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Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (CCLM)

Published in Association with the European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (EFLM)

Editor-in-Chief: Plebani, Mario

Ed. by Gillery, Philippe / Greaves, Ronda / Lackner, Karl J. / Lippi, Giuseppe / Melichar, Bohuslav / Payne, Deborah A. / Schlattmann, Peter

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 3.638

CiteScore 2018: 2.44

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 1.191
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 1.205

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Volume 46, Issue 7


Rapid methods for diagnosis of bloodstream infections

Mariam Klouche
  • 1Bremer Zentrum für Laboratoriumsmedizin GmbH and LADR GmbH Medizinisches Versorgungszentrum Bremen, Bremen, Germany
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Uwe Schröder
  • 2Bremer Zentrum für Laboratoriumsmedizin GmbH and LADR GmbH Medizinisches Versorgungszentrum Bremen, Bremen, Germany
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar


Direct detection technologies for pathogenic microorganisms are emerging to be applied in the diagnosis of serious bloodstream infections and infections at sterile body sites, as well as for quality control measures prior to the release of sterile blood products and to ascertain microbial safety of food. Standard blood cultures as the current gold standard for detection of bacteraemia/sepsis and other culture-based microbiological identification procedures are comparatively slow and have limited sensitivity for fastidious or slow-growing microorganisms. Rapid nucleic acid-based technologies with PCR amplification or hybridisation probes for specific pathogens, broad-range bacterial or fungal assays, flow cytometry, as well as protein-based characterisation by mass spectrometry, aim at identification of pathogenic microorganisms within minutes to hours. Interpretation of direct detection of panbacterial or panfungal nucleic acids instead of living microorganisms in blood is complex, given the risk of contamination, the ubiquitous presence of bacterial and fungal DNA, and the lack of a gold standard. Since many of the infections at sterile sites, particularly sepsis, are medical emergencies requiring immediate therapeutic responses, rapid technologies could contribute to reduction of morbidity, mortality, and of the economic burden. This review summarises the currently available data on rapid non-culture-based technologies and outlines the potential clinical usefulness in infectious disease diagnosis.

Clin Chem Lab Med 2008;46:888–908.

Keywords: bacteraemia; blood culture; flow cytometry; hybridisation; matrix-assisted laser-desorption/ionisation time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF); microarray; microbial food safety; nucleic acid-based technology (NAT); nucleic acid sequence based amplification (NASBA); PCR; proteomic profiling; sepsis

About the article

Corresponding author: Prof. Dr. med. Mariam Klouche, Bremer Zentrum für Laboratoriumsmedizin GmbH, LADR GmbH Medizinisches Versorgungszentrum Bremen, Friedrich-Karl Straße 22, 28205 Bremen, Germany Phone: +49-421-4307-233, Fax: +49-421-4307-534,

Published in Print: 2008-07-01

Citation Information: Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, Volume 46, Issue 7, Pages 888–908, ISSN (Online) 1437-4331, ISSN (Print) 1434-6621, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/CCLM.2008.157.

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