Oh, the cultures are STAT?? Yaaaas Queen - Medical Laboratory Science Humor

Oh, the cultures are STAT?? Yaaaas Queen


Miracle Gro for the STAT cultures
Let me sprinkle some of our lab grade fertilizer onto those plates then. I'm not sure how we bill for that but here we are. 

Someone should see what is affected and how things are affected by adding fertilizer to plates/agar/broth. Could we potentially create a superbug and start a new pandemic? All because of ammonium phosphate and the like? 

In the future I do feel like physicians will get their way. Kind of like how "tube testing" is still the gold standard for blood bank, perhaps plate cultures will still be the gold standard for microbiology as technology continue to develop. Right now, stool cultures are being rapidly set off to the side. PCR is rearing it's head into microbiological identifications. 

The BioFire Stool Panel tests for 22 separate targets, five being viruses. Let's see a routine stool culture catch that. The BioFire can find:

Campylobacter (jejuni, coli, and upsaliensis)

Clostridium difficile (toxin A/B)

Plesiomonas shigelloides


Yersinia enterocolitica

Vibrio (parahaemolyticus, vulnificus, and cholerae)

Vibrio cholerae

Enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC)

Enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC)

Enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) lt/st

Shiga-like toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) stx1/stx2

E. coli O157

Shigella/Enteroinvasive E. coli (EIEC)


Cyclospora cayetanensis

Entamoeba histolytica

Giardia lamblia

Adenovirus F40/41


Norovirus GI/GII

Rotavirus A

Sapovirus (I, II, IV, and V)

All with one sample, one cartridge, in one hour. 

This study shows clinically significant findings in the case of Otitis media (ear infections). PCR specimens were much more likely to be positive for a infectious agent than traditional culture. For example,  for "S. pneumonia, culture positive cases were 5, while PCR positive cases were 18 which is statistically significant difference (P < 0.001)"

The Biomedical Scientist says

With PCR, they identified a potential pathogen (bacterial or viral) in 87% of patients, compared with 39% using culture alone.  Predictably, PCR detected bacteria more frequently than culture in patients who had received antibiotics (77.6% vs 32.1%). 

Well maybe plate cultures won't continue to be the gold standard. Microbiology will fade away and simply get absorbed into molecular diagnostics.  A future not so far off.