What is the role of blood culture in the diagnosis of Haemophilus influenzae infections?

Updated: Jun 11, 2021
  • Author: Joseph Adrian L Buensalido, MD; Chief Editor: Pranatharthi Haran Chandrasekar, MBBS, MD  more...
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Detection of the organism in a blood culture or any other body fluid is the most confirmatory method of establishing the diagnosis. Optimal growth requires the use of chocolate agar and BVCCA, which is a selective media of chocolate agar that contains bacitracin, vancomycin, and clindamycin. BVCCA has been found superior to chocolate agar for isolation of NTHi from nasopharyngeal swabs. [39] Some H influenzae strains grow best in 5%-10% carbon dioxide. [28]

The viability of H influenzae is lost rapidly, so clinical specimens should be inoculated to an appropriate culture media without delay. [28]

Seventy to 90% of patients with epiglottitis have positive blood culture results. However, to avoid laryngospasm, perform venipuncture and cultures of the inflamed epiglottitis only after the airway has been secured.

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