Effects of storage temperature on hematopoietic stability and microbial safety of BM aspirates

S. Hahn, W. Sireis, K. Hourfar, D. Karpova, K. Dauber, V. A.J. Kempf, E. Seifried, M. Schmidt, H. Bonig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Bone Marrow (BM) remains a common source for hematopoietic SCT. Due to the transcutaneous approach, contamination with skin bacteria is common. The delay between harvest and transfusion can be considerable, potentially allowing for bacterial proliferation. The optimal transportation temperature, specifically with respect to bacterial growth and consequences thereof for hematopoietic quality, remain undefined. For 72 h, 66 individual BM samples, non-spiked/spiked with different bacteria, stored at 20-24 °C room temperature (RT) or 3-5 °C (cold), were serially analyzed for hematopoietic quality and microbial burden. Under most conditions, hematopoietic quality of BM was equal or better at RT: Typical BM contaminants (P. acnes and S. epidermidis) and E. coli were killed or bacterial proliferation was arrested at RT; hematopoietic quality was not impacted by the contamination. However, several pathogenic bacteria not typically found in BM (S. aureus and K. pneumoniae) proliferated dramatically at RT and impaired hematopoietic quality. Bacterial proliferation was arrested in the cold. The overwhelming majority of BM samples, that is, those that are sterile or contaminated only with skin commensals, will benefit from transportation at RT. Those bacteria that proliferate and perturb hematopoietic quality are not typically found in BM. Our data support recommendations for RT transportation and storage of BM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)338-348
Number of pages11
JournalBone Marrow Transplantation
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2014


  • bacteria
  • bioburden
  • contamination
  • quality
  • safety


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