The antimicrobial removal effectiveness of two adsorbent systems, resins in Plus media of the BD BACTEC ™ 9240 blood culture system and activated charcoal in FAN media for the Organon Teknika BacT/ALERT ™ 3D instrument, were compared in side by side trials with Plus and FAN aerobic, anaerobic and pediatric formulations. Vials were entered into the instruments after each received banked blood at the maximum amount recommended per media type, the peak serum level of one of 22 test antimicrobials for a given blood volume, and 10–100 cfu of a susceptible reference organism. Growth detection by an instrument indicated effective antimicrobial removal. Both systems effectively removed hydrophobic antimicrobials. However, BacT/ALERT FAN media failed to effectively remove most penicillins or cephalosporins tested, and also failed to effectively remove the glycopeptide vancomycin, whereas the BACTEC Plus media effectively removed all penicillins, most cephalosporins, and vancomycin. Penicillins and cephalosporins together constitute approximately 40 % of the antimicrobials currently in clinical use in the United States. In conclusion, the BD BACTEC Plus media showed superior antimicrobial removal performance due to the ineffectiveness of BacT/ALERT FAN media against penicillins, cephalosporins and vancomycin
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