Validation of a multi-species-specific PCR panel to diagnose patients with suspected postoperative bacterial endophthalmitis

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Introduction: Currently, patients suspected of endophthalmitis are referred to a tertiary centre for a vitreous biopsy and bacterial culture, thereby causing a treatment delay for the intravitreal antibiotics injection. We developed a new diagnostic tool, multi-mono-PCR (mm-PCR), not requiring viable bacteria, allowing antibiotic injection without delay. Performance of mm-PCR was tested on biopsies from patients with suspected postoperative endophthalmitis with known bacterial culture results. Methods: Most frequently occurring pathogens in endophthalmitis were determined using published data and treatment logs of endophthalmitis patient of the Rotterdam Eye Hospital. Vitreous biopsies from patients with suspected endophthalmitis were aliquoted in two parts. One part was sent out for bacterial culture and another was stored at −80°C for mm-PCR analysis and, as a backup, also by panbacterial PCR. Twelve vitreous samples from patients not suspected of having endophthalmitis were added as control samples. Results: Concordancy between bacterial culture and mm-PCR was 89% (24 of 27). All twelve control samples were negative. In three nonconcordant samples, the PCR results were most likely the correct ones. Conclusion: mm-PCR results are highly concordant with bacterial culture. mm-PCR with panbacterial PCR as backup could be considered a diagnostic tool in patients with endophthalmitis, which would allow us to reverse the order of diagnosis and treatment while maintaining diagnostic surveillance, thereby preventing treatment delay.




van Halsema, J., Jansen, R., Heineken, A., van Ossewaarde, T. M., Meester-Smoor, M. A., & van Meurs, J. C. (2022). Validation of a multi-species-specific PCR panel to diagnose patients with suspected postoperative bacterial endophthalmitis. Acta Ophthalmologica, 100(3), e827–e832.

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