Controlled clinical comparison of the BacT/ALERT FN and the standard anaerobic SN blood culture medium.
To determine the optimal anaerobic companion bottle to pair with the BacT/ALERT (bioMerieux, Durham, N.C.) nonvented aerobic FA (FA) medium for recovery of pathogenic microorganisms from adult patients with bacteremia and fungemia, we compared the BacT/ALERT FN (FN) anaerobic bottle with the standard BacT/ALERT SN (SN) anaerobic bottle. Each bottle, FA, FN, and SN, was filled with 8 to 12 ml of blood. Of 11,498 blood culture sets received in the clinical microbiology laboratories at two university medical centers, 7,945 sets had all three bottles filled adequately and 8,569 had both anaerobic bottles filled adequately. Of 686 clinically important (based on previously published criteria) isolates detected in one or both adequately filled anaerobic bottles, more staphylococci (P < 0.001), including Staphylococcus aureus (P < 0.001); members of the family Enterobacteriaceae (P < 0.001); and all microorganisms combined (P < 0.001) were detected in FN bottles. In contrast, more Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates (P < 0.01) and yeasts (P < 0.001) were detected in SN bottles. More Bacteroides fragilis group bacteremias were detected only in the FN (six) than in the SN (one) anaerobic bottle (P = not significant). Overall, the mean time to detection was shorter with FN (16.8 h) than with SN (18.2 h). This difference in time to detection was greatest for the B. fragilis group: FN, 28 h, versus SN, 60.0 h. Many of the facultative microorganisms recovered in either FN or SN were also found in the companion FA. When microorganisms found in the companion FA bottle were omitted from the analysis, significantly more staphylococci (P < 0.001), including S. aureus (P < 0.001), and Enterobacteriaceae (P < 0.005) still were detected in FN bottles, whereas there were no significant differences for P. aeruginosa and yeasts, which were found as expected in FA bottles. We conclude that the companion anaerobic FN bottle detects more microorganisms than does the anaerobic SN bottle when used in conjunction with the nonvented aerobic FA bottle in the BacT/ALERT blood culture system.
Mirrett, S; Petti, CA; Woods, CW; Magadia, R; Weinstein, MP; Reller, LB
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