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Chapter 13.11 : Surveillance Cultures from Immunocompromised Hosts
Surveillance cultures from immunocompromised patients provide a service that can directly impact patient care and outcome in this patient population, but a rational, planned approach must be considered in order to optimize resources and interpretive impact. While some studies suggest that surveillance cultures may be of value, other studies suggest that routine surveillance may not be helpful. Differing conclusions from these studies may be due to insufficient data or inconclusive definitions of test conditions rather than from opposing data for similar populations. Selective surveillance, depending on occurrences at a particular time, can be useful in predicting anticipated difficulties in immunocompromised individuals. Surveillance could be part of studies to define the natural history of colonization by microorganisms and infections during pretreatment and after treatment of the immunosuppressed patient.