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Chronological index

The perils of overlooking lesser-known STIs

January 2014—When it comes to sexually transmitted infections, most clinicians and laboratories are well versed in diagnosing those caused by chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV, and syphilis. But a host of lesser-known STIs often go undiagnosed, despite their surprising prevalence. Many of these STIs receive little publicity because they’re not considered reportable by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists—a requirement that depends on a variety of factors, including whether an intervention is available and a public health response is indicated, and whether the disease or condition represents a threat to public health.

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Lab’s respiratory panel found to curb antibiotic use

January 2014—Fewer children with respiratory disease symptoms hospitalized from the ED without a diagnosis, less antibiotic use, and a favorable ratio of reimbursement to expense. That’s what the laboratory at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is seeing, said Beverly B. Rogers, MD, chief of pathology, in a Nov. 5 webinar, “Focus on FilmArray: One New Technology Applied to Classic Clinical Problems.” Presented by CAP TODAY and made possible by an educational grant from BioFire Diagnostics, the webinar centered on the multiplex PCR system from BioFire that tests for viruses, bacteria, yeast, and antimicrobial resistance genes.

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Labs weighing pros, cons of micro TLA

January 2014—Sleek specimen processing instruments, often with sophisticated robotics, are features of many larger microbiology laboratories, despite the longstanding belief that microbiology is too complex to automate. But total laboratory automation (TLA) has not yet gained a foothold in the U.S., even though there are several installations in microbiology laboratories in Europe. Could 2014 be the year that total microbiology laboratory automation comes into its own?

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Getting to the point in fragile X syndrome

January 2014—Can one equal 600? Is it possible for a mutation in a single nucleotide base in the FMR1 gene to be as potent as a run of more than 200 triplet repeats in causing fragile X-like symptoms? That was the question Stephen T. Warren, PhD, FACMG, raised in his keynote lecture at the 2013 meeting of the Association for Molecular Pathology. Two decades ago Dr. Warren and others showed that expansion of CGG triplet runs in the FMR1 gene is responsible for fragile X syndrome, or FXS. At the AMP meeting, Dr. Warren, who received the AMP Award for Excellence in Molecular Diagnostics, presented evidence that a point mutation in an FMR1 gene with a normal CGG repeat number can also cause intellectual disability and developmental delay, just as triplet repeats do, accompanied by other, non-FXS manifestations. In at least one case, a point mutation caused the full fragile X syndrome.

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Hematology lineup gets year-end look

December 2013—They say change is never easy, but Sysmex seems to be making a downright habit of it: “We have replaced almost 80 percent of our portfolio within the past year,” says Alan Burton, the company’s director of IVD product marketing. Coincidentally or not, Sysmex has seen much success in the last 12 months with its introduction of the XN-Series of automated hematology analyzers. “Already there have been well over 500 XN modules installed across North America,” Burton reports.

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New programs next year in gyn, nongyn cytopathology

November 2013—Participants in the CAP cytopathology programs will have new modules to select and new cases to learn from in 2014. Samples of static images that accompany the Touch Imprint/Crush Prep cases. In gynecologic cytopathology, a new L module for education will feature liquid-based SurePath and ThinPrep slide methods only. These will be designated PAPL/APAPL, with a choice of series one or two.

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Awards, honors given for sterling service

November 2013—Philip T. Cagle, MD, was presented Oct. 13 with the Pathologist of the Year award during an evening event at the CAP ’13 annual meeting in Kissimmee, Fla. At the same event, at the Gaylord Palms Orlando, Feriyl Bhaijee, MBChB, was honored as Resident of the Year, and Si Van Nguyen, MD, received the second annual CAP Foundation Gene & Jean Herbek Humanitarian award.

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Juggling IT demands—labs, vendors open up

Hopes, fears, frustrations, and change. In time for our annual LIS product guide (pages 23–38), that’s what CAP TODAY asked LIS companies and lab users of IT about. What we heard was talk of uncertainty, complexity, finite IT resources, the need to stay current, and, as one company president put it, “swimming with an anchor” attached. Here’s what they told us.

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