March 1984

Polymicrobial Bacteremia in Pediatric Patients

Author Affiliations

From The C. Henry Kempe Center for Investigative Pediatrics and the Departments of Pathology and Pediatric Medicine, The Children's Hospital of Denver (Dr Todd), the Departments of Pediatrics and Microbiology/Immunology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver (Dr Todd), and the Department of Pediatrics, Milwaukee Medical Clinic (Dr Frommell).

Am J Dis Child. 1984;138(3):266-269. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1984.02140410044014

• Of 1,352 positive pediatric blood cultures during a 3.6-year period, two or more microorganisms grew from 72 cultures (5.3%), representing 60 patients. Based on predefined operational criteria for clinical interpretation of blood cultures, these cases were retrospectively classified as polymicrobial bacteremia (each organism, ie, a pathogen, 30%), mixed bacteremia/contaminant (20%), or multiple contaminants (50%). Considered individually, gram-positive organisms were isolated more frequently but were more often judged to be contaminants than the less common gram-negative organisms, which were more often thought to be true pathogens. Although one child did have a combined Streptococcus pneumoniae/Hemophilus influenzae bacteremia, these more common pediatric pathogens were underrepresented in those patients with polymicrobial bacteremia, from whom Enterobacterlaceae, streptococci, staphylococci, and anaerobes were more commonly Isolated. Hospitalization for a predisposing Illness and/or a focus of Infection occurred In 88% of the children with confirmed polymicrobial bacteremia.

(AJDC 1984;138:266-269)