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Independent Study Published in Clinical Infectious Diseases Highlights the Importance of Antimicrobial Removal Systems in Blood Culture to Rapidly and Accurately Aid in the Diagnosis of Sepsis

BALTIMORE, Feb. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A new study, published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, demonstrates how treatment with broad-spectrum antibiotics can impact the ability to detect bacteria in blood samples from potentially septic patients. It also highlights the importance of antimicrobial removal systems in contemporary blood culture media to rapidly and accurately recover the organisms causing infection, to aid physicians in ultimately making treatment decisions for patients. The study was a head-to-head, prospective comparison of two aerobic blood culture media regularly used in the hospital setting to recover organisms that cause this serious and deadly blood infection.

Led by researchers at Hennepin County Medical Center, the study found that the BD BACTEC™ Plus Aerobic medium, a blood culture product from BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) (NYSE: BDX), a leading global technology company, had faster time to detection and increased overall bacterial recovery from blood cultures where antimicrobials had been administered to the patient within the 48 hours before blood culture collection, as compared to another commonly used aerobic blood culture medium.

"Bloodstream infections, such as sepsis, are a serious and growing problem facing the medical community; they represent a leading cause of death both in the U.S. and worldwide, and significantly impact overall healthcare costs," said Tobi Karchmer , MD, Worldwide Vice President, Medical Affairs, BD Diagnostics - Diagnostic Systems. "This new study provides evidence that hospitals using sensitive and rapid blood culture media can make a difference in helping physicians, who are faced with making treatment decisions for severely ill patients, diagnose sepsis as quickly and accurately as possible to improve patient care and outcomes."

This independent, hospital-wide study represents the first clinical, head-to-head blood culture comparison study in 15 years. The study focused on the impact of prior antimicrobial exposure on bacterial recovery and time to detection using patient specimens, a key challenge facing critical care physicians and other healthcare professionals in addressing sepsis. The authors found that antibiotic administration prior to blood culture collection was common, with 51 percent of patients in the General Wards receiving antibiotics within four hours prior to blood culture specimen collection. In the medical intensive care unit (MICU), this figure jumped to 82 percent.1

During the eight-month study period, a total of 9,395 blood cultures were collected and evaluated from adult patients admitted into the hospital's in-patient units and emergency departments, resulting in 1,219 (13 percent) positive cultures, of which 831 met the study inclusion criteria.1 Researchers concluded that the BD BACTEC Plus Aerobic medium had statistically significant higher recovery rates when antibiotics had been administered within four hours prior to specimen collection: 91 percent (216/237) of pathogens isolated and a faster time to detection – an average of 4.4 hours faster – as compared to recovery rates of another frequently used aerobic blood culture medium (41 percent or 98/237) evaluated in the study.1 Similar differences in recovery and time to detection in the presence of antibiotics were observed across all time points evaluated.

The study is published in the March 15 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases and can be viewed online.

About Sepsis
Sepsis is a medical condition characterized by a systemic inflammatory response to infection, contributing to more than 20,000 deaths per day worldwide.2 Globally, an estimated 18 million cases of sepsis occur each year.8 Sepsis can be caused by a variety of infectious agents including bacteria, yeast and fungi. Bacterial incidents are most frequent, with gram-positive organisms accounting for more than 50 percent of cases.3 The general symptoms of sepsis include high fever, elevated heart rate and rapid breathing.4 Some patients may also experience a drop in blood pressure and general confusion.4 In cases of severe sepsis, patients will experience secondary organ dysfunction, and ultimately, multiple organ failure.4 Patients experiencing septic shock are likely to experience hypotension and perfusion abnormalities in addition to severe septic indications.3 Thirty-five to 70 percent of sepsis cases result in mortality, depending on factors such as age, sex, ethnic origin, comorbidities, and other complications.5,6

About the BD BACTEC™ Blood Culture System
The BD BACTEC Blood Culture System is a diagnostic tool for aiding in the detection of bloodstream infections. The BD BACTEC System includes an automated instrument for the growth and detection of organisms present in a patient's blood sample.  It also includes unique growth media, which can neutralize antimicrobials present in the blood without compromising the nutritional quality of the media. This capability is particularly relevant as most potentially septic patients are already on some form of antibiotic therapy when a blood sample is taken.  As a result, the BD BACTEC System provides unmatched recovery of pathogens from blood cultures, and helps to facilitate a physician's timely decision-making regarding treatment during patient care.

The BD BACTEC System includes specialized media that contain proprietary resin beads. These resin beads have been shown to neutralize a wide variety of antibiotics,7 reducing the impact of any antimicrobials present in the blood.  By reducing antimicrobial effects, the system can better grow and detect the organism causing infection.

About BD
BD is a leading global medical technology company that develops, manufactures and sells medical devices, instrument systems and reagents. The Company is dedicated to improving people's health throughout the world.  BD is focused on improving drug delivery, enhancing the quality and speed of diagnosing infectious diseases and cancers, and advancing research, discovery and production of new drugs and vaccines. BD's capabilities are instrumental in combating many of the world's most pressing diseases. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, BD employs nearly 30,000 associates in more than 50 countries throughout the world. The Company serves healthcare institutions, life science researchers, clinical laboratories, the pharmaceutical industry and the general public. For more information, please visit


  1. Zadroga R, Williams DN, Gottschall R, Hanson K, Nordberg V, Deike M, Kuskowski M, Carlson L, Nicolau DP, Sutherland K, Hansen GT. Comparison of 2 blood culture media shows significant differences in bacterial recovery for patients on antimicrobial therapy. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 2013.
  2. Daniels R. Surviving the first hours in sepsis: getting the basics right (an intensivist's perspective). Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, 2011; 66(suppl2):ii11-ii23.
  3. Bloch KC. Chapter 4. Infectious Diseases. In McPhee SJ, Hammer GD, eds. Pathophysiology of Disease. 6th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010. Available at: Accessed 28 January 2013.
  4. Bone R, Balk R, Cerra F, Dellinger R, Fein A, Knaus W, Schein R, Sibbald W. Definitions for sepsis and organ failure and guidelines for the use of innovative therapies in sepsis. The ACCP/SCCM Consensus Conference Committee. American College of Chest Physicians/Society of Critical Care Medicine Chest, 1992; 101 (6): 1644–55.
  5. Wenzel RP, Edmond MB. Septic shock — evaluating another failed treatment. New England Journal of Medicine, 2012; 366(22):2122-2124.
  6. Annane D, Bellissant E, Cavaillon J-M. Septic shock.  Lancet, 2005; 365: 63–78.
  7. Flayhart D, Borek AP, Wakefield T, Dick J, Carroll KC.  Comparison of BACTEC PLUS blood culture media to BacT/Alert FA blood culture media for detection of bacterial pathogens in samples containing therapeutic levels of antibiotics. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 2007; 45 (3): 816-821.
  8. Global Sepsis Alliance. International Organizations Declare Sepsis a Medical Emergency: issued by an expert panel representing 20 adult and pediatric intensive care societies, 2010.

Jamie Yacco
Public Relations
(201) 847-4796

SOURCE BD-Becton Dickinson
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