Surface cultures: Limited value?

The routine practice of culturing microbes from the body surface of infants in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) is of limited value in predicting infections or identifying their cause, researchers report in the Jan. 8 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The study, by Martin E. Evans, M.D., and colleagues at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tenn., analyzed cultures obtained from 3,371 infants in an NICU during a three-year period.

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