Detection and quantitation of bacteremia in childhood

Mathuram Santosham, E. Richard Moxon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Quantitative blood cultures were sought in 383 children, from whom routine blood cultures were obtained because of fever, by direct plating of 10 and 100 μl blood onto solidified media. There were 14 positive cultures from 12 patients. These were 7 Hemophilus influenzae type b, 5 Streptococcus pneumoniae, and 2 Staphylococcus aureus. The direct-plating technique permitted more rapid identification of positive cultures, and detected three episodes not identified by routine broth culture. Bacterial counts ranged from 20 to >104 bacteria/ml blood. In the three cases of H. influenzae type b meningitis, bacteremia exceeded 103/ml. Among nine patients in whom bacteremia was unassociated with meningitis, (bacteremia without evident localized disease 5, pneumonia 2, epiglottitis 1, peritonitis 1), bacteremia was <103/ml. This technique may aid detection of bacteremia and help identify those children at highest risk for developing septic complications, such as meningitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)719-721
Number of pages3
JournalThe Journal of pediatrics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1977

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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