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Background. Central venous catheter (CVC) related infection is associated with significant increases in morbidity, mortality, and health care cost.This local surveillance study was carry out to monitor the frequency of occurrence of CVC-related blood stream infections. Materials and methods. During the period January – December 2005, 226 CVC specimens were analyzed (quantitative method) and microrganism identification from positive samples was performed by Vitek II. In 53 patients it was possible to compare quantitative results with those obtained from blood cultures. Results. Positive CVC samples were 125 (55%) and 130 microrganisms were isolated: 109 Gram-positives (84%), 4 Gram-negatives (3%), and 17 mycetes (13%). Among pathogens collected simultaneously from CVC and blood samples, the most frequently isolated were Staphylococcus spp. (30% coagulase-negative staphylococci and 20%. S. aureus) and Candida spp. (45%). In the group of patients that presented positive CVC and negative blood samples the most frequently recovered microrganisms were staphylococci. Many isolates (33%) were polymicrobial. Conclusions. Catheter-related infections occurred in those patients who presented the same pathogen in both CVC and blood cultures. These infections were principally caused by staphylococci and Candida spp. On the contrary, a possible CVC contamination could be suspected when positive CVC and negative blood cultures were found.
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