Introduction. Blood culture is an important method to detect microbial pathogens on blood, very useful for diagnosing bacterial infections. Unfortunately, classical diagnostic protocols cannot directly identify bacteria responsible for sepsis and accordingly their antimicrobial profiles. This problem causes a delay of almost two days in the availability of a specific antimicrobial profile. Objective. Among the main causes of death, sepsis have a relevant importance. For this reason it is important both to identify pathogens and to perform an antimicrobial susceptibility test in the shortest time as possible. For this purpose, the main aim of this study is the evaluation of the performances of an antimicrobial susceptibility determination directly performed on positive blood cultures. Materials and methods. This study has been performed on 70 positive blood cultures, during the period from January to July 2009. A number of 35 blood cultures were positive for Gram negative bacteria, and 35 were positive for Gram positive bacteria. From these positive blood cultures, after a short sample preparation, it has been possible to directly determine antimicrobial susceptibility profiles by using the HB&L (formerly URO-QUICK) instrument. Results. The HB&L system results showed a very good correlation with both the classical disk diffusion method and VITEK 2 automatic system.The performances between the methods carried out in this study were equivalent. Conclusions. From data reported, thanks to the rapidity and simplicity of the method used, we can assert that the direct susceptibility test available with the HB&L system, is useful for a rapid and early choice of the antibiotic treatment.
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