REVIEW PAPER
Advanced methods of bacteriological identification in a clinical microbiology laboratory
 
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Chair and Department of Medical Microbiology, Medical University, Lublin, Poland
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Magdalena Elwira Żukowska   

Chair and Department of Medical Microbiology, Medical University of Lublin, Chodźki 1, 20-093, Lublin, Poland
 
 
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ABSTRACT
Introduction and objective:
Conventional, culture-based methods of bacterial identification and drug-susceptibility testing are considered the gold standard in medical microbiology. In recent years, classical microbiological methods have been supplemented with modern analytical and molecular methods. The aim of the review was to discusses the methods which have been permanently adapted to bacteriological microbiological diagnostics.

Abbreviated description of the state of knowledge:
Currently, PCR, as well as other nucleic acid amplification tests and sequencing techniques, are part of the standard repertoire of microbiological diagnostics. With regard to the quality and speed of pathogen identification, the introduction of mass spectrometry techniques into routine microbiological diagnostics work-up has been revolutionary. Within a short time in many laboratories, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionisation – Time of Flight Mass Spectrometry (MALDI TOF MS) systems have almost completely replaced conventional biochemical pathogen identification.

Conclusions:
Microbiological diagnostics is an indispensable element of a targeted therapy. The techniques used in the laboratory depend primarily on the laboratory’s apparatus, the costs of the analysis, as well as the sensitivity and specificity of a method. However, regardless of the culture-based methods universality, advanced techniques have permanently established themselves in diagnostics. Confident information about the detected organism and treatment possibilities in a combination with the clinical context are conducive to successful therapy. Although modern methods still require validation and close collaboration between clinicians, microbiologists and bioinformaticians, these methods, once deemed to be the future, have already arrived.

 
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