SAN DIEGO — The use of Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Time-of-Flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry, coupled with an antimicrobial stewardship program (ASP) improved the management of patients with gram-negative bloodstream infections being treated in a community hospital, according to a study presented here. 

The results of this study, which was conducted at the Houston Methodist Hospital System, were released at ASM’s 55th Interscience Conference of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC/ICC) 2015.

The study demonstrated the MALTI-TOF and ASP programs significantly reduced the time it took to identify infecting pathogens from 32 hours pre-intervention to 6.5.  Susceptibility results were reduced from 48 to 23 hours and time to antibiotic adjustment was reduced from 75 to 30 hours.

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The average hospital cost savings for the patients in the intervention group was $3,411 compared to the cost of the patients in the pre-intervention group.

Despite comparable proportions of patients without active empiric therapy both before and after intervention, delays to active treatment were dramatically cut in the intervention cohort and mortality benefit was demonstrated (25% in the pre-intervention groups versus 2.1% in the intervention group).

The study researchers said they believe their findings demonstrate that community facilities should work to incorporate rapid diagnostic technology in their daily clinical rounding as part of their antimicrobial stewardship efforts. 


1. Lockwood A. Use of rapid diagnostic testing and pharmacist intervention in two community hospitals improved time to identification and susceptibility results of bloodstream organisms and reduced time to antibiotic adjustment. Control 3039. Presented at: ICAAC/ICC 2015; Sept. 17-21, 2015; San Diego.