Harish G. M. 1 , Vivek K. U 2
ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: Sepsis and meningitis are few of the most important causes of morbidity and mortality. Even so, establishing a microbial diagnosis for is still arduous and is often achieved in only half of cases by conventional culture techniques. This study was designed to compare the multiplex PCR method with the traditional culture method in sepsis and meningitis. The other aim was to evaluate the reliability of multiplex PCR method. METHODS: Forty-four patients with symptoms of sepsis and meningitis were included in the study. Both culture and multiplex PCR methods were performed for the isolation of most commonly seen pathogen, from bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples. RESULTS: The conventional culture method detected at least one bacterial isolation in 19 patients. Whereas, the number for multiplex PCR was 44 (100%). The pathogens most commonly detected by PCR were Pseudomonas, Candida, S. pneumonia and CMV. In terms of detection of multiple pathogens, multiplex PCR was significantly efficient than conventional culture (p<0.05). CONCLUSION: The traditional methods, such as culture are often inadequate in detection of the pathogens in sample from patients of sepsis and meningitis. Multiplex PCR assays proved highly sensitive and rapid. Widespread use of PCR methods will not only provide the immediate and appropriate ''agent specific antibiotic treatment'' of sepsis and meningitis, it will also contribute to a reduction in antibiotic resistance.