Microbiology laboratories assist physicians in identifying microbes and diagnosing infectious diseases. Such labs are at hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and in medical research institutions and are teaming with professionals working together to achieve these goals. While each laboratory is slightly different, some basic features are found in most microbiology labs. Understanding these features will give you insight into how these vital labs operate.
For microbiology laboratory technicians to get quality results, they must use proper sterile techniques. Many tests that technicians use are very sensitive and will detect environmental bacteria if they come into contact with the test machinery or media. Therefore, a critical feature of the lab process is having lab technicians sterilise all tools and exercise great caution to avoid introducing contaminating microbes into the system.
In order to identify and suggest treatment for microbial diseases, microbiology laboratories require various technical machinery. Testing methods involve machines for polymerase chain reactions (PCR), genomic sequencing and antibiotic susceptibility testing. Technicians must calibrate and maintain all such equipment on a regular basis.
In order to ensure that results are reliable and interpretable, microbiology laboratories retain precise protocols. These protocols specify how technicians must perform a given test. Technicians also meticulously record data and details about experimentations in laboratory notebooks. Having protocols and keeping lab notebooks are part of the standard operating procedure for lab technicians.
Microbiology laboratories have diverse functions, but all revolve around studying microbes. Specialised microbiology laboratories also provide help in the public health arena by studying antimicrobial resistance and microbes with the potential to become agents of terror. Some microbiology labs help develop new tools and methods to study microbes.
- Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images