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Brazilian Journal of Microbiology

Print version ISSN 1517-8382On-line version ISSN 1678-4405

Abstract

MARCONI, Camila et al. Comparison between qualitative and semiquantitative catheter-tip cultures: laboratory diagnosis of catheter-related infection in newborns. Braz. J. Microbiol. [online]. 2008, vol.39, n.2, pp.262-267. ISSN 1517-8382.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1517-83822008000200012.

This prospective study evaluated semiquantitative and qualitative catheter-culture methods for diagnosis of catheter-related infection (CRI) in newborns. Catheter tips from newborns admitted to the Neonatal Unit of the University Hospital of the Botucatu Medical School, UNESP were included in the study. Catheter cultures were performed with both semiquantitative and qualitative techniques. For CRI diagnosis, microorganisms isolated from catheter cultures and from peripheral blood cultures were identified and submitted to agent susceptibility test. The gold standard was the certain CRI diagnosis when same microorganism (specie and profile of susceptibility to agents) was isolated from both catheter tips and peripheral blood culture. A total of 85 catheters from 63 newborns were included in the study. The semiquantitative culture method, despite presenting lower sensitivity (90%), showed higher specificity (71%) when compared to 100% of sensitivity and 60% of specificity in the qualitative method. The identification of the microorganisms obtained from the catheter cultures showed a prevalence of coagulase-negative staphylococci(CNS) species. The specie Staphylococcus epidermidis (77.5%) was the prevalent in the catheters with positive semiquantitative cultures. Among 11 episodes with CRI diagnosis, 8 (72.7%) were associated with CNS species, of which 6 were S. epidermidis. Two episodes of CRI by S. aureus and one by Candida parapsilosis were also detected. The semiquantitative catheter-culture method showed advantages for CRI diagnosis in newborns when compared to the conservative qualitative method.

Keywords : Catheter-related infection; catheter culture; semiquantitative culture; newborns; coagulase-negative staphylococci.

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