Performance of two blood culture systems to detect anaerobic bacteria. Is there any difference?

Manica Mueller-Premru, Samo Jeverica, Lea Papst, E. Nagy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)


We studied the performance characteristics of two blood culture (BC) bottles/systems, (i) BacT/ALERT-FN Plus/3D (bioMérieux, Marcy l'Étoile, France) and (ii) BACTEC-Lytic/9000 (Becton Dickinson, Sparks, USA) for detection of growth and time-to-positivity (TTP) against a balanced and diverse collection of anaerobic bacterial strains (n = 48) that included reference strains (n = 19) and clinical isolates (n = 29) of 32 species (15 Gram-negative and 17 Gram-positive). Standard suspension of bacteria was inoculated to each bottle in duplicates and incubated in the corresponding system. Overall, 62.5% (n = 30) of strains were detected by both BC bottle types. Comparing the two, 70.8% (n = 34) and 79.2% (n = 38) of strains were detected by BacT/ALERT-FN Plus and BACTEC-Lytic bottles, respectively (p = 0.38). Among Gram-negative anaerobes (n = 25) the detection rate was 76.0% (n = 19) vs. 92.0% (n = 23) (p = 0.22), respectively. Among Gram-positive anaerobes (n = 23) the detection rate was 65.2% (n = 15) in both bottles (p = 1). The average TTP per bottle was calculated only for the strains detected by both systems (n = 30) and was 40.85 h and 28.08 h for BacT/ALERT-FN Plus and BACTEC-Lytic, respectively (p < 0.001). The mean difference was 12.76 h (95% CI: 6.21-19-31 h). Six anaerobic strains were not detected by any system, including Gram-negative Porphyromonas gingivalis, and five Gram-positive strains: Finegoldia magna, Peptostreptococcus anaerobius, Propionibacterium acnes, Clostridium novyi and Clostridium clostridioforme. Furthermore, Eggerthella lenta and Prevotella bivia were detected only by BacT/ALERT-FN Plus, while Prevotella disiens and Prevotella intermedia were detected only by BACTEC-Lytic bottles. There were no major differences in detection rate among clinical and reference strains. Anaerobic bacteria represent a minority of BC isolates, however, far from ideal detection rate was observed in this study for both tested bottle/system combinations. Nevertheless, in those cases where both gave positive signal, BACTEC-Lytic was superior to BacT/ALERT FN Plus with 12.76 h shorter mean TTP. Improvements of media in blood culture bottles available for detection of anaerobes are warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Oct 20 2016


  • Anaerobe
  • Blood culture system
  • Detection rate
  • Time-to-positivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Infectious Diseases

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