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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2010  |  Volume : 53  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 217-221

Clinical microbiology: Should microbiology be a clinical or a laboratory speciality?


Department of Microbiology, West Suffolk Hospital NHS Trust, Bury St. Edmund, United Kingdom

Correspondence Address:
Sanjay Bhattacharya
Locum Consultant Microbiologist, West Suffolk Hospital NHS Trust, Hardwick Lane, Bury St Edmunds, IP33 2QZ
United Kingdom
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0377-4929.64323

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Clinical microbiology is a specific combination of knowledge, attitude and practice aimed at direct clinical involvement in infectious disease management using the core principles of medical microbiology and clinical medicine. In this article certain areas in microbiology, where a more proactive approach could make a significant difference in clinical outcome has been delineated. The article reiterates the role of a medical microbiologist in a hospital setting. The practices described are the norm in well-organized hospitals. These areas include management of positive blood cultures, management of patients in intensive care units (ICUs), hospital infection control and public health microbiology, development of hospital and community anti-infective policy, organization of clinical-microbiological meetings and provision of emergency out-of-hours service. The implementation of this clinical approach and increased engagement with direct patient care would require changes in existing training structure and working patterns of medical and technical staffs in microbiology.


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