Clinical Microbiology: Bugs & Drugs

Clinical microbiology is welcoming more evidence-based medicine guidelines. Why do we need them, and what are they bringing to the table?
Time-to-positivity is often automatically reported for blood cultures; here we discuss how it’s calculated and how it may provide “free” and potentially helpful information.
Diagnostic test specificity is as much about context as it is numbers; here, we discuss pitfalls of focusing on numbers for multiplexed panel tests.
Antimicrobial resistance in Neisseria gonorrhoeae is a challenge for clinical labs. Can molecular tests save us from untreatable gonorrhea?
A new Laboratory Response Network (LRN) protocol covers all aspects of sentinel laboratory biosafety, biosecurity, risk assessment, and biomedical waste management.
Patient-centered or point-of-care testing is gaining in popularity—what does this mean for patients, the clinicians and laboratorians?
BioMérieux has recently recalled some of their antibiotic susceptibility testing (AST) cards for gram-positive bacteria using the VITEK 2 system. To answer questions regarding use of Vitek 2 AST cards, the ASM Clinical Laboratory Practice Subcommittee has provided guidance to aid clinical labs with this issue.
Antibiotic combinations are used frequently in the treatment of bacterial infections. How does the clinical microbiology lab test these combinations to see if they’re the right ones?
New technologies mean change for clinical microbiology diagnostic laboratories, but they also present opportunities for career growth. 
Check out a new webinar series that explains how laboratory automation systems alter the workflow in clinical microbiology labs.
There are many unique aspects to neonatal and pediatric clinical microbiology: sometimes a test is a bigger deal in kids than in adults, sometimes it’s a smaller deal - and sometimes it’s just a smaller test.
“Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry” (MALDI-TOF MS) sounds like the cause of a warp drive breakdown in Star Trek. What does it have to do with clinical microbiology diagnostics?
Big scientific conferences are great, but smaller meetings fill a specialized niche. The Clinical Microbiology Open is a new conference intended to drive industry-academia collaboration to address unmet or poorly met needs in the field of clinical microbiology. 
It takes courage to try something new when many view new ideas as strange. Compare leadership in 'intermediate susceptibilily' interpretation to leadership in a festival dance party - who needs more courage, leaders or their early followers?
Sunday, 03 June 2018 13:24

Microbiologists vs Biothreat agents

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If you are looking for an exciting career, consider a clinical microbiology! On top of common pathogens like Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli, clinical microbiologists also deal with all sorts of rare microbes, including bioterrorism agents! Why you should always be prepared for a 'weirdo' microbe in the clinical lab, on Bugs & Drugs.
Public Health England reported the first case of ceftriaxone treatment failure for gonorrhea -- what happens next? Will intravenous (IV) antibiotics become required to treat gonorrhea within the next few years? There are several ways that clinical labs can get involved to help prevent the spread of these antimicrobial-resistant N. gonorrhoeae “superbugs” so we can continue to have a simple and effective empirical treatment.
It’s Lyme Time! As summer approaches, ticks and people will meet up once again. Diagnostic tests for Lyme disease may change, but these changes should always based on scientific evidence.
Monday, 14 May 2018 16:54

Is It Really about the MIC?

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The use of beta-lactamase combination agents like piperacillin-tazobactam to treat ESBL-producing isolates has always been somewhat controversial. Results from the new MERINO clinical trial suggest reviving ESBL testing. Romney Humphries explains why continued protocol tweaking helps laboratorians move closer to the perhaps-impossible goal of perfecting ESBL screening.
Detection of antibiotic resistance is vital to proper treatment and containment of potential outbreaks. The Antibiotic Resistance (AR) Laboratory Network connects healthcare facilities, state and local labs, and CDC to quickly identify and contain drug-resistance before itcan spread. Learn more about the AR Lab Network in a free webinar, summarized on the latest Bugs and Drugs.
Monday, 16 April 2018 11:13

More Than Just Strep in Strep Throat?

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Strep throat isn’t just Strep anymore! The most recent organism linked to bacterial pharyngitis is the anaerobic bacterium Fusobacterium necrophorum. Find out how this and other organisms that cause pharyngitis are diagnosed.
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