Can a routine follow-up blood culture be justified in Klebsiella pneumoniae bacteremia? A retrospective case-control study

Chang Kyung Kang, Eu Suk Kim, Kyoung Ho Song, Hong Bin Kim, Taek Soo Kim, Nak Hyun Kim, Chung Jong Kim, Pyoeng Gyun Choe, Ji Hwan Bang, Wan Beom Park, Kyoung Un Park, Sang Won Park, Nam Joong Kim, Eui Chong Kim, Myoung don Oh

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34 Scopus citations


Background: The need for mandatory confirmation of negative conversion in Klebsiella pneumoniae bacteremia (KpB) has not been adequately addressed. We conducted a retrospective case-control study of adult patients with KpB over a 5-year period in two tertiary-care hospitals to determine the risk factors for persistent bacteremia and to reevaluate the necessity of follow-up blood culture in KpB.Methods: Persistent KpB is defined as the finding of K. pneumoniae in more than two separate blood-culture samples for longer than a two-day period in a single episode. The case- and control-groups were patients with persistent and non-persistent KpB, respectively, and they were matched 1-to-3 according to age and gender.Results: Among 1068 KpB episodes analyzed after excluding polymicrobial infection and repeated KpB, follow-up blood cultures were performed in 862 cases (80.7%), 62 of which (7.2%) were persistent. Independent risk factors for persistence were intra-abdominal infection, higher Charlson's comorbidity weighted index score, prior solid organ transplantation, and unfavorable treatment response, which was defined as positivity for at least two parameters among fever, leukocytosis, and no decrease of C-reactive protein on the second day after initial culture. A proposed scoring system using four variables, namely, intra-abdominal infection, nosocomial KpB, fever and lack of C-reactive protein decrease, the last two being assessed on the second day after the initial blood culture, showed that only 4.9% of the patients with no risk factors or with only intra-abdominal infection had persistent KpB.Conclusions: Though persistent KpB is uncommon, follow-up blood culture was performed in as many as 80% of the cases in this study. A more careful clinical assessment is warranted to reduce the cost and patient inconvenience involved in follow-up blood culture.

Original languageEnglish
Article number365
JournalBMC Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2 Aug 2013


  • Bacteremia
  • Blood culture
  • Follow-up
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae
  • Risk factor


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