Polymerase Chain Reaction and blood culture for diagnosis of canine sepsis

ABSTRACT: Sepsis is characterized by the presence of organ dysfunction secondary to the dysregulated systemic inflammatory response associated with an infection, and has high mortality rates. Traditional diagnostic techniques based on non-microbiological isolation are time-consuming and may delay treatment. Thus, this study aimed to compare bacterial and fungal broad-range polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and blood culture for diagnosis of sepsis in dogs. Blood samples from 88 dogs with suspected sepsis were analyzed by blood culture, and PCR to detect bacterial and fungal DNA. On blood culture, 20 (22.7%) samples tested positive for bacterial isolates; however, none tested positive for fungi. Through PCR analysis, bacterial DNA was detected in 46 (52.3%) animals, whereas fungal DNA was present in one (1.1%) sample. Our results showed that PCR-based testing has important diagnostic value for canine blood infections because it has a shorter turnaround time and higher sensitivity than traditional blood culture.