Quickly and effectively using PCR for gastrointestinal infection

New parents Will and Jen were excited for the birth of their first child. That excitement quickly turned to anxiety when their daughter Audrey was born 12 weeks premature. Luckily, Audrey was born in a hospital with a level III neonatal intensive care unit. Within days, Audrey was on a positive trajectory and her parents were breathing a sigh of relief.

The next week though, Audrey started to show symptoms of a gastrointestinal (GI) infection.

Her doctor ordered a set of tests to identify the cause, but they all came back negative.

Based upon her worsening condition, the doctor told Will and Jen that there was a possibility that Audrey was suffering from necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC).

NEC is a devastating disease that affects the intestine, mostly in premature infants, and the doctor warned them that it has a 25 percent mortality rate. The next steps included putting the baby on powerful antibiotics and restricting her to intravenous (IV) feeding while the doctor waited 4- 5 days for the results of a full culture and sensitivity test. Will and Jen were back to a level of high anxiety.

 Molecular Diagnostics with PCR testing

Luckily, Will is an employee in the molecular diagnostic lab at HealthTrackRx and was aware that PCR testing is available.

Like any concerned parent, Will wanted to help in any way he could. He decided that the best way to help was to get any information pertinent to Audrey’s diagnosis, treatment and recovery to the NICU staff in as little time possible.

So, later that day, Will brought a sample to HealthTrackRx for testing.

Within 24 hours Will was able to provide a diagnosis of Enteroinvasive E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus to the physician.

The HealthTrackRx report also included antibiotic resistance genes and identified the Staphylococcus aureus as methicillin resistant (MRSA).

The next day Audrey’s antibiotic treatment was adjusted, several actions had been taken to address the MRSA detected, and Audrey was allowed to gradually resume normal feeding as IV feeding was phased out.

The rapid test results set Audrey up for a quick recovery. In addition, it helped minimize the use of an IV feeding tube which reduced the possibility of a MRSA infection and allowed Audrey to continue with her healthy weight gain. 

PCR testing was able to provide diagnosis of Enteroinvasive E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus within 24 hours

Post Script:

Five days later, (and two days after Audrey finished her antibiotic treatment), the culture and sensitivity test results confirmed E. coli as the source of the problem, and reinforced the antibiotic used for treatment.

At this time, Audrey is nearing the end of her stay in the NICU. She is doing very well and continues to bring joy to her parents with each passing day.

Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT PCR)

Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) infectious disease testing offers
higher accuracy and broader detection than culture.

▪ Detects the presence of infection by amplifying pathogen RNA and DNA
▪ Pathogen and antibiotic resistance information in 24 hours
▪ Increased sensitivity and specificity
▪ Unaffected by concurrent use of antibiotics
▪ Identifies polymicrobial infections

Identifying cause of infection on the first test is important especially in immunocompromised patients, including the elderly.

Here's what you need in your practice:

  • PCR testing that provides causative microbe coverage for up to 99% of syndrome-related
    microbes, some of which are not detected by traditional culture and sensitivity.
  • The test panels that offer information on the antibiotic resistance genes found in an individual sample. This information can help the clinician choose the best possible anti-infective therapy for the patient.

Get Up to 99% detection of causative bacterial, viral, fungal pathogens with sensitivity reports

Get Advanced PCR Testing For Your Practice

Your patients want an answer.  "What do I have?" 

Especially when point of care testing is not available, inconclusive, or doesn't give you an actual treatment decision, as well as for confirmation, rapid turn-around PCR testing (24-36h) will keep your patients safe, out of the hospital, and your reputation intact. 

"The urgent care mis-diagnosed me" is not something you want to see on your online reviews.

Let's get this set up in your practice: