Prolonging culture to 15 days improves bacterial detection in bone and joint infections

L. Drago, E. De Vecchi, L. Cappelletti, C. Vassena, M. Toscano, M. Bortolin, R. Mattina, C. L. Romanò

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Since the optimal incubation period of cultures for diagnosis of bone and joint infections is still a matter of debate, the present study aimed to evaluate the effects of different incubation periods (5 and 15 days) on microbial isolation. Samples from 387 patients with bone and joint infections (including prosthetic ones) were analyzed from March 2012 to February 2014. In 197 patients (51 %) growth was obtained within 48 hrs, while in 124 (32 %) and 66 (17 %) patients cultures yielded positive results within and after 5 days of incubation, respectively. Of 449 microorganisms isolated, 247 grew within 48 hrs, 131 within the first 5 days of incubation while 71 were isolated after 5 days. Staphylococcus aureus was the most frequently isolated pathogen within 48 hrs, while Propionibacteria were prevalently isolated after 5 days of incubation. Interestingly, about 25 % of microorganisms isolated after 5 days of incubation were coagulase-negative staphylococci. Extending incubation period of broth cultures improves isolation rates of pathogens involved in bone and joint infections thus improving management of these infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1809-1813
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Jun 9 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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