False Negative Diagnostic Errors With Polymerase Chain Reaction for the Detection of Cryptococcal Meningoencephalitis

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The accuracy of the BioFire FilmArray Meningitis/Encephalitis (ME) panel for the identification of Cryptococcus has recently been called into question. The primary objective of this study was to assess the agreement between the BioFire ME polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and other markers of cryptococcal infection. This retrospective review identified five patients with cryptococcal meningoencephalitis, 4 of whom had a negative ME panel for Cryptococcus. All five cases had positive serum cryptococcal antigens, and three of five had a positive cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) culture for Cryptococcus. The BioFire ME panel does not appear to be reliable for ruling out Cryptococcus meningoencephalitis; multiple testing methods are recommended.