Pandemic coronavirus: an overview of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 disease

Pathology services face a major challenge in the coming months to detect the new coronavirus, and to provide laboratory support to COVID-19 patients in hospital. Sarah Pitt provides an overview of the virology, clinical aspects, epidemiology and laboratory diagnosis of this latest agent of pandemic disease.

Antimicrobial efficacy and lack of resistance to silane quaternary compounds

Does the ‘entourage effect’ explain the increase in antimicrobial efficacy and lack of resistance seen with fifth-generation silane quaternary compounds? Here, Andrew Kemp provides an overview of the development and use of such agents, and their effects.

Automated algorithms for FVIII and FIX: inhibitor detection in haemophilia

The detection and monitoring of haemophilia remains a challenging process for laboratories; however, the introduction of testing algorithms is set to improve the quality and consistency of results while freeing staff time.

Portable coagulation profiler: proof-of-concept testing and development

Benson Viscometers is developing a novel device that can determine the clotting profile of a blood sample. Furthermore, as this introduction explains, the company also aims to develop the point-of-care capabilities of this device, and also disposables for specialist testing.

Artificial intelligence and digital pathology: a look to the future

As the pathologist workforce shrinks and workload increases, laboratory medicine is beginning to adopt advanced technology and robust AI solutions. Nathan Buchbinder and Scott Rayburn explain how digital solutions can change practice in pathology and the life sciences.

Group B Streptococcus: what are we missing in the newborn period?

Group B Streptococcus is the most common cause of severe infection in newborn babies in the UK. Despite a risk-based prevention strategy for early-onset infection, in place since 2002, rates have increased significantly. Here, Jane Plumb and Kate F Walker discuss the current UK approach and what needs to change.

Disinfectants and hand sanitisers: a new test of efficacy against viruses

Do hand sanitisers really work against viruses? Andrew Kemp and colleagues introduce a new methodology for testing the efficacy of disinfectants and sanitisers on surfaces and on the skin against viral isolates.

Total bile acids testing: fifth-generation method in cholestasis of pregnancy

The advanced enzyme cycling method for bile acids offers increased sensitivity and precision when compared to traditional enzymatic tests, as illustrated by its use in obstetric cholestasis diagnosis and monitoring.

Veterinary pathology in Kenya: charismatic and not so charismatic creatures

In terms of scope and geography, veterinary pathology in the field is an activity of wide horizons. In this review of a visit to Kenya, Margaret and John Cooper describe how they are committed to training the next generation of veterinary workers in East Africa.

Surgical site infections: a need to galvanise efforts to reduce occurrence

Surgical site infection continues to be a major source of concern to patients and the multidisciplinary teams involved in surgery. Sadly, however, evidence-based practice to reduce such infections is often slow to be implemented, as Kate Woodhead explains.

Cell-free DNA and testing for cancer: a brief look in the literature

Recent national news focused on the role that cell-free DNA (cfDNA) testing may have in detecting many different types of cancer, and highlighted recent research in the Annals of Oncology. Here, a small selection from the current literature highlights future possibilities and some potential problems.

Coronaviruses in the literature: another beast from the Orient

Over the past decade, infections caused by coronaviruses have resulted in severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome. Now, a new coronavirus is causing worldwide concern, and is exercising the research community, as this small selection of very recently published articles illustrates.

A glass act: adhesion and clarity in the modern histopathology laboratory

Although often taken for granted, modern glass microscope slides, their characteristics and features can have an impact on test performance, diagnosis and laboratory workflow. Here, Mark Wilson looks at some of the features offered by Epredia products.

Clinical flow cytometry: advances in techniques and instrumentation

Clinical flow cytometry continues to feature in an eclectic range of applications in routine laboratory medicine and in the research environment. In addition to its use in haematology and immunology, flow cytometry has a cutting-edge role in investigating diverse biological processes, and the latest system developments offer innovation and increasing ease of use.

Point-of-care paediatric urine microscopy: a quality training model

Point-of-care testing is finding ever greater application outside the conventional medical laboratory. Here, audit of the use of phase contrast urine microscopy in paediatrics is explored in terms of training and quality, as Michelle Payne and Vikki Booth explain.

Blood culture audit: does transport time have an impact on positivity?

Alexander Mobbs and colleagues examine the effect that pre-analytical delay may have on the subsequent processing of blood cultures, and compare results obtained from two hospitals – one with an on-site laboratory, the other remote from the pathology service.

Use of beads to meet auditing requirements in histopathology

There is a surprising, yet cost-effective tool on the market that offers a solution to the issue of labelling tissue samples during the embedding process. And it is one that might remind you of days gone by, as Nicola Forsdyke explains.

Hospital-acquired pneumonia: impact of the Curetis Unyvero system

The increasing prevalence of antimicrobial resistance and the burden of disease due to hospital-associated pneumonia prompted Emma Jones and colleagues to investigate a molecular alternative to microbiological culture.

IBMS Congress highlights: education and training, quality and management

Following the two-part review of the comprehensive IBMS Biomedical Science Congress scientific lecture programme, published in the October and December issues, Pathology in Practice now turns the spotlight on other equally important areas of the laboratory service.

Cardiac biomarkers: from harmonisation to hormones over the past decade

Cardiac biomarker assays are an important feature of laboratory support of patients attending the accident and emergency department. Their use and harmonisation remain a focus of attention and new insights may change the perceived value of these markers.