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Individualized Approaches are Needed for Optimized Blood Cultures

  1. Robin Patel3,4
  1. 1Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Department of Pediatrics, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
  2. 2Division of Clinical Microbiology, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital, Huddinge, Stockholm, Sweden
  3. 3Division of Clinical Microbiology, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
  4. 4Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
  1. Corresponding author: Robin Patel, M.D. Mayo Clinic, 200 First St SW, Rochester, MN 55905, patel.robin{at}, Phone: 507-538-0579; Fax: 507-284-4272


Many strategies and technologies are available that strive to improve blood culture (BC)-based diagnostics. The ideal approach to BCs varies between healthcare institutions. Institutions need to examine clinical needs and practices in order to optimize BC-based diagnostics for their site. Before laboratories consider offering rapid MALDI-ToF MS or expensive rapid panel-based molecular BC diagnostics, they should optimize pre-analytical, analytical and post-analytical processes and procedures surrounding BC systems. Several factors need to be considered, including local resistance rates, antibiotic prescribing patterns, patient- and provider-types, laboratory staffing, and personnel available to liaise with clinicians to optimize antibiotic use. While there is much excitement surrounding new high-technology diagnostics, cost-neutral benefits can be realized by optimizing existing strategies and using available tools in creative ways. Implementation of rapid BC diagnostics should be done in a manner that optimizes impact. Strategies to optimize these BC diagnostics in individual laboratories are presented.


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