Rapid Identification of Pathogens in Ventilator-associated Pneumonia Using Real-time Metagenomics and Real-time PCR

JI Program: Pulmonary


Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is a tremendous cause of morbidity, mortality, and healthcare expense in China and the United States. Clinical identification of respiratory pathogens still relies on the culture-based techniques used by Pasteur in the 1880s. Delayed identification of pathogens in pneumonia results in increased morbidity and mortality, and indiscriminate use of broad empiric antibiotics impedes antimicrobial stewardship. This novel study will extend recent discoveries in molecular microbiology to the rapid detection of pathogens in VAP. The long-term objective of this proposal is to accelerate the identification and quantification of pathogens in VAP using novel, real-time molecular technologies. In Objective 1, we will develop a protocol and pipeline that will rapidly identify respiratory pathogens in four hours via real-time metagenomics. In Objective 2, we will develop a protocol and determine reference ranges that will rapidly quantify respiratory pathogens in two hours using a novel ultrasensitive PCR platform.