The Bactec 9240 and the BacT/Alert blood culture systems were compared as a means for detection of bacterial contaminants in whole blood, concentrated red cells, and plasma preparations prepared from umbilical cord blood (UCB) samples. Ninety-two UCB units seeded with low levels of various bacteria were evaluated. In more than 50% of cases, growth was not detected in plasma using either system (P < 0.001). When concentrated red cells and whole blood were compared, the Bactec system detected bacterial growth consistently sooner than the BacT/Alert system in all seeded bacteria except Staphylococcus species in whole blood. The median lengths of time to detection (LTD) for whole blood and concentrated cells in BacT/Alert were 18.7 h and 18.5 h, respectively. The median LTD for the same blood fractions using the Bactec system were 16.05 h and 15.64 h. These differences in LTD by blood culture system and sample type were statistically significant (whole blood, P = 0.0449; concentrated cells, P = 0.0037). Based on the results of our study, we recommend the use of either concentrated red cells or whole blood for sterility testing in UCB samples. In our laboratory, the Bactec system compared to the BacT/Alert system was the superior method for rapid detection of bacterial contaminants in cord blood.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)