Back at the coalface: a clinical virologist and the COVID emergency

Response to the current coronavirus pandemic has seen many retired personnel return to the clinical laboratory bench to help facilitate realisation of testing targets. Such altruistic action does reintroduce the returnee to the reality of change.

Microbiology testing networks: are they of value and fit for purpose?

Valerie Bevan looks at how microbiology testing networks have changed over the past 80 years, and how reflecting on this, and lessons from the current pandemic, might inform our response to future epidemics/pandemics.

Developing diagnostics for SARS-CoV-2: the role of reagents

Safely easing restrictions will require the development of extensive diagnostic capabilities, including rapid tests for use at the point of care. Andy Lane explains the role that diagnostics play and the importance high-quality reagents.

Blood coagulation: what’s new from the UK NEQAS BC scheme?

As a result of current restrictions, this year’s UK NEQAS BC annual scientific and scheme participants’ meeting was cancelled. Here, Ian Jennings, Dianne Kitchen and Anna Lowe are able to use Pathology in Practice to report.

How can RFID technology and flexible electronics help pathology?

With the NHS currently under huge strain, additional time-consuming and burdensome processes add to an already heavy workload. Gillian Ewers examines the advantages that radio frequency identification offers in tracking samples and consumables.

Coronavirus testing: a commercial view and post-analytical response

Against the ever-changing landscape of SARS-CoV-2 testing and an emerging need for sample storage, Mark Reed and Charlotte Duncan from Pro-Lab discuss a solution currently being adopted across the UK.

Delivery of pathology services: connectivity and engineering support

The recent coronavirus pandemic has clearly demonstrated the importance of remote working. This is reflected in the value of Stago’s data-sharing and instrument monitoring systems, highlighted in positive results obtained from a customer survey.

Histologists and molecular biology: meet the next generation

One of the two recognised early pathology disciplines, histopathology now combines modern practical laboratory techniques with sophisticated molecular biology methods,both of which facilitate the application of personalised medicine.

Plasma viscosity in COVID-19 disease: a vital monitoring role.

Establishing the diagnostic and prognostic value of measuring plasma viscosity in patients suspected or confirmed as having COVID-19 is currently underway in several UK hospitals. This article provides an overview of progress in research and practice

Fusobacterium infection: is Lemiérre’s disease the tip of an iceberg?

Is Fusobacterium necrophorum an underrated anaerobic pathogen, and could Lemiérre’s disease be prevented by earlier treatment of sore throat? Here, Mike Wren looks at the available evidence and illustrates some of the issues in two short case studies

Reducing parasitic disease in Africa: multinational research

Cutting-edge flow cytometry is underpinning a pioneering multinational research initiative designed to transform the lives of those suffering from leishmaniasis, a disfiguring and potentially life-threatening parasitic disease.

Interleukin-7 and its effects: a brief look in the literature

Recent press coverage of COVID-19 disease has highlighted a possible role for interleukin-7 in boosting T-cell numbers and aiding recovery. However, the current literature reports on a wide range of other benefits of this important cytokine.

Pandemic coronavirus: an overview of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 disease

Pathology faces a major challenge to detect the new coronavirus, and to provide laboratory support to COVID-19 patients. Sarah Pitt provides an overview of the virology, epidemiology and laboratory diagnosis of this latest agent of disease.

Antimicrobial efficacy and lack of resistance to silane quaternary com

Does the ‘entourage effect’ explain the increase in antimicrobial efficacy and lack of resistance seen with fifth-generation silane quaternary compounds? Here, Andrew Kemp provides an overview of the development and use of such agents.

Automated algorithms for FVIII and FIX: inhibitor detection in haemophilia

The detection and monitoring of haemophilia remains a challenging process for laboratories; however, the introduction of testing algorithms is set to improve the quality and consistency of results while freeing staff time.

Coagulation profiler: proof-of-concept testing and development

Benson Viscometers is developing a novel device that can determine the clotting profile of a blood sample. Furthermore, the company also aims to develop the point-of-care capabilities of this device.

Artificial intelligence and digital pathology: a look to the future

As the pathologist workforce shrinks and workload increases, laboratory medicine is beginning to adopt advanced technology and robust AI solutions. Nathan Buchbinder and Scott Rayburn explain how digital solutions can change practice in pathology and the life sciences.

Group B Streptococcus: what are we missing in the newborn period?

Group B Streptococcus is the most common cause of severe infection in newborn babies in the UK. Despite a risk-based prevention strategy for early-onset infection, in place since 2002, rates have increased significantly.

Disinfectants and hand sanitisers: a new test of efficacy against viruses

Do hand sanitisers really work against viruses? Andrew Kemp and colleagues introduce a new methodology for testing the efficacy of disinfectants and sanitisers on surfaces and on the skin against viral isolates.

Total bile acids testing: fifth-generation method in cholestasis of pregnancy

The advanced enzyme cycling method for bile acids offers increased sensitivity and precision when compared to traditional enzymatic tests, as illustrated by its use in obstetric cholestasis diagnosis and monitoring.