Gram Positive Bacilli
A 30 year old woman is admitted to the hospital with a fever. She was recently diagnosed with acute leukemia and finished a course of chemotherapy last week. As a result of her treatment she now has essentially no white blood cells. As part of her workup you perform 2 blood cultures, a sputum culture, a urine culture, and you obtain a chest x-ray. Of all of these tests, the only positive result is one
blood culture growing a gram positive bacillus. This bacillus is: (AIPG 2009)
|A|| The most likely cause of the fever|
|B|| Most likely a contaminant|
|C|| An indication that the patient has meningitis|
|D||Most likely an organism she acquired from the hands of a health care provider the last time she was in the hospital|
a. Bacillus spp. are the most common contaminants of culture media in the laboratory.
b. Since only one of the blood cultures is positive for gram positive bacilli, these are most likely contaminants.