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Open Access Research article

Time to positivity in blood cultures of adults with Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteremia

Galo Peralta1*, María José Rodríguez-Lera2, Jose Carlos Garrido3, Luis Ansorena4 and María Pía Roiz5

Author Affiliations

1 Internal Medicine Service, Sierrallana Hospital, Barrio de Ganzo s/n, 39120 Torrelavega, Cantabria, Spain

2 Emergency Service, Sierrallana Hospital, Barrio de Ganzo s/n, 39120 Torrelavega, Cantabria, Spain

3 Laboratory Service, Sierrallana Hospital, Barrio de Ganzo s/n, 39120 Torrelavega, Cantabria, Spain

4 Admission Service, Sierrallana Hospital, Barrio de Ganzo s/n, 39120 Torrelavega, Cantabria, Spain

5 Microbiology Service, Sierrallana Hospital, Barrio de Ganzo s/n, 39120 Torrelavega, Cantabria, Spain

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2006, 6:79  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-6-79

Published: 27 April 2006

Abstract

Background

previous studies have established that bacterial blood concentration is related with clinical outcome. Time to positivity of blood cultures (TTP) has relationship with bacterial blood concentration and could be related with prognosis. As there is scarce information about the usefulness of TTP, we study the relationship of TTP with clinical parameters in patients with Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteremia.

Methods

TTP of all cases of Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteremia, detected between January 1995 and December 2004 using the BacT/Alert automated blood culture system in a teaching community hospital was analyzed. When multiple cultures were positive only the shortest TTP was selected for the analysis.

Results

in the study period 105 patients with Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteremia were detected. Median TTP was 14.1 hours (range 1.2 h to 127 h). Immunosuppressed patients (n = 5), patients with confusion (n = 19), severe sepsis or shock at the time of blood culture extraction (n = 12), those with a diagnosis of meningitis (n = 7) and those admitted to the ICU (n = 14) had lower TTP. Patients with TTP in the first quartile were more frequently hospitalized, admitted to the ICU, had meningitis, a non-pneumonic origin of the bacteremia, and a higher number of positive blood cultures than patients with TTP in the fourth quartile. None of the patients with TTP in the 90th decile had any of these factors associated with shorter TTP, and eight out of ten patients with TTP in the 10th decile had at least one of these factors. The number of positive blood cultures had an inverse correlation with TTP, suggesting a relationship of TTP with bacterial blood concentration.

Conclusion

Our data support the relationship of TTP with several clinical parameters in patients with Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteremia, and its potential usefulness as a surrogate marker of outcome.