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MICROBIOLOGY ARTICLES

Enhanced in-house MRSA testing algorithm for detecting PVL toxins

Staphylococcus aureus is one of a number of pathogens with increased abilities to evade the effects of antimicrobial agents, with MRSA continuing to evolve. New technology is now allowing quicker identification of infection-causing pathogens, allowing earlier treatment and adoption of other measures to limit spread, explains Camila Onyekwere.

Rapid diagnostics – warts and all: a report on the ante meridiem session

In this first of two reports from this year’s British Society for Microbial Technology Annual Microbiology Conference, BSMT Chair Dr Mark Wilks and colleagues look at three presentations from the morning session. Two demonstrate the efforts being made at the cutting edge of practice, while the third what can be achieved with limited resources.

Performance validation of a novel laminar flow anaerobic workstation

Microbiologists from the Don Whitley Scientific microbiology laboratory led by Charlotte Austin, recently carried out a performance validation of the Whitley A135 GMP laminar flow anaerobic workstation using Bacillus atrophaeus spore suspension. Pathology in Practice reproduces their report here, which was previously presented in the form of a poster at the 10th European Spores Conference.

Rapid diagnostics – warts and all: a final preview of the BSMT conference

This year’s British Society for Microbial Technology Annual Microbiology Conference will be held on
2 May at the UKHSA, Colindale, North London.
Here, BSMT Chair Dr Mark Wilks continues his preview of the meeting focusing on antimicrobial resistance, the UK government’s ambitious programme to control it, and how likely it is to succeed.

Rapid diagnostics – warts and all: a microbiology conference preview

This year’s Annual Microbiology Conference of the British Society for Microbial Technology will be held at UKHSA in Colindale, North London, on 2 May. As usual, it will cover a range of different topics but this year there is a particular focus on the use of rapid testing in the diagnosis of infectious disease and the detection of antibiotic resistance.

Rapid diagnostics and AMR testing from the blood culture bench

Dr Neil Bentley OBE offers a personal reflection on the impact of rapid diagnostics and antimicrobial resistance testing from the blood culture bench.

Driving diagnostic integration beyond the walls of the laboratory

This summer a range of healthcare professionals, sepsis nurses and phlebotomists attended two ‘Saving Time Changes Lives’ events, organised by Becton Dickinson. Taking place during National Pathology Week, this year’s theme ‘Pathologists and Patients’ was highlighted with the topics at the event covering the importance of a quality diagnostic pathway with a risk-based approach to blood cultures, with a comprehensive approach to patient care. Here, Bruce Caldwell reviews the two events.

Antimicrobial resistance: vital factors to beat the silent pandemic

The future of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) depends on what we do today. Better diagnostics, infection prevention, and surveillance are vital factors in the fight against AMR, argues Greg Quinn.

Blood culture pre-analytical KPIs – The next challenge in microbiology?

The blood culture pathway is often thought of as a relatively straightforward one; sample to laboratory and result to clinician but, in reality, is a complex network of multidisciplinary stakeholders that is dependent on timely interventions and limited by availability of services and diagnostic tools, says Kate Donnachie.

Topics in microbiology and infection: a review of the BSMT conference

The British Society for Microbial Technology held its 38th Annual Microbiology Conference at the RAF Museum in Hendon, London, on 11 May, focusing on current infection issues facing laboratories and clinicians. Here, Dr Mark Wilks, Chair of the BSMT (pictured), and others on the committee, offer a review of the day’s proceedings.

Screening for CPE: aiming to limit the rise of antimicrobial resistance

The increasing incidence of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacterales is an imminent public health concern. Here, Terry Whalley highlights the importance of raising awareness of this among decision-makers in a healthcare environment, and discusses how practical and implementable screening could help trusts stay one step ahead of this global threat.

The importance of an integrated diagnostic pathway within sepsis care

Current challenges within sepsis diagnostics and AMR show the need for a standardised blood culture pathway. Stefan Schraag explores how the med tech industry can support this through greater education and innovation. This article follows on from a stakeholder event taking a holistic view of the blood culture pathway and encouraging diagnostic integration beyond the walls of laboratories.

Enhancing workflow optimisation at Liverpool Clinical Laboratories

With laboratories turning to technology and automation to meet the challenges of rising workloads and shrinking budgets, equipment supplier BD has recently created its Integrated Diagnostic Solutions (IDS) division, which has consolidated the firm’s workflow optimisation services. Here, BD Professional Services explains how this is being achieved and the laboratory staff at Liverpool Clinical Laboratories share their experiences.

Lateral flow immunoassays – a new era of antimicrobial resistance detection

With antimicrobial resistance continuing to be a huge global health issue, lateral flow tests that can detect resistance markers are emerging as a simple, economic and rapid alternative to existing methods of detecting antibiotic resistance. With their comparable performance to molecular methods, Naomi Chant of Una Health explains how these tests are changing the landscape of AMR detection in routine microbiology laboratories.

Microbial technology: a further preview of this year’s BSMT conference

This year’s British Society for Microbial Technology Annual Microbiology Conference will be held on 11 May at the RAF Museum in Hendon, North London. Here, BSMT Chair Dr Mark Wilks continues his preview of the programme and introduces two more themes of the meeting.

Clostridioides difficile: new testing method helps to stop it in its tracks

A new method to detect Clostridioides difficile can yield accurate results in as little as 15 minutes, leading to faster clinical decision-making and improving case management. Here, Jürgen Becker describes how this innovative assay can be integrated into near-patient testing, and outlines the positive impact it could have on hospital workflows and patient care.

Microbial technology: a preview of the annual BSMT microbiology conference

This year's British Society for Microbial Technology Annual Microbiology Conference will be held on 11 May at the RAF Museum in Hendon, North London. It will cover a range of different topics but this year there is a particular focus on different aspects of antimicrobial resistance. Here, BSMT Chair Dr Mark Wilks, on behalf of the organising committee, introduces some themes of the meeting.

Antimicrobial resistance: local solutions for a global problem

Esmita Charani looks at the global issues presented by antimicrobial resistance and considers the strategies and policies that need to be created and properly implemented to tackle the problem at a local level in communities around the world.

Outbreaks of respiratory infection: preparing for future uncertainty

Infectious disease testing for three West Midlands hospital trusts has been centralised at the Coventry and Warwickshire Pathology Services laboratories. However, when the pandemic hit, there was a need for rapid SARS-CoV-2 testing at each trust. Here, Lisa Berry and Mandip Hira discuss the decision to decentralise testing, and how this helped to streamline patient management for all infectious disease testing.

Targeting global threats presented by sepsis and antimicrobial resistance

Sepsis improvement programmes have received criticism in recent years, with some claiming that they have resulted in increased hospital antimicrobial consumption. But should we be targeting sepsis management or should we be looking elsewhere for solutions, including better integration of diagnostics? Louise Frampton reports.

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