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Impact of serology and molecular methods on improving the microbiologic diagnosis of infective endocarditis in Egypt.

Infection 2015 October
BACKGROUND: Conventional diagnosis of infective endocarditis (IE) is based mainly on culture-dependent methods that may fail because of antibiotic therapy or fastidious microorganisms.

OBJECTIVES: We aimed to evaluate the added values of serological and molecular methods for diagnosis of infective endocarditis.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: One hundred and fifty-six cases of suspected endocarditis were enrolled in the study. For each patient, three sets of blood culture were withdrawn and serum sample was collected for Brucella, Bartonella and Coxiella burnetii antibody testing. Galactomannan antigen was added if fungal endocarditis was suspected. Broad range PCR targeting bacterial and fungal pathogens were done on blood culture bottles followed by sequencing. Culture and molecular studies were done on excised valve tissue when available.

RESULTS: One hundred and thirty-two cases were diagnosed as definite IE. Causative organisms were detected by blood cultures in 40 (30.3 %) of cases. Blood culture-negative endocarditis (BCNE) represented 69.7 %. Of these cases, PCR followed by sequencing on blood and valvular tissue could diagnose five cases of Aspergillus flavus. Eleven patients with BCNE (8.3 %) were diagnosed as zoonotic endocarditis by serology and PCR including five cases of Brucella spp, four cases of Bartonella spp and two cases of Coxiella burnetii. PCR detected three cases of Brucella spp and two cases of Bartonella spp, while cases of Coxiella burnetii were PCR negative. The results of all diagnostic tools decreased the percentage of non-identified cases of BCNE from 69.7 to 49.2 %.

CONCLUSION: Our data underline the role of serologic and molecular tools for the diagnosis of blood culture-negative endocarditis.

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