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The Potential Use of Blood Culture Systems for Diagnosing Intravascular Catheter-Related Infections by Pavel Cermak, Silvia Cermakova, Andrea Schwarzerova, Michaela Klementova, Martina Ulrychova, Jaroslava Mazurova

Background: A microbiological method for the quantitative analysis of intravascular catheter infections using the BacT/Alert and Bactec blood culture systems is presented.
Methods: The number of bacteria present on an intravascular catheter surface was determined by the time to detection of positivity in a blood culture bottle inoculated with a suspension of bacteria shaken from the catheter surface.
Results: The new method was used to examine 573 intravascular catheters. In 94.6 % of the cases, the results of microbiological analysis of catheters were in accordance with the patient’s clinical condition. Twenty-eight (4.8 %) cases were false positive and ten (1.7 %) were false negative. Based on clinical signs, 49 cases of catheter-related sepsis were diagnosed. In 39 (79.6 % ) of those, the microbiological analysis of intravascular catheters was positive (kappa = 0.69). The most frequently detected pathogens were coagulase-negative staphylococci.
Conclusions: In comparison to the current procedures, the new method is easier, faster, and capable of detecting the most common causative agents of catheter-related infections.

DOI: Clin. Lab. 2011;57:13-20