Clinical Biochemistry offers an extensive array of biochemical and immunological tests which affords the clinician a wealth of diagnostic information. However, this may lead to confusion when considering the appropriate-ness of a particular test to a given situation or even what type of specimen is required in each circumstance. To look for specific sample requirements and reference ranges for given investigations use the A-Z pad to the right.
Clinical Biochemistry performs some routine investigations on behalf of other Pathology disciplines, notably serological screening assays for Virology, antibiotic TDM (Microbiology) and hematological markers of in-vivo haemolysis/ anaemia and malignancy. If the test you are looking for is not listed please contact the laboratory directly for further information.
Clinical microbiology is concerned with the investigation, diagnosis and, in an advisory capacity, management of infection caused by microorganisms--viruses, bacteria, parasites and fungi. There are also clinical scientists in this area working in immunology and public health.
Pathogens particularly bacteria and yeasts, coexist with
harmless microorganisms on or in the host. These
pathogens must be properly identified as the actual cause
of infectious diseases. This is the purpose of clinical microbiology.
The clinical microbiologist identifies agents and organisms
(hereafter referred to as microorganisms) based on morphological,
biochemical, immunologic, and molecular procedures. Time
is a significant factor in the identification process, especially in
life-threatening situations. Computers and advances in technology
for rapid identification, some commercially available, have
greatly aided the clinical microbiologist. Molecular methods allow
identification of microorganisms based on highly specific
genomic and biochemical properties. Once isolated and identified,
the microorganism can then be subjected to antimicrobial
sensitivity tests. In the final analysis the patient’s well-being and
health can benefit significantly from information provided by the
clinical microbiology laboratory in this lectures.
The major focus of the clinical microbiologist is to isolate and
identify microorganisms from clinical specimens rapidly. The purpose
of the clinical microbiology laboratory is to provide the
physician with information concerning the presence or absence of
microorganisms that may be involved in the infectious disease
process . These individuals and facilities also determine
the susceptibility of microorganisms to antimicrobial agents.
Clinical microbiology makes use of information obtained from research
on such diverse topics as microbial biochemistry and physiology,
immunology, molecular biology, genomics, and the host parasite
relationships involved in the infectious disease process.
In clinical microbiology a clinical specimen (hereafter, specimen)
represents a portion or quantity of human material that is
tested, examined, or studied to determine the presence or absence
of particular microorganisms. Safety for the patients, hospital,
and laboratory staff is very important. The guidelines presented
(Universal Precautions for Health-Care Professionals)
were established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC) to address areas of specimen handling. Other important
concerns regarding specimens need emphasis:
a) The specimen selected should adequately represent the
diseased area and also may include additional sites (e.g.,
liver and blood specimens) in order to isolate and identify
potential agents of the particular disease process.
b) A quantity of specimen adequate in amount to allow a
variety of diagnostic testing should be obtained.
c) Attention must be given to specimen collection in order to
avoid contamination from the many varieties of
microorganisms indigenous to the skin and mucous
d) The specimen should be forwarded promptly to the clinical
e) If possible, the specimen should be obtained before
antimicrobial agents have been administered to the patient.
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Cited by Kamal Singh Khadka
Msc Microbiology, TU.
Assistant Professor in Pokhara University, PNC, Regional college of science & technology(RE-COST), Novel Academy, LA, Pokhara