Clinical Microbiology is the study of infectious diseases affecting humans. Medical Microbiology Departments provide a wide range of facilities to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi. Reference services are distributed throughout the UK for less common infections.
Medical Microbiologists are doctors that specialise in the diagnosis and management of infections, infection control and antibiotic stewardship. They work in hospitals, in laboratories and may have clinics of their own, or join clinical colleagues in multidisciplinary clinics such as complex orthopaedic infections, complex urology etc. Microbiologists give advice about the selection of appropriate investigations, contribute to the management of the diagnostic microbiology facilities and make important decisions about the interpretation of laboratory results, and communication to clinicians. They help their clinical colleagues, both in hospital and general practice, make decisions about the diagnosis management and treatment of patients with infections. They also have an important role, along with infection prevention nurses, in education, in preventing and controlling the spread of infections in hospitals and in the community and the monitoring of the epidemiology of infectious diseases. Some departments and consultants specialise in one or other of the branches of the specialty, i.e. virology, parasitology, mycology, molecular microbiology. A number of microbiologists are now specialising as infection control doctors or antibiotics stewardship leads, the latter ensuring that antibiotics are used appropriately and cost effectively.
Medical Microbiology is rapidly changing to embrace molecular technology and the new training curriculum incorporates more clinical aspects including infectious diseases training., helping meet the challenges of an ever evolving threat from the microbial kingdom, with international travel and globalization. This constant discovery of new diseases offers excellent prospects for research and development work in addition to the routine diagnostic and therapeutic work of the specialty.
Dr MS Morgan (Chair) (PGEd Rep & BSI Committee)
Dr G Underhill (RCPath subcommittee on Virology rep)
Dr P Riley
Dr V Weston
Trainee members’ representative
Dr E Bevan
Clinical Virology Network
British infection Association https://www.britishinfection.org/