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Article
January 1980

Pseudobacteremia Caused by Clostridium sordellii

Author Affiliations

From the Medicine (Drs Lynch and Hodges), Laboratory (Dr Barnes and Mss Camacho and Winters), and Nursing (Ms Anderson) Services, VA Medical Center, Kansas City, Mo, and the Departments of Medicine (Drs Lynch and Hodges) and Pathology (Dr Barnes), The College of Health Sciences, University of Kansas, Kansas City, Kan.

Arch Intern Med. 1980;140(1):65-68. doi:10.1001/archinte.1980.00330130067018
Abstract

• Thirteen of 280 (4.6%) blood cultures collected over a 12-day period were positive for Clostridium sordellii, a spore-forming anaerobe, rarely considered a human pathogen. Nosocomial bacteremia and intrinsic contamination of material used to culture blood were excluded as the source of the organism. Contaminated tincture of thimerosal used to swab the rubber stoppers of blood culture bottles prior to venting (aerobic) or during blind subculturing after 24 hours of incubation (anaerobic) in the clinical microbiology laboratory was determined to be the cause of the pseudobacteremia. After appropriate safeguards were implemented, we have continued to use tincture of thimerosal for these procedures with no further growth of C sordellii from blood cultures. The importance of less-conspicuous steps in the routine processing of culture material have been reemphasized.

(Arch Intern Med 140:65-68, 1980)

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