Blood culture contamination implications for surveillance


Intravenous literature: Freeman, J.T., Chen, L.F., Sexton, D.J. and Anderson, D.J. (2011) Blood culture contamination with Enterococci and skin organisms: Implications for surveillance definitions of primary bloodstream infections. AJIC: American Journal of Infection Control. 39(5), p.436-438.


Enterococci are a common cause of bacteremia but are also common contaminants. In our institution, approximately 17% of positive blood cultures with enterococci are mixed with skin organisms. Such isolates are probable contaminants. The specificity of the current definition of primary bloodstream infection could be increased by excluding enterococci mixed with skin organisms.

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