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Definition of Bacteremia

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Bacteremia: The presence of live bacteria in the bloodstream. Bacteremia is analogous to viremia (the presence of a virus in the blood) and parasitemia (the presence of a parasite in the blood). Bacteremia, viremia and parasitemia are all forms of sepsis (bloodstream infection). The term "bacteremia" was compounded from "bacteria" and "-emia" (in the blood). Also called bacillemia.

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Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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