COMPARISON OF BACTEC VERSUS CONVENTIONAL METHOD FOR CULTURE OF STERILE BODY FLUIDS IN A TERTIARY CARE HOSPITALAbstract
Aim & Background: Body fluids are sent to clinical microbiology laboratory for culture to find the etiological agent causing the infection. This study was conducted to compare the culture results of sterile body fluids processed simultaneously by both conventional method and BACTEC blood culture system. Methods: Sterile body fluids except blood were included in the study. A total of 61 body fluid samples were received and simultaneously processed by both the culture methods-conventional and BACTEC. Results: In this study, overall culture positivity for BACTEC was 85.25% as compared to 59.02% by conventional system. According to the results of our study, the overall culture positivity was increased by 26.23% by BACTEC method than the conventional method. BACTEC blood culture system detected more pathogenic isolates (52.45%) than the routine conventional culture method (21.31%) and it was found to be statistically significant (p value=<0.005). The most common pathogenic micro-organisms detected by conventional and BACTEC methods in this study were Gram-negative followed by Gram-positive. The mean time to detection of pathogenic isolates by BACTEC and conventional method was 1.19(+/- 0.39) days and 2.00(+/- 1.00) days and the difference was statistically significant (p value=0.013). Conclusion: The study recommends the use of automated blood culture system for culture of sterile body fluids as it was found to improve the yield of isolates with reduced time to detection. However, cost may be a limiting factor in resource constrained settings.