Blood culture, although represents the gold standard in detecting the ethiological agent of sepsis, is rather rarely required in relation to the real diagnostic importance. The result of this test depends in fact on many factors (sample volume, time of collection, accuracy, antibiotic therapy, contamination, number of drawings, drawing site, interpretation difficulties, etc.) that are often considered by many clinicians so limited as to doubt about their actual value. The disadvantages are therefore represented by the lack of standardization but also by the low sensitivity and above all by the technical times too long for the clinical needs. Blood culture begins with the drawing of samples from the “septic” patient followed incubation of the bottles in automatic thermostated systems. In case of positive result (36 hours), the culture is Gram stained and streaked on solid media in order to obtain isolated colonies for the identification and the susceptibility testing (48 hours from positive result). The long time required for pathogen identification and susceptibility testing involves empirical broad spectrum antibiotic therapy that can promote the increase of bacterial resistance but also patient management costs. A clinically useful report should be available on short notice in order to guide the clinician to choose the most appropriate antibiotic. The microbiologist has therefore the hard work of reviewing the organization and the management of the procedures.We have therefore started to consider the possibility of treating the blood as an biological liquid in order to quickly determine the susceptibility of bacteria to antibiotics.
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