Thursday, 14 December 2017 13:52

Best of Bugs & Drugs 2017

Written by 

2017 was a momentous year here at Clinical Microbiology: Bugs & Drugs, since this is the year that we launched! Thanks to all who read and commented on our posts. Here are the highlights of the first nine months of published posts!


2017.12.18 BD review 1TMI: Deciding Whether to Include MIC Values in Susceptibility Reports. When laboratories provide susceptibility reports to clinicians, they must decide whether to include minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) or to report categorical interpretations (such as susceptible or resistant) alone. In some cases knowing the MIC value can help doctors, but in other cases it may just be… TMI.


2017.12.18 BD review 2Testing Staphylococci for Oxacillin Resistance – Why is it so Complicated? Have you ever encountered an isolate of Staphylococcus that gave you seemingly discordant susceptibility results? You'd be lying if you said "no"! Learn how your lab can sort out staphylococcal susceptibility testing dilemmas.


2017.12.18 BD Review 3Colistin Testing: Are We Whacked Out? The ever-changing CLSI recommendations for colistin testing (and one lab director’s endless frustration with this!) are reviewed.



2017.12.18 Review 416S Alphabet Soup: A Quick Guide. Broad-range bacterial 16S PCR and sequencing as a clinical diagnostic tool is quickly gaining in popularity. This post offers a quick refresher on the applications, limitations, and aliases of this test.


Interpreting the Uninterpretable: Testing Drug/Bug Combinations Without a Breakpoint2017.12.18 Review 5. How does one interpret an MIC if there is no clinical breakpoint for the tested drug/bug combination? Some tools, including the epidemiological cut-off value and PK/PD breakpoints can help!



AST for New Antibiotics: The Clinical Laboratorian’s Dilemma2017.12.18 Review 6. In the era of antimicrobial resistance, the introduction of a new antibiotic is an eagerly anticipated event. But when clinicians learn that antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) for the antibiotic is not yet available, they are often confused and frustrated. Find out why the introduction of AST lags behind antimicrobial development and approval and what can be done to accelerate the process.​


2017.12.18 Review 7Re-re-re-revisiting Blood Culture Contamination. Blood draw done without the gloves on is poor technique. Noncompliance to proper disinfection techniques of the draw site is the primary reason for blood culture contamination. Today's Bugs & Drugs post highlights the importance of updating staff on the whys and hows of preventing this contamination.


2017.12.18 Review 8Non-culture Based Fungal Diagnostic Tests. Timely diagnosis of fungal infections is sometimes impaired by the slow growth in culture or low yield of culture for certain organisms. Let’s discuss some of the non-culture based fungal diagnostic tests that are available in clinical microbiology laboratories.


Fostering a Culture of Safety in the Microbiology Lab. Recent outbreaks in clinical and teaching microbiology labs emphasize the importance of good biosafety practices. This week we provide resources to help brush up on biosafety, one of the most important aspects of working in a microbiology lab.


2017.10.23 Flu BND blogPoint-of-Care Testing for Influenza. “Do I have the flu?” Influenza point of care tests may be able to answer this question quickly. However, despite the simplicity and speed of these tests, they come with many “behind the scenes” considerations to be addressed prior to implementation. In this post, we review some significant technical, biological, and regulatory issues of influenza point-of-care testing.


Was your favorite post included? Leave a comment to let us know what you want to hear more of in 2018! In addition to keeping up with clin micro news here on Bugs & Drugs, you can find updates on ASM’s Facebook page ( and Twitter (@ASMicrobiology) account.

For even more updates, we highly recommend following the @JClinMicro Twitter account, where you can get receive news in iambic pentameter and limerick formats. The @JClinMicro account could very well have its own top-ten list for best poetic scientific presentation, but we’ll leave you with these top three tweets from the year:


Bugs & Drugs is off the next few weeks but will return in January 2018. Happy Holidays!

Last modified on Thursday, 14 December 2017 16:28