Washington: Instead of trashing contaminated positive blood samples in hospitals, these can be used for studying the presence of skin germs, a study suggests.
According to researchers from Tel Aviv University, clinicians may be able to use the resistance profiles of skin bacteria identified by these tests to treat patients with antibiotics appropriate to their ailment.
"Once a contaminated sample has been found to be highly resistant, it is likely that the blood-borne pathogens will have a similar resistance pattern. Thus, antibiotic treatment may be better targeted for the actual pathogens," said Lilach Hadany from Tel Aviv University.
The more resistant the skin germs, the higher the risk of the infecting bacteria to be resistant, researchers found.
In the study, researchers found that out of 2,518 patients, 1,664 blood cultures drawn from 1,124 patients reflected the presence of a common skin contaminant, coagulase-negative staphylococci (CoNS).
High overall CoNS resistance predicted high overall resistance of the bacteria causing disease or infection.
Most importantly, highly resistant CoNS isolates were found to be associated with higher short-term mortality.
The researchers hope their conclusions will cause clinicians to pause before discarding contaminated blood test results.
The results appeared in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy.