Lab Med Online.  2019 Apr;9(2):63-72. 10.3343/lmo.2019.9.2.63.

Trends in Bloodstream Infections and Antimicrobial Susceptibilities at a University Hospital in Korea Between 2007 and 2016

  • 1Department of Laboratory Medicine and Division of Infectious Diseases, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Internal Medicine, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Blood culture is an important method for identifying infectious microorganisms and confirming that a selected antimicrobial treatment is appropriate. In this study, we investigated the annual changes in the frequencies of blood isolates and antibiotic susceptibility test (AST) results.
We created a large database comprising data on all patient-unique blood cultures obtained from January 2007 through December 2016. Blood specimens were cultured using the BD BACTEC FX system, and species identification and AST were performed using the VITEK 2 system.
During the 10-year study period, a total of 203,651 blood culture results were collected. Of these, gram-positive cocci, gram-negative rods, and fungi were isolated in 2.15%, 0.55%, and 0.12% of the blood cultures, respectively. Escherichia coli was the most commonly isolated species (22.8%), followed by Staphylococcus epidermidis (16.8%), Klebsiella pneumoniae (8.1%), and Staphylococcus aureus (8.0%). Fungal species were isolated in 3.0% of all positive blood cultures. Candida albicans was the most commonly isolated species (1.1%), followed by Candida parapsilosis (0.6%). Methicillin resistance was seen in 55.2% of S. aureus isolates. The frequencies of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) and carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (CRPA) were 13.1% and 10.9%, respectively. The isolation rates of MRSA, VRE, and CRPA showed different patterns each year.
Among the isolates, E. coli was the most common, followed by S. epidermidis and K. pneumoniae. This study represents a long-term analysis of bloodstream infections, and the results can be used to identify trends in the microorganisms isolated and their drug resistance.


Blood culture; Bacteremia; Identification; Antimicrobial susceptibility test
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