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This review describes the microbiology, diagnosis and management of bacteremia caused by …

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- Clinical review: Bacteremia caused by anaerobic bacteria in children

In a survey of anaerobic infections in children, blood cultures have been found to be the second most frequent source of anaerobic organisms [2,3,4]. In one of these reviews of the recovery of anaerobes from children in a university hospital over a period of one year [5], 13 blood cultures were positive and contained 14 anaerobes. In a large prospective study lasting a year, only 0.3% of blood cultures contained anaerobic bacteria that were involved in the pathogenesis of the patient's disease [4]. In contrast, pathogenic aerobes were recovered from 9% of the cultures tested during that period. Anaerobes accounted for 5.8% of all bacteremic episodes (8.7% in the newborn period and 4.8% in children over 1 year of age). Notably, 10% of the newborns with clinical bacteremia had only anaerobes recovered from their blood cultures.

Zaidi et al. [8], reviewed the use of anaerobic blood cultures for children and noted that 15 (2.1%) of 723 cases of bacteremia were caused by strict anaerobes and they concluded that use of the entire volume of blood drawn should be reserved for aerobic cultures. Recent studies have suggested that there has been a decline in the incidence of anaerobic bacteremia. Some authors [9,10,11,12,13] have speculated that this might be as a result of the use of bowel preparations prior to abdominal surgery and the more routine use of antibiotics active against anaerobes.

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