Background: This study was designed as a quasi-experiment to evaluate automatic inoculation of fecal specimens, using the automated specimen inoculator Previ Isola (bioMérieux, France).
Methods: We evaluated the quality of cultures, recovery rates of enteropathogenic bacteria (Salmonella, Shigella, Campylobacter, and Yersinia species), and cost-effectiveness in terms of technical time. The Previ Isola recovery rates for the two-year period from August 2009 to July 2011 were compared with historical manual inoculation data of the previous two years (August 2007 to July 2009). The regional (Baden-Württemberg) and nationwide (Germany) trends of recovery rates for this four-year period were referred.
Results: A total of 5,884 fecal specimens were collected over the study period. Most positive cultures were for Salmonella, followed by Campylobacter. Compared with the historical data, the numbers of Campylobacter-positive specimens for a year between August and July were increased significantly, from 19 in 2007-2008 and 10 in 2008-2009 to 32 in 2009-2010 (P=0.002) and 32 in 2010-2011 (P=0.003), respectively. During the study period, the official data for our region and nationwide did not show this increase in the recovery rate of Campylobacter. For Salmonella, Shigella, and Yersinia, no significant changes were observed. Compared with manual inoculation, the mean hands-on time with Previ Isola inoculation was significantly shortened, from 37:30 min to 8:42 min per 15 fecal specimens.
Conclusions: Inoculation by Previ Isola improves the quality of routine culture of fecal specimens, with better sensitivity for Campylobacter and less hands-on time.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)