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OBJECTIVES:Conventional routine PCR testing for gastrointestinal infections is generally based on pathogen related panels specifically requested by clinicians and can be erroneous and time consuming. The BioFire FilmArray gastrointestinal (GI) panel combines 22 pathogens into a single cartridge-based test on a random-access system, thereby reducing the turnaround time to less than 2 hours. We described the clinical impact of implementing the BioFire FilmArray on patients with gastroenteritis in our hospital. METHODS:Patients attending a Dutch tertiary care center (Radboud University Medical Center), from whom stool samples were obtained, were eligible for inclusion. The clinicians selected one or a combination of different routinely performed PCR panels (bacterial panel, viral panel, clostridium testing, and three parasitic panels) based on clinical history and symptoms. All samples were in parallel tested with the FilmArray. We retrospectively collected patient data regarding infection control and patient management to assess the potential impact of implementing the FilmArray. RESULTS:In total 182 patients were included. Routine PCR detected one or more pathogens in 52 (28.6%) patients compared to 72 (39.6%) using the FilmArray. Turnaround time (including transport) decreased from median 53 hours for the routine PCR to 16 hours for the FilmArray. Twenty-six patients could have been removed from isolation 29 hours sooner, 3.6 antibiotic days could have been saved and in five patients additional imaging testing (including colonoscopies) could have been prevented. CONCLUSION:The theoretical implementation of the BioFire FilmArray GI panel in patients with clinical suspicion of gastroenteritis resulted in a significant better patient management.

Original publication





PloS one

Publication Date





Department of Medical Microbiology & Radboudumc Center for Infectious Diseases, Radboud university medical center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


Feces, Humans, Gastroenteritis, Patient Care, Molecular Diagnostic Techniques, Polymerase Chain Reaction, Infection Control, Time Factors, Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Middle Aged, Child, Child, Preschool, Infant, Infant, Newborn, Netherlands, Male, Young Adult, Tertiary Care Centers