How does upper respiratory secretion contamination occur in the evaluation of Enterobacter infections?

Updated: Jun 18, 2019
  • Author: Susan L Fraser, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Endotracheal secretions obtained from intubated patients via fluid from bronchoalveolar lavage or bronchoscopy are often contaminated with upper respiratory secretions, and the same caution should be applied in the interpretation of culture results as in the interpretation of sputum specimens. However, bronchoscopy specimens obtained through a protective shield are not contaminated or are only slightly contaminated. Specimens obtained by bypassing the oropharynx (eg, transthoracic biopsy, open lung biopsy) are sterile, and any bacterial growth should be considered significant.


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