IDSA/ASM Release Updated Lab Guide
IDSA and the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) have published an updated “Guide to Utilization of the Microbiology Laboratory for Diagnosis of Infectious Diseases” in Clinical Infectious Diseases. The guide, updated from its original publication in 2013, helps health care providers keep pace with advances in rapid molecular testing and the latest technology allowing faster, accurate diagnosis so that patients may receive appropriate treatment sooner.
Extensive tables provide detailed guidance in the use and limitations of the tests, organized by type of infection (such as urinary tract or upper respiratory) to help health care providers determine not only which test might be best, but also which type of specimen is most appropriate. The guide also includes expanded information on pediatric needs and testing for tick-borne diseases such as Lyme disease, as well as information on the advancements in diagnostics, including nucleic acid amplification tests that can identify organisms faster and far less expensively than in the past.
The guide underscores the need for microbiologists to receive special training and for the laboratory to be led by a board-certified microbiology director or have access to board certification through a consultant to ensure high-quality care. The guide also notes that excellent patient care is only possible through a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach.
“ID physicians are microbiologists’ closest colleagues in supporting the need for a high-quality diagnostic process, start to finish,” said lead author, J. Michael Miller, PhD. “They understand the microbiology component and can serve as liaisons between the lab and other health care providers as can board certified microbiologists.”
The IDSA/ASM guide panel includes experts in the fields of infectious diseases, microbiology, pathology and pediatrics. In addition to lead authors J. Michael Miller, PhD, and Melvin P. Weinstein, MD, FIDSA, the panel includes: Mathew J. Binnicker, PhD; Sheldon Campbell, MD, PhD; Karen C. Carroll, MD, FIDSA; Kimberle C. Chapin, MD; Peter H. Gilligan, PhD; Mark D. Gonzalez, PhD; Robert C. Jerris, PhD; Sue C. Kehl, PhD; Robin Patel, MD, FIDSA; Bobbi S. Pritt, MD; Sandra S. Richter, MD, FIDSA; Barbara Robinson-Dunn, PhD, FIDSA; Joseph D. Schwartzman, MD, FIDSA; James W. Snyder, PhD; Sam Telford, III, SD; Elitza S. Theel, PhD; Richard B. Thomson Jr. PhD; and Joseph D. Yao, MD, FIDSA.