Pseudobacteremia attributed to contamination of povidone-iodine with Pseudomonas cepacia

R. L. Berkelman, S. Lewin, J. R. Allen, R. L. Anderson, L. D. Budnick, S. Shapiro, S. M. Friedman, P. Nicholas, R. S. Holzman, R. W. Haley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Pseudomonas cepacia was recovered from the blood cultures of 52 patients in four hospitals in New York over 7 months from April to October 1980. Epidemiologic investigation in one hospital indicated that the positive results of blood culture represented pseudobacteremias and implicated a 10% povidone-iodine solution used as an antiseptic and disinfectant (Pharmadine; Sherwood Pharmaceutical Company, Mahwah, New Jersey) as the source of contamination. Physicians who drew blood cultures positive for P. cepacia were more likely to have left povidone-iodine on the skin before venipuncture (p = 0.026) and were more likely to have applied povidone-iodine to the blood culture bottle tops and to have left it there while inoculating the blood culture media (p = 0.007) than those who drew cultures negative for P. cepacia. Direct inoculation of Pharmadine into brain-heart infusion broth yielded P. cepacia; however, 2 weeks after the first cultures, the same Pharmadine bottles were culture negative. The iodine concentrations of the contaminated Pharmadine solutions were similar to those of 10% povidone-iodine solutions distributed by other manufacturers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32-36
Number of pages5
JournalUnknown Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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