AAT Bioquest

What are the common medical microbiology techniques?

Posted September 18, 2023


Medical microbiology techniques include a range of methodologies used to identify and study the characteristics, growth, infection mechanism, and transmission of pathogenic microorganisms. The most common medical identification techniques include:

  1. Microscopy - In this medical identification method, fluorescence, electron, or compound light microscopes may be used to observe microbes and cellular features in order to identify different pathogens. 

  2. Microbial Culturing Techniques - Microbial culturing techniques involve the use of solid, liquid, or cell culture media to isolate infectious disease-causing microbes in the lab. Culturing is done to support the growth of specific pathogens. Solid culture media is used for detecting bacteria and fungi. Liquid culture media is typically used for identifying parasites and mycobacteria and cell culture media is mainly used for detecting viruses. 

  3. Biochemical Tests - Biochemical tests encompass a wide range of tests that are used to detect infectious pathogens. Biochemical tests used to detect the growth of bacteria are based on the presence of gasses, acids, and alcohols. Oxidase, Catalase, Coagulase, CAMP, Indole, Urease, and Starch Hydrolysis are some of many different types of biochemical tests used to identify bacteria. 

  4. Polymerase Chain Reaction - Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a fast, reliable, accurate, and definite molecular technique that is widely used to detect and study microbes.  

Additional resources

Evaluating the Sensitivity of a Media-Fill Challenge Test Under Various Situations as a Reliable Method for Recommended Aseptic Technique Competency Assessment

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)

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