Microbiology and Infectious Diseases – The Ghostbusters of Medicine


Medicine is a team sport, there is no denying that, but together the Microbiologist and Infectious Diseases(ID) specialists create a powerhouse of for diagnosis and treatment. Detect, Identify and Destroy.

Infectious Disease physicians are called in to start the investigation – does the patient have an infection? What do we think is the most likely infection? What tests do we need to determine what it is and how to treat it? Do we need to isolate the patient for risk of spreading infection?

Then the tag-team starts and we order tests to look for different germs (bacteria, viruses, fungi) to figure out what infection the patient may have. Our amazing microbiology colleagues run the tests, try to identify and if possible, grow the germ, and sometimes can even tell us which medicines are the best for treating it. They can tell us if it is one of the “superbugs” that some antibiotics no longer work against. Sometimes, the work is more dangerous and requires special precautions if it could be contagious! They really are the scientists with all the technology and expertise we rely on for this critical information.

Tag! Back to the ID team to review those results and help decide if the patient needs treatment, and if so, what it may be.

ID relies on everyone in microbiology to do our job well EVERY DAY.

We ain’t afraid of no bugs. Who you gonna call?????


Content courtesy of Dr. Paul Fey and Dr. Kelly Cawcutt. 



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