Sputum: Normal respiratory flora- Shipped August 2011
A sample simulating a sputum sample obtained from a 63 year old male, out-patient with cough and fever was sent to category A and B laboratories. The sample was suitable for culture.
Participants were expected to report “normal respiratory flora” as no pathogens were included in this sample.
MAIN EDUCATIONAL POINTS from M112-3
- In every microbiology laboratory, the most common culture outcome of clinical samples is to find either the absence of any bacterial growth or the presence of normal commensal flora (normal flora).
- It is important to inform the clinician that the laboratory has only found commensal organisms in the culture and that the likelihood of these organisms being pathogens is extremely low.