[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A multicenter clinical trial assessed the performance of the Cepheid Xpert C. difficile assay on stool specimens collected from patients suspected of having Clostridium difficile infection (CDI). A total of 2,296 unformed stool specimens, collected from seven study sites, were tested by Xpert C. difficile enrichment culture followed by cell culture cytotoxicity testing of the isolates (i.e., toxigenic culture with enrichment)
and the study sites' standard C. difficile test methods. The methods included enzyme immunoassay (EIA), direct cytotoxin testing, and two- and three-step algorithms
using glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) screening followed by either EIA or EIA and an in-house PCR assay. All C. difficile strains were typed by PCR-ribotyping. Compared to results for toxigenic culture with enrichment, the sensitivity, specificity,
and positive and negative predictive values of the Xpert assay were 93.5, 94.0, 73.0, and 98.8%, respectively. The overall
sensitivity of the EIAs compared to that of enrichment culture was 60.0%, and the sensitivity of combined GDH algorithms was
72.9%; both were significantly lower than that of Xpert C. difficile (P < 0.001 and P = 0.03, respectively). The sensitivity of the EIA was significantly lower than that of the Xpert C. difficile assay for detection of ribotypes 002, 027, and 106 (P < 0.0001, P < 0.0001, and P = 0.004, respectively, Fisher's exact test), and the sensitivity of GDH algorithms for ribotypes other than 027 was lower
than that for Xpert C. difficile (P < 0.001). The Xpert C. difficile assay is a simple, rapid, and accurate method for detection of toxigenic C. difficile in unformed stool specimens and is minimally affected by strain type compared to EIA and GDH-based methods.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The incidence of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) has risen almost 3-fold in the United States over the past decade, emphasizing the need for rapid and accurate tests for CDI. The Cepheid Xpert C. difficile assay is an integrated, closed, nucleic acid amplification system that automates sample preparation and real-time PCR detection of the toxin B gene (tcdB). A total of 432 stool specimens from symptomatic patients were tested by a glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) assay, a toxin A and B enzyme immunoassay (EIA), the Xpert C. difficile assay, and a cell culture cytotoxicity neutralization assay (CCCN). The results of these methods, used individually and in combination, were compared to those of toxigenic culture. Results for the Xpert C. difficile assay alone showed a sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value (NPV) of 94.4, 96.3, 84.0, and 98.8%, while the EIA alone gave corresponding values of 58.3, 94.7, 68.9, and 91.9%, respectively. An algorithm using the GDH assay and the EIA (plus the CCCN if the EIA was negative) showed corresponding values of 83.1, 96.7, 83.1, and 96.1%. The Xpert C. difficile assay was statistically superior to the EIA (P, <0.001 by Fisher's exact test) and to the GDH-EIA-CCCN algorithm (P, 0.0363). Combining the GDH and Xpert C. difficile assays lowered both the sensitivity and the NPV of the Xpert assay. The GDH-EIA-CCCN procedure required, on average, 2 days to complete testing on GDH-positive results, while testing by the Xpert C. difficile assay was completed, on average, in less than 1 h. Xpert C. difficile testing yielded the highest sensitivity and NPV, in the least amount of time, of the individual- and multiple-test algorithms evaluated in this study.