Rapid presumptive identification of gram-negative rods directly from blood cultures by simple enzymatic tests

J. L. Sepulveda, C. E. Stager, J. R. Davis

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4 Scopus citations


Gram-negative rods were presumptively identified directly from blood cultures within 15 min as Escherichia coli, a member of the Klebsiella-Enterobacter group, or oxidase positive. Samples of artifically seeded blood cultures (193 cultures) and patient blood cultures (78 cultures) were filtered into a Dynadepth test card with the Bac-T-Screen instrument (Vitek, Inc., Hazelwood, Mo.). Triton X-100 was then filtered into the test card to lyse the blood cells but not the entrapped bacteria, and either methylumbelliferone-labeled substrates or oxidase reagent was applied to the filter surface. The oxidase test was read within 30 s, and the methylumbelliferone and indole tests were read after a 10-min incubation at room temperature. Positive β-galactosidase, β-glucuronidase, and indole test results predicted the identification of E. coli with a 96 to 100% sensitivity and a 99 to 100% specificity. Positive β-xylosidase and β-galactosidase test results and negative oxidase and β-glucuronidase test results were 85 to 93% sensitive and 100% specific for a Klebsiella-Enterobacter organism. A positive oxidase test result and negative β-glucuronidase, β-xylosidase, and indole test results were highly predictive of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (sensitivity, 100%; specificity, 99%). The procedures described are rapid and simple and provide a direct presumptive identification of the gram-negative rods most commonly found in blood cultures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-181
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)


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