Principles and Procedures for Blood Cultures; Approved Guideline
|Publication Date:||1 May 2007|
The laboratory detection of bacteremia and fungemia remains one of the most important functions of clinical microbiology laboratories. During the past 30 years, a number of studies have defined the critical factors in the recovery of pathogens from blood and the optimal laboratory methods for recovering specific pathogens, and have established the performance characteristics of blood culture systems. Despite this information, there remains a need for guidelines for the collection, processing, and interpretation of blood cultures.
Several in vitro blood culture devices are cleared by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in the United States. These devices typically are available for use in other countries.
This guideline is intended to provide guidance to clinical microbiologists and other laboratorians (e.g., pathologists, laboratory supervisors, laboratory managers) for the recovery of pathogens from blood specimens taken from patients who are suspected of having bacteremia or fungemia. Specific recommendations will be offered for the collection, transport, and processing of blood cultures. The existing blood culture technology will be reviewed and the relative benefits of these technologies will be compared. Procedures for the identification of pathogens will not be addressed. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing of bacteria is addressed in CLSI documents M2-Performance Standards for Antimicrobial Disk Susceptibility Tests, M7-Methods for Dilution Antimicrobial Susceptibility Tests for Bacteria That Grow Aerobically, and M11-Methods for Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing of Anaerobic Bacteria. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing of fungi is covered in CLSI/NCCLS documents M27-Reference Method for Broth Dilution Antifungal Susceptibility Testing of Yeasts and M38- Reference Method for Broth Dilution Antifungal Susceptibility Testing of Filamentous Fungi.