Clinical Microbiology: Bugs & Drugs

The CDC is warning about the possibility of gonorrhea becoming “untreatable”. In part one of a three-part series, we will discuss the long history of antimicrobial treatment for gonococcal infections, and find out why antimicrobial resistance in Neisseria gonorrhoeae has been classified as an urgent threat to public health.
Patients require care around the clock and clinical labs are a critical component of patient care. Clinical laboratory technologists work day - and night - to help make a difference.
How can healthcare providers learn the best practices for prescribing antibiotics? A new CDC course will help explain the basics – best of all, it’s free! We also celebrate the one-year blog-iversary of Bugs & Drugs. 
Duodenoscope contamination has been the source of hospital outbreaks, including carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae. A new scope surveillance culturing protocol hopes to prevent future outbreaks from occurring.
Multiplex molecular gastrointestinal pathogen panels promise increased ease, speed, and throughput. But do these tests sometimes produce too many results? And what is lost when tests switch from culture-based to molecular methods?
In clinical microbiology, “intermediate” —the state of neither up nor down—means both “diagnostic uncertainty” AND “susceptible with increased exposures.” How can we cut one and not lose the other?
Monday, 05 February 2018 15:11

Lab testing – the money talk

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Bugs & Drugs discusses the delicate issue of clinical lab finances: both the lab and hospital leadership must connect the dots and determine what tests best fit the interests of the patients and the hospital.
What types of data can help a clinical microbiology lab improve their performance? The latest Hot Topic provides suggestions on measuring and analyzing data points to reduce the risk of error.
Diagnosis of diarrhea caused by parasites is an important service provided by the clinical laboratory, but testing stool using the ova and parasite (O&P) exam is complex and time consuming. Here, we review the O&P, its limitations, and how the clinical laboratory can help ensure the most effective use of this test.
Clinical microbiology labs often receive multiple specimens for periprosthetic joint infections. How many is enough?
Monday, 08 January 2018 16:16

January 2018 ASMClinMicro News Round-Up

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A new year brings new career-promoting events and ways to participate in the ASM clin micro community. We summarize the latest in the first Bugs & Drugs post of 2018!
Thursday, 14 December 2017 13:52

Best of Bugs & Drugs 2017

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2017 was a momentous year here at Clinical Microbiology: Bugs & Drugs, since this is the year that we launched! Here are the highlights of the first nine months of published posts!
Monday, 11 December 2017 14:37

Xenodiagnosis: Using a Pest as a Test

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Most diagnostic tests are performed on agar plates or in plastic bottles, tubes, or wells, but in the past certain elusive infections were identified by a decidedly more exotic method. This post explores the technique of xenodiagnosis, in which an animal (usually the vector that carries the disease of interest) is exposed to a patient’s blood and monitored to see if it develops the infection.
Toxoplasma gondii is a fantastically interesting parasite that you can find in a variety of places in the world and can end up in a variety of places inside of you!
Diagnostic tools are the backbone of many public health programs; we need them to assess the molecular characteristics and physiologies of potential pathogens. This week, Bugs & Drugs features our best diagnostic tools blog posts, with interviews, reference articles, and advice on how to implement these tools to increase public health.
Fosfomycin susceptibility testing is a challenge for laboratories. The testing intricacies for fosfomycin are discussed.
Monday, 06 November 2017 18:17

Considerations in point-of-care diagnostics

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How will point-of-care diagnostics change clinical microbiology? ASM provides resources with educational opportunities and important considerations on implementing evolving technology.
ASM provides resources to review nomenclature, susceptibilty testing, and transmission prevention of multidrug-resistant organisms
Monday, 23 October 2017 11:51

Point-of-Care Testing for Influenza

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“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.
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.
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