What Can You Tell From Gram-Negative Rod Lab Results?


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Gram-negative rod lab results help determine the type of bacteria that may be the reason for an infection, explains the American Association for Clinical Chemistry. When a clinician examines gram-negative rod bacteria microscopically, the bacteria appear pink with a rod-like shape. Gram stain test results also reveal bacilli thickness, length and distinguishing features. Escherichia coli, which causes urinary tract infections, is a gram-negative bacterium. Gram stain results are a prelude to cultures and additional tests.

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Pneumonia, wound and bloodstream infections, and meningitis are results of gram-negative bacteria, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As of 2015, gram-negative bacteria resist a variety of drugs and have become more resistant to most antibiotics. Drug-resistant gram-negative bacteria that cause serious infections include Acinetobacter and Klebsiella.

Clinicians use a variety of sample types for gram stains, reports the American Association for Clinical Chemistry. They may obtain cell or discharge samples from infection sites using swabs or use sterile collection containers for sputum or urine samples. Needles and syringes are ways to collect body fluids for testing. After obtaining gram stain results, clinicians prepare cultures and may conduct antibody, antigen or other tests to diagnose causes of infections. Effective treatment of infections may require susceptibility testing to determine the appropriate antibiotic.

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