Reporting and Categorization of Blood Culture Contaminants in Infants and Young Children: A Scoping Review.
Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society
Background: Blood cultures are obtained routinely for infants and young children for the evaluation for serious bacterial infection. Isolation of organisms that represent possible contaminants poses a management challenge. The prevalence of bacteremia reported in this population is potentially biased by inconsistent contaminant categorization reported in the literature. Our aim was to systematically review the definition and reporting of contaminants within the literature regarding infant bacteremia.Methods: A search of studies published between 1986 and mid-September 2016 was conducted using Medline/PubMed. Included studies examined children aged 0 to 36 months for whom blood culture was performed as part of a serious bacterial infection evaluation. Studies that involved children in an intensive care unit, prematurely born children, and immunocompromised children or those with an indwelling catheter/device were excluded. Data extracted included contaminant designation methodology, organisms classified as contaminants and pathogens, and contamination and bacteremia rates.Discussion: Our search yielded 1335 articles, and 69 of them met our inclusion criteria. The methodology used to define contaminants was described in 37 (54%) study reports, and 16 (23%) reported contamination rates, which ranged from 0.5% to 22.8%. Studies defined contaminants according to organism species (n = 22), according to the patient's clinical management (n = 4), and using multifactorial approaches (n = 11). Many common organisms, particularly Gram-positive cocci, were inconsistently categorized as pathogens or contaminants.Conclusions: Reporting and categorization of blood culture contamination are inconsistent within the pediatric bacteremia literature, which limits our ability to estimate the prevalence of bacteremia. Although contaminants are characterized most frequently according to organism, we found inconsistency regarding the classification of certain common organisms. A standardized approach to contaminant reporting is needed.
View details for PubMedID 30544178