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Cerebrospinal Fluid Bacterial Antigen

No Benefit Beyond Gram Stain


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Comparison of BAT and Gram Stain

Slide 7

May 2010

Results of bacterial antigen testing and Gram stain were compared. Of the 42 identified cases, 26 were positive by both the bacterial antigen test and Gram stain, 3 were positive by the bacterial antigen test but negative by Gram stain, 11 were positive by Gram stain but negative by the bacterial antigen test , and 2 were negative by both methods. The results of the bacterial antigen test and Gram stain were not statistically significantly different from one another (p = 0.64, Fisher's exact test). We demonstrated that the bacterial antigen test did not offer statistically significant sensitivity improvement compared to Gram stain for detection of classic bacterial meningitis organisms. In the 3 cases in which bacterial antigen test was positive and Gram stain was negative, culture was also positive, rendering bacterial antigen testing redundant. None of the culture-negative cases were missed by Gram stain.



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