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Infectious Disease Laboratory Testing

NEW!! November 11, 2016 - ASM and PASCV Comment on Transplant Virus Testing
The ASM and Pan American Society for Clinical Virology (PASCV)  comment on reclassification of tests for the measurement of virus DNA levels in transplant-associated infections.

October 17, 2016 - ASM, AMP and PASCV Express Concerns On New Molecular Test for Zika
The ASM, the Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP) and Pan American Society for Clinical Virology (PASCV) ask for data and clarification on the  rRT-PCR assay for the testing of Zika, dengue and chikungunya viruses.

October 3, 2016 - White Paper on the Emergence of mcr-1 Plasmid-Mediated Colistin Resistance
The Committee on Laboratory Practices has developed a white paper to update members on colistin resistance and testing.

September 13, 2016 - ASM, AMP, APHL, IDSA and PASCV Comment  on NGS Diagnostics
ASM joined several societies to submit written comments on the FDA draft guidance entitled “Infectious Disease Next Generation Sequencing Based Diagnostic Devices: Microbial Identification and Detection of Antimicrobial Resistance and Virulence Markers."

August 30, 2016 - ASM Asks for Clarification on CLIA Personnel Regulations
ASM requests clarification on an April CMS State Survey Agency Directors memorandum regarding personnel policies on individuals performing non-waived tests.

July 27, 2016 - ASM Asks VA for Clarification on Proposed Advance Practice Registered Nurse Duty Changes
ASM comments focus on Advance Practice Nurses ability to perform laboratory

May 24, 2016ASM and PASCV Have Developed a  Zika Guidance for Laboratory Testing
ASM and PASCV have prepared a joint guidance document to update and assist clinical laboratory personnel in testing for Zika virus, based on patient risk.

May 5, 2016 - Laboratory Practices Committee Updates Ebola Guidance Document
After consultation with CDC Personnel, the PSAB Committee on Laboratory Practices has developed “Recommendations for Handling/Testing Specimens from Cases, or Suspected Cases, of Viral Hemorrhagic Fever for Sentinel Laboratories.” The new guideline was prepared to assist laboratory personnel with testing in accordance with the revisions to CDC Ebola guidance documents.

March 11, 2016 - ASM and APHL Prepare Interim Guidance on CIDT Positive Specimens
ASM and APHL prepared a joint interim guidance document to assist clinical laboratory personnel in providing required isolates to public health laboratories.  The guidance, titled “Submission of Enteric Pathogens from Positive Culture-Independent Diagnostic Test Specimens to Public Health,” applies to isolates and specimens that are positive in culture independent diagnostic tests.

July 13, 2015 - ASM/APHL/CDC HIV Western Blot White Paper
Members of the PSAB Laboratory Practices Committee assisted the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) HIV and Viral Hepatitis Subcommittee in preparation of “Limitations for the Use of HIV-1 Western Blot in Plasma/Serum”, a document supporting discontinuation of HIV-1 Western blot testing.

April 9, 2015 - Laboratory Practices Committee Prepares Endoscopy Document
The PSAB Committee on Laboratory Practices prepared On The Question of Culturing of Duodenoscopes to address the unique challenges of pathogen identification in cases of infections associated with gastrointestinal endoscopy.  

August 5, 2014 - Laboratory Practices Committee Prepares Listeria Guideline
The PSAB Committee on Laboratory Practices prepared Listeria Food Contamination and Microbiology Cultures to address the use of stool cultures in recent outbreaks. 

July 11, 2014 - ASM and CLSI Release White Paper on MSSA and Ceftriaxone Etests
The PSAB Committee on Laboratory Practices and the Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) have prepared MSSA and Ceftriaxone Etest issue:  CLSI & ASM White Paper to discuss claims in a retracted paper that 60% of methicillin sensitive S. aureus  (MSSA) isolates were resistant to ceftriaxone using Etest strips.  The document reports the results of side by side testing of MSSA isolates with Etest strips versus reference broth microdilution.

June 10, 2014 - Laboratory Practices Committee Prepares MERS-CoV Guideline
The PSAB Committee on Laboratory Practices prepared A Practical Guidance Document for the Detection of Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) to aid laboratory personnel in the proper identification of this organism, since specimens must often be shipped to the local public health laboratory for confirmation.  The document was drafted by Melissa Miller and Michael Pentella, and reviewed by the Committees on Laboratory Practices.

August 14, 2013- Laboratory Practices Committee Prepares Cyclospora Guideline
The Public and Scientific Affairs Board (PSAB) Committee on Laboratory Practices prepared A Practical Guidance Document to the Detection of Cyclospora to aid laboratory personnel in their identification of this organism, since routine ova and parasite examination often fails to detect it.  The document was drafted by Marc Roger Couturier and Susan Sharp, and reviewed by the Committees on Laboratory Practices and Public Health.

November 12, 2012 - Joint ASM-CDC Developed Group B Streptococcus Protocols Now Available
Standard operating procedures for processing group B Streptococcus specimens are now available. These five protocols were developed collaboratively by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Streptococcus Laboratory and are consistent with the recommendations in the 2010 GBS guidelines but are tailored for use in different settings, depending on the procedures and assays used in each laboratory (e.g. pigmented or non-pigmented broth, sub-culture versus serologic or molecular methods, etc.).

January 18, 2011 - A Quick Guide to the Significance and Laboratory Identification of Cryptococcus gattii
The PSAB Committee on Laboratory Practices has prepared A Quick Guide to the Significance and Laboratory Identification of Cryptococcus gattii.  C.gattii has emerged as an important cause of cryptococcosis in the Pacific Northwest region of the U.S.  This organism can not be differentiated from C. neoformans by conventional laboratory methods, and differences in clinical course and treatment outcomes have been suggested. This document outlines the epidemiological and clinical differences between C. gattii and C. neoformans, and indicates the laboratory tests that can be used for the differentiation of these two organisms.  The document was drafted by Susan Butler-Wu and Ajit Limaye and reviewed by the PSAB Committees on Laboratory Practices and Professional Affairs.

January 12, 2011 - A Practical Guidance Document for the Laboratory Detection of Vibrio cholerae
The PSAB Committee on Laboratory Practices has prepared A Practical Guidance Document for the Laboratory Detection of  Vibrio cholerae. Since cholera was reported in Haiti on October 21, 2010 following a devastating earthquake, aid workers from the U.S. and other countries have been traveling to Haiti in order to provide medical care and other assistance.  These workers are at risk of acquiring cholera and returning to their home countries with infection.  This document was developed to help laboratories understand how to accurately and rapidly identify V. cholerae. The document was drafted by Barbara Robinson-Dunn and Christopher Doern and reviewed by the PSAB Committees on Laboratory Practices and Professional Affairs.

September 21, 2010 – A Practical Guidance Document for the Laboratory Detection of Toxigenic Clostridium difficile – REVISED*
The PSAB Committee on Laboratory Practices prepared A Practical Guidance Document for the Laboratory Detection of Toxigenic Clostridium difficile to help laboratories understand that using toxin testing alone is not sufficient for accurate detection. Bulleted highlights for C. difficile laboratory testing lead the discussion and several sample testing algorithms are included. The document was drafted by Susan Sharp, Ph.D., Chair, PSAB Committee on Laboratory Practices and Peter Gilligan, Ph.D., Dean, American College of Microbiology and reviewed by the PSAB Committees on Laboratory Practices and Professional Affairs.  *This document was updated on September 21 to replace the September 9, 2010 version.

July 28, 2010 - How Microbiology Cultures Complement Molecular Infectious Disease Testing
On July 28, 2010, the ASM participated in the American Association for Clinical Chemistry’s Annual Meeting for a PSAB sponsored session, How Microbiology Cultures Complement Molecular Infectious Disease Testing.  Presentations focused on advancements in molecular infectious disease diagnosis, as well as how more traditional testing methods such as culture are still utilized and may perform better than or be used in conjunction with molecular techniques.   

Detecting Clostridium difficile: What, When and Why? – presented by Susan E. Sharp, Ph.D.
The Future of TB Testing  – presented by E.J. Baron, Ph.D.
Diagnosis of Shiga Toxin- Producing E. coli (STEC) Infections: A Multi-Faceted Approach – presented by Roberta B. Carey, Ph.D.
Influenza Antigen Testing: Helpful or Harmful? – presented by Kimberle Chapin, M.D.
Molecular Screening for MRSA: Impact on Patient Care – presented by Peter Gilligan, Ph.D.

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