Express Blood Cultures

Microbiology, Express Blood Culture Service

Rapid organism identification by MALDI-TOF Mass Spectrometry

Houston Methodist Diagnostic Laboratories (HMDL) can provide rapid species identification and antibiotic sensitivity testing for microbes recovered directly from positive blood culture media. Compared to conventional subculture-based techniques, this service can reduce turnaround times by 24-48 hours for most organisms, with even greater time savings for certain pathogens (i.e. Legionella or Mycobacterium spp.). Rapid identification and susceptibility testing can significantly improve patient care by getting patients on the appropriate antibiotic sooner, reducing length of stay and decreasing costs.

Using a mass spectrometer, HMDL can immediately identify the microbe directly from positive blood culture media as soon as it turns positive, allowing antibiotic sensitivities to be set up within minutes. MDL monitors blood cultures 24/7, providing the fastest turnaround time possible.

For more information contact

Phuong T. Nguyen, M.B.A.
Outreach Specialist, HMDL
Office: (713) 441-3484
Mobile: (281) 409-0621
Email: ptnguyen@houstonmethodist.org

Express Blood Culture Service

  • Blood cultures drawn at client site
  • Picked up twice daily from client site
  • Incubated at HMDL
  • Immediately after turning positive, blood culture organism identification by MALDI-TOF Mass Spectrometry, 24/7
  • Rapid sensitivity results reported 4-6 hours after species identification
  • I
  • dentification and Sensitivity results immediately reported to client 24/7
  • Advantages
    • Blood culture organisms identified soon after the culture turns positive
    • Shortest possible time from culture to antimicrobial sensitivity results
    • Lower costs for patients and hospitals


On line reporting available using our WebPortal system

Express Positive Blood Culture Identification Service

  • Blood cultures drawn and incubated at client site
  • Positive cultures picked up by courier twice daily
  • Rapid organism identification and sensitivities performed at HMDL
  • Identification and Sensitivity results immediately reported to client 24/7
  • On line reporting available using our WebPortal system