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Reports highlight the evolving role of clinical microbiology laboratories
Date:9/8/2011

With the increasing availability of sophisticated technologies to rapidly diagnose and treat infectious diseases, the duties and the role of clinical laboratory microbiologists, who traditionally perform these tests, could see significant changes in the next few years. That is one of the conclusions of a series of reports published in a special supplement to the September 2011 Journal of Clinical Microbiology.

"This is a very exciting and dynamic period for clinical microbiology: not only are we seeing changes in the way we practice, but we also have a very sophisticated array of tools that are increasingly at our disposal. These tools, and the changes they impart, can substantially improve the quality and delivery of service being provided for our patients," writes Duane Newton of the University of Michigan Medical School in one report on enhancing the function of clinical microbiology laboratories.

The supplement is based on a symposium held in February 2011 to consider a number of issues facing clinical microbiologists today. Laboratory directors from across the United States as well as a representative of the Food and Drug Administration and individuals from eight companies currently active in the field of clinical microbiology came together to plot a new way forward for the profession over the next five years, encourage relationships between labs and industry and develop plans to address important unanswered questions in the field.

Participants identified 19 different specific subjects within five primary topic areas:

  • Antimicrobial susceptibility testing
  • The role of the clinical laboratory in the diagnosis of selected infectious processes
  • Conventional versus molecular methods for pathogen detection and the role of clinical microbiology in infection control
  • Clinical microbiology in the year 2015
  • The business of clinical microbiology

The supplement consists of reports from each
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Contact: Jim Sliwa
jsliwa@asmusa.org
202-942-9297
American Society for Microbiology
Source:Eurekalert

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