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Laboratory investigations and the treatment of infection 

Laboratory investigations and the treatment of infection
Chapter:
Laboratory investigations and the treatment of infection
Author(s):

Peter Davey

, Mark Wilcox

, William Irving

, and Guy Thwaites

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199689774.003.0012
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date: 23 April 2021

This chapter covers the basic principles of using a microbiology laboratory to guide the investigation and treatment of infections. The importance of the requestor providing sufficient clinical details is emphasized, as this can affect not only which tests are performed but also how results are reported. Key issues are discussed about the way in which specimens are collected, and transport can markedly affect the end result of investigations. The main techniques for growing or detecting the presence of microorganisms are reviewed, including the rapid expansion in use of PCR-based tests. Finally, the way in which antimicrobial susceptibility is determined and then reported is discussed.

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