A single bottle blood culture system that detects the gas produced by micro-organisms from substrates in a specially formulated medium was compared with the Bactec radiometric system. A total of 725 blood samples collected from patients with suspected bacteraemia yielded 75 clinically important isolates. Fifty five (73%) of these cultures were detected by both methods, 16 (21%) by only the Bactec system, and four (5%) by only the Oxoid system. No significant differences were found between the two systems after allowance was made for the different volume of sample inoculated into each system.
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