Microbiological diagnosis of infectious diseases

Microbiological diagnosis of infectious diseases

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In cases of possible infectious diseases, laboratory studies are often performed through microbiological diagnosis to determine the existence of an aetiological agent causing infection. For this examination, bacteria or culture media are used, among other methods, to test for the presence of bacteria or fungi.

Read on for the details of this study.

Microbiological diagnosis of infectious diseases aims to treat patients in a personalised manner at all times. If growth of pathogenic flora is detected in the culture of the sample, the identification of the aetiological agent and its corresponding antibiotic sensitivity test (antibiogram) will allow the health professional in charge to initiate, modify, continue or suspend treatment. Microbiological diagnosis of infectious diseases also has the potential to be automated and is cost-effective.

Microbiological diagnosis: what is it all about?

The basis of microbiological diagnosis of infectious diseases is the isolation and identification of microorganisms.

Different types of studies can be carried out:

DIRECT DIAGNOSIS

When the objective is the direct detection of the micro-organisms present that may cause an infection, by techniques such as microscopy, culture, identification techniques or detection of specific genes by amplification of these by molecular biology assays.

INDIRECT DIAGNOSIS

When the objective is to detect the presence of specific antibodies against certain micro-organisms. The result will show whether or not the person has had recent contact with the micro-organism.

The importance of personalised medicine

In the field of medicine today, especially in the biomedical field, the term “personalised medicine” is increasingly heard because of its great relevance in providing personalised treatment in a timely manner. It is also known as precision medicine, stratified medicine or p4 (meaning predictive, preventive, personalised and practical). As mentioned above, it is ultimately a matter of using the right treatment for the right person at the right time.
For many infections, diagnosing and making decisions on the specific treatment needed can play a crucial role in patients’ recovery by allowing the right antibiotic treatment to be administered at the right time.

The concept of personalised medicine, based on microbiological diagnosis, uses direct and indirect diagnostic methods, which aim to be rapid, accurate and simple to perform.
oday we are witnessing a major shift in terms of automation in clinical microbiology laboratories. Technological advances such as molecular diagnostics or digital microbiology, among others, have made it possible to standardise processes and results to offer a high level of performance and efficiency in laboratories.
Looking into the future, we can see that new technologies will be increasingly implemented that will further optimise rapid diagnostic techniques which, in turn, will also address several clinical needs not covered so far.

Some frequently asked questions

There are many questions about the process of microbiological diagnosis of infectious diseases and here we will answer some of the most common ones to help you better understand what this process is all about.

What are the culture media on which the presence of bacteria is evident?

Culture media are mainly classified into broths and agars. The agars are further classified as follows:

Enriched general media

It contains nutrients that allow the growth of a wide variety of micro-organisms.

Selective media

They use nutrients or other specific elements that enable and/or enhance the growth of a certain type of micro-organism.

Differential media

Through which it is possible to identify and/or differentiate one species from another due to characteristics of their metabolism, growth, etc.

What are the incubation conditions?

Microbiological cultures must be incubated under specific conditions, generally at +/- 37°C for 24-72 hours and under aerobic conditions. There are microorganisms that require specific conditions for their growth and isolation, for example: microaerophilic environment, anaerobic environment, +/- 42ºC…

Where can such diagnostics be carried out?

At Ambar Lab we have a diagnostic laboratory where we carry out variouspersonalised analyses interpreted by specialised technicians. In order to find the answers to many questions in science, we are constantly working to ensure that our catalogue of tests provides answers to these questions. Similarly, we believe that the customer relationship is a key factor in patient wellbeing and we provide answers to all their needs, whether they are a hospital, a laboratory, a drug developer or a medical researcher. The services we offer range from the performance of laboratory diagnostic tests to the development of new projects and advice on laboratory management issues.

Contact us for more information on microbiological diagnosis of infectious diseases.

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