Colonization vs. Infection

The cutoff for significant number of colony forming units to differentiate between colonization and infection depends on the diagnostic test:

  • tracheobronchial secretion, 10–5  CFU/ ml;
  • BAL, 10–4 CFU/ml
  • protected specimen brush, 10–3 CFU/ml



Bein, Thomas et al. “The Standard Of Care Of Patients With ARDS: Ventilatory Settings And Rescue Therapies For Refractory Hypoxemia”. Intensive Care Med 42.5 (2016): 699-711. Web. 14 May 2016.


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