Episodes
Candida auris is an urgent and high-priority antimicrobial resistant organisms. COVID-19 appears to have increased the identification of this pathogen in vulnerable patients. We discuss with experts the emergence of Candida auris and its relationship with COVID-19. Guests: Dr. Sevtap Arikan-Akdagli, Director, Department of Medical Microbiology, Head of Mycology Laboratory, Hacettepe University Medical School, Ankara, Turkey Dr. Bhavarth Shukla. Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of...
Published 10/29/21
Today we’re talking about testing in schools for COVID-19, and about recalls of SARS-CoV-2 tests due to false positive results, and, about whether we are ready to go to in-person scientific and medical meetings. Joining me for this roundtable discussion are two frequent guests on the podcast, Dr. Melissa Miller, from UNC School of Medicine, and Dr. Elli Theel, from Mayo Clinic. Links: School Testing for COVID-19....
Published 10/22/21
How can we determine whether someone who has COVID-19 can transmit the virus to other people? Tests in routine clinical use, such as reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction and antigen tests, are designed to determine whether SARS-CoV-2 is present or not, but many people have proposed that these tests be used to determine whether a patient is infectious. Furthermore, tests for SARS-CoV-2 that are not routinely used in clinical laboratories, such as viral culture and detection of...
Published 08/20/21
Enterococci, particularly vancomycin-resistant isolates tend to affect the most vulnerable and immunocompromised patients and are one of the most difficult bacteria to treat. In absence of robust clinical data, we will discuss therapeutic approaches for these recalcitrant organism.  
Published 07/31/21
Tests for antibodies, or serological testing, for SARS-CoV-2 have come a long way since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. There are now several commercial tests available and some laboratories have developed tests for specific purposes. Tests can determine whether a person has had COVID-19 in the past, or whether someone has had an antibody response to vaccination or even whether someone has antibodies that can neutralize the virus, preventing it from infecting host cells. Guests: -...
Published 07/23/21
During the pandemic, the need to develop therapeutic approaches became critical and so the need to study them in a structured way to critically evaluate their effectiveness. Innovative strategies to conduct clinical trials under difficult circumstances were required. We will discuss these strategies with some people who created them! Objectives: • Understand the main challenges to conduct clinical trials in the middle of a pandemic both in the developed and developing world • Discuss...
Published 07/02/21
Accurate antibiotic susceptibility testing, or AST, is a key tool in addressing the rise in antibiotic-resistant bacteria. But AST is one of the most complicated and rapidly changing areas in the clinical microbiology, and the resulting confusion can make it difficult for clinical laboratories to keep up with best practices. Dr. Romney Humphries joins to talk about controversies and myths about AST. This episode was recorded with a live, remote audience at the World Microbe Forum. It is...
Published 06/25/21
Malaria continues to be a major “killer’ in the developing world affecting the most vulnerable populations with more than 500,000 deaths per year. Emergence of resistance to antimalarial drugs is major public health issue. In this episode, we will discuss the latest information on this rapidly evolving field with one of the foremost experts in the field. • Review the main factors leading to malaria resistance • Discuss the main genetic mechanism of resistance to antimalarials. • Elaborate...
Published 06/04/21
In addition to Staphylococcus aureus, there are a small number of other coagulase-positive staphylococci. We have become increasingly aware of these due to improvements in identification methods used in clinical laboratories. Staphylococcus argenteus is a coagulase-positive Staphylococcus that, until now, had mainly been detected in Australia, the Pacific Islands and Thailand. It was thought that the species might be geographically restricted, however a paper in the June issue of the Journal...
Published 05/28/21
The development of β-lactam/β-lactamase inhibitors seems to be expanding rapidly and promise to be the best short-term strategy against the most recalcitrant Gram-negative pathogens. In this podcast, we will discuss the current state of the art in this field. Objectives: • Discuss how the discovery of β-lactam/β-lactam inhibitors has evolved • Review the current state-of-the-art of developing of novel β-lactam/β-lactamase inhibitors • Analyze the current and future clinical applications...
Published 05/07/21
Our options for susceptibility testing have greatly increased in recent years. In addition to classical phenotypic susceptibility testing by disk diffusion and measurement of the minimum inhibitory concentration, genotypic tests are increasingly available. Genotypic tests range from tests for a single organism and one resistance gene to tests for 20 or more organisms and multiple resistance genes. But what should the clinical microbiologist do when the results of phenotypic and genotypic are...
Published 04/30/21
The incidence of fungal infections is rising in immunocompromised people, and the morbidity and mortality of these infections are high. Recent threats include multi-drug resistant Candida auris, however antifungal resistance is rising in other species as well, such as Aspergillus fumigatus. But have advances in diagnostic testing kept up with the accelerating threats of fungal infections? Guests: Dr. Esther Babady, Dr. Sean Zhang, Dr. Shawn Lockhart Visit https://jcm.asm.org to read more
Published 04/02/21
During the pandemic researchers who focus on the microbiology of built environments suddenly found themselves at the center of attention. Understanding how SARS-CoV-2 may be spreading indoors became incredibly important to ensure we can operate indoors in a safe manner. We now know that SARS-CoV-2 transmits through the air in droplets and as particles, and this information has helped us to provide comprehensive advice on how people should manage the indoor environment. Last year my guests...
Published 03/29/21
Developing of non-traditional antibiotics promises novel strategies to combat multidrug-resistant organism but would they work? Are the feasible to develop? 

 Topics discussed: 
 • The notion of non-traditional antibiotics as potential therapeutics against MDR organisms 
 • Increasing our understanding on the clinical efficacy of non-traditional antibiotics 
 • Regulatory pathways for approval of such compounds
 Guest: Dr. John Rex, Chief Medical Officer, F2G Ltd. | Expert-in-Residence,...
Published 03/19/21
Fermentation is a wonderful thing! Thanks to new technologies and cheaper sequencing we are now able to dig deep into the microbial friends that supply fermentation for so many wonderful foods and drinks. Topics discussed: Why cheese? Other fermented foods that can help shed light on microbial dynamics. Employing metabolomics to explore fermented food mSystems papers that focuses on fermented foods What are the gaps in understanding and what kind of technologies could help to further...
Published 03/13/21
Blood cultures for bacteria and yeast are among the most clinically important and high-volume tests performed by clinical microbiology labs. Because these cultures are so important to clinical care, we want to make sure that blood cultures are performed as quickly and accurately as possible, and that they are ordered, collected and utilized appropriately. We are going talk about two recent papers. The first is about diagnostic stewardship for improving utilization of blood cultures and the...
Published 03/05/21
What influential research outside of COVID-19 was published in AAC in 2020? Objectives: • Discuss pathways of young scientists in antimicrobial resistance • Highlight important papers in AAC in 2020 that were not related to COVID-19 • Stimulate discussion in important topics related to antimicrobial agents I want to welcome my co-host Dr. Maria Fernanda Mojica who is the host of the ASM Journal Club focused on Antimicrobial Agents and Resistance. Dr. Mojica is a Postdoctoral Scholar at...
Published 02/26/21
Susceptibility testing for staphylococci other than S. aureus, or SOSA, has become increasingly complicated, as more laboratories use MALDI-TOF to routinely identify these bacteria to the species level. In particular, accurate identification of methicillin resistance has become more complex as the different species are distinguished by the accuracy of different susceptibility testing methods and breakpoints for interpreting MICs and zone sizes.  Some of the questions we’ll discuss include: ...
Published 02/12/21
What is Synthetic Microbiology and why is systems biology central to the development of this exciting scientific discipline? Topics discussed: What is synthetic microbiology? How systems biology and synthetic biology interact What studies should mSystems publish in the field of synthetic microbiology? Guests: Prof. Pam Silver and Prof. Danielle Tullman-Ercek. Visit msystems.asm.org to read articles and/or submit a manuscript. Subscribe to Editors in Conversation (free) on Apple...
Published 01/29/21
The speed of development of vaccines for COVID-19 has been unprecedented, exceeding expectations. A reflection of the process and lessons for the future. A conversation with Dr. Carol Baker.  Topics discussed: The vaccine development for COVID-19 and key elements in the initial success Understand the clinical data leading to approval of the vaccines  Comment on the future of vaccines with implementation of new technologies Guest: Dr. Carol Baker: Professor of Pediatrics and University...
Published 01/25/21
2020 was a great year… for research in clinical microbiology. The COVID-19 pandemic presented unprecedented challenges, including challenges to clinical laboratories. Clinical microbiologists rapidly created a variety of tests for SARS-CoV-2, figured out innovative ways to collect and transport samples for SARS-CoV-2 testing, and also continued their research in areas outside of the pandemic. In this episode of the podcast, three editors of JCM are each going to discuss three of the most...
Published 01/09/21
The emergence COVID-19 changed the entire world, a look back to one of the most difficult years for public health in modern history. Objectives: • Summarize the key events leading to the COVID-19 pandemic • Discuss the missteps and successes on the COVID-19 fight in the US • Comment on the future and what 2021 is likely to bring in relation t the COVID-19 pandemic Guest: • Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo: The C. Glenn Cobbs Professor in Infectious Diseases and Director, Division of Infectious...
Published 12/18/20
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought more media attention to clinical laboratories than at any time in recent history. Today we’ll talk about media coverage of diagnostic testing for COVID-19 with two experts. Some of the questions we’ll discuss include: How has the media coverage of tests for COVID-19 affected the public’s view of these tests? What is the role of social media in talking about testing for COVID-19? How do reporters covering COVID-19 testing work with clinical microbiologists...
Published 12/11/20
ARLG is changing the field of clinical research in antimicrobial resistance. We will talk with the Principal Investigators of the ARLG to discuss their strategy Objectives: • Review the history and accomplishments of ARLG • Discuss the missions of ARLG including training new clinical investigators focused on antibiotic resistance • Comment of the future of ARLG and clinical research on antibiotic resistance Joining me to talk about ARLG are the principal investigators of this ambitious...
Published 11/30/20
Let’s talk about total laboratory automation in the clinical microbiology laboratory. Highly automated systems are fairly common in the clinical chemistry and hematology labs, and they are increasingly common in clinical microbiology. Here are some of the questions we’ll answer today. What does total laboratory automation look like in the clinical microbiology laboratory? Are there still manual steps required? In other words, how total is total? What are the benefits of total laboratory...
Published 11/13/20