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.
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.
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.
(24) hours a day, seven (7) days a week.
For additional information: Technical Contact: Kathie
Rogers, MT(ASCP), Ph.D; Microbiology Manager Email:
Kathie.Rogers@unitypoint.org Phone: (515) 241-5248