Molecular approach to diagnosis of cardiovascular implantable electronic device infection

Zerelda Esquer Garrigos, M. Rizwan Sohail, Kerryl E. Greenwood-Quaintance, Scott A. Cunningham, Prakhar Vijayvargiya, Madiha Fida, Paul A. Friedman, Jayawant Mandrekar, Daniel C. DeSimone, Larry M. Baddour, Robin Patel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background. Sonicate fluid (SF), a solution derived from vortexing and sonication of explanted cardiovascular implantable electronic devices (CIEDs), is a higher-yield specimen compared with swabs or tissues for culture-based detection of microorganisms associated with CIED infection. Despite this, SF culture fails to identify a causative organism in ~50% of cases. We aimed to evaluate the diagnostic performance of 16S ribosomal RNA gene (rRNA) polymerase chain reaction (PCR)/sequencing of SF and compare it with that of SF culture. Methods. We identified 322 SF specimens from extracted CIEDs and reviewed clinical data for each patient. Subjects were classified as having or not having CIED infection. Cases were subcategorized as culture negative if no significant growth was reported from SF cultures and as culture positive if an organism was detected above predefined thresholds. 16S rRNA PCR/sequencing was performed, with the organisms identified reported according to Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute guidelines for sequence data interpretation. Results. A total of 278 SF samples corresponded to infected cases, of which 160 were culture positive and 118 culture negative. The remaining 44 were from noninfected cases, of which 2 were culture positive. Compared with SF culture, the sensitivity of 16S rRNA PCR/sequencing was higher (64% vs 57.5%, P = .003). 16S rRNA PCR/sequencing detected a potential pathogen in 28 of 118 culture-negative cases, identifying staphylococci in the majority (18/28). Conclusions. 16S rRNA PCR/sequencing has higher sensitivity to detect bacteria in SF from extracted CIEDs than does SF culture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)898-906
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020


  • 16S rRNA PCR/sequencing
  • Cardiovascular implantable electronic device infection
  • Laboratory diagnosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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