Top Clinical Microbiology: Bugs & Drugs Posts from 2018

Dec. 22, 2018

A lot of clinical microbiology was in the news throughout 2018: drug-resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae was featured in major news headlines, and additional stories covered biothreat agents and the looming antibiotic resistance crisis. Some stories were more focused, such as the use of multiplex pathogen panels or the rising incidence of Fusobacterium-caused strep throat. We review some of our favorite Bugs & Drugs stories of the year.
More than just Strep in Strep Throat
“Strep throat” is called so because it’s caused by Streptococcus, right? Most of the time, it is. But a growing number of cases are caused by a difficult-to-diagnose bacterium, Fusobacterium necrophorum. Audrey Schuetz covers recent research on Fusobacterium culture, diagnosis, and treatment.
Opening the Black Box of MALDI TOF MS
Be honest: can you say what MALDI TOF MS stands for, let alone how it works? This method is being increasingly used for diagnosis of infectious agents and even detection of gene products associated with antimicrobial resistance. K.P. Smith explains how molecules are weighed and spectra are analyzed during a sample run.
Multiplex Gastrointestinal Pathogen Panels: the Promise and the Peril
Is testing for every possible disease-causing microorganism at once better than a single, specific test? Despite their obvious appeal, more is not always better; Thea Brennan-Krohn explains why.
Is It Really about the MIC?
Romney Humphries writes about why the story of assessing beta-lactamase combination agents to treat ESBL-producing isolates is far from over.  
It Happened One Night in the Clinical Microbiology Lab!
Does clinical diagnosis depend on the hour of the day a patient is admitted? It shouldn’t, but Matthew Pettengill highlights the challenges of 24/7 staffing with a story of a life-threatening diagnosis that arrived at 4:30 am.
When the Clap Hits Back: Antimicrobial Resistance in Neisseria gonorrhoeae Part 1
Drug-resistant gonorrhea has made headlines this year, but where did it come from? In the first of a 3-part series, Peera Hemarajata traces the history of gonorrhea, from the emergence of penicillin resistance to a case of a multidrug-resistant superbug! Don’t miss the rest of the series, linked inside.
Microbiologists versus Biothreat Agents
When a patient is infected with a biothreat agent, a surprising number of lab-acquired infections occur. Jacky Chow explains the causes of these infections, and what a clinical microbiology laboratory staff can do to prepare for and prevent these rare events.
Thanks to our wonderful Clinical Microbiology: Bugs & Drugs blog team! We’ll be back in 2019 with more clinical microbiology stories. Happy holidays and happy new year!

Author: ASM Communications

ASM Communications
ASM Communications staff.