Medical Microbiology Tests - The Basics

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Medical Microbiology Tests - The Basics Powered By Docstoc
					A medical laboratory is diagnostic. The information the lab finds and
reports to the doctor will help the doctor to diagnose and treat the
patient's problem.Any drainage from your body can be studied in a medical
laboratory. Specially trained, educated, and certified lab techs test the
drainage to see what kind of bacteria is causing the infection. Once the
doctor has this information, proper treatment can be started. Nasal,
throat, eye, ear, genital, urine, fecal, wounds, blood, extracted spinal
fluid - all these sources can be cultured and grown and studied in the
micro department. A fun place to work!GRAM STAIN. A little bit of the
infected sample is rolled in a thin layer onto a small glass slide and
sent to the lab. There, it is stained with a special stain called the
Gram stain. The lab tech looks at the slide under the microscope, looking
for shape and color of any bacteria found. This can sometimes be tricky
because elongated cocci can look like rods, and short fat rods can
resemble cocci. A pale blue can look almost pink and a dark pink can
resemble almost blue. Only an experienced, educated lab tech should read
and report Gram stains because of the many artifacts seen on a slide.
Once the shape and color of the bacteria has been determined, the
bacteria can be classified. Different classes of bacteria respond to
different antibiotics.CULTURE. The lab tech swabs the material onto
different types of agar and then places the agar plates into incubators.
The plates are checked daily until something starts to grow. This can
take 1-3 days, or more depending on the source of the infection. If
something does grow, the lab tech is able to identify it. This
information helps the doctor determine proper treatment for the
patient.SENSITIVITY. If an abnormal bacteria grows out in the CULTURE,
the lab can test the bacteria with little disks that have been saturated
with different antibiotics. They place the specimen into the incubator
once again and see which antibiotic disk will stop the growth of the
bacteria. This can take a couple days again. This will tell the doctor
exactly which antibiotic will kill the infection. Sensitivity tests are
not done on normal bacteria.The above tests are done on bacterial
infections. A fungus, such as yeast, can be grown in a medical micro lab
also. Viruses, however, require special testing and are not grown in a
medical micro lab.

				
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