New publication!

Our new article has been accepted in Journal of Clinical and Translational Hepatology:

Jahn M, Özcürümez MK, Dolff S, Rohn H, Heider D, Dechene A, Canbay A, Rath PM, Katsounas A: A Multipathogen Bile Sample-based PCR Assay Can Guide Empirical Antimicrobial Strategies in Cholestatic Liver Diseases, Journal of Clinical and Translational Hepatology 2022, in press. (Link)


Background and objectives

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) techniques provide rapid detection of pathogens. This pilot study evaluated the diagnostic utility and clinical impact of multiplex real-time PCR (mRT-PCR, SeptiFast) vs. conventional microbial culture (CMC) in bile samples of patients with chronic cholestatic liver diseases (cCLDs), endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography (ERCP), and peri-interventional-antimicrobial-prophylaxis (pAP).


We prospectively collected bile samples from 26 patients for microbiological analysis by CMC and mRT-PCR. Concordance of the results of both methods was determined by Krippendorff’s alpha (α) for inter-rater reliability and the Jaccard index of similarity.


mRT-PCRbile and CMCbile results were concordant for only Candida albicans (α=0.8406; Jaccard index=0.8181). mRT-PCRbile detected pathogens in 8/8 cases (100%), CMCbile in 7/8 (87.5%), and CMCblood in 5/8 (62.5%) with clinical signs of infection. mRT-PCRbile, CMCbile, and CMCblood had identical detection results in 3/8 (37.5%) with clinical signs of infection (two Klebsiella spp. and one Enterococcus faecium). The total pathogen count was significantly higher with mRT-PCRbile than with CMCbile (62 vs. 31; χ2=30.031, p<0.001). However, pathogens detected by mRT-PCRbile were more often susceptible to pAP according to the patient infection/colonization history (PI/CH) and surveillance data for antibiotic resistance in our clinic (DARC). Pathogens identified by mRT-PCRbile and resistant to pAP by PI/CH and DARC were likely to be clinically relevant.


mRT-PCR in conjunction with CMCs for bile analysis increased diagnostic sensitivity and may benefit infection management in patients with cholestatic diseases. Implementation of mRT-PCR in a bile sample-based diagnostic routine can support more rapid and targeted use of antimicrobial agents in cCLD-patients undergoing ERCP and reduce the rate/length of unnecessary administration of broad-spectrum antibiotics.

Written by: Dominik Heider