DNA Electronics (DNAe), London and Carlsbad, Calif, the inventor of semiconductor-based genomic analysis technologies and the developer of an innovative test for bloodstream infections that can lead to sepsis, has announced new data generated with its LiDia bloodstream infection technology. The data were presented in April at the annual meeting of the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID).1

Researchers demonstrated that the LiDia bloodstream infection technology, currently under development, was able to detect pathogens and antibiotic resistance in samples collected from patients after receiving antibiotic therapy. Time to detection by the LiDia bloodstream infection method was significantly shorter than the time required for standard-of-care blood culture testing (hours versus days).

For patients with bloodstream infections, early treatment with broad spectrum antibiotics is critical. If blood culture is used for diagnosis once a patient has begun antibiotic treatment, however, the antibiotics can affect the growth of any bacteria present in a sample, leading to false-negative test results. According to DNAe, the LiDia bloodstream infection technology can detect the presence of pathogens without interference from antimicrobial therapy.

In the study, pathogens and antibiotic resistance detected by the LiDia bloodstream infection method in samples collected from patients with suspected or confirmed bloodstream infections showed concordance with blood culture results in 31 patients pretreated with antibiotics. The LiDia bloodstream infection method also detected pathogens in a further nine samples, where blood culture collected concurrently produced a negative result. The LiDia bloodstream infection results in these samples matched earlier blood culture results from the same patients. Time to result for the LiDia bloodstream infection method was just a few hours, whereas blood culture results were available 2–5 days after specimen collection.


David Davidson, DNA Electronics.

For the DNAe study, clinical specimens were collected with consent from two sites, namely the Mayo Clinic and the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center. The largest number of patients with positive blood cultures came from medical intensive care units (25%), surgical wards (20%), and general medical wards (17.5%), followed by emergency departments (12.5%). The most frequently encountered microorganisms were Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Staphylococcus aureus.

Once a specific diagnosis is confirmed, patients can be treated with a more targeted antibiotic. Rapid and accurate identification of the pathogen would enable physicians to prescribe targeted treatment faster, potentially improving the patient’s prognosis and reducing healthcare costs. It could also help to reduce the spread of antimicrobial resistance by preventing the overuse of broad spectrum antibiotics.

“The study demonstrates the real-world potential of LiDia BSI, and its ability to rapidly identify infectious agents even in patients who are already being treated with antibiotics,” says David Davidson, chief scientific officer at DNAe and a coauthor of the study. “The test could help clinicians determine if patients already being treated with antibiotics are on the correct drug, and may enable treatment with targeted antibiotics to begin immediately. Faster and more tailored treatment with this test could have huge implications for patient care.”

For more information, visit DNAe.


  1. Bauer R, Barnes S, Hall K, et al. Rapid detection of clinically confirmed bloodstream pathogens in culture-negative specimens [abstract and poster, online]. Poster P1960 presented at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Madrid, April 21–24, 2018. Available at: www.eccmidlive.org/#resources/rapid-detection-of-clinically-confirmed-bloodstream-pathogens-in-culture-negative-specimens. Accessed June 4, 2018.