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close this bookBasic Laboratory Procedures in Clinical Bacteriology (WHO; 1991; 128 pages)
View the documentPreface
View the documentIntroduction
open this folder and view contentsQuality assurance in microbiology
close this folderPart I. Bacteriological investigations
close this folderBlood
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentCauses of bacteraemia
View the documentBlood collection
View the documentBlood-culture media
View the documentProcessing of blood cultures
open this folder and view contentsCerebrospinal fluid
open this folder and view contentsUrine
open this folder and view contentsStool
open this folder and view contentsLower respiratory tract infections
open this folder and view contentsUpper respiratory tract infections
open this folder and view contentsSexually transmitted diseases
open this folder and view contentsPurulent exudates, wounds, and abscesses
open this folder and view contentsAnaerobic bacteriology
open this folder and view contentsAntimicrobial susceptibility testing
open this folder and view contentsPart II. Essential media and reagents for isolation and identification of clinical pathogens
View the documentSelected further reading
View the documentSelected WHO publications of related interest
View the documentBack Cover
 

Introduction

Blood is cultured to detect and identify bacteria or other cultivable microorganisms (yeasts, filamentous fungi). The presence of such organisms in blood is called bacteraemia or fungaemia, and is usually pathological. In healthy subjects, the blood is sterile. However, there are a few exceptions: transient bacteraemia often occurs shortly after a tooth extraction or other dental or surgical manipulation of contaminated mucous membranes, bronchoscopy, or urethral catheterization. This type of transient bacteraemia is generally due to commensal bacteria and usually resolves spontaneously through phagocytosis of the bacteria in the liver and spleen.

Septicaemia is a clinical term used to describe bacteraemia with clinical manifestations of a severe infection, including chills, fever, malaise, toxicity, and hypotension, the extreme form being shock. Shock can be caused by enodotxin produced by Gram-negative rods.

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