Continuing Medical Education

Practice update to optimise the performance and interpretation of blood cultures: 2022

N S Papavarnavas, A J Brink, S Dlamini, S Wasserman, A Whitelaw, N A B Ntusi, M Mendelson

Abstract


Blood cultures are an important diagnostic and antibiotic stewardship tool to aid in treatment, monitoring and prognosis of patients with infection. This guideline is intended to update our 2010 guideline on the optimal use of blood cultures. Since then, there have been significant changes to the definitions of sepsis, guidance on the number of blood cultures recommended per draw, central and peripheral line blood cultures, advances in mitigating culture contamination, updates on the indications for blood cultures, and guidance on performance of follow-up cultures.


Authors' affiliations

N S Papavarnavas, Division of Infectious Diseases and HIV Medicine, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

A J Brink, Division of Medical Microbiology, Department of Pathology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town and National Health Laboratory Service, Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

S Dlamini, Division of Infectious Diseases and HIV Medicine, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

S Wasserman, Division of Infectious Diseases and HIV Medicine, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa; Wellcome Centre for Infectious Diseases Research in Africa, Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

A Whitelaw, Division of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa; National Health Laboratory Service, Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

N A B Ntusi, Wellcome Centre for Infectious Diseases Research in Africa, Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa; Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

M Mendelson, Division of Infectious Diseases and HIV Medicine, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

Full Text

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Keywords

Blood cultures; Follow-up blood cultures; Infective endocarditis; Central line-associated bloodstream infections; Contamination; Disinfection; Sepsis

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2022;112(6):397-402.

Article History

Date submitted: 2022-05-31
Date published: 2022-05-31

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