Blood cultures for bacteria, mycobacteria and fungi in a high HIV prevalence area

Bjorn Blomberg bjorn.blomberg at
Tue Dec 19 03:48:18 EST 2000

Sorry, forgot to add the references:

1. Archibald LK, McDonald LC, Addison RM, et al. Comparison of BACTEC
MYCO/F LYTIC and WAMPOLE ISOLATOR 10 (lysis-centrifugation) systems for
detection of bacteremia, mycobacteremia, and fungemia in a developing
country. J Clin Microbiol, 2000, 38: 2994-7.

2. Esteban J, Fernandez-Roblas R, Cabria F, Soriano F. Usefulness of the
BACTEC MYCO/F lytic system for detection of mycobacteremia in a clinical
microbiology laboratory. J Microbiol Methods, 2000, 40: 63-6.


Bjorn Blomberg <bjorn.blomberg at> wrote:

> Dear colleagues,
> I would be very happy to receive any input or hear your experience
> regarding the following issue:
> We are currently in the process of planning a study on bacteremia in
> pediatric patients with fever in a high HIV prevalence area (Tanzania,
> East Africa). Due to the high prevalence of HIV, we expect that M.
> tuberculosis and possibly fungi may be a significant contributor to the
> bacteremias. Thus we want to be able to isolate these organisms in
> addition to the more common bacteria.
> We have been investigating several options for blood culturing systems
> that will enable the isolation of all these organisms in a lab with
> limited resources at hand. Among others we considered BBL SeptiCheck and
> BBL SeptiCheck AFB, but these systems seem to be to expensive for our
> budget. 
> Finally, we have considered the  BACTEC Myco/F lytic system which
> according to the product info and some references (see below) should be
> reliable. The advantage of this system is that the one and same bottle
> can be used for the identification of bacteria, as well as mycobacteria
> and fungi. In addition, the procedures involved are simplified compared
> to other systems (less risk of accidental needle injuries) and the
> system is cheaper. One problem with the system may be that rapid growing
> organisms (causative or contaminants) may disguise the growth of
> slow-growing bacteria like M. tuberculosis if there are more than one
> organism in the culture.
> Does any of you have any experience with the BACTEC Myco/F lytic system?
> Would it be reliable for the above mentioned purpose? Are there other
> alternatives (must be resonably priced and feasible to use in a lab with
> limited equipment and unreliable supplies of electricity)?
> Thank you very much, in advance.
> Bjorn Blomberg, MD
> University of Bergen, Norway.
> Muhimbili University College of Health Sciences, Dar es Salaam,
> Tanzania.

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