Document Type


Date of Original Version



Pharmacy Practice


Background. Previous reports on molecular rapid diagnostic testing (mRDT) do not consistently demonstrate improved clinical outcomes in bloodstream infections (BSIs). This meta-analysis seeks to evaluate the impact of mRDT in improving clinical outcomes in BSIs.

Methods. We searched PubMed, CINAHL, Web of science, and EMBASE through May 2016 for BSI studies comparing clinical outcomes by mRDT and conventional microbiology methods.

Results. Thirty-one studies were included with 5,920 patients. Risk of morality was significantly lower with mRDT as compared to conventional microbiology methods (OR 0.66, 95% CI 0.54-0.80) yielding a NNT of 20. The risk of mortality was slightly lower with mRDT in studies with antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs) (OR 0.64, 95% CI 0.51-0.79) and non-ASP studies failed to demonstrate a significant decrease in risk of mortality (OR 0.72, 95% CI 0.46-1.12). Significant decreases in mortality risk were observed with both Gram-positive (OR 0.73, 95% CI 0.55-0.97) and Gram-negative organisms (OR 0.51, 95% CI 0.33-0.78) but not yeast (OR 0.90, 95% CI 0.49-1.67). Time to effective therapy decreased by a weighted mean difference of -5.03 hours (95% CI -8.60 to -1.45) and length of stay decreased by -2.48 days (95% CI -3.90 to -1.06).

Conclusions. For BSIs, mRDT was associated with significant decreases in risk of mortality in the presence of a ASP, but not in its absence. Additionally, mRDT decreased time to effective therapy and length of stay. mRDT should be considered as part of the standard of care in patients with BSIs.