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Front Microbiol. 2016 May 12;7:697. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2016.00697. eCollection 2016.

How to Optimize the Use of Blood Cultures for the Diagnosis of Bloodstream Infections? A State-of-the Art.

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Laboratoire de Bactériologie, CHU Montpellier Montpellier, France.
Service de Maladies Infectieuses, CHU Caen Caen, France.
Unit for Mycology, Department of Microbiology & Infection Control, Statens Serum Institut Copenhagen, Denmark.
Unité de Biostatistiques et de Recherche Clinique, CHU Caen Caen, France.
Service de Maladies Infectieuses, CHU Rennes Rennes, France.


Bloodstream infection (BSI) is a major cause of death in developed countries and the detection of microorganisms is essential in managing patients. Despite major progress has been made to improve identification of microorganisms, blood culture (BC) remains the gold standard and the first line tool for detecting BSIs. Consensus guidelines are available to ensure optimal BSI procedures, but BC practices often deviate from the recommendations. This review provides an update on clinical and technical issues related to blood collection and to BC performance, with a special focus on the blood sample strategy to optimize the sensitivity and specificity of BCs.


blood culture; bloodstream infection; contamination; multi-sampling strategy; sensitivity; single sampling strategy; specificity

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