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FEATURE ARTICLES

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 Power to Disrupt: point-of-care testing in the modern NHS

The latest in Thornhill Healthcare Events’ series of conferences on point-of-care testing took place at the end of March in Nottingham. Once again a wide variety of speakers had been gathered to share their experiences of using near-patient diagnostics within the modern NHS with an engaged audience made up of healthcare professionals from across the health service. Pathology in Practice reports on the day’s presentations.

The continued evolution of PCR diagnostics into the community

James Beckett explains how the use of molecular point-of-care testing (POCT) has seen exponential growth in recent years, from its hospital-based origins to its widespread community use for detection of infections, sexual health screening and, more recently, respiratory disease diagnosis during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Improving efficiency in oestradiol testing for rapid IVF support

Testing for oestradiol is a crucial first step in the time-sensitive IVF process. Detailed here are the steps a French-based laboratory was able to take to automate this previously time-consuming and labour-intensive task safely and effectively, while still meeting important deadlines.

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.

Endogenous retroviruses: research published in the recent scientific literature

Relics of ancient viruses, endogenous retroviruses that can be found in human DNA, have recently found exposure in the media. But what range of applications can be found in the recent literature? Here, Pathology in Practice Science Editor Brian Nation compiles a small selection of current research interest in the field.

On the cusp of change – the future of clinical viscosity testing

In the second of two articles for Pathology in Practice, retired biomedical scientist David Norcliffe, with David Manuel, looks at how clinical viscosity testing can be used more widely, with the measurement of viscosity having a considerable number of possible applications which are receiving further investigation.

Delivering science and celebrating achievement at IBMS Congress 2023

The biennial IBMS Congress will return to the International Convention Centre in Birmingham in September, the focus once again being on the very best that biomedical science and commercial colleagues have to offer. Here, Pathology in Practice provides a further brief preview of the four-day event.

Diagnostic services: a look at the prognosis for optimised patient testing

In order to cope with the challenges of the future, it is critical to optimise diagnostic services and enable faster and earlier testing. Here, Tracey Sainsbury discusses the key challenges and opportunities that lay ahead for this vital area of healthcare.

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 assay developments: research published in the recent scientific literature

Developments in lateral-flow assay technology have been highlighted by its ubiquitous use during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, but its utility covers a much wider spectrum of applications. Here, Pathology in Practice Science Editor Brian Nation compiles a small selection of current research activity in the field.

Selected Talking Heads: a look at Congress 2023 in microcosm

In just a few months the biennial IBMS Congress will return to the International Convention Centre in Birmingham. The focus once again will be on the very best that biomedical science and those supporting the scientific programme have to offer. To illustrate this, Pathology in Practice focuses on a small selection of topics and their respective speaker biographies.

Gastroenterology pressures and progress: a brief diagnostic update

Graham Johnson discusses how gastroenterology has changed over the past 20 years. He looks at how non-invasive diagnostic testing, prior to endoscopy, could provide a solution to earlier detection and better outcomes for upper gastrointestinal disorders.

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.

Clinical viscosity and its testing: a medical and laboratory perspective

In part one of a two-part series David Norcliffe presents a study of clinical viscosity, outlining how it is measured and how it is used as part of the diagnosis of various conditions. Part two – to run in the next issue – looks at future applications of this technology.

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.

Saving time and breaking down barriers with digital pathology

Initially a digital sceptic, being introduced to digital pathology technology and methods has ignited a new passion for Dr Azzam Ismail, a Consultant Neuropathologist, Leeds Teaching Hospitals. Here, he tells Pathology in Practice how his working life has changed.

Risk management in POC testing: learning from industry standards

In the risk assessment of point-of-care services, the aim is to provide a robust service that provides the right result on the right patient every time. Here, Carole Gough looks not only to standards in the laboratory, but also to international risk management standards applicable across, for example, the pharmaceutical, medical device and aviation industries.

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.

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