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      Laboratory Experience with the Liaison Analyzer in the Diagnosis of Clostridium Difficile-Associated Diarrhea

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          Chemiluminescent or enzyme-linked fluorescent immunoassays are commonly used to diagnose Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea.


          The LIAISON analyzer (DiaSorin, Italy) was compared to miniVIDAS (bioMérieux, France) and, furthermore, to culture of toxigenic strains. In total, 249 native stool samples were analyzed. Sensitivities, specificities, and positive and negative predictive values were investigated. Furthermore, performance under routine conditions was assessed.


          The glutamate dehydrogenase chemiluminescent immunoassay (GDH-CLIA) assay revealed a high sensitivity and negative predictive value. The toxins A&B assays exhibited approximately the same low sensitivity and high specificity. Technical drawbacks experienced with the LIAISON analyzer in 48% of the analyses considerably delayed the time to the first diagnostic report and interfered with laboratory routine workflow.


          The analytical performance of the investigated platforms should be reflected in the context of implementation into the laboratory workflow.

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          Most cited references 10

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          Diagnosis of Clostridium difficile infection: an ongoing conundrum for clinicians and for clinical laboratories.

          Clostridium difficile is a formidable nosocomial and community-acquired pathogen, causing clinical presentations ranging from asymptomatic colonization to self-limiting diarrhea to toxic megacolon and fulminant colitis. Since the early 2000s, the incidence of C. difficile disease has increased dramatically, and this is thought to be due to the emergence of new strain types. For many years, the mainstay of C. difficile disease diagnosis was enzyme immunoassays for detection of the C. difficile toxin(s), although it is now generally accepted that these assays lack sensitivity. A number of molecular assays are commercially available for the detection of C. difficile. This review covers the history and biology of C. difficile and provides an in-depth discussion of the laboratory methods used for the diagnosis of C. difficile infection (CDI). In addition, strain typing methods for C. difficile and the evolving epidemiology of colonization and infection with this organism are discussed. Finally, considerations for diagnosing C. difficile disease in special patient populations, such as children, oncology patients, transplant patients, and patients with inflammatory bowel disease, are described. As detection of C. difficile in clinical specimens does not always equate with disease, the diagnosis of C. difficile infection continues to be a challenge for both laboratories and clinicians.
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            European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID): data review and recommendations for diagnosing Clostridium difficile-infection (CDI).

            The aim of the present systematic review was to evaluate the available evidence on laboratory diagnosis of CDI and to formulate recommendations to optimize CDI testing. In comparison with cell culture cytotoxicity assay (CCA) and toxigenic culture (TC) of stools, we analyzed the test characteristics of 13 commercial available enzyme immunoasssays (EIA) detecting toxins A and/or B, 4 EIAs detecting Clostridium difficile glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH), and a real-time PCR for C. difficile toxin B gene. In comparison with CCA and TCA and assuming a prevalence of CDI of 5%, PPV and NPV varied between 0.28-0.77, 0.12-0.65 and 0.98-1.00, 0.97-1.00, respectively. Only if the tests were performed in a population with a CDI prevalence of 50 percent, would PPVs be acceptable (ranging from 0.71 to 1.00).To overcome the problem of a low PPV, we propose a two step approach, with a second test or a reference method in case of a positive first test. Further reducing the number of false negative results would require either retesting of all subjects with a negative first test, or re-testing all subjects with a negative second test, after an initially positive test. This approach resulted in non-significant improvements, and emphasizes the need for better diagnostic tests. Further studies to validate the applicability of two-step testing, including assessment of clinical features, are required.
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              Comparison of nine commercially available Clostridium difficile toxin detection assays, a real-time PCR assay for C. difficile tcdB, and a glutamate dehydrogenase detection assay to cytotoxin testing and cytotoxigenic culture methods.

              The continuing rise in the incidence of Clostridium difficile infection is a cause for concern, with implications for patients and health care systems. Laboratory diagnosis largely relies on rapid toxin detection kits, although assays detecting alternative targets, including glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) and toxin genes, are now available. Six hundred routine diagnostic diarrheal samples were tested prospectively using nine commercial toxin detection assays, cytotoxin assay (CYT), and cytotoxigenic culture (CYTGC) and retrospectively using a GDH detection assay and PCR for the toxin B gene. The mean sensitivity and specificity for toxin detection assays were 82.8% (range, 66.7 to 91.7%) and 95.4% (range, 90.9 to 98.8%), respectively, in comparison with CYT and 75.0% (range, 60.0 to 86.4%) and 96.1% (91.4 to 99.4%), respectively, in comparison with CYTGC. The sensitivity and specificity of the GDH assay were 90.1% and 92.9%, respectively, compared to CYT and 87.6% and 94.3%, respectively, compared to CYTGC. The PCR assay had the highest sensitivity of all the tests in comparison with CYT (92.2%) and CYTGC (88.5%), and the specificities of the PCR assay were 94.0% and 95.4% compared to CYT and CYTGC, respectively. All kits had low positive predictive values (range, 48.6 to 86.8%) compared with CYT, assuming a positive sample prevalence of 10% (representing the hospital setting), which compromises the clinical utility of single tests for the laboratory diagnosis of C. difficile infection. The optimum rapid single test was PCR for toxin B gene, as this had the highest negative predictive value. Diagnostic algorithms that optimize test combinations for the laboratory diagnosis of C. difficile infection need to be defined.

                Author and article information

                Eur J Microbiol Immunol (Bp)
                Eur J Microbiol Immunol (Bp)
                European Journal of Microbiology & Immunology
                Akadémiai Kiadó (Budapest )
                23 August 2016
                29 September 2016
                : 6
                : 3
                : 215-218
                Institute of Medical Microbiology, Virology and Hygiene, University Hospital Rostock , Rostock, Germany
                Author notes
                * Institute of Medical Microbiology, Virology and Hygiene, University Hospital Rostock, Schillingallee 70, 18057 Rostock, Germany; +49 381 494 5928; +49 381 494 5902; orsolya.benedek@

                Conflict of interest

                The authors declare that no conflicts of interests exist.

                © The Author(s)

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Page count
                Figures: 0, Tables: 2, Equations: 0, References: 8, Pages: 4
                Financial disclosure No current funding sources for this study.
                Original Article

                minividas, liaison, tcdb, tcda, gdh, clostridium difficile


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