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Revista Médica del Uruguay

Print version ISSN 0303-3295On-line version ISSN 1688-0390


MAURO, Sofía et al. Usefulness of the multiplex PCR panel in the early microbiological diagnosis and antimicrobial suitability in critical patients withpneumonia. Rev. Méd. Urug. [online]. 2022, vol.38, n.2, e203.  Epub June 01, 2022. ISSN 0303-3295.


the early initiation of the adequate antibiotic therapy in severe infections is associated to a reduction in mortality. Early identification of the microorganism is essential to define directed therapy and decrease the initial inadequate treatment.


to assess usefulness of a molecular biology technique by nucleic acid amplification through a polymerase chain reaction in real time for an early microbiological diagnosis and correction of the antibiotic therapy in patients with severe pneumonias.


retrospective, observational study conducted in the intensive care unit of Maciel Hospital. The respiratory samples of patients with a diagnosis of pneumonia or suspicious to have pneumonia were analyzed. The microbiological results obtained were compared using conventional techniques and multiplex molecular biology (pneumonia panel).


53 samples obtained from 51 patients were included in the study. Multiplex detected at least one microorganism in 38 (71.7%) samples compared to 30 (56.6%) in traditional cultures. Most samples were obtained under the previous antibiotic therapy (86.8%). The pneumonia panel showed a combined positive agreement percentage of 100% and a negative agreement of 94% for the identification of bacteria when compared to the traditional microbiological methods. In 27 cases (51%) the pneumonia panel results determined changing the therapeutic behavior.


the PCR technique allows for the early identification of microorganisms causing pneumonia, thus optimizing initial empirical therapy and rationalizing the use of antibiotics. A negative panel reduces the suspicion of a respiratory infection caused by the usual germs and enables considering differential diagnosis in terms of etiology or cause.

Keywords : Pneumonia; Critical care; Nucleic acid amplification techniques; Multiplex PCR panel; Rapid microbiological diagnosis.

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