In the clinical microbiology laboratory, blood is a critical diagnostic sample that, in the majority of cases is sterile (or is it?). However, when microbes gain access to and multiply in the bloodstream, it can result in life-threatening illness including sepsis. Mortality rates from bloodstream infection and sepsis range from 25% to 80%, killing millions of people annually. Blood cultures are a vital technology used in the microbiology laboratory to isolate and identify microbes and predict their response to antimicrobial therapy.
The Dark Art of Blood Cultures, edited by Wm. Michael Dunne, Jr., and Carey-Ann D. Burnham, surveys the entire field of blood culture technology, providing valuable information about every phase of the process, from drawing samples to culture methods to processing positive cultures. The Dark Art of Blood Cultures is organized around several major topics.
- History of blood culture methods. Details the timeline of blood culture methods from manual through automated and describes the technological development of the leading automated blood culture systems (Bactec, BacT/Alert, and VersaTREK).
- Manual and automated blood culture methods. Critiques manual and automated methods for setting up blood cultures for adult and pediatric patients.
- Detection of pathogens directly from blood specimens. Describes currently available CE marked and FDA-cleared commercial tests using both phenotypic and genotypic markers, including their strengths and limitations.
- The workflow of culturing blood. Includes best practices from specimen collection to culture system verification, processing positive cultures for microbe identification and antibiotic susceptibility determination, along with the epidemiology of positive blood cultures and the value of postmortem blood cultures.
- Microorganisms in the blood. Examines the concept of a blood microbiome in healthy and diseased individuals.
The Dark Art of Blood Cultures is a resource that clinicians, laboratorians, lab directors, and hospital administrators will find engaging and extremely useful.
About the Editors
I Perspectives on the Art and Science of Blood Culture
1 Historical Perspectives on the Art and Science of Blood Culture
William Michael Dunne, Jr.
2 Conventional Blood Culture Methods
Robyn Atkinson-Dunn and William Michael Dunne, Jr.
3 Lysis-Centrifugation Methods of Blood Culture
Erin McElvania TeKippe and Morgan A. Pence
4 BACTEC Blood Culture Systems
Robin R. Chamberland
II Modern Methods in Blood Culture
5 The BioMérieux BacT/ALERT: Automation at Last in the Black Box
Bradley Ford and George Kallstrom
6 TREK Blood Culture Systems
Neil W. Anderson and Melanie Yarbrough
7 Molecular Methods for Detection of Pathogens Directly from Blood Specimens
Mark D. Gonzalez and Robert C. Jerris
8 Pediatric Blood Cultures
Paula Revell and Christopher Doern
9 Epidemiology of Bloodstream Infections
Allison R. McMullen, Craig B. Wilen, and Carey-Ann D. Burnham
10 Best Practices in Blood Cultures
Robert J. Tibbetts and Barbara Robinson-Dunn
11 Processing Positive Cultures
Matthew L. Faron and Nathan A. Ledeboer
12 Fungal and Mycobacterial Blood Cultures
Robert S. Liao and William Lainhart
IV New Developments in Blood Culture
13 The Bacterial Blood Microbiota/Microbiome
Eileen M. Burd and Lars F. Westblade