CSF Meningitis/Encephalitis Panel

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(last updated 5/5/2021)

  1. This is the same test as the previous sendout orderable CSF Multiplex, but we will now perform the test in-house.
  2. The new orderable name in CERNER is CSF Meningitis/Encephalitis Panel.
  3. This test is capable of simultaneous detection and identification of multiple bacterial, viral, and yeast nucleic acids directly from CSF specimens obtained via lumbar puncture from individuals with signs and/or symptoms of meningitis. It detected the organisms seen below:
    1. Bacteria:
      1. Escherichia coli K1
      2. Haemophilus influenzae
      3. Listeria monocytogenes
      4. Neisseria meningitidis (encapsulated)
      5. Streptococcus agalactiae
      6. Streptococcus pneumoniae
    2. Viruses:
      1. Cytomegalovirus
      2. Enterovirus
      3. Herpes simplex virus 1
      4. Herpes simplex virus 2
      5. Human herpesvirus 6
      6. Human parechovirus
      7. Varicella zoster virus
    3. Yeast:
      1. Cryptococcus neoformans/gattii
  4. The results will appear as: “Detected” or “Not Detected” for each organism listed above.
  5. Collection Kit: Sterile CSF tube with a minimum volume: 200 ul CSF (0.2 ml).
  6. Please send to the lab immediately for processing (same as for CSF Culture).
  7. Limitations of the test:
    1. Results from this test must be correlated with the clinical history, epidemiological data, and other data available to the clinician evaluating the patient.
    2. The performance of this test has not been established for CSF specimens from patients without signs and/or symptoms of meningitis and/or encephalitis.
    3. The performance of this test has not been specifically evaluated for CSF specimens from immunocompromised individuals.
    4. The effect of antibiotic treatment on test performance has not been evaluated.
    5. The performance of this test has not been established for monitoring treatment of infection with any of the panel organisms.
    6. This test is not intended for use with CSF collected from indwelling medical devices (e.g., CSF shunts).
    7. A negative FilmArray ME Panel result does not exclude the possibility of CNS infection and should not be used as the sole basis for diagnosis, treatment, or other management decisions. There is a risk of false negative values due to the presence of sequence variants or rearrangements in the gene targets of the assay, procedural errors, inhibitors in specimens, technical error, sample mix-up, or infection caused by an organism not detected by the FilmArray ME Panel. Test results may also be affected by concurrent antimicrobial therapy or levels of organism in the sample that are below the limit of detection.
    8. Viral shedding into the CSF often occurs in cases of zoster (shingles; caused by reactivation of VZV). VZV may not be the cause of CNS disease in these cases.
    9. HHV-6 or CMV can exist in latent form that is reactivated during infection due to other pathogens, including agents not detected by the FilmArray ME panel that may cause meningitis/encephalitis (e.g., Mycobacterium tuberculosis or HIV). When detected by the FilmArray ME, HHV-6 or CMV should be considered as the likely cause of meningitis/encephalitis only in appropriate clinical settings and following expert consultation.
    10. Only E. coli strains possessing the K1 capsular antigen will be detected. All other E. coli strains/serotypes will not be detected.
    11. Only encapsulated strains of N. meningitidis will be detected. Unencapsulated N. meningitidis will not be detected.

If you have any specific questions about this new test, please feel free to contact the Microbiology Supervisor in the laboratory.

Laboratory Services