Detection of bacterial DNA in blood samples from febrile patients: underestimated infection or emerging contamination?

FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2004 Oct 1;42(2):249-53. doi: 10.1016/j.femsim.2004.05.009.


We applied real-time broad-range polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to detect bacteraemia in blood from febrile patients. Interpretation of amplification results in relation to clinical data and blood culture outcome was complex, although the reproducibility of the PCR results was good. Sequencing analysis of the PCR products revealed the presence of Burkholderia species DNA while no Burkholderia species grew in culture. The source of this contamination was shown to be the commercial DNA isolation kit used in the automated MagNA Pure Isolation Robot. A high degree of suspicion is required when uncommon or unexpected pathogens are diagnosed by molecular methods as clinical consequences can be serious.

MeSH terms

  • Bacteremia / microbiology
  • Blood / microbiology
  • Burkholderia / classification
  • Burkholderia / genetics*
  • Culture Media
  • DNA, Bacterial / analysis
  • DNA, Bacterial / blood*
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics*
  • Equipment Contamination*
  • Fever / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic*


  • Culture Media
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic