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Diagnosis of spontaneous bacterial peritonitis: Role of tween 80 and triton X in ascitic fluid cultures

Keywords: Culture-negative neutrocytic ascites , triton X , tween 80

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A patient with alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver, portal hypertension with hepatic encephalopathy and spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP) was admitted in an obtunded condition. Attempts at delineating the aetiology of the SBP using conventional cultures as well as automated systems were not successful. The use of non-anionic surfactant agents such as Tween 80-incorporated blood agar and Triton X treatment of the specimens facilitated the growth of Klebsiella pneumoniae from the ascitic fluid, which otherwise would have been concluded to represent culture-negative neutrocytic ascites. Thus, the use of the aforementioned agents could be explored in elucidating the aetiology of body cavity infections when conventional methods fail.


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