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Tag Archives: Infection control/infectious disease —

Next step? The switch from stool culture to PCR

September 2018—The advantages of moving from stool culture to a molecular platform are many: faster time to results, more accurate pathogen identification, a savings of space and staff time. For Jose Alexander, MD, D(ABMM), SM, MB(ASCP), and colleagues at Florida Hospital Orlando, another plus is being able to adhere to the Infectious Diseases Society of America guideline suggestion that labs use a diagnostic approach that can distinguish O157 from non-O157 E. coli and Shiga toxin 1 from Shiga toxin 2 E. coli.

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Microbiology’s shifting role in war on sepsis

August 2018—If you were casting about for the severest test of a laboratory’s capabilities, day in and day out, sepsis admissions at a pediatric hospital might fit the bill. At Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and at other hospitals, waging war on sepsis requires battles on multiple fronts and clinical pathways that rely on an agile and highly equipped microbiology laboratory. Three main categories of patients ensure there is no shortage of sepsis cases at CHOP, says Erin H. Graf, PhD, D(ABMM), director of the infectious disease diagnostics laboratory.

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TB testing: new approaches to old scourge

April 2018—Scratch the surface of TB testing, and things quickly get interesting. The standard skin reaction test, widely adopted by the early 1940s, is still in use today. The goal has remained steady as well: break the transmission cycle. “From the clinician perspective and the laboratory perspective, because of its infectious nature, we want to identify people with latent tuberculosis,” says Elitza Theel, PhD, lab director for the infectious disease serology laboratory, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Medical Laboratories.

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Labs take stock of surprising flu season

March 2018—In a severe flu season that started early, laboratories faced unprecedented test volumes, used new testing platforms, and negotiated vendor supply shortages. When laboratory staff at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock began seeing a rising number of requests for respiratory tests, and five positive flu results, in September 2017, they suspected they were in for a record flu season, says Sherry Childress, BSMT(ASCP), technical chief, molecular diagnostics and immunology.

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For infection control, PCR and culture compared
Plus, an in-house PCR test for HSV in CSF

January 2016—There is a reason why rigorous studies are done to prove even the seemingly apparent benefits of advanced techniques. Sometimes comparisons turn up unexpected findings, as demonstrated by two selected infectious disease abstracts about real-time PCR presented at the Nov. 5–7, 2015 meeting of the Association for Molecular Pathology. Even so, both abstracts show the value of PCR testing.

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