In patients with suspected sepsis, rapid and accurate diagnosis of the causative infectious agent is critical. Although clinicians often use empiric antimicrobial therapy until the blood cultures are available to potentially adjust treatment, this approach is often not optimum for patient care. Recently, several commercial molecular multiplex technologies have shown promise for fast and comprehensive diagnosis of microorganisms and their antimicrobial resistance signatures. While one class of multiplex technologies is directed at improving the speed and diagnostic information obtained from positive blood cultures, the other identifies the causative microorganisms directly from clinical blood samples. This review provides an overview of these molecular technologies and describes their performance capabilities compared to standard blood cultures and in some cases to each other. We discuss the current clinical impact, limitations, and likely futures advances these multiplex technologies may have in guiding the management of patients with sepsis.
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