Efficacy of a novel PCR- and microarray-based method in diagnosis of a prosthetic joint infectionLeena Metso, Minna Mäki, Päivi Tissari, Ville Remes, Pasi Piiparinen, Juha Kirveskari, Eveliina Tarkka, Veli-Jukka Anttila, Martti Vaara & Kaisa Huotari
Background and purpose — Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) methods enable detection and species identification of many pathogens. We assessed the efficacy of a new PCR and microarray-based platform for detection of bacteria in prosthetic joint infections (PJIs).
Methods — This prospective study involved 61 suspected PJIs in hip and knee prostheses and 20 negative controls. 142 samples were analyzed by Prove-it Bone and Joint assay. The laboratory staff conducting the Prove-it analysis were not aware of the results of microbiological culture and clinical findings. The results of the analysis were compared with diagnosis of PJIs defined according to the Musculoskeletal Infection Society (MSIS) criteria and with the results of microbiological culture.
Results — 38 of 61 suspected PJIs met the definition of PJI according to the MSIS criteria. Of the 38 patients, the PCR detected bacteria in 31 whereas bacterial culture was positive in 28 patients. 15 of the PJI patients were undergoing antimicrobial treatment as the samples for analysis were obtained. When antimicrobial treatment had lasted 4 days or more, PCR detected bacteria in 6 of the 9 patients, but positive cultures were noted in only 2 of the 9 patients. All PCR results for the controls were negative. Of the 61 suspected PJIs, there were false-positive PCR results in 6 cases.
Interpretation — The Prove-it assay was helpful in PJI diagnostics during ongoing antimicrobial treatment. Without preceding treatment with antimicrobials, PCR and microarray-based assay did not appear to give any additional information over culture.