Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Review of Clinical Trials of Skin Antiseptic Agents Used to Reduce Blood Culture Contamination

  • Anurag Malani (a1) (a2) (a3), Kim Trimble (a2), Vikas Parekh (a2), Carol Chenoweth (a1) (a2), Samuel Kaufman (a4) (a2) and Sanjay Saint (a5) (a4) (a2) (a3)...

False-positive blood culture results may lead to prolonged hospitalization, inappropriate antibiotic administration, and increased healthcare costs. We conducted a review of the literature to assess the effect of skin antiseptic agents on the rate of false-positive blood culture Results. We found no clear evidence to suggest which antiseptic should be used to prevent false-positive Results. Studies suggest, however, a possible benefit from the use of prepackaged skin antiseptic kits and alcohol-containing antiseptics.

Corresponding author
Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System, 2215 Fuller Rd., Ann Arbor, MI 48105 (
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

1. MP Weinstein . Blood culture contamination: persisting problems and partial progress. J Clin Microbiol 2003;41:22752278.

2. DW Bates , L Goldman , TH Lee . Contaminant blood cultures and resource utilization: the true consequences of false-positive Results. JAMA 1991;265:365369.

3. JR Little , PR Murray , PS Traynor , E Spitznagel . A randomized trial of povidone-iodine compared with iodine tincture for venipuncture site disinfection: effects on rates of blood culture contamination. Am J Med 1999;107:119125.

5. JA Washington II, DM Ilstrup . Blood cultures: issues and controversies. Rev Infect Dis 1986;8:792802.

6. DP Calfee , BM Farr . Comparison of four antiseptic preparations for skin in the prevention of contamination of percutaneously drawn blood cultures: a randomized trial. J Clin Microbiol 2002;40:16601665.

7. O Mimoz , A Karim , A Mercat , et al.Chlorhexidine compared with povidone-iodine as skin preparation before blood culture: a randomized, controlled trial. Ann Intern Med 1999;131:834837.

9. CL Strand , RR Wajsbort , K Sturmann . Effect of iodophor vs iodine tincture skin preparation on blood culture contamination rate. JAMA 1993;269:10041006.

13. S Lee , I Schoen , A Malkin . Comparison of use of alcohol with that of iodine for skin antisepsis in obtaining blood cultures. Am J Clin Pathol 1967;47:646648.

14. E Shahar , BS Wohl-Gottesman , L Shenkman . Contamination of blood cultures during venepuncture: fact or myth? Postgrad Med J 1990;66:10531058.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology
  • ISSN: 0899-823X
  • EISSN: 1559-6834
  • URL: /core/journals/infection-control-and-hospital-epidemiology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 2 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 129 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 23rd September 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.