Definition of Blood culture

Blood culture: A test designed to detect if microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi are present in blood. A sample of blood obtained using sterile technique is placed in a culture media and incubated in a controlled environment for 1 to 7 days. If microorganisms grow, they can be identified as to type and tested against different antibiotics for proper treatment of the infection. Because microorganisms may only be intermittently present in blood, a series of 3 blood cultures is usually done before the result is considered negative.


Last Editorial Review: 8/28/2013

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