infections (IAIs).

Methods: We conducted a prospective study from October 2021 to December 2022 enrolling septic patients with suspected IAIs (n = 111). Pairwise CMTs and mNGS of plasma and PD fluid were sent for pathogen detection. The mNGS group underwent therapeutic regimen adjustment based on mNGS results for better treatment. The microbial community structure, clinical features, antibiotic use and prognoses of the patients were analyzed.

Results: Higher positivity rates were observed with mNGS versus CMTs for both PD fluid (90.0% vs. 48.3%, p < 0.005) and plasma (76.7% vs. 1.6%, p < 0.005). 90% of enrolled patients had clues of suspected pathogens combining mNGS and CMT methods. Gram-negative pathogens consist of most intra-abdominal pathogens, including a great variety of anaerobes represented by Bacteroides and Clostridium. Patients with matched plasma- and PD-mNGS results had higher mortality and sepsis severity. Reduced usage of carbapenem (30.0% vs. 49.4%, p < 0.05) and duration of anti-MRSA treatment (5.1 ± 3.3 vs. 7.0 ± 8.4 days, p < 0.05) was shown in the mNGS group in our study.

Conclusions: Pairwise plasma and PD fluid mNGS improves microbiological diagnosis compared to CMTs for acute IAI. Combining plasma and PD mNGS could predict poor prognosis. mNGS may enable optimize empirical antibiotic use.

Keywords: Acute intra-abdominal infection; Antibiotics; Plasma and peritoneal drainage; Sepsis; mNGS.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Drainage
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Humans
  • Intraabdominal Infections*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Sepsis*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents