A microbiological laboratory analyzes a patient’s biological material with the aim of isolating pathogenic organisms. A large number of bacteriological, mycological, parasitological, virological testing can be done in the laboratory of “Human” Polyclinic, at your request or your physician’s. The professional laboratory staff and state-of-the-art microbiological technology guarantee an accurate diagnosis.
“Human” microbiological laboratory is equipped with modern microscopes, sterilization devices, thermostats and other equipment that facilitates optimal working conditions. Taking into account that microbiology is a science that develops very quickly, microbiologists of “Human” Polyclinic try hard to apply the newest discoveries and diagnostic methods and to keep up with the times.
Bacteria testing includes direct and indirect diagnostic methods. Identification of bacterial microorganisms from the swabs of wounds, throat, nose, skin, urogenital tract, sputum, stool, urine, punctates and aspirates.
- Bacterial infections of the genital tract
- Respiratory infections
- Gastro-intestinal infections
Pathogens in the genital tract are detected by analysing swabs, by cultivation, as well as, by various commercial tests. The most common pathogens of the genital tract are bacteria which are sexually transmitted, chlamydia and mycoplasmas, however, bacteria and fungi that are a part of the normal intestinal microflora are also common causes.
Urinary infections are, besides the respiratory infections, one of the most common infections of the human population. Urinalysis is a microbiological diagnostic method of the urinary infections that is used to identify causes of infections and their number in 1ml of urine. Urine is originally sterile, which means that a person who does not have an infection does not have bacteria in his/her urine. Test results with a small number of bacteria in the urine is usually a normal test result and represents a contamination of the urine by bacteria that are a part of the normal microflora of the anterior urethra. The number of bacteria that is considered significant is 100.000/ml and more, but it should be noted that a test result having a lower number of bacteria can be significant and be an indication of a urinary infection. Urinalysis test results provides the possibility to choose antibiotic treatment and confirm previous antibiotic treatments.
Isolating pathogens from the upper and lower respiratory tract is done using the patient’s material, nose and throat swabs, as well as the sputum.
Gastro-intestinal infections are usually caused by bacteria such as Salmonella, Shigella, Yersinia pestis and Campylobacter, whose presence is determined by a coproculture. A common cause of hospital-acquired gastro-intestinal infections is the bacterium Clostridium difficile, whose toxins A and B cause gastroenteritis, that is, inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. Some of the symptoms of gastro-intestinal infections are diarrhea, nausea, loss of appetite, high body temperature and exhaustion.
Helicobacter pylori is a bacterium that can cause changes in the stomach and duodenum, and it is thought that this bacterium is present in around half of the human population. Also, it is thought that this bacterium is transferred by food and drink consummation that had been contaminated by fecal material.
Molecular methods are contemporary methods of diagnosing and typing of pathogen microorganisms. These methods are used to diagnose genetic disorders too, that is, to detect mutations that can lead to certain pathological conditions.
DNA analysis is the sole reliable and very precise test to determine paternity, that is, close and distant kinship. Determining paternity and kinship is based on comparing the DNA profiles of the persons that are being tested. The most common test sample is a swab of the inside of the cheek (buccal swab), but other biological material of persons can also be tested to determine kinship.
Thrombophilia is a genetic predisposition to have thrombosis, which can seriously harm one’s health. Via molecular methods, it is possible to determine whether a person has a genetic predisposition for thrombosis occurrence. The following tests are performed for the purposes: Factor V Leiden, Factor II, MTHFR and PAI-1, that is, it is determined whether there are any gene mutations responsible for the synthesis of these factors. The samples on which this testing can be done are blood (1ml, EDTA) and a buccal swab which should be left in the air to dry for 5 minutes upon taking.
HPV typing is a method of determining the existence of the Human papillomavirus and establishing a genotype. Genotyping of this virus is very important because it is known that certain genotypes, the so-called High-risk (types 16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58, 59, 66 and 68) are related to the development of cervical cancer. Women can do the testing by providing a regular cervical swab. Men usually do the testing by sampling a swab of the urethra. .
Virologic testing is based on detecting the existence of the viruses, that is, the antigens in a patient’s sample or proving the existence of specific antibodies that are created by the body in order to defend itself from an infection caused by a virus. Diagnosing of viruses that cause infections of the respiratory system, heart, and liver and then those that cause rash fevers, herpes, mononucleosis and HIV is done in the microbiological laboratory.
Condyloma are genital warts that are caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), that is, by the different types of this virus. It is usually sexually transmitted. Detecting the existence and establishing this type of virus is done in the laboratory, that is, it is determined whether the virus is of high-risk for developing cervical cancer by a genital swab sample.
Hepatitis is a virus that causes liver inflammation. The virus enters the body orally either by a contaminated food or dirty hands, and exits the body via the stool.
Hepatitis B virus is very dangerous to the medical staff, as well as to people who work with blood, blood products, tattoos or piercings. Besides via blood, this virus can be transmitted sexually too.
Hepatitis C virus can be transmitted in the same manner, but rarely sexually. Other viruses are Hepatitis D, E, and G.
Herpes viruses are a large family of viruses eight of which are important for human health:
Herpes simplex viruses 1 and 2 (HSV-1, HSV-2) Varicella Zoster virus (VZV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), Cytomegalovirus (CMV), Human herpesviruses 6, 7 and 8 (HHV- 6, HHV-7, HHV-8).
HSV-1 is mostly responsible for labial herpes, that is, the appearance of blisters and sores next to or on the lip, whereas the HSV-2 causes genital herpes.
VZV causes chickenpox and shingles by reactivation of the virus which can occur even after several decades and it causes skin changes.
EBV and CMV cause infective mononucleosis, a disease which manifests itself by a high body temperature, swollen lymph nodes, and enlarged liver.
HHV-6 and HHV-7 causes skin changes (exanthema subitum) and the HHV-8 is found in Kaposi sarcoma.
The existence of parasites in the body can be detected by a direct parasitological examination of material, usually stool, or by indirect methods, that is, by immunodiagnostic testing. By a direct parasitological examination, we determine the existence of parasites, their eggs and cysts, whereas by the indirect methods, we monitor the existence of antibodies to a particular organism in a patient’s serum.
Some of the most common organisms that parasitize in the human body are Enterobius vermicularis, Taenia solium, Entamoeba histolytica, Giardia lamblia, Toxoplasma gondii and Echinococcus.
The existence of intestinal parasites is determined by a stool examination or a microscopic examination of the perianal swab.
Toxoplasma Gondii is an intracellular parasite which causes a pathological condition known as toxoplasmosis. This parasite often causes miscarriages in early pregnancies, therefore its presence is monitored in pregnant women as a part of tests called TORCH. Aside from pregnant women, the following symptoms can appear in the rest of the population: lymphadenopathy, muscle pain, headache, high body temperature, inflammation of liver, lungs or cardiac muscle. Besides symptoms as severe as these, an infection by this parasite can be accompanied by much milder, atypical symptoms. Determining toxoplasmosis antibodies is performed in the laboratory of “Human” Polyclinic.
Mycological testing represents the isolation of pathogenic fungi from the biological material. Pathogenic fungi could be found on skin, nails, in the mouth, pharynx, digestive tract, respiratory tract (lungs, bronchi), urogenital tract, blood, therefore, they can also cause systemic diseases. The materials which pathogenic fungi is isolated from are stool, urine, swabs, sputum, scarificates, whereas their antibodies could be isolated from the serum.
Mycological testing includes a direct analysis by cultivation or microscopy, as well as, the indirect enzyme test methods.
The pathogenic fungi that are the most common in practice are from the genus of Candida and a large number of dermatophytes. Types of the Candida genus can be often found on the skin surface or in the digestive tract (rarely). If the normal microflora in the body is disturbed, the fungi can overgrow and cause a condition called candidiasis. Candidiasis is usually caused by a fungi type Candida albicans. Dermatophytes can only cause superficial mycoses (mycoses of skin, nails and hair), whereas yeasts such as Candida can cause superficial but also systemic mycoses. Antimycotic medication is administered upon determining the presence of pathogenic fungi.
Sexually transmitted diseases
STD – sexually transmitted diseases are the major global cause of acute diseases, sterility or death, with serious medical and physiological consequences on millions of men, women and children. It has been determined that over 30 bacterial, viral and parasitic pathogens are sexually transmitted.
The symptoms can be mild, unrecognizable, but when combined with the fear of other people’s reactions, many cases remain undiagnosed and untreated. Some diseases are sexually transmitted, however, they do not manifest on the reproductive organs, and hepatitis or HIV are examples of such diseases. There are many misconceptions about the sexually transmitted diseases and the way they are spread. These are not the type of diseases that happen only to somebody else. No one is immune to these diseases. Anyone can get them and not only once!
Only by being informed about the disease, risky behavior and proper use of protection – i.e. condoms, is it possible to reduce the risk of the disease happening.
Sexually active couples can be infected, however, the infection can be given to a newborn during the delivery of an infected mother. The importance of these diseases is seen in the possible complications that can occur if not adequately treated or not treated at all: infertility, ectopic pregnancy, often miscarriages, premature labor, inflammation of the internal genitalia in men and in women.
Facts about sexually transmitted diseases:
- Men and women of all socioeconomic status can contract them,
- They are most common with people younger than 25
- Sexually active persons who often change their partner are more likely to contract them
- Sexually transmitted diseases often do not manifest symptoms and can go unnoticed. A person might not be aware he/she is infected, there are no symptoms, however, he/she spreads the infection to their partners.
- Women can have serious health problems: chronic pelvic pain, cervical cancer, sterility, problems in pregnancy, miscarriages, stillbirth
- Sterility can be a consequence in men
- The majority of sexually transmitted diseases are curable
- They never leave the immune system, so it is possible to contract the same disease even after having been cured. A repeated infection is the same as the initial.
- Use of condoms is a primary protection, because it reduces one’s possibility of infection during a risky intercourse. However, not even a condom can provide a 100% protection, since there is a possibility that the virus can go through the tiny pores.
- A periodical testing is advised to persons who often change their sexual partners and exhibit risky behavior.
The most common sexually transmitted infections and diseases are:
- HIV infection
- HPV infection
- Viral hepatitis
- Genital herpes
- Chlamydia trachomatis
- Gonorrhea or the clap
- Pubic louse