Art and Science of Laboratory Medicine

Art and Science of Laboratory Medicine

Monday, August 29, 2016

Automated Gram Stainer

These days, your microbiology lab faces increased staffing, time and workflow pressures. Yet you can’t let that influence your quality standards: accuracy, time-to-results and full traceability for accreditation. Automated and designed for intuitive workflow, PREVI® Color Gram gives you confidence in the results you provide. It makes Gram staining easy and safe while ensuring accurate, standardized results in minutes.
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PREVI® Color Gram - Automated Gram Stainer 

Source: bioMérieux Clinical Diagnostics

CDC: Sexual Transmission of Zika Possible Without Symptoms

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today released the first solid evidence that a man infected with Zika, but who never develops symptoms, can sexually transmit the virus to a female partner.

An article published online in the agency's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) described the case of a woman who contracted Zika after having condomless vaginal intercourse and fellatio with a male partner after he came back from the Dominican Republic, where mosquitos are spreading the virus. The man said he had been exposed to mosquitos during his travels, but had not experienced fever, rash, conjunctivitis, or other hallmarks of Zika before or after returning to the United States. He said he had felt fatigued, but chalked that up to travel.

The man subsequently tested positive for antibodies against both Zika virus and dengue virus. The woman, who developed fever, rash, and other Zika symptoms, tested positive for Zika virus RNA in her urine.

Read more:
CDC: Sexual Transmission of Zika Possible Without Symptoms

Soure: Medscape
Image: Davina diaries

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Bacterial Culture Quiz

Can you identify these five bacteria growing on chromogenic agar plate?
Quiz by Eriq Khaled

Source: Facbook by Eriq Khaled Microbes

Correct answer:

E : Klebsiella pneumoniae
R : Serratia marcescens
I : Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Q: Staphylococcus lugdunensis

Heart: E coli 

Deadly fungal infections acquire drug resistance

Scientists have warned that potentially deadly fungal infections are acquiring resistance to many of the medicines currently used to combat them. More than a million people die of fungal infections every year,including about 7,000 in the UK, and deaths are likely to increase as resistance continues to rise.

Researchers say the widespread use of fungicides on crops is one of the main causes of the rise in fungal resistance, which mirrors the rise of resistance to antibiotics used to treat bacterial infections in humans.

Read more:
Millions at risk as deadly fungal infections acquire drug resistance 

Source: The Guardian
Image: Rob Forman

Good Morning Scientists!

That´s how I feel every morning - with and without coffee

Source Reddit via orangeekraken

Contamination of Laboratory Equipment with Bloodborne Pathogens

Clinical laboratory workers encounter a variety of occupational hazards, including exposure to infectious agents. The routes of pathogen exposure associated with laboratory work include ingestion, inhalation, direct inoculation, and contamination of skin and mucous membranes. The accidental inoculation of infectious materials (i.e., via contaminated needles, broken glass, or other sharps) is the leading cause of laboratory-associated infections.

The fear associated with the recent Ebola virus epidemic triggered a renewed interest in occupationally acquired infections in healthcare workers in the US, including the safety of laboratory workers in handling samples from persons under investigation for Ebola virus disease. Individuals at risk for Ebola virus disease are also at risk for several other infectious diseases with overlapping symptom profiles (such as malaria, influenza, and bacteremia) thus obligating a number of diagnostic laboratory tests. In addition, the clinical management of patients with Ebola virus disease requires ongoing laboratory testing to optimize care (such as complete blood count, coagulation testing, electrolyte analysis, etc.). Laboratory testing for suspect or confirmed Ebola virus disease patients is unfamiliar to most healthcare workers in the US, and thus determining the safest approach to this testing generated anxiety and controversy.

Ebola virus and other emerging pathogens will continue to be encountered in the clinical laboratory. It is the joint responsibility of laboratorians and laboratory leadership to create a culture of safety and adherence to safety protocols, which are essential to reduce the risk of laboratory-acquired infections.

Read more:
Can't Touch This! Contamination of Laboratory Equipment with Bloodborne Pathogens

Source: Clinical Chemistry

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Laboratory Identification of Malaria Parasites


Microscopy (morphologic analysis) continues to be the "gold standard" for malaria diagnosis. Parasites may be visualized on both thick and thin blood smears stained with Giemsa, Wright, or Wright-Giemsa stains. Giemsa is the preferred stain, as it allows for detection of certain morphologic features (e.g. Schüffner’s dots, Maurer’s clefts, etc.) that may not be seen with the other two. Ideally, the thick smears are used to detect the presence of parasites while the thin smears are used for species-level identification. Quantification may be done on both thick and thin smears.

Molecular diagnosis

Morphologic characteristics of malaria parasites can determine a parasite species, however, microscopists may occasionally fail to differentiate between species in cases where morphologic characteristics overlap (especially Plasmodium vivax and P. ovale), as well as in cases where parasite morphology has been altered by drug treatment or improper storage of the sample. In such cases, the Plasmodium species can be determined by using confirmatory molecular diagnostic tests. In addition, molecular tests such as PCR can detect parasites in specimens where the parasitemia may be below the detectable level of blood film examination.

Antibody detection

Malaria antibody detection for clinical diagnosis is performed using the indirect fluorescent antibody (IFA) test. The IFA procedure can be used as a diagnostic tool to determine if a patient has been infected with Plasmodium. Because of the time required for development of antibody and also the persistence of antibodies, serologic testing is not practical for routine diagnosis of acute malaria. However, antibody detection may be useful for:
screening blood donors involved in cases of transfusion-induced malaria when the donor's parasitemia may be below the detectable level of blood film examination
testing a patient who has been recently treated for malaria but in whom the diagnosis is questioned

Read more:
CDC - DPDx - Malaria - Diagnostic Findings

Source: CDC

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