Microbiology & Diagnostics


Secondary bacterial infections

As a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic, clinical microbiology laboratories are facing a significantly increased workload. As well as needing tests for the virus itself, patients who are critically ill with COVID-19 are susceptible to secondary bacterial infections and require appropriate testing and treatment. An additional risk for these vulnerable patients is the development of sepsis.

The global epidemiological burden of sepsis is difficult to determine, but there are thought to be more than 30 million cases worldwide every year, potentially leading to 6 million deaths.i Not only are patients seriously affected by sepsis, but a considerable burden is placed on healthcare systems that are already under strain from COVID-19.

Being able to identify the causative organism of sepsis rapidly and accurately is crucial, particularly in cases of SARS-CoV-2 co-infection where patients are already weakened. Once an identification is confirmed, clinicians can make a series of decisions to improve patient outcomes:

  • Modify antibiotic therapy, either by a change of antibiotic, de-escalation from broad-spectrum therapy, or a switch from intravenous (IV) to oral preparation.
  • Obtain information that may help locate the source of infection and optimize treatment.
  • More easily distinguish contaminated positive blood cultures (PBCs) from genuine sepsis cases.

Time is everything

Microbiology laboratories have long been using Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Time-Of-Flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) to rapidly identify organisms directly from culture material. Our MALDI Biotyper® can be implemented with the Bruker MBT Sepsityper® IVD Kit – a solution that provides reliable species identification directly from PBCs in 15-20 minutes – to provide rapid identification when time matters most.

A turnaround time saving of up to 48 hours, compared with traditional identification methods, gives patients in intensive care units (ICU) a better chance of receiving optimal therapy for sepsis and possibly leaving hospital sooner. As well as benefitting the patient, reduced bed stays lead to cost savings for hospitals and lower the risk of other nosocomial infections.


Please contact your local representative for availability in your country.  

FDA clearance for Bruker's MBT Sepsityper® Kit US IVD is pending.


i World Health Organization (WHO) Sepsis Fact Sheet, 2018, https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/sepsis.