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Specimen volume vs. yield in the bactec blood culture system

, : Specimen volume vs. yield in the bactec blood culture system. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 22(2): 292-295

In 24-mo., 5625 blood culture specimens were collected at the Seattle Veterans Administration Medical Center, Washington, USA, in 20 ml vol and divided into separate 10 ml aliquots. The 2 aliquots were processed as duplicate sets (set 1, set 2) by the BACTEC radiometric detection system. Specimens (5 ml) from each set were inoculated into aerobic (6B) and anaerobic (7C/7D) vials; 434 significantly positive blood cultures were found. In 342 of these positive cultures, yielding 379 isolates (112 members of the family Enterobacteriaceae, 104 staphylococci, 87 streptococci, 27 anaerobes, 20 yeasts, 14 pseudomonads and 15 miscellaneous organisms), there was adequate specimen vol to fill all 4 vials. The utilization of set 1 would have resulted only in the failure to detect 65 of 379 (17.2%) significant isolates, 52 of 342 (15.2%) positive cultures, and 20 of 198 (10.1%) bacteremic episodes. There were no significant differences in the recovery of individual species in sets 1 and 2. Although the range of isolates recovered by the aerobic and anaerobic vials of each set differed, the percent yield of total isolates was similar, indicating total isolate yield was predominantly a function of specimen vol. The addition of set 2 most dramatically increased the recovery of Escherichia coli (30%), yeasts (33%) and anaerobes (42%).

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