Annals of Clinical Microbiology, The official Journal of the Korean Society of Clinical Microbiology


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pISSN 2288-0585 eISSN 2288-6850

Clinical Usefulness of Routine Use of Anaerobic Blood Culture Bottle

Original article

Annals of Clinical Microbiology (Ann Clin Microbiol) 2014 June, Volume 17, Issue 2, pages 35-41.

Clinical Usefulness of Routine Use of Anaerobic Blood Culture Bottle

Sae Am Song1*, Ji Hyun Kim1*, Jeong Hwan Shin1,2, Si Hyun Kim1,2, Nam Yong Lee3, Mi-Na Kim4, Sunjoo Kim5
1Department of Laboratory Medicine, Inje University College of Medicine, 2Paik Institute for Clinical Research, Inje University College of Medicine, Busan, 3Department of Laboratory Medicine, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, 4Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of Ulsan College of Medicine and Asan Medical Center, Seoul, 5Department of Laboratory Medicine, Gyeongsang National University School of Medicine, Jinju, Korea


Background: Blood culture for diagnosis of bacteremia and fungemia comprises aerobic and anaerobic cultures. The clinical utility of routine anaerobic blood culture has been questioned for a long time and was evaluated in this study.

Methods: A total of 9,028 positive blood cultures were collected from adults at four university-affiliated hospitals. We recorded the species distribution according to growth in aerobic or anaerobic culture.

Results: Among the 9,028 positive results, 3,239 cases (35.9%) occurred in aerobic culture, 1,543 cases (17.1%) in anaerobic culture and 4,246 cases (47.0%) in both cultures. The species grown only in the anaerobic cultures consisted of 81.4% facultative anaerobes, 2.0% strict anaerobes, 8.5% strict aerobes, and 8.1% yeasts.

Conclusion: Routine use of paired aerobic/anaerobic blood culture is essential because a considerable number of facultative anaerobes and yeasts grow only in anaerobic blood culture. Strict aerobes and fungi were more commonly isolated in the anaerobic bottles than were strict anaerobes. (Ann Clin Microbiol 2014;17:35-41)


Bacteremia, Blood culture, Fungemia, Isolation