Blood culture and sensitivity tests are performed to determine the presence of bacteria or fungi in the bloodstream. The test also helps identify the most effective treatment option for the condition. This type of diagnostic test can significantly help in controlling blood infections.
Overview of the Blood Culture & Sensitivity Test
A blood culture and sensitivity test is a procedure to consider or rule out the possibility of systemic infection in the body. Systemic infection occurs when an infection is present in the bloodstream and affects the entire body as opposed to a single organ or body part.
In the blood culture test, a sample of blood is analysed to detect the presence of bacteria, yeast, fungus and other microorganisms. These disease-causing bacterium and pathogens often invade the body through:
- Urinary tract
- Open Wounds
Once entered into the bloodstream, these pathogens can easily cause complications and interfere with the body's defence mechanism, preventing the immune system from functioning properly. This condition can be life-threatening if left untreated.
A blood culture test can help identify which bacteria or microorganisms are causing the infection in the blood. And because several bacteria are resistant to antibiotics and therapy, the sensitivity test can identify the most effective antimicrobial agent to decide which medicine or antibiotic will work best to treat the infection.
It is a simple blood test wherein a blood sample is taken from the vein in one of the arms. The sample is then added to a substance that promotes the growth of bacteria. If no microorganisms grow in the culture after a specific period of observation, it is considered negative. A positive blood culture indicates the presence of microorganisms that could be causing infection in the blood. That’s why there is no normal range of the blood culture test since the results are either positive or negative. In the sensitivity test further, the positive sample is taken to first isolate microorganisms and then exposed to different antibiotic & antifungal drugs to determine which drugs are effective in killing them.
Also, while there is no special preparation required for the blood culture test, it is recommended to consult a doctor about any current medical conditions that may affect the results before undergoing the test