HPA statistics suggest that Enterococcus species are the fourth most reported cause of bacteraemias1, with the vast majority of cases caused by E.faecalis or E.faecium. Since the antibiotic sensitivity profiles of these two species differ significantly, identification of the specific species responsible for a particular infection is highly important in ensuring the most effective treatment.
E.faecalis is sensitive to many frequently used antibiotics such as ampicillin, but E. faecium exhibits resistance to such agents. Particular concern has focused upon the emergence of glycopeptide resistant Enterococci (GRE), most often due to E.faecium. These are unaffected by vancomycin and teicoplanin, so prompt and accurate identification of this species is essential to ensure that an appropriate antimicrobial therapy can be instituted. Unfortunately, conventional culture based techniques can take up to 2-3 days to provide a positive species identification.
Such delay in implementation of the correct therapy can negatively impact patient outcomes2 meaning traditional methods of species identification are not conducive to the most effective treatment.
The Enterococcus QuickFISH™ BC kit solves this problem by facilitating positive species identification of E.faecalis and E.faecium in 20 minutes, directly from positive blood cultures, with minimal sample preparation. Based on the proven PNA-FISH technology from AdvanDX, Enterococcus QuickFISH BC allows the species to be reported at the same time as the gram stain result. This means that appropriate therapy can be rapidly implemented to treat patients with E.faecium bacteraemia, while minimising the unnecessary use of more aggressive or broad spectrum antibiotics for the treatment of E.faecalis.
This leads to improved patient outcomes, enhances pharmacovigilance and permits better use of precious health service resources.
This article was published previously in Alpha Laboratories’ Leading Edge Newsletter – Autumn 2013.
1. www.hpa.org.uk/Topics/Infectious Diseases/InfectionsAZ/Bacteraemia
2. Cheah ALY et al Clin Microbiol Infect 2013;19: E181–E189