The microbiology laboratory and antimicrobial stewardship working congruently are able to expand the capabilities of rapid molecular testing for blood culture identification. Using the ePlex BCID Panel, Dr. Sixto Leal and Dr. Todd McCarty have built out their testing and stewardship teams to help drive better outcomes and management in patients with bacteremia.
Conventional microbiology for diagnosing bacteremia has been the mainstay, yet in the past decade, new technologies have emerged. Molecular biology is now an important tool in the microbiology laboratory to help provide organism and resistant mechanism identifications quickly using rapid multiplex panels directly on positive blood cultures to deliver information to clinicians for timelier management of patients with bacteremia due to bacterial and fungal pathogens.
The microbiology laboratory can benefit from rapid sample-to-answer multiplex systems to streamline workflows at the blood culture bench and provide more rapid information to the clinical team managing patients. Members of the clinical team can utilize the faster identification of pathogens and antimicrobial resistance gene information delivered by the laboratory to properly provide care and therapeutic management for each specific patient quickly instead of waiting for traditional culture and antimicrobial susceptibility results, which can take more than 24-48 hours. Knowing the causative pathogen(s) and whether that pathogen does or does not harbor a resistance gene can allow for more effective antimicrobial therapy resulting in more favorable patient outcomes.
In this presentation, the audience will hear a Microbiology Laboratory Director and an Infectious Diseases Physician from a tertiary care facility describe their analytical and clinical outcomes based results from a recent study using the ePlex® Blood Culture Identification Gram-Negative and Gram-Positive Panels. Results from the prospectively collected positive blood cultures were assessed against traditional microbiology methods for organism identification while retrospective clinical outcomes were assessed based on a more rapid result for identification of gram-negative and gram-positive pathogens and the presence of associated antimicrobial resistance genes.
Sixto M. Leal Jr., M.D., Ph.D.
Director, Clinical Microbiology, Fungal Reference Laboratory
Department of Pathology
Division of Laboratory Medicine
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
Dr. Leal has a broad background in microbiology, immunology, molecular biology, and medicine with residency training in pathology and subspecialty fellowship training in medical microbiology. He received his MD/PhD training in the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) at Case Western Reserve University, pathology residency training at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, and Microbiology fellowship training at the Cleveland Clinic. He is certified by the American Board of Pathology in Clinical Pathology and Medical Microbiology and the American Board of Medical Microbiology with a special clinical interest in medical mycology, parasitology, molecular diagnostics, infectious disease histopathology, and trainee education. He serves on the College of American Pathologists (CAP) Microbiology Resource Committee and Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) fungal diagnostics and antifungal subcommittee working groups.
Todd McCarty, MD
Assistant Professor, Division of Infectious Diseases
Department of Medicine
Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program Director
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Dr. McCarty completed medical school, internal medicine residency training, and infectious diseases fellowship training at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is board certified in both internal medicine and infectious diseases. His interests span from medical education to clinical care of immunocompromised patients along with clinical trials and clinical research. In addition to being the fellowship program director for infectious diseases at UAB, he is also the co-director of antimicrobial stewardship at the Birmingham VA Medical Center and a member of the antimicrobial stewardship committee at UAB. He serves as the PI on multiple clinical trials evaluating new anti-fungal and anti-bacterial agents as well.