Cumitechs & Practical Guidance for Clinical Microbiology

Oct. 13, 2021

We systematically update Cumitechs, and these revised documents are now named Practical Guidance for Clinical Microbiology (PGCM) and are published in Clinical Microbiology Reviews. These PGCM documents provide general guidance for clinical microbiologists, emphasizing current diagnostic methods and their appropriate implementation. Furthermore, the documents link microbiologic practice to current clinical and scientific issues (such as COVID-19). They become freely accessible 1 year after publication.

As of Oct. 2021, the following PGCMs are available:

Diagnosis of Ocular Infections (2021) begins by describing the complex, delicate anatomy of the eye, which often leads to limitations in specimen quantity. This update highlights and provides examples of the close work required between laboratorians and ophthalmologists to ensure high-quality diagnostic care. It also describes common ocular infections in developed nations and usual as well as neglected ocular infections seen in developing nations. Subsequently, preanalytic, analytic, and postanalytic aspects of laboratory diagnosis and antimicrobial susceptibility testing are explored in depth. It replaces Cumitech 43, Cystic Fibrosis Microbiology (2006).

Practical Guidance for Clinical Microbiology Laboratories: A Comprehensive Update on the Problem of Blood Culture Contamination and a Discussion of Methods for Addressing the Problem (2019) presents a comprehensive discussion of matters related to the problem of blood culture contamination. Issues addressed include the scope and magnitude of the problem, the bacteria most often recognized as contaminants, the impact of blood culture contamination on clinical microbiology laboratory function, the economic and clinical ramifications of contamination, and, perhaps most importantly, a systematic discussion of solutions to the problem. The material covered in this PGCM replaces that related to blood culture contamination in Cumitech 1C, Blood Cultures IV (2005). The prior Cumitech 1C content unrelated to blood culture contamination is not covered in this PGCM document. Work will continue to ensure that ASM provides updates of that information.

Practical Guidance for Clinical Microbiology Laboratories: Viruses Causing Acute Respiratory Tract Infections (2019) covers best practices for diagnosis and characterization of viruses that cause acute respiratory infections (ARIs). The update highlights recent epidemiology, specimen collection guidance, current diagnostic methods and antiviral resistance. The update addresses appropriate laboratory utilization of diagnostic respiratory viral testing. It replaces Cumitech 21, Laboratory Diagnosis of Viral Respiratory Disease (1986), which focused mostly on antigen detection and viral culture as diagnostic methods. Unlike Cumitech 21, which covered additional viruses, this PGCM covers ARI-causing viruses only.

Practical Guidance for Clinical Microbiology Laboratories: Implementing a Quality Management System in the Medical Microbiology Laboratory (2018) outlines a practical approach to laboratory quality management systems (QMSs). This PGCM update describes fundamental quality elements and provides practical guidance on how to meet and sustain QMS requirements through the use of examples and forms to assist in real-world implementation. The document states how to operationalize each of the management and technical requirements described in the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 15189 standard, and crosswalks these with the 12 quality system essentials delineated by the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute. It replaces Cumitech 3B, Quality Systems in the Clinical Microbiology Laboratory, published in 2005, and provides updated ISO and regulatory recommendations.

Practical Guidance for Clinical Microbiology Laboratories: Laboratory Diagnosis of Parasites from the Gastrointestinal Tract (2018) provides practical information on the recovery and identification of parasites that cause gastrointestinal disease. This PGCM update covers molecular methods for diagnosis of parasites and updated information concerning pathogenic potential of various parasites. It replaces former Cumitech 30A Selection and Use of Laboratory Procedures for Diagnosis of Parasitic Infections of the Gastrointestinal Tract, published in 2000.

Practice Guidelines for Clinical Microbiology Laboratories: Mycobacteria (2018) reviews contemporary methods for the laboratory diagnosis of mycobacterial diseases. It replaces Cumitech 16A, Laboratory Diagnosis of the Mycobacterioses, published in 1994. This PGCM update provides information regarding molecular methods of diagnosis and biosafety, and discusses use of interferon gamma release assays for diagnosis of infection.

Practical Guidance for Clinical Microbiology Laboratories: Diagnosis of Bacterial Gastroenteritis (2015) provides guidance to clinical microbiology laboratories that perform bacterial stool cultures. Authors describe preanalytic and analytic processes concerning diagnosis of the common bacterial organisms associated with diarrheal disease, as well as less common and emerging pathew and emerging bacteria found in the stool and provides recommendations concerning organism idogens. Testing algorithms are provided. This document replaces Cumitech 12A, Laboratory Diagnosis of Bacterial Diarrhea, published in 1992. This PGCM update includes discussion of nentification using advanced techniques and susceptibility testing.

We are revising several other Cumitechs. New PGCM topics will be added as they become available. Bookmark this page for updated information concerning published documents or search for “Practical Guidance for Clinical Microbiology” in Clinical Microbiology Reviews.

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