We evaluated antibody-coated bacteria (ACB) in expectorated sputum to discriminate contaminating or colonizing organisms from true pathogens. We examined 60 expectorated sputum samples from 51 patients with lower respiratory infections (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 25, pneumonia 20, purulent tracheobronchitis 6). All samples were examined with quantitative culture and immunofluorescent demonstration of ACB. From the results of quantitative culture, we divided specimens into pathogen-isolated and pathogen-free samples. Among pathogen-isolated samples, in which we isolated accepted pathogenic organisms at 107 colony-forming units per ml, 16 of 23 samples were ACB-positive (69.5%). In contrast, among pathogen-free samples, in which we isolated accepted pathogens at < 107 colony forming units per ml or only upper respiratory flora, only 3 of 37 samples were ACB-positive (8.1%). The ACB-positive rate was significantly higher in pathogen-isolated than in pathogen-free samples (P < 0.001). Consequently, detecting ACB in expectorated sputum shows good potential as another criterion for distinguishing contaminating or colonizing organisms from true pathogens.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||MICROBIOLOGY and IMMUNOLOGY|
|Publication status||Published - 1994|
- Antibody-coated bacteria
- Lower respiratory infection
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