“A Smorgasbord of Microbiology”
MICROBIOLOGY MATTERS !
by michael
2M ago
I was fortunate enough to have attended the ECCMID conference in Barcelona a couple of weeks ago, the so-called “Glastonbury” of microbiology conferences. (it is just the drugs that are different…). In general, the conference venue wasn’t great, but the industry exhibition was very impressive, a massive well-lit hall with a true smorgasbord of microbiology ..read more
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“A Question of Significance”
MICROBIOLOGY MATTERS !
by michael
3M ago
We may not always realise it, but reading and reporting bacterial cultures often involves several decisions, which are often performed sub-consciously. What do we work up on the agar plates? What do we report? How do we report it?  Do we perform and report susceptibilities? Should we add a comment to the report? All these ..read more
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“When the bugs take their time…”
MICROBIOLOGY MATTERS !
by michael
5M ago
You are probably familiar with the scenario… A blood culture takes a couple of days to become positive. A Gram stain shows Gram negative rods. The plates are subbed but after another couple of days there is still no growth on the plates. The clinicians are getting impatient and are phoning the lab looking for ..read more
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“Perfect is the enemy of good (microbiology)”
MICROBIOLOGY MATTERS !
by michael
6M ago
This quote attributed to Voltaire (“Le mieux est l’ennemi du bien”), rings true to me. I have never been a perfectionist, and the idealistic pursuit of perfectionism can hinder real-life achievement and progress.  The quote came back into my conciousness during the early days of the COVID pandemic when I listened to a great speech ..read more
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“Antimicrobial Stewardship and the Problem of Unsolicited Advice”
MICROBIOLOGY MATTERS !
by michael
7M ago
A good proportion of my job as a clinical microbiologist is being an antimicrobial steward. i.e. giving antibiotic advice based on microbiology results. And a good chunk of this advice is “unsolicited”, in that nobody has specifically asked for it. One could argue that the advice is “semi-solicited” in that it is given under the ..read more
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“The return of the fried egg”
MICROBIOLOGY MATTERS !
by michael
7M ago
After a prolonged COVID-induced hibernation, Mycoplasma pneumoniae is back in NZ. Over the past couple of months there have been a sprinkling of cases throughout NZ picked up on respiratory panel testing by PCR in diagnostic laboratories, including my own. I can hardly remember the last time I saw a Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection. It was ..read more
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“Ten things I have learnt from conferences”
MICROBIOLOGY MATTERS !
by michael
8M ago
I have recently returned from back-to-back overseas conferences in Scotland and Ireland, along with the more important business of visiting family in between. Here are a few of my thoughts and observations from attending (microbiology) conferences: I am immensely privileged. To be able to travel overseas and attend educational conferences is a real privilege. It ..read more
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“Playing the Odds”
MICROBIOLOGY MATTERS !
by michael
9M ago
I spent a lot of my medical student days working part-time in the bookmakers, where managing odds and probability underpin the industry. Mathematics was my favourite subject at school, and within that field, probability was my favourite sub-topic. Now that I am a clinical microbiologist, I can see the similarities. Clinical microbiologists get involved in ..read more
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“Vanquishing VRE”
MICROBIOLOGY MATTERS !
by michael
9M ago
I am the master of false assumptions… When a hospital close by was affected by a VanB VRE outbreak, I suspected that my local hospital would be relatively immune, due to its smaller size, different patient cohort and relatively strict antimicrobial stewardship policies. Of course, my assumptions were wrong! It didn’t take long for the ..read more
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“Metagenomic disruption of the diagnostic microbiology lab”
MICROBIOLOGY MATTERS !
by michael
9M ago
I am 50 now, so I only have another 25-30 years of my working career left. So much to do in so little time! I often wonder what the microbiology lab will look like on my last day at work. (I have posted on this before). Possibly a more interesting question is how I will ..read more
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