Cabell Huntington Hospital first in West Virginia to offer new testing for joint infections

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

The Cabell Huntington Hospital (CHH) Laboratory is the first in the state to offer a new panel of testing for joint infections. The BIOFIRE® Joint Infection (JI) Panel is the newest panel intended to aid in the diagnosis of these infections.

Joint infections are serious infections involving either native or prosthetic joints. They are medical emergencies which can occur at all ages, and can lead to functional joint impairment, long-lasting disability, and may even be life-threatening. The number of prosthetic joint infections is rising globally as the number of joint replacements increases.

“The most successful treatment of a joint infection depends on a fast, accurate diagnosis,” said Frank Wellman, BSMT (ASCP), director of the CHH Laboratory. “The BIOFIRE JI Panel identifies bacterial genes that show an organism is resistant to one or more antibiotics, so if bacteria are identified, the test will check to see if it will respond to commonly used antibiotics. With results in about an hour, this test adds to our molecular testing catalog, which includes a respiratory panel, gastrointestinal (GI) panel, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) panel as well as a blood culture identification panel.”

The BIOFIRE JI Panel allows healthcare providers to quickly identify pathogens commonly found in patients presenting with suspected joint infections, which will optimally guide antibiotic therapy, all in one simple rapid test. Through fast and accurate results, the BIOFIRE JI Panel may provide more informed decision-making for pathogen-guided management of patients with joint infections. It can also help guide surgical and antibiotic decision-making, thus aiding in antimicrobial stewardship.

Patients can discuss this new joint infection testing with their provider. To learn more about the CHH Laboratory, visit