Clinicians in the emergency department (ED) face challenges in concurrently assessing patients with suspected COVID-19 infection, detecting bacterial coinfection, and determining illness severity since current practices require separate workflows. Here, we explore the accuracy of the IMX-BVN-3/IMX-SEV-3 29 mRNA host response classifiers in simultaneously detecting severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and bacterial coinfections and predicting clinical severity of COVID-19. A total of 161 patients with PCR-confirmed COVID-19 (52.2% female; median age, 50.0?years; 51% hospitalized; 5.6% deaths) were enrolled at the Stanford Hospital ED. RNA was extracted (2.5?mL whole blood in PAXgene blood RNA), and 29 host mRNAs in response to the infection were quantified using Nanostring nCounter. The IMX-BVN-3 classifier identified SARS-CoV-2 infection in 151 patients with a sensitivity of 93.8%. Six of 10 patients undetected by the classifier had positive COVID tests more than 9?days prior to enrollment, and the remaining patients oscillated between positive and negative results in subsequent tests. The classifier also predicted that 6 (3.7%) patients had a bacterial coinfection. Clinical adjudication confirmed that 5/6 (83.3%) of the patients had bacterial infections, i.e., Clostridioides difficile colitis (n?=?1), urinary tract infection (n?=?1), and clinically diagnosed bacterial infections (n?=?3), for a specificity of 99.4%. Two of 101 (2.8%) patients in the IMX-SEV-3 "Low" severity classification and 7/60 (11.7%) in the "Moderate" severity classification died within 30 days of enrollment. IMX-BVN-3/IMX-SEV-3 classifiers accurately identified patients with COVID-19 and bacterial coinfections and predicted patients' risk of death. A point-of-care version of these classifiers, under development, could improve ED patient management, including more accurate treatment decisions and optimized resource utilization. IMPORTANCE We assay the utility of the single-test IMX-BVN-3/IMX-SEV-3 classifiers that require just 2.5?mL of patient blood in concurrently detecting viral and bacterial infections as well as predicting the severity and 30-day outcome from the infection. A point-of-care device, in development, will circumvent the need for blood culturing and drastically reduce the time needed to detect an infection. This will negate the need for empirical use of broad-spectrum antibiotics and allow for antibiotic use stewardship. Additionally, accurate classification of the severity of infection and the prediction of 30-day severe outcomes will allow for appropriate allocation of hospital resources.
View details for DOI 10.1128/spectrum.02305-22
View details for PubMedID 36250865