Bacterial enteric infections detected by culture-independent diagnostic tests--FoodNet, United States, 2012-2014.MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2015 Mar 13; 64(9):252-7.MM
The increased availability and rapid adoption of culture-independent diagnostic tests (CIDTs) is moving clinical detection of bacterial enteric infections away from culture-based methods. These new tests do not yield isolates that are currently needed for further tests to distinguish among strains or subtypes of Salmonella, Campylobacter, Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli, and other organisms. Public health surveillance relies on this detailed characterization of isolates to monitor trends and rapidly detect outbreaks; consequently, the increased use of CIDTs makes prevention and control of these infections more difficult. During 2012-2013, the Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet*) identified a total of 38,666 culture-confirmed cases and positive CIDT reports of Campylobacter, Salmonella, Shigella, Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, Vibrio, and Yersinia. Among the 5,614 positive CIDT reports, 2,595 (46%) were not confirmed by culture. In addition, a 2014 survey of clinical laboratories serving the FoodNet surveillance area indicated that use of CIDTs by the laboratories varied by pathogen; only CIDT methods were used most often for detection of Campylobacter (10%) and STEC (19%). Maintaining surveillance of bacterial enteric infections in this period of transition will require enhanced surveillance methods and strategies for obtaining bacterial isolates.