Author(s): Wilson ML, Wilson ML
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Abstract In this issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, we present the first article in a series entitled "Diagnostic Microbiology Updates." Although clinical microbiology is included in the curricula of virtually all infectious disease fellowships, the degree of emphasis on this subject varies considerably. Infectious disease physicians--even those who have direct responsibilities or consulting responsibilities for the microbiology laboratories of the institutions in which they practice--may be hard pressed to keep up with the rapidly changing content of the primary literature in clinical microbiology. The purpose of this series, therefore, is at least in part to fill this void and to provide concise updates for clinicians. The first article, written by Dr. Michael L. Wilson, reviews current concepts in specimen collection and transport. A key issue for all clinicians (which is not always sufficiently emphasized) is the quality of the specimen submitted to the laboratory. It is an axiom that if specimens of poor quality are submitted, the results generated by the laboratory will have little or no clinical utility. Dr. Wilson's article describes some of the methods available to assure that only specimens of good quality, i.e., those most likely to be useful clinically, are processed in the microbiology laboratory. Future articles will address specific types of specimens, groups of pathogens, and diagnostic techniques, including molecular methods. We hope this series will be informative and valuable to the readers of Clinical Infectious Diseases, and we look forward to your comments.
This article was published in Clin Infect Dis
and referenced in Medical Safety & Global Health