Blood Culture

Useful For

·         Diagnosis and monitoring of bacteremia and yeast blood infection (Candidemia)

·         Diagnosis of systemic mycobacteria or dimorphic fungi infection


Testing Algorithm


Indications for Testing

Blood cultures are important in the evaluation of circumstances such as known or suspected sepsis, meningitis, osteomyelitis, septic arthritis, endocarditis, fever of unknown origin, etc. Blood cultures should be obtained from patient suspected of bacteremia with fever or hypothermia, leukocytosis or leukopenia.  Ideally, samples should be collected before antibiotics are given.


Myco/F Lytic blood culture is reserved for the recovery of mycobacteria and dimorphic fungi from blood and sterile body fluids. This test requires approval from Microbiologist on Call.


Method Name

·         Blood culture

·         Myco/F Lytic blood culture


Reporting Name

·         Blood culture

·         Myco/F Lytic blood culture




Line infection

Systemic mycobacterial infection

Systemic dimorphic fungi infection

Test Specimens Minimum Volume Note
Blood culture


-Adult patients

Two sets of blood required:

·         1st set includes one Aerobic and one Anaerobic blood culture bottle

·         2nd set include one Aerobic bottle

10 ml per vial Minimal 3ml per vial
Blood culture

-Pediatric patients


Minimum one aerobic bottle Collection volume from children should be based on patient weight.
Myco/F Lytic blood culture * 1 Myco/F lytic blood culture bottle


1-5ml, optimal volume 3-5ml 1 set of peripheral blood culture should be collected within 24 hours of Myco/F lytic bottle submission

* Microbiologist approval required. Please call 709-777-6300 for Microbiologist on Call consultation.




Test Transportation Transportation time Transportation Temperature
Blood culture Various manufactures are used province wide





·         BD BACTEC™ blood culture medium


·         BioMérieux BACT/ALERT blood culture media

Transport to the lab as quickly as possible to the lab, ideally within 2h.




·         48h*





·         24h*

Never refrigerated.



·         Room temperature


·         Room temperature

Myco/F Lytic blood culture Myco/F Lytic blood culture medium 48h* Room temperature


*Blood culture bottles received beyond this timeline will be set up manually


Reject Due To

·         Mislabeled or unlabeled blood culture bottles

·         Leaking blood culture bottles

Useful For

Identification of an etiologic agent of bacteremia or fungemia


Reference Values




·         Consult Microbiologists on Call at 709-777-6300 if extended incubation period is required in some circumstances.

·         The isolation of a yeast species or Staphylococcus aureus from blood suggests a serious infection. An infectious diseases consult is recommended; the ID specialist can be reached through hospital locating at 709-777-6300


Clinical Reference

Cumitech #1c Blood Cultures IV by Ellen Jo Baron

Garcia, Lynne S., ed. Clinical Microbiology Procedures Handbook. 3rd ed. Washington: ASM Press, 2010: 2.1.21.

Test Status Days Analytic Time
Blood culture Routine 7 days/week 5 days
Myco/F Lytic blood culture MOC approval required 7 days/week Fungi: 30 days

Mycobacteria: 42 days


Method Description

Bacterial culture medium is used with the BD BACTEC fluorescent series instruments for recovery of microorganisms


Performing Laboratory Location

Newfoundland & Labrador Public Health Microbiology Laboratory

100 Forest Road

St. John’s, NL A1A 3Z9




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