CLSI releases new microbiology standard for detection of anaerobes in clinical specimens

Aug. 15, 2014

The Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) has released a new microbiology standard, Principles and Procedures for Detection of Anaerobes in Clinical Specimens; Approved Guideline(M56-A). This document presents best practice processes for anaerobe bacteriology that CLSI spokespersons characterize as “standardized, cost-effective, and efficient.”

“M56-A is an up-to-date manual for anaerobic bacteriology written to guide the novice microbiologist as well as those experienced with anaerobes,” notes Document Development Committee chairholder Maria D. Appleman, PhD, Professor of Clinical Pathology at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. “The document can be used as an introduction to anaerobes and their role in human disease, as guidance for clinical laboratories in specimen processing and media selection with both easy and complex techniques for culture and isolate identifications, or as a learning tool for the new nomenclature used in the field.”

M56-A provides guidance for pre-examination, examination, and post-examination procedures associated with the culture of anaerobic bacteria. It includes methods for collecting proper specimens from appropriate clinical sites and for transport procedures that protect anaerobes from oxygen exposure so all pathogens involved in infections can be detected. The document contains color photographs of Gram stain reactions and colonial morphology, easy-to-follow identification tables, and in-depth explanations of new technology, and it discusses the clinical significance of taxonomic names.

The document contains recommendations for interpreting results, assistance in understanding the value of rapid preliminary results, and guidance on issues of quality control, quality assurance, and competency. M56-A is intended for use by clinical laboratory professionals, infectious disease physicians, microbiology laboratory directors, pathologists, and researchers. Read sample pages.

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