PCR & Infection Control: The Polymerase Chain Reaction Process

by Erica Mitchell | November 9 2022

While prevention is always the goal when it comes to a hospital-acquired infection, rapid diagnosis is essential to better outcomes. The sooner the physician knows which pathogen is causing the infection, the sooner she can prescribe the correct antibiotic. The sooner the medical team can determine if a patient is cleared of infection, the sooner that patient can be removed from isolation. Unfortunately, traditional diagnosing requires samples from the patient be plated and cultured, a process that can take from 16 hours to several weeks. However, a technology exists that allows pathogens to be identified in just a few hours. Over the course of two posts, we will explore the transformative technology of polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, and the impact it is having on hospital infection control.

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Native American Microbiologist Dr. Kat Milligan-McClellan

by Erica Mitchell | November 4 2022

The community of EOS Surfaces respectfully acknowledges the Chesepioc, Nansemond and other peoples of the Powhatan Tribes as the original stewards of the land, taken by conquest, on which our plant now stands. We thank their descendants for their forbearance and for the opportunity to produce a material that brings protection and healing to so many using a material from the land itself, copper. 

Far above the Arctic Circle there is a remote Alaskan town known as a hub between ocean and inland shipping with only 3,000 permanent residents. Kotzebue, or Qikiqtagruk to its indigenous Inupiaq peoples, has a long history of serving as a transportation and gathering hub, with inhabitants dating back centuries using the port to trade furs, seal-oil, and fish. Today, this small town is known for more than just being the "Gateway to the Arctic," but also the hometown of the first Alaskan Native to hold a PhD in Microbiology, Dr. Kat Milligan-McClellan. In today's post, we'll learn how her indigenous roots inform her current research into our gut microbiota.

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Help Wanted: Lab Technologists Needed

by Erica Mitchell | November 2 2022

Would it surprise you to hear that about two-thirds of clinical decisions are based on laboratory test information? Yes, medical technologist are a critical high demand staff position in healthcare facilities. Today's post will explore this behind-the-scenes job and its critical role in the fight against hospital acquired infections. 

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Microbiology's ACE: Alice Catherine Evans

by Erica Mitchell | March 23 2022

In today's post, we take a look back into the history of microbiology in our continued celebration of Women's History Month. The field of bacteriology started to pick up steam at the beginning of the 1900s, well before the time when women started receiving the same educational opportunities as their male peers. Nonetheless, one of the leaders of the field was Alice Catherine Evans, a researcher who overcame professional and cultural bias while making breakthrough discoveries that saved countless lives.

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Women In Epidemiology

by Erica Mitchell | March 2 2022

March is Women's History Month, a month set aside to explore and celebrate the contributions and achievements of women while also bringing visibility to issues of gender disparity that could still use improvement. In today's post, we will look at gender disparities in the medical field, with an emphasis on fields in infection control.

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Dr. Jane Hinton: Co-Developer of Mueller-Hinton Agar

by Erica Mitchell | February 23 2022

Pasteurization. Gram stains. Petri dishes. Bunsen burners. The science world is replete with processes or equipment named for their esteemed inventors. One such invention, Mueller-Hinton agar, is a growth medium critical to susceptibility testing of antibiotics. In today's post, we'll look at one half of the scientific team who co-developed this important medium, Dr. Jane Hinton.

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Black History Month: Leaders in Microbiology

by Erica Mitchell | February 2 2022

As Black History Month begins, we want to take some time to celebrate the countless contributions by African-American physicians, scientists, researchers and advocates in the world of infection control and prevention. In today's post, we'll highlight 5 leaders who made a enormous scientific contributions to the field.

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Log Reduction: What does it mean?

by Erica Mitchell | December 1 2021

Discussion of the reduction of microorganisms in healthcare settings will often include the data as “log reductions.” To those of us more accustomed to percentages, this can be confusing. Today's post will explain how to interpret these numbers and, we hope, help our readers better understand how they are used in scientific literature.

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The Culture Club: Diagnosing HAIs

by Erica Mitchell | August 25 2021

How do healthcare providers arrive at an HAI diagnosis? A CDC-mandated timing protocol determines whether a patient's infection is healthcare-associated or not. However, it is through a combination of clinical findings, diagnostic testing, and response to treatment that a medical team will determine the presence of an infection in the first place. Today's post will provide a very general overview of the steps a medical team may take in order to diagnose an HAI.

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What is an antibiogram?

by Erica Mitchell | May 26 2021

One of the tools available to infection preventionists, hospital epidemiologists and healthcare practitioners is the antibiogram. While not all facilities or networks will have an up-to-date version of this report, they are becoming more common. What is an antibiogram and how can it be used? In simple terms, an antibiogram is a report that shows how susceptible strains of pathogens are to a variety of antibiotics.

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