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Common Test-Ordering Errors
Part 6: Overordered Microbiology Tests

HIV-Qualitative & Quantitative (Same Order)
Serum Bacterial Antigen


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Diagnosing Bacterial Meningitis

Slide 7

September 2010

Nonmicrobiologic CSF tests (such as cell counts, protein, and glucose) cannot reliably differentiate between bacterial and viral causes of meningitis, and CSF cultures are mandatory in suspected cases. Because culture results are not available for several days, treatment must be initiated before testing is complete. Initial antibiotic selection is made on the basis of Gram stain results or, if the Gram stain is negative, based on well-described empiric treatment protocols. Treatment is modified, if necessary, after culture and antibiotic sensitivity results become available.

Diagnosing Bacterial Meningitis


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