The Role of Microbiology Laboratory in Infection Prevention
Identification of the etiologic agents and assessment of antimicrobial susceptibility patterns of significant bacterial isolates are the two primary responsibilities of microbiology laboratory. The increase of antibiotic resistance has become a serious global issue. Infections caused by drug-resistant bacteria are associated with increased morbidity, mortality, and of course higher healthcare-related costs. Over the past few decades, the inappropriate use of antibiotics has created “superbugs” which once considered a rare find in the Microbiology Laboratory are now seen daily. In any bacterial population, there are a proportion of bacteria with natural resistance to a given antibiotic. If that antibiotic is used for too long or too frequently, the resistant bacteria will selectively reproduce, and a phenotypic resistance to the antibiotic will emerge. It is not the use of the antibiotic but, rather, the misuse that results in resistance . Physicians need to educate their patient on when antibiotics are to be used or not and if prescribed the appropriate use of the antibiotic and how noncompliance will create resistance further down the road. Unfortunately, antibiotic prescribing has become the path of “least resistance” and least time commitment for the medical profession at large.
KeywordsInfection Prevention Microbiology Laboratory Antimicrobial Susceptibility Pattern Hampton Road Barrier Precaution
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