Microbiological diagnosis of prosthetic joint infections: a prospective evaluation of four bacterial culture media in the routine laboratory.
Hughes HC., Newnham R., Athanasou N., Atkins BL., Bejon P., Bowler IC.
The diagnosis of prosthetic joint infection (PJI) in the routine microbiology laboratory is labour-intensive, but semi-automated methods may be appropriate. We prospectively compared four microbiological culture methods on samples taken at prosthetic joint revision surgery. Automated BACTEC blood culture bottles and cooked meat enrichment broth were the most sensitive methods (87% and 83%, respectively, as compared with fastidious anaerobic broth (57%) and direct plates (39%)); all were highly specific (97-100%). To our knowledge, this is the first prospective study aimed at comparing culture methods in routine use in UK clinical laboratories for the diagnosis of PJI.