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PURPOSE: Speed of bloodstream infection diagnosis is vital to reduce morbidity and mortality. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) performed directly from liquid blood culture could provide single-assay species and antibiotic susceptibility prediction; however, high inhibitor and human cell/DNA concentrations limit pathogen recovery. We develop a method for the preparation of bacterial DNA for WGS-based diagnostics direct from liquid blood culture. METHODOLOGY: We evaluate three commercial DNA extraction kits: BiOstic Bacteraemia, Amplex Hyplex and MolYsis Plus. Differential centrifugation, filtration, selective lysis and solid-phase reversible immobilization bead clean-up are tested to improve human cells/DNA and inhibitor removal. Using WGS (Illumina/MinION), we assess human DNA removal, pathogen recovery, and predict species and antibiotic susceptibility inpositive blood cultures of 44 Gram-negative and 54 Staphylococcus species.Results/Key findings. BiOstic kit extractions yield the greatest mean DNA concentration, 94-301 ng µl-1, versus 0-2.5 ng µl-1 using Amplex and MolYsis kits. However, we note higher levels of inhibition (260/280 ratio 0.9-2.1) and human DNA (0.0-4.4×106 copies) in BiOstic extracts. Differential centrifugation (2000 g, 1 min) prior to BiOstic extraction reduces human DNA by 63-89 % with selective lysis minimizing by a further 62 %. Post-extraction bead clean-up lowers inhibition. Overall, 67 % of sequenced samples (Illumina MiSeq) contain <10 % human DNA, with >93 % concordance between WGS-based species and susceptibility predictions and clinical diagnosis. If >60 % of sequencing reads are human (7/98 samples) susceptibility prediction becomes compromised. Novel MinION-based WGS (n=9) currently gives rapid species identification but not susceptibility prediction. CONCLUSION: Our method for DNA preparation allows WGS-based diagnosis direct from blood culture bottles, providing species and antibiotic susceptibility prediction in a single assay.

Original publication




Journal article


J Med Microbiol

Publication Date





347 - 357


bacteraemia, bloodstream infection, sepsis, whole genome sequencing, Bacteremia, Blood Culture, Catheter-Related Infections, DNA, Bacterial, Escherichia coli, Genome, Bacterial, Humans, Microbial Sensitivity Tests, Molecular Diagnostic Techniques, Reagent Kits, Diagnostic, Sequence Analysis, DNA, Staphylococcus aureus, Whole Genome Sequencing