Evaluation of an extended blood culture protocol to isolate fastidious organisms from patients with AIDS

Molly J. Dougherty, David H. Spach, Ann M. Larson, Thomas M. Hooton, Marie B. Coyle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Recent reports of fastidious pathogens suggest the need for special blood cultures for immunocompromised patients. Blood cultures from 45 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients with unexplained fever ≤38.0°C) and CD4 counts of <125 cells per mm3 were collected into a vacuum tube with sodium polyanetholsulfonate, an Isolator tube, and BACTEC aerobic and anaerobic bottles. Blood from the sodium polyanethosulfonate tube was inoculated into BACTEC 13A bottles, which were read weekly for 16 weeks. Isolator sediment was divided among eight agar media, including four sheep blood agar media: chocolate agar, brain heart infusion blood agar, heart infusion blood agar, and brucella blood agar. Other agar plates included Sabouraud's, buffered charcoal-yeast extract, Middlebrook 7H11 (M7H11) with hemoglobin, and M7H11 with mycobactin J. Incubation conditions included air and CO2-enriched aerobic, microaerophilic, and anaerobic atmospheres. Aerobic BACTEC broths received an acridine orange stain on day 8 and were subcultured at 2, 4, and 8 weeks. Anaerobic BACTEC bottles were subcultured at 4 weeks. All solid media, including subcultures, were incubated for 8 weeks, providing a total of 16 weeks of incubation for each specimen. Clinically significant isolates included eight Mycobacterium avium complex isolates and one each of Bartonella henselae, Bartonella quintana, Shigella flexneri, Klebsiella oxytoca, and Cryptococcus neoformans. All isolates were detected with commercially available media and, with the exception of Bartonella spp., were recovered within incubation times routinely used in most clinical laboratories.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2444-2447
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)


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