Incidence of Propionibacterium acnes in initially culture-negative thioglycollate broths: a prospective cohort study at a Danish University Hospital

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The aim of this study was to prospectively investigate the incidence of Propionibacterium acnes in thioglycollate broths reported as culture-negative at the Department of Clinical Microbiology, Rigshospitalet, to evaluate whether 5 days of incubation was enough to find all relevant cases. Five hundred thioglycollate broths reported as culture-negative after 5 days were consecutively collected and incubated for at least a further 9 days (at least 14 days of incubation in total). Only tissue samples from sterile sites of the body (n = 298), bone tissue (n = 197) and foreign material (n = 5) were included in this study. Samples were divided into two groups: infected group and control group. This made it possible to compare findings between groups, thereby making it possible to estimate the level of true-positive findings and contamination. Samples from 296 participants were included in this study. After exclusion criteria were met, P. acnes was cultured from ten out of 151 patients (6.6%) in the infected group and from one out of 138 participants (0.7%) in the control group. This resulted in more findings of P. acnes in the infected group on day 14 than on day 5 (p 0.002). Furthermore, P. acnes was cultured more often from bone tissue and tissue surrounding foreign materials on day 14 than on day 5 (p 0.04). Clinical microbiology laboratories should consider incubating thioglycollate broths for at least 14 days to find all relevant cases of P. acnes, especially when it comes to bone tissue and tissue surrounding foreign materials.
Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Microbiology and Infection
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)941-945
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2016

    Research areas

  • Incidence, Opportunistic organism, Prolonged incubation, Propionibacterium acnes, Thioglycollate broth

ID: 170019825