Spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP) is often difficult to diagnose because bacteria in ascites cannot be detected accurately by conventional culture. In this study, we evaluated the use of broad-range 16S rRNA PCR, applied either directly to a total of 32 ascitic fluids (AFs) or to the AF vial cultures, after a long incubation of 14 days; the results were compared with those of AF vial cultures. Escherichia coli was isolated in four of 32 AF vial cultures (12.5%). The application of 16S rRNA PCR directly to AF detected only one of the four positive samples (sensitivity 25%, specificity 100%, positive predictive value (PPV) 100%, negative predictive value (NPV) 90.32%). However, the application of 16S rRNA PCR to AF vial cultures after 14 days of incubation correctly identified all the positive samples, including one more that was positive for Brucella mellitensis (sensitivity 100%, specificity 80%, PPV 80%, NPV 100%). The elongation of the incubation period of the AF vial cultures, combined with the use of 16S rRNA in negative vials, increases the possibility of identifying the causative agents of SBP and could be applied in the clinical laboratory.
Malli, E., Gatselis, N. K., Dalekos, G. N., & Petinaki, E. (2019). Combination of vial culture and broad-range PCR for the diagnosis of spontaneous bacterial peritonitis: experience in a Greek tertiary care hospital. New Microbes and New Infections, 28, 1–5. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nmni.2018.12.001