Cumulative positivity rates of multiple blood cultures for Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare and Cryptococcus neoformans in patients with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome

P. Yagupsky, M. A. Menegus

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23 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examined the occurrence of low-grade Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare bacteremia and Cryptococcus neoformans fungemia in patients with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and the consistency of positive cultures obtained using a sensitive blood culture system (Isolator, E.I. Du Pont de Nemours, Wilmington, Del) for the recovery of these organisms. The blood culture records were reviewed, and the proportion of positive blood cultures yielding less than 1 colony-forming unit per milliliter of M avium-intracellulare or C neoformans was calculated. To determine consistency, a period of potentially detectable septicemia was defined as the period between 1 week before the first positive blood culture and the last positive blood culture, providing consecutive positive blood cultures were separated by less than 2 weeks. All positive and negative blood cultures obtained during the period of potentially detectable septicemia were considered in the data analysis. Overall, 40 (16.9%) of 236 cultures positive for M avium-intracellulare and 36 (57.1%) of 63 for C neoformans yielded less than 1 colony-forming unit per milliliter. Mycobacteremia was detected in 52 of 57 periods of potentially detectable septicemia in the first culture and in 56 of 57 in the first two (cumulative detection rates of 91.2% and 98.2%, respectively). Cryptococcemia was detected in 12 of 17 periods of potentially detectable septicemia in the first culture and in 15 of 17 in the first two (cumulative detection rates of 70.6% and 88.2%, respectively). Because of the sensitivity of the blood culture system and the consistency of M avium-intracellulare bacteremia and C neoformans fungemia in patients with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, it appears that two blood cultures are sufficient for the detection of most septic episodes caused by these organisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)923-925
Number of pages3
JournalArchives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Volume114
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Medical Laboratory Technology

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