A new study, published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, demonstrates how treatment with broad-spectrum antibiotics can impact the ability to detect bacteria in blood samples from potentially septic patients. It also highlights the importance of antimicrobial removal systems in contemporary blood culture media to rapidly and accurately recover the organisms causing infection, to aid physicians in ultimately making treatment decisions for patients. The study is a prospective comparison of two aerobic blood culture media regularly used in the hospital setting to recover organisms that cause this serious and deadly blood infection.
The study focuses on the impact of prior antimicrobial exposure on bacterial recovery and time to detection using patient specimens, a key challenge facing critical care physicians and other healthcare professionals in addressing sepsis. The authors found that antibiotic administration prior to blood culture collection was common, with 51% of patients in the General Wards receiving antibiotics within four hours prior to blood culture specimen collection. In the medical intensive care unit (MICU), this figure jumped to 82%.
Led by researchers at Hennepin County Medical Center, the study found that the BD BACTEC Plus Aerobic medium, a blood culture product from Becton, Dickinson and Company, had faster time to detection and increased overall bacterial recovery from blood cultures where antimicrobials had been administered to the patient within the 48 hours before blood culture collection, as compared to another commonly used aerobic blood culture medium. Researchers concluded that the BD medium had statistically significant higher recovery rates when antibiotics had been administered within four hours prior to specimen collection. Read the study.