Rapid diagnostics for melioidosis: a comparative study of a novel lateral flow antigen detection assay
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The rapid diagnosis of septicaemic melioidosis will have an impact on reduction of mortality. Currently, this relies almost exclusively upon culture of the causative agent Burkholderia pseudomallei from clinical samples. In acute sepsis, blood is the preferred specimen for culture and therefore should be the target for a rapid diagnostic tool. A lateral flow immunoassay (LFI) for the detection of B. pseudomallei antigen has been developed. This was compared with molecular detection using the targets T3SS1 and IpxO. Forty-five clinical samples of EDTA blood, which were culture-positive, were tested using both modalities. The LFI had a sensitivity of 40 %, whilst molecular detection had a sensitivity of 20 %. The poor performance of molecular detection has been described previously and is largely related to the use of whole-blood specimens collected into blood tubes containing EDTA. Whilst suboptimal, the LFI would be an adjunct in the rapid diagnosis of melioidosis.
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