The bioMérieux BacT/Alert Virtuo blood culture system used in combination with resin-containing media may enhance the growth of microorganisms. Our objective was to assess the impact of transitioning to the Virtuo system in comparison to the VersaTREK blood culture system at a tertiary care medical center. We retrospectively reviewed all blood cultures performed at a 1,250-bed academic medical center between January and December 2018 (VersaTREK) and January and December 2019 (Virtuo). Blood culture positivity rates and contamination rates were compared before and after Virtuo implementation. Of 101,438 blood cultures performed during the study period, 48,839 (48.1%) were processed preimplementation and 52,599 (51.9%) postimplementation. The blood culture positivity rate increased from 8.1% preimplementation to 11.7% postimplementation (P < 0.001). Staphylococcus aureus was the most frequently isolated species in both time periods and had a higher recovery rate postimplementation (1.5% of all blood cultures obtained preimplementation versus 3.4% postimplementation; P < 0.001). A higher recovery rate in the postimplementation period was also noted for coagulase-negative staphylococci (1.9% preimplementation versus 2.7% postimplementation; P < 0.001), as well as modest but statistically significant changes for Escherichia coli (0.8% versus 1.0%; P < 0.001), Klebsiella pneumoniae (0.4% versus 0.5%; P = 0.005), and Candida albicans. (0.1% versus 0.2%; P = 0.038). The inpatient blood culture contamination rate was higher postimplementation (1.5% preimplementation versus 1.9% postimplementation; P < 0.001). The Virtuo blood culture system was associated with a higher observed proportion of positive blood cultures than the VersaTREK system. Future studies are needed to assess whether an increased rate of positive blood cultures is associated with changes in clinical outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e0061721
JournalJournal of clinical microbiology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Sep 20 2021


  • Virtuo
  • blood culture
  • bloodstream infections


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