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Evaluation of blood culture systems for detection of the intestinal spirochaete Brachyspira (Serpulina) pilosicoli in human blood

Brooke, C.J., Margawani, K.R., Pearson, A.K., Riley, T.V., Robertson, I.D.ORCID: 0000-0002-4255-4752 and Hampson, D.J.ORCID: 0000-0002-7729-0427 (2000) Evaluation of blood culture systems for detection of the intestinal spirochaete Brachyspira (Serpulina) pilosicoli in human blood. Journal of Medical Microbiology, 49 (11). pp. 1031-1036.

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The anaerobic intestinal spirochaete Brachyspira (Serpulina) pilosicoli has been isolated from the bloodstream of French patients by manual blood culture systems. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the automated and manual blood culture systems used in Australia are suitable for growth and detection of this organism. Strains of B. pilosicoli were added to human blood to give concentrations ranging from 1×104 to 1×101 spirochaetes/ml and 10-ml volumes were inoculated into the media. Three strains of B. pilosicoli grew slowly in all manual Hémoline and BBL Septi-Chek formulations tested. Subcultures taken between 2 and 10 days after inoculation yielded growth only after incubation for a further 5–8 days. Growth and automated detection were achieved in the BACTEC system with Anaerobic/F medium with or without Fastidious Organism Supplement. Minimum time to signal for nine strains varied between 5.6 and 14.9 days, with a minimum concentration of 101 spirochaetes/ml of blood being detected. None of nine strains gave a positive signal in the BacT/Alert system when FAN Anaerobic culture bottles were used; however, four strains were detected by subculture taken at 7 or 14 days after inoculation. When Anaerobic medium was used in the BacT/Alert system, two of three strains gave a signal and the other strain grew and was detected by subculture. Spirochaetaemias caused by B. pilosicoli may be unrecognised because detection time by the signal or subculture exceeds 5 days.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Publisher: Society for General Microbiology
Copyright: © 2000 Society for General Microbiology
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