Controlled comparison of the BACTEC high-blood-volume fungal medium, BACTEC Plus 26 aerobic blood culture bottle, and 10-milliliter isolator blood culture system for detection of fungemia and bacteremia

M. L. Wilson, T. E. Davis, S. Mirrett, J. Reynolds, D. Fuller, S. D. Allen, K. K. Flint, F. Koontz, L. B. Reller

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The BACTEC high-blood-volume fungal medium (HBV-FM) (Becton Dickinson Diagnostic Instrument Systems, Sparks, Md.) was compared with the Isolator (IS) tube and the BACTEC Plus 26 (BP26) blood culture bottle for the ability to recover fungi from the blood of adult patients suspected of having fungemia. A total of 6,836 blood culture sets that fulfilled criteria for inclusion in the study were received. Three separate comparisons were performed: 4,907 HBV-FM versus IS, 4,886 BP26 versus HBV-FM, and 4,949 BP26 versus IS. For the HBV-FM versus IS comparison, 218 isolates were recovered: 125 (57.3%) were bacteria and 93 (42.7%) were fungi. HBV-FM was comparable to IS for recovery of yeasts, but IS was superior for recovery of Histoplasma capsulatum (25 versus 0 isolates recovered [P < 0.001]). Growth of Torulopsis glabrata was detected earlier (P < 0.05) in HBV-FM bottles. For the BP26 versus HBV-FM comparison, 229 isolates were recovered: 161 (70.3%) were bacteria, and 68 (29.7%) were fungi. HBV-FM was superior for recovery of T. glabrata (P < 0.025) and all fungi combined (P < 0.025). There were no statistically significant differences in the speed of detection of microbial growth. For the BP26 versus IS comparison, 251 isolates were recovered: 165 (65.7%) were bacteria, and 86 (34.2%) were fungi. IS was superior for recovery of H. capsulatum (P < 0.001), T. glabrata (P < 0.05), and fungi other than H. capsulatum (P < 0.025). BP26 was superior for recovery of all bacteria combined (P < 0.001) and viridans group streptococci (P < 0.01). Growth of T. glabrata (P < 0.05) was detected earlier in IS tubes. Growth of Staphylococcus aureus (P < 0.01), viridans group streptococci (P < 0.01), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P < 0.05), and all microorganisms combined (P < 0.05) was detected earlier in BP26 bottles. For yeasts, 57 of 59 (96.6%), 79 of 80 (98.7%), and 64 of 67 (95.5%) were recovered from BP26 bottles, HBV-FM bottles, and IS tubes, respectively, by day 14; for H. capsulatum, 14 of 36 (38.9%) isolates were recovered from IS tubes by day 14. Mean times of recovery were similar for BACTEC bottles and IS. We conclude that (i) for recovery of fungi from blood cultures, HBV-FM is equivalent to IS (with the exception of H. capsulatum); (ii) for recovery of bacteria, BP26 is superior to IS; (iii) BP26 bottles are inferior to both HBV-FM bottles and IS tubes for recovery of T. glabrata; and (iv) HBV-FM bottles must be paired with another blood culture bottle or system to optimize detection of bacteremia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)865-871
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of clinical microbiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)

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