Practical Guidance for Clinical Microbiology Laboratories: A Comprehensive Update on the Problem of Blood Culture Contamination and a Discussion of Methods for Addressing the Problem

Clin Microbiol Rev. 2019 Oct 30;33(1):e00009-19. doi: 10.1128/CMR.00009-19. Print 2019 Dec 18.


In this review, we present a comprehensive discussion of matters related to the problem of blood culture contamination. Issues addressed include the scope and magnitude of the problem, the bacteria most often recognized as contaminants, the impact of blood culture contamination on clinical microbiology laboratory function, the economic and clinical ramifications of contamination, and, perhaps most importantly, a systematic discussion of solutions to the problem. We conclude by providing a series of unanswered questions that pertain to this important issue.

Keywords: blood culture contamination.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Culture / methods
  • Blood Culture / standards*
  • Humans
  • Microbiological Techniques / methods
  • Microbiological Techniques / standards*