Hennepin County Medical Center 

BD BACTEC™ Lytic Anaerobic medium case study


Anaerobic Blood Culture Media Change Increases Isolation of Anaerobic Blood Stream Infections

Obligate anaerobes are uncommonly isolated from the blood cultures, usually comprising from 0.4-4% of overall positive growth.1,2 However, anaerobic sepsis is associated with a high mortality rate, with rates as high as 50% reported in some series.3

Obligate anaerobe solation in blood cultures may be related to many factors, including exposure to prior antimicrobials and type of blood culture media utilized. Two commonly used, FDA approved anaerobic blood culture media are BD BACTEC™ Lytic and BacT/Alert FN.

In vitro data has demonstrated that BD BACTEC™ Lytic has faster time to detection for anaerobic organisms than does BacT/Alert FN media.4 Our hospital changed from BacT/Alert FN media to BD BACTEC™ Lytic anaerobic media in 2011.



This case study discusses how BD BACTEC™ Lytic Anaerobic medium helped Hennepin County Medical Center increase in overall culture positivity over the study period.

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1) Ortiz E, Sande MA. Routine use of anaerobic blood cultures: are they still indicated? Am J Med 2000 Apr 15; 108(6):445-7.

(2) Pottumarthy S, Morris AJ. Assessment of the yield of anaerobic blood cultures. Pathology 1997 Nov; 29(4):415-7.

(3) Iwata K, Takahashi M. Is anaerobic blood culture necessary? If so, who needs it? Am J Med Sci 2008 Jul; 336(1):58-63.

(4) Cermak P, Forstl M. [Comparison of the detection of anaerobic bacteria in haemoculture systems BACTEC Lytic/10 Anaerobic/F, BacT/Alert FAN Anaerobic and BacT/Alert FN Anaerobic]. Klin Mikrobiol Infekc Lek 2005 Jun; 11(3):100-4.