Bloodstream infections – etiology and current microbiological diagnostics
More details
Hide details
Department of Dental Microbiology, Medical University of Warsaw, Poland
Department of Microbiology, Central Clinical Hospital, University Clinical Centre, Medical University of Warsaw, Poland
Submission date: 2021-01-13
Final revision date: 2021-05-11
Acceptance date: 2021-05-12
Online publication date: 2021-10-12
Corresponding author
Halina Marchel   

Department of Dental Microbiology, Medical University of Warsaw, Banacha 1a, 02-097 Warsaw, Poland. Tel.: 606 935 505.
Pol. Ann. Med. 2022;29(1):83-87
Bloodstream infections (BSI) and sepsis constitute an important clinical problem worldwide, with a high mortality rate. A fast and reliable determination of BSI etiology is necessary for administration of targeted antibiotic therapy and improvement in survival rates of patients with BSI.

To present the possibilities for optimal laboratory diagnostics of BSI, in the aspect of epidemiology, available research methods and current diagnostic recommendations.

Material and methods:
A review of literature concerning recommendations in diagnosis and peer-reviewed publications using the following keywords ‘bloodstream infection,’ ‘bacteremia,’ ‘epidemiology,’ and ‘diagnostics.’

Results and discussion:
Etiology of BSI depends on several factors, such as origin of microorganisms, the location of the primary source of infection, immunocompetence of the host, and possible contact of the patient with the healthcare. Blood culture has status of the ‘gold standard,’ which inables susceptibility testing of the isolated pathogen. Non-culture methods based on detection of microbial genetic material or proteins are increasingly used in laboratory diagnostics of BSI. They constitute the methods of choice in detection of uncultivable or difficult to culture microorganisms. New diagnostic solutions are urgently needed for rapid detection of multidrug-resistant strains of microorganisms.

Blood culture remains the reference method in laboratory diagnostics of BSI, while molecular techniques available at present are a valuable addition to it. However, the clinical relevance of the results of molecular tests which do not correlate with clinical symptoms needs to be solved.

None declared.
None declared.
Goto M, Al-Hasan MN. Overall burden of bloodstream infection and nosocomial bloodstream infection in North America and Europe. Clin Microbiol Infect. 2013;19(6):501–509.
Marturano JE, Lowery TJ. ESKAPE pathogens in bloodstream infections are associated with higher cost and mortality but can be predicted using diagnoses upon admission. Open Forum Infect Dis. 2019;6(12):ofz503.
Braczkowska M, Glinka L, Mieszkowski M, Tuyakov B, Gutysz-Wojnicka A. Septic shock caused by community-acquired urinary tract infection caused by Klebsiella pneumoniae ESBL+: A case report. Pol Ann Med. 2020;27(2):168–173.
Public Health England. Investigation of blood cultures (for organisms other than Mycobacterium species). UK Standards for Microbiology Investigations. B 37 Issue 8.2. 2019. Access: 01.02.2020.
Timsit JF, Ruppé E, Barbier F, Tabah A, Bassetti M. Bloodstream infections in critically ill patients: an expert statement. Intensive Care Med. 2020;46(2):266–284.
Hussain A, Ahmad T, Inamullah I, et al. Occurrence of typhoid among the local population of district Dir Lower: A laboratory based study. Pol Ann Med. 2019;26(2):83–89.
Droz N, Hsia Y, Ellis S, Dramowski A, Sharland M, Basmaci R. Bacterial pathogens and resistance causing community acquired paediatric bloodstream infections in low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Antimicrob Resist Infect Control. 2019;8:207.
Cruz AT, Lane RD, Balamuth F, et al. Updates on pediatric sepsis. J Am Coll Emerg Physicians Open. 2020;1(5):981–993.
Plante LA, Pacheco LD, Louis JM. SMFM Consult Series #47: Sepsis during pregnancy and the puerperium. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2019;220(4):B2–B10.
Luu S, Spelman D, Woolley IJ. Post-splenectomy sepsis: preventative strategies, challenges, and solutions. Infect Drug Resist. 2019;12:2839–2851.
Habib G, Lancellotti P, Antunes MJ, et al. 2015 ESC Guidelines for the management of infective endocarditis: The Task Force for the Management of Infective Endocarditis of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). Eur Heart J. 2015;36(44):3075–3123.
Miller JM, Binnicker MJ, Campbell S, et al. A guide to utilization of the microbiology laboratory for diagnosis of infectious diseases: 2018 update by the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the American Society for Microbiology. Clin Infect Dis. 2018;67(6):e1–e94.
Gonzalez MD, Chao T, Pettengill MA. Modern blood culture: management decisions and method options. Clin Lab Med. 2020;40(4):379–392.
Huang XX, Urosevic N, Inglis TJJ. Accelerated bacterial detection in blood culture by enhanced acoustic flow cytometry (AFC) following peptide nucleic acid fluorescence in situ hybridization (PNA-FISH). PLoS One. 2019;14(2):e0201332.
Shemanski S, Bennett N, Essmyer C, et al. Centralized communication of blood culture results leveraging antimicrobial stewardship and rapid diagnostics. Open Forum Infect Dis. 2019;6(9):ofz321.
Journals System - logo
Scroll to top