Machine learning pipeline for blood culture outcome prediction using Sysmex XN-2000 blood sample results in Western Australia

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Background: Bloodstream infections (BSIs) are a significant burden on the global population and represent a key area of focus in the hospital environment. Blood culture (BC) testing is the standard diagnostic test utilised to confirm the presence of a BSI. However, current BC testing practices result in low positive yields and overuse of the diagnostic test. Diagnostic stewardship research regarding BC testing is increasing, and becoming more important to reduce unnecessary resource expenditure and antimicrobial use, especially as antimicrobial resistance continues to rise. This study aims to establish a machine learning (ML) pipeline for BC outcome prediction using data obtained from routinely analysed blood samples, including complete blood count (CBC), white blood cell differential (DIFF), and cell population data (CPD) produced by Sysmex XN-2000 analysers. Methods: ML models were trained using retrospective data produced between 2018 and 2019, from patients at Sir Charles Gairdner hospital, Nedlands, Western Australia, and processed at Pathwest Laboratory Medicine, Nedlands. Trained ML models were evaluated using stratified 10-fold cross validation. Results: Two ML models, an XGBoost model using CBC/DIFF/CPD features with boruta feature selection (BFS) , and a random forest model trained using CBC/DIFF features with BFS were selected for further validation after obtaining AUC scores of 0.76 ± 0.04 and 0.75 ± 0.04 respectively using stratified 10-fold cross validation. The XGBoost model obtained an AUC score of 0.76 on a internal validation set. The random forest model obtained AUC scores of 0.82 and 0.76 on internal and external validation datasets respectively. Conclusions: We have demonstrated the utility of using an ML pipeline combined with CBC/DIFF, and CBC/DIFF/CPD feature spaces for BC outcome prediction. This builds on the growing body of research in the area of BC outcome prediction, and provides opportunity for further research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number552
JournalBMC Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

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