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Chapter 3.5 : Body Fluid Cultures (Excluding Blood, Cerebrospinal Fluid, and Urine)
Infection of normally sterile body fluids often results in severe morbidity and mortality; therefore, rapid and accurate microbiological assessment of these samples is important to successful patient management. Most organisms infecting these sites are not difficult to culture, but determining the significance of low numbers of commensal cutaneous microorganisms does present a challenge ( 14 ). With the increased use of prostheses, immunosuppressive therapeutic regimens, and long-term care of individuals with chronic debilitating disease, the likelihood of true infection with commensal organisms has increased, making accurate diagnoses difficult. Care must be taken during specimen collection and transport to ensure that the specimen is not contaminated. Any microorganism found in a normally sterile site must be considered significant, and all isolates must be reported.