Original Research

Evaluation of the BioFire® FilmArray® Blood Culture Identification Panel on positive blood cultures in a regional hospital laboratory in KwaZulu-Natal

Mokshanand Fhooblall, Fikile Nkwanyana, Koleka P. Mlisana
African Journal of Laboratory Medicine | Vol 5, No 1 | a411 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajlm.v5i1.411 | © 2016 Mokshanand Fhooblall, Fikile Nkwanyana, Koleka P. Mlisana | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 January 2016 | Published: 30 September 2016

About the author(s)

Mokshanand Fhooblall, School of Laboratory Medicine and Medical Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Fikile Nkwanyana, Howard College, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Koleka P. Mlisana, Department of Medical Microbiology, National Health Laboratory Services, Durban, South Africa


Background: There are presently many non-culture-based methods commercially available to identify organisms and antimicrobial susceptibility from blood culture bottles. Each platform has its benefits and limitations. However, there is a need for an improved system with minimal hands-on requirements and short run times.

Objectives: In this study, the performance characteristics of the FilmArray® BCID Panel kit were evaluated to assess the efficiency of the kit against an existing system used for identification and antimicrobial susceptibility of organisms from blood cultures.

Methods: Positive blood cultures that had initially been received from hospitalised patients of a large quaternary referral hospital in Durban, South Africa were processed as per routine protocol at its Medical Microbiology Laboratory. Positive blood cultures were processed on the FilmArray BCID Panel kit in parallel with the routine sample processing. Inferences were then drawn from results obtained.

Results: Organism detection by the FilmArray BCID panel was accurate at 92.6% when organisms that were on the repertoire of the kit were considered, compared to the combination methods (reference method used in the study laboratory). Detection of the antimicrobial resistance markers provided by the panel and reference method demonstrated 100% consistency. Blood cultures with a single organism were accurately identified at 93.8% by FilmArray, while blood cultures with more than one organism were identified at 85.7%.

Conclusion: The FilmArray BCID Panel kit is valuable for detection of organisms and markers of antibiotic resistance for an extensive range of organisms.


Blood culture, FilmArray, combination methods, identification, susceptibility


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