We evaluated the clinical usefulness of species identification of blood isolates of coagulase-negative staphylococci as a predictor of the clinical significance of the isolates. In addition, we compared results of species identification obtained with MicroScan Rapid Gram-Positive Identification panels and Dried Overnight (Conventional) Gram-Positive Identification panels with those obtained by a tube reference method. Two hundred eighty-five blood isolates were tested, including 92 judged to represent true bacteremia and 193 judged to represent contamination. The most common species detected were Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus hominis, and Staphylococcus haemolyticus. These three species accounted for nearly 98% of the clinically significant isolates and 89% of the contaminants. The isolation of other species almost always represented contamination. However, identification of the three most common species did not help distinguish pathogens from contaminants. Both the Rapid and the Dried Overnight Gram-Positive panels identified S. epidermidis strains accurately, but the panels performed less well for the other species. Analysis revealed that S. hominis was frequently misidentified due to the presence of a previously unknown subspecies. Based on the initial results, revised investigational Dried Overnight Gram-Positive Identification panels (CPID-2) were prepared and tested. The CPID-2 panels identified 85 to 95% of S. epidermidis strains, 76 to 86% of S. hominis strains, and 88 to 92% of S. haemolyticus strains with high probability (>85%) and, overall, represented a significant improvement over the other panels for identification of these staphylococcal species.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Microbiology (medical)