FilmArray Meningitis/Encephalitis Panel, CSF

UnityPoint Health – Des Moines will begin offering on February 23rd, the new FDA cleared test, FilmArray Meningitis/Encephalitis (ME) Panel by BioFire Diagnostics, Inc. This test allows rapid identification of common pathogens found in cerebral spinal fluid (CSF). The FilmArray ME panel is the first nucleic acid-based test to detect multiple pathogens from a single sample of cerebrospinal fluid.

Clinical Significance

The one-hour assay detects a total of 14 pathogens: six bacteria, seven viruses, and one type of yeast. Infection of the meninges surrounding the brain and spinal cord (meningitis) or of the brain (encephalitis) can have high mortality and morbidity rates depending on the source of infection. Acute bacterial meningitis is a rare, but potentially fatal disease where symptoms can appear suddenly and escalate quickly to brain damage, hearing and/or speech loss, blindness, or even death. Initial treatment of patients suspected of acute meningitis depends on early recognition, rapid diagnostic evaluation, and emergent antimicrobial and adjunctive therapy1. Conversely, viral meningitis is more common, but typically mild and non-lethal. However, clinical diagnosis of the meningitis syndrome is difficult since their signs and symptoms are virtually indistinguishable.

  1. Tunkel AR. Bacterial Meningitis. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2001.

Additional Testing information: CSF Culture [LAB268] is required to be ordered when ordering the Meningitis/Encephalitis Panel. Culture is required to rule out false positive and false negative results, and to perform drug susceptibility testing if indicated. If a culture is not ordered when the Meningitis/Encephalitis Panel is requested, the laboratory will automatically order the CSF Culture.

Reference Range: Not detected.

Testing Schedule: Twenty-four (24) hours a day, seven (7) days a week.

Ordering: LAB6330

CPT: 87798x14


For additional information: Technical Contact: Kathie Rogers, MT(ASCP), Ph.D; Microbiology Manager Email: Phone: (515) 241-5248