Practice Versus Potential: The Impact of the BioFire FilmArray Pneumonia Panel on Antibiotic Use in Children

Alexander S. Plattner, Christine R. Lockowitz, Rebekah Dumm, Ritu Banerjee, Jason G. Newland, Rebecca G. Same

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background. The BioFire FilmArray Pneumonia Panel (BFPP), a multiplex PCR panel for the diagnosis of lower respiratory tract infections, has been proposed as a tool for antimicrobial stewardship. Few studies evaluate real-world implementation of the BFPP and no studies focus exclusively on children. Our institution implemented BFPP testing without restrictions. Methods. We conducted a retrospective cohort study in children hospitalized at St. Louis Children’s Hospital to (1) characterize the use of the BFPP in pediatric patients and (2) assess how results impacted antibiotic use. We included all BFPP tests obtained during the first year after the introduction of the test, September 2021 through August 2022. The primary outcome was change in antibiotic therapy within 24 hours of results, which was compared to the potential change in antibiotic therapy determined by two infectious diseases clinicians. Results. One hundred sixty-nine tests from 126 patients were included. Nine patients were immunocompromised and 19 had chronic tracheostomy. The majority of tests were sent from tracheal aspirate specimens (92%) and from patients in an intensive care unit (94%). Only 51% of tests were obtained due to respiratory failure or suspected pneumonia. For 80% of test results, there was potential to change antibiotics, but change occurred in only 46% of tests in practice. Antibiotic escalation was more common (26%) than de-escalation (15%) or discontinuation (4.1%). Conclusions. In a cohort of pediatric patients tested with the BFPP, the majority of tests were sent from tracheal aspirates and less than half of tests were associated with a change in antibiotics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-202
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2024


  • antibiotics
  • antimicrobial stewardship
  • pediatrics
  • pneumonia


Dive into the research topics of 'Practice Versus Potential: The Impact of the BioFire FilmArray Pneumonia Panel on Antibiotic Use in Children'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this