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Blood cultures should be taken before commencing antibiotic therapy and 2-3 separate samples should be taken in the first 24 hours. Samples ideally should be taken when the patient is bacteraemic with a rising temperature, though they can be taken at any time. If the patient has previously been given antibiotic therapy, additional samples should be taken over several days. 90% of positive cultures are obtained from the first two samples taken.
Investigation is advised if culture is positive for Strep. bovis because of it's association with colonic carcinoma.
Consider reasons for possible negative culture and investigate if suitable.