Enteroviruses are the most common cause of meningitis in the US, resulting in an estimated 30,000 to 50,000 hospitalizations per year. Most cases of meningitis are caused by infectious agents, primarily bacteria and viruses. Bacterial meningitis is generally more severe and potentially more life threatening. The viral form usually self-resolves within 7-10 days and accounts for the majority of cases overall. Currently, when a patient presents with meningitis-like symptoms, a spinal tap is performed and the cerebral spinal fluid is cultured to determine the etiology. Patients are often treated empirically with antibiotics, and possibly antiviral drugs, until bacteria and viral cultures become available in two to three days. Isolation of EV, from CSF, requires 2-3 days or longer - and results are rarely rapid enough to affect patient management.
Introducing Cepheid's Xpert EV, the only molecular in vitro diagnostic test that delivers results in about 2.5 hours. When Xpert EV results are used in conjunction with standard laboratory results (for CSF Gram stain, CSF bacterial culture, CSF glucose, CSF-blood glucose ratio, CSF total protein concentration, and CSG leukocyte count) physicians can now confidently identify patients with EV and manage appropriately instead of just treating symptoms
The impact of Cepheid's Xpert EV is substantial: Identifying those patients with Enterovirus and helping to rule out bacterial meningitis quickly allows for appropriate management of patients. Timely answers provides assurance to patients and their families which helps to reduce anxiety.