DL-974: Anaerobic Microbiology for the Clinical Laboratory James I. Mangels, MA, CLS, MT (ASCP), F(AAM) - Microbiology Consulting Services - Santa Rosa, CA Approved for 3.0 CE Level of Difficulty: Intermediate CAMLT is approved by the California Department of Public Health as a CA CLS Accrediting Agency (#21) Anaerobic bacteria cause a variety of infections in humans, including appendicitis, cholecystitis, otitis media, dental and oral infections, endocarditis, endometritis, brain abscess, myonecrosis, osteomyelitis, peritonitis, empyema, salpingitis, septic arthritis, liver abscess, sinusitis, wound infections following bowel surgery and trauma, perirectal and tuboovarian abscesses, and bacteremia (1). Many reports associate an incidence of at least 50% to 60% of important infections due to anaerobic bacteria. Anaerobic bacteria are often overlooked or missed unless the specimen is properly collected and transported to the laboratory. Next, the specimen must be subjected to appropriate procedures for isolation, including the use of specialized media supplemented with growth factors and the use of proper incubation methods. Anaerobes vary in their nutritional requirements, but most isolates require vitamin K and hemin for growth. Anaerobes also vary in their sensitivity to oxygen: a brief exposure (10 min.) to atmospheric oxygen is enough to kill some organisms.
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