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J Clin Microbiol. 1993 Apr;31(4):793-7.

Comparison of the BacT/Alert pediatric blood culture system, Pedi-BacT, with conventional culture using the 20-milliliter Becton-Dickinson supplemented peptone broth tube.

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Clinical Microbiology Laboratory, Children's Medical Center of Dallas, Texas 75235.


The performance of the Pedi-BacT system, the BacT/Alert (Organon Teknika Corp., Durham, N.C.) pediatric blood culture bottle, was compared with that of a conventional 20-ml supplemented peptone broth tube (Becton-Dickinson Corp., Cockeysville, Md.) (BD system) in matched aerobic cultures. The tubes of the BD system were visually examined daily for 7 days and were subcultured during the first 24 h of incubation. Pedi-BacT cultures were mechanically agitated and continuously monitored for growth by the instrument. Of the 6,628 compliant pairs, 331 (5.0%) were positive in both systems, 220 (3.3%) were positive in the Pedi-BacT system only, and 170 (2.6%) were positive in the BD system only. One (0.02%) false-negative culture and 15 (0.2%) false-positive cultures occurred with the Pedi-BacT system while 20 (0.3%) false-negative cultures and 35 (0.5%) false-positive cultures occurred with the BD system. Of 288 clinically significant organisms detected in matched pairs from which a single isolate was recovered, 176 (61%) were recovered from both systems, 83 (29%) were recovered from the Pedi-BacT system only (P < 0.0001), and 29 (10%) were recovered from the BD system only. Members of the family Enterobacteriaceae (P < 0.01), miscellaneous nonfermenters (P < 0.05), and Candida spp. (P < 0.01) were isolated more frequently in the Pedi-BacT system than in the BD system. No significant difference in recovery of other organisms was found between the systems. The average time to detection for the Pedi-BacT system ranged from 11.5 h for streptococci to 29.7 h for enterococci, while that for the BD system ranged from 20.3 h for streptococci to 66.4 h for some nonfermenters. The BacT/Alert system is a reliable, labor-saving alternative to conventional blood culture methods.

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