Pre-emptively treating invasive aspergillosis: rapid diagnosis by PCR

The importance of treating Aspergillus before it has taken hold, and the challenges currently facing clinical diagnostics laboratories, cannot be over-emphasised. Here, Lewis White and Rosemary Barnes explain their approach to molecular testing and diagnosis.

Bacteriology: a selection of open-access articles in the current literature

A PubMed search using the terms ‘Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae’ and ‘Disk-diffusion testing’ found many recently published open-access articles, a small selection of which are included below.

Could standardisation of clinical LC-MS/MS transform delivery of patient care?

What impact could standardised clinical LC-MS/MS assays have on patient care? Here, Professor Brian Keevil talks with Thermo Fisher Scientific market development specialist Sarah Robinson.

Research in brief

Research in the medical laboratory provides opportunities both for the seasoned professional and also those in the early stages of their career. The work reported below focuses first on guidance provided to aid the establishment of defined reference intervals, and second reflects on the implementation and use of large, whole-mount sections and their value in the histopathological assessment of colorectal cancer.

Tissue block archiving and storage: security and traceability in Wales

The University Hospital of Wales, like other hospitals around the UK, experienced tissue block storage logistical problems and has now turned to a cost-effective system that offers assurance of quality and security.

External quality assessment in haematology: an update

Barbara Wild and colleagues from UK NEQAS Haematology examine the responses to a recent abnormal haemoglobin distribution, and also discuss findings from the Liquid Newborn Specimens Scheme.

Clinical and Laboratory Haemostasis 2017: a blood coagulation EQA update

Ian Jennings and Rob Jones report on proceedings of the first day of the UK NEQAS for Blood Coagulation annual scientific and participants’ meeting, which was held in Sheffield last year.

Where are we now in the fight to combat increasing antimicrobial resistance?

Following publication of Lord Jim O’Neill’s review on antimicrobial resistance, new guidance has been issued by NICE on antibiotic prescribing, and some progress has been achieved; however, there are many resistant infections that continue to pose a significant threat to public health.

Facilitating the prepared mind: highlights from the Congress science programme

The Biomedical Science Congress scientific programme once again provided a compelling reason to attend the twelfth biennial event, held last autumn at the ICC in Birmingham. Here, Pathology in Practice takes a brief look at some content highlights.

Automated HbA1c analysis: a UK first arrives in Leeds

Introduction of an ambitious managed service contract has allowed the Blood Sciences Service in Leeds to realise its ambition of delivering an automated HbA1c diagnostic service. Richard Liversidge and Stephanie Shaw explain.

Expression of uncertainty in measurement: combining standard uncertainties

The fifth in a series of articles on individual aspects of the assessment of uncertainty of measurement sees Stephen MacDonald consider some of the more difficult questions that may be faced in relation to measurement uncertainty

Microbiology collection device and ISO 15189: an appropriate selection

Loss of bacterial viability during any significant holding period following sampling compromises subsequent recovery by culture. Here, Jamie Laughlin assesses the performance of a range of swab collection devices.

Avoiding a nightmare: helping to meet the challenges of winter care

Automated molecular diagnostics is proving to be a valuable tool in the management of influenza and norovirus outbreaks. Here, the benefits of this approach are highlighted by the experiences of three district general hospitals.

Science of industry: review of a very specific Congress experience

The International Convention Centre in Birmingham recently hosted one of the largest gatherings of biomedical and life science companies held anywhere in the world. The following review provides a snapshot of a biennial event that combines the best that biomedical science and the in vitro diagnostics industry can offer.

Integrating diagnostics: not a takeover but fundamental to better care

The era of diagnoses based on incomplete datasets is at an end, Here, Dr Brendan Devlin explains why the ‘ologies’ must be connected and what integrated diagnostics is actually about.

Antimicrobial resistance: what are our future needs?

The fight against antimicrobial resistance is so important that it is the subject of the 21st-century equivalent of the Longitude Prize. Here, Sarah Wallis puts current commercial issues and developments into context.

Pathology and the NHS Five Year Forward View

Delegates from across the NHS pathology spectrum attended the annual national information technology conference, staged earlier in the year by CliniSys at The Belfry in the West Midlands. Donald Saum reports.

Macro digital imaging for advanced perinatal post-mortem investigations

Sarah Davis and colleagues at Birmingham Women’s Hospital are using the MacroVIEW DM system from Menarini Diagnostics. Here, they report on how the system has revolutionised routine mortuary practice.

Body fluid analysis: automated system versus manual method

Anna Finuliar and Alison Hadfield examine the laboratory methods in use to quantify and differentiate cells in body fluids, and assess the value of automation in routine practice.

Clinical performance of the EliA anti-thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor assay

The TSH receptor is a primary antigen in Graves' disease hyperthyroidism, and the presence of TSH-R-specific antibodies are indicative of the condition. Recently, automated assays measuring these antibodies have proved useful in diagnosis, as this article explains.