Comparative study between automated blood culture and conventional blood culture in neonatal septicaemia cases isolated in a tertiary care hospital in Odisha

Kausik Kumar Sarangi, Dipti Pattnaik, Surya Narayan Mishra, Manas Kumar Nayak, Jagadananda Jena


Background: Neonatal sepsis is the third leading cause of neonatal mortality and a major public health problem, especially in developing countries.  In developing countries sepsis being cause of neonatal mortality is responsible for 30-50% of the 5 million of total neonatal deaths each year. The detection of microorganisms in a patient's blood has a great diagnostic and prognostic significance. Blood cultures provide essential information for the evaluation of a variety of diseases like endocarditis, pneumonia, and pyrexia of unknown origin particularly in patients with suspected sepsis.  In our study we have done blood cultures from patients on a neonatal intensive care unit by both automated and conventional system simultaneously and have done comparative analysis between the two systems.

Methods: The aim of this study was to compare the results of blood culture employing the conventional and BacT/Alert and VITEK-2 methods for detection of neonatal septicaemia cases. A prospective study was carried out in the Department of Microbiology in association with Department of Paediatrics and NICU, of Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhubaneswar. 250 neonates with clinically suspected septicaemia were included in the study group. Three (3) ml of venous blood was collected aseptically of which 2ml was cultured by automated BacT/Alert and VITEK-2 method for rapid isolation and sensitivity test and rest 1 ml of blood for conventional culture.

Results: Isolation of bacterial pathogens by culture using the automated system showed greater positivity (32.8%) as compared to 18% by conventional blood culture system.

Conclusions: This study shows that automated blood culture system is superior to conventional blood culture system in terms of rapid and specific isolation of organism.


Neonatal mortality, Automated culture, VITEK-2, Blood culture, Septicaemia

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