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Surg Infect (Larchmt). 2006 Dec;7(6):555-65.

Culture-negative surgical site infections.

Author information

1
Infectious Disease Services, Wilford Hall Air Force Medical Center, Lackland AFB, Texas, USA. mark.rasnake@lackland.af.mil

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The appearance of postoperative surgical site infection (SSI) in the absence of culturable bacterial pathogens is a common dilemma for the surgeon.

METHODS:

The literature was searched through references to primary articles, as well as a MEDLINE review, for reports of culture-negative SSIs.

RESULTS:

Potential causes of culture-negative SSIs include prior antimicrobial therapy; the presence of fastidious or slow-growing microorganisms such as mycobacteria, Mycoplasma spp., and Legionella spp.; infection caused by mundane bacteria that may be dismissed as "contaminants"; factitious infection; and others.

CONCLUSIONS:

We review the recognized causes of "culture negative" SSIs and discuss the laboratory capabilities that may enhance recognition of many of these pathogens and management options.

PMID:
17233574
DOI:
10.1089/sur.2006.7.555
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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