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the role of the microbiology department

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The role of the Microbiology Department Introduction The Microbiology Department monitor infectious diseases in hospitals and the community. It provides a diagnostic service to privacy healthcare workers and monitors Microbial public health disease in the community. The infectious disease may be bacterial, viral, fungal and parasitic. It assists in the control of infections by undertaking antibiotic assays, cross - infection survivals and by monitoring antibiotic resistance. Infectious Diseases The diseases can be caught or passed on from one individual to another. These diseases are caused by some other living organisms. They can be separated in a number of ways: * Infected water, e.g. Cholera bacteria. * Direct contact, e.g. Influenza virus. * Animal vectors, e.g. Athletes foot. * Droplets in air, e.g. Malaria protoctist via mosquito. * Contaminated food, e.g. Salmonella bacteria and food poisoning. * Via body fluids, e.g. Hepatitis viruses and HIV viruses. Viral Diseases * Influenza * Aids * Measles * Common Cold * Hepatitis B Bacterial Diseases * Cholera * Whooping Cough * Tetanus * Tuberculosis The role of the Microbiology department The main work of a Microbiology department is to examine specimens from patients for the presence of potentially pathogenic micro organisms, to detect antibodies to such organisms, to determine the sensitivities of infecting organisms to antimicrobial drugs, and to assess the infective potential of environmental materials. The purpose is quickly and economically to obtain information that will help clinicians to treat their patients or public health officers to prevent the spread of infection in the community. At most laboratory staffs have been trained in microbiology as a science, and many of them also in research. Infections can progress very rapidly, so that speed of reporting is often more important than absolute certainty of the finding. In addition to their main task of providing helpful reports on submitted specimens, the staffs of the laboratory have other duties. They should take steps to inform all potential users of the service about the range of investigations available, the supply of specimen containers, the procedures for collecting specimens and the arrangements for transmitting them to the laboratory. ...read more.


Exceptions are noisy machines such as centrifuges, rotary incubators and shakers, which are best housed in a separate room. Of all the equipment used in clinical microbiology, most careful consideration is required in the choice of autoclaves. Different conditions of autoclaving are required for different kinds of materials, e.g. discarded cultures, clean glassware and large volumes of culture media, and it is necessary to have a modern multi-purpose machine that can readily and reliably be switched to different cycles of operation or to have different autoclaves for each different function. Expensive, delicate and elaborate equipment is now becoming available to perform rapidly and automatically tests that are slow and sometime inexact by conventional methods. Any decision to install such equipment should be influenced by considerations of cost effectiveness and clinical value and must take account of the will and ability of staff to maintain the equipment in good working order. Safety Precautions Every clinical microbiology laboratory must have a defined system for instructing and supervising staff in safety precautions. Whilst the head of the laboratory bears the ultimate responsibility for the safety arrangements, another senior member of staff may be appointed to act as safety officer to coordinate the arrangements and supervise their implementation. All staff should be offered appropriate immunizations, e.g. that against tuberculosis, and some staff should be trained in first aid and have ready access to basic first aid equipment. Inoculation loop An inoculation loop (sometimes called a smear loop, inoculation wand or microstreaker) is a simple tool used mainly by microbiologists to retrieve an inoculum from a culture of microorganisms. Its tip is a wire made of platinum or nichrome, the latter being inferior but less expensive. The wire forms a small loop with a diameter of about 5 mm. This loop is handy for taking an inoculum from a liquid by using the phenomenon of surface tension. The inoculation loop is always sterilized in a flame until it becomes red hot before and after each use. ...read more.


The salt portion is selective for halophiles; organisms that cannot withstand a high salt content will be unable to grow. Mueller-Hinton agar (MHA) MHA contains beef infusion, peptone, and starch used primarily for antibiotic susceptibility testing. It can be in a form of blood agar. Nutrient agar Nutrient agar is usually used for growth of non-fastidious organisms and observation of pigment production. It is safe to use in school science laboratories because it does not selectively grow pathogenic bacteria. �n�z agar �n�z agar allows more rapid bacteriological diagnosis as Salmonella and Shigella colonies can be clearly and reliably differentiated from other Enterobacteriaceae. The yields of Salmonella from stool samples obtained, when using this medium, are higher than those obtained with LEIFSON Agar or Salmonella-Shigella agar (SSA). Phenylethyl alcohol agar (PEA) PEA selects for Staphylococcus species while inhibiting Gram-negative bacilli (e.g. Escherichia coli, Shigella, Proteus, etc.). R2A Agar (R2A) A non-specific agar that imitates the medium of water. Used for water analysis. Tryptic (Trypticase) Soy Agar (TSA) TSA is a general purpose media produced via enzymatic digestion of soybean meal and casein; TSA is frequently the base media of other agar plate type, i.e. blood agar plates (BAP) are made by enriching TSA plates with blood. TSA plates support growth of many semi-fastidious bacteria, including some species of Brucella, Corynebacterium, Listeria, Neisseria, and Vibrio. Xylose-Lysine-Deoxycholate agar (XLD) XLD is used for the culture of stool samples, and contains two indicators. It is formulated to inhibit Gram-positive bacteria, while the growth of Gram-negative bacilli is encouraged. The colonies of lactose fermenters appear yellow. It is also used to culture possible Salmonella that may be present in a food sample. Salmonella colonies will show a black halo on XLD. Fungal media Sabouraud agar Sabouraud agar is used to culture fungi and has a low pH that inhibits the growth of most bacteria; also contains the antibiotic gentamicin to specifically inhibit the growth of Gram-negative bacteria. Hay Infusion agar Specific for the culturing of slime moulds (though not technically fungi). Potato dextrose agar PDA is used to culture of certain types of fungi. ...read more.

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