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Bioengineered. 2014 May-Jun;5(3):155-60. doi: 10.4161/bioe.28599. Epub 2014 Mar 21.

A commentary on the role of molecular technology and automation in clinical diagnostics.

Author information

1
Department of Clinical Microbiology; University Hospital Limerick; Limerick, Ireland; Centre for Interventions in Infection, Inflammation, and Immunity (4i) and Graduate Entry Medical School; University of Limerick; Limerick, Ireland.
2
Department of Clinical Microbiology; University Hospital Limerick; Limerick, Ireland.
3
Cork Institute of Technology; Cork, Ireland.
4
Centre for Interventions in Infection, Inflammation, and Immunity (4i) and Graduate Entry Medical School; University of Limerick; Limerick, Ireland.

Abstract

Historically, the identification of bacterial or yeast isolates has been based on phenotypic characteristics such as growth on defined media, colony morphology, Gram stain, and various biochemical reactions, with significant delay in diagnosis. Clinical microbiology as a medical specialty has embraced advances in molecular technology for rapid species identification with broad-range 16S rDNA polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and matrix-assisted laser desorption and/or ionization time of flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry demonstrated as accurate, rapid, and cost-effective methods for the identification of most, but not all, bacteria and yeasts. Protracted conventional incubation times previously necessary to identify certain species have been mitigated, affording patients quicker diagnosis with associated reduction in exposure to empiric broad-spectrum antimicrobial therapy and shortened hospital stay. This short commentary details such molecular advances and their implications in the clinical microbiology setting.

KEYWORDS:

MALDI; PCR; clinical microbiology; impact; patient care

PMID:
24658184
PMCID:
PMC4101006
DOI:
10.4161/bioe.28599
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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