Blood cultures from 196 patients with suspected bacteraemia or septicaemia were analysed by automated head-space gas chromatography, using a 25 m fused silica capillary column, when turbidity indicated growth. Gas chromatography correctly identified 105 cultures as positive and 71 correctly as negative. No false-positive results were obtained. Of the 20 false-negative chromatographic results, Staphylococcus spp accounted for 14. Automated head-space gas chromatography is quicker, easier and more efficient than other gas chromatographic techniques for the evaluation of blood cultures.
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