Blood cultures and diagnosis

Culture of blood for bacteria, yeasts and fungi is one of the most useful tests in microbiology. A pathogenic organism isolated from a sterile site, such as blood, usually confirms the diagnosis of systemic infection.

The majority of information on the use of blood cultures in diagnosing infection is based on old blood culture systems rather than the automated systems now used by most laboratories.

How much blood?
‘The higher the volume of blood cultured, the higher the yield of blood cultures’ is often quoted