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Many clinical laboratory tests are performed based on a need for results related to molecular bacteriology and virology. The purpose of such tests is often to determine if a sample contains evidence of an infection that’s linked to a bacteria or a virus.
- Testing of this nature can be fairly basic or involve more complex analysis and evaluation.
- Such tests may also indicate whether or not medications to treat such infections are effective or what medications should be used.
Testing for Bacteria
Bacteria evaluation often involves agglutination and antimicrobial susceptibility tests and the preparation of culture media and trays for the identification of specific germs. Most of the work done in the laboratory involves the identification and detection of bacterial and fungal pathogens. In some cases, samples are sent to a clinical lab to identify bacteria that’s antibiotic-resistant.
Bacterial Testing Methods
Conventional bacterial testing methods don’t always lead to a positive determination of the type of bacteria present in a sample. When testing involves cultures, traditional methods can take several weeks to evaluate before a conclusive result is available. Ribosomal RNA gene sequencing is one of several newer techniques sometimes used to speed up the process of identifying bacteria strains.
Diagnostic testing for viruses can be divided into three types of testing and evaluation. Direct detection may be done on samples to identify the presence of a virus. Indirect examination involves an effort to grow the virus (virus isolation). The detection of the presence of antibodies, referred to as serology, comprises the majority of work done in the lab.
Rapid Detection of Viruses
Rapid diagnostic methods are often used when direct detection testing is done, with results typically available within 24 hours or less. Due to advances in technology, results are sometimes able to be delivered just as rapidly for other forms of virus testing. Some rapid culture techniques can produce faster results by allowing viral antigens to be detected within 2-4 days following inoculation.
Newer Detection Techniques
As with bacteriology, newer techniques have led to the increased reliability of virus testing. Use of these methods can also increase success with reproducibility. The specific testing methods used will depend on factors such as the antigen used and the quality of the sample.
Clear, Meaningful Results
Regardless of whether testing is requested on bacterial or viral samples, results need to be clearly presented to clients. By presenting results that are concise and presented in a way that’s easily digestible, doctors and other medical professionals to interpret results and take appropriate actions for their patients.
Even when an infection has been identified as being either bacterial and viral, the specific bacteria or virus involved isn’t always evident. Our laboratory provides conclusive answers for medical professionals when possible. With our assistance, you’ll be able to have test results that have been prepared with careful attention to detail.