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September 24, 1982

'CSF Viral Cultures'-Reply

JAMA. 1982;248(12):1451. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330120020015

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In Reply.—  Dr King's data are most interesting and reemphasize the need for rapid viral diagnosis if patient management is to be affected. In most cases, antibiotic therapy can be discontinued when bacterial cultures have been negative for 48 to 72 hours. It is sometimes necessary, however, to continue antibiotic therapy because of a questionable Gram stain of CSF, the contamination of CSF or blood cultures, or the presence of multisystem disease with disseminated intravascular coagulopathy.We also agree that the clinical relevance of viral cultures is largely a function of the viral diagnostic laboratory and the clinicians' use thereof. Appropriate specimens handled in an optimal manner will result in better patient care.