Volume 97, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



It is generally recommended that sepsis patients should have at least two blood cultures obtained before antimicrobial therapy. From 1995 to 2015, the number of blood cultures taken each year in a 1,100-bed public referral hospital in Ubon Ratchathani northeast Thailand rose from 5,235 to 56,719, whereas the number received in an 840-bed referral public hospital in South Sulawesi, Indonesia, in 2015 was 2,779. The proportion of patients sampled for blood cultures out of all inpatients in South Sulawesi in 2015 (9%; 2,779/30,593) was lower than that in Ubon Ratchathani in 2003 (13%; 8,707/66,515), at a time when health expenditure per capita in the two countries was comparable. Under-use of bacterial cultures may lead to an underestimate and underreporting of the incidence of antimicrobial-resistant infections. Raising capacity and utilization of clinical microbiology laboratories in developing countries, at least at sentinel hospitals, to monitor the antimicrobial resistance situation should be prioritized.

[open-access] This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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  • Received : 13 Mar 2017
  • Accepted : 26 Apr 2017
  • Published online : 10 Jul 2017

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