Anaerobic bacteria in clinical specimens – frequent, but a neglected lot: A five year experience at a tertiary care hospital

Padmaja Ananth Shenoy, Shashidhar Vishwanath, Ashwini Gawda, Seema Shetty, Renuka Anegundi, Muralidhar Varma, Chiranjay Mukhopadhyay, Kiran Chawla

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Anaerobic bacteria which constitute a significant proportion of the normal microbiota also cause variety of infections involving various anatomic sites. Considering the tedious culture techniques with longer turnaround time, anaerobic cultures are usually neglected by clinicians and microbiologists. Aim: To study the frequency of isolation of different anaerobic bacteria from various clinical specimens. Materials and Methods: A retrospective study to study the frequency of isolation of different anaerobic bacteria, was conducted over a period of five years from 2011 to 2015 including various clinical specimens submitted to anaerobic division of Microbiology laboratory. Anaerobic bacteria were isolated and identified following standard bacteriological techniques. Results: Pathogenic anaerobes (n=336) were isolated from 278 (12.48%) of overall 2227 specimens processed with an average yield of 1.2 isolates. Anaerobes were isolated as polymicrobial flora with or without aerobic bacterial pathogens in 159 (57.2%) patients. Anaerobic Gram-negative bacilli (140, 41.7%) were the predominant isolates. B. fragilis group (67, 19.9%) were the most commonly isolated anaerobic pathogens. Anaerobes were predominantly isolated from deep seated abscess (23.9%). Conclusion: Pathogenic anaerobes were isolated from various infection sites. Unless culture and susceptibility tests are performed as a routine, true magnitude of antimicrobial resistance among anaerobic pathogens will not be known. Knowledge of the distribution of these organisms may assist in the selection of appropriate empirical therapy for anaerobic infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)DC44-DC48
JournalJournal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 01-07-2017


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Biochemistry

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