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Health Pathology, NSW (Northern Sector) has recently switched all swab types to a ‘Floqswab‘ (flocked) that is of proven superiority for collecting specimen material. In conjunction with this, the collection kits have a container with liquid transport media rather than a gel. Some kits require the swab to be broken off into the medium before […]

Guest posting: David Paterson is a Professor of Medicine at The University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research, and Chief Executive Officer of the Wesley Medical Research. He is also a Consultant Infectious Diseases Physician, and Consultant Microbiologist.   Reflections on Nobel Prize winner speeches – Bob Dylan to Alexander Fleming  [David should require little […]

Guest posting: Dr Nathan Ryder, Clinical Director Sexual Health, Hunter New England Local Health District.  Mycoplasma genitalium is an emerging sexually transmitted pathogen. While testing is now widely available in Australia, treatment is becoming increasingly complex. M. genitalium resistance is increasing rapidly and a small but significant proportion of cases are currently untreatable. The benefit of treatment in […]

Guest posting: Dr John Burston, Staff Specialist, Infectious Diseases, Calvary Mater Hospital, Newcastle.  Most antibiotic guidelines1-3 , including the HNELHD Community Acquired Pneumonia (CAP) guideline, suggest empirically treating community acquired pneumonia (CAP) with a macrolide or tetracycline to cover ‘atypical’ organisms. But is this necessary and what should be our approach?  Beta-lactam monotherapy was non-inferior […]

Universal Transport Media (UTM) and Flocked Swab Kit information, Pathology North June 2017 : document includes detailed collection instructions. NB. The swab set includes a narrow flocked swab that is designed for nasopharyngeal sampling (e.g. optimal for pertussis PCR) .  Nose and throat samples or nasopharyngeal and throat samples are suitable for diagnosis of paediatric viral […]

Guest posting: Assoc. Prof. Josh Davis,  Principal Research Fellow/NHMRC Career Development Fellow, Menzies School of Health Research, Senior Staff Specialist Infectious Diseases Physician, John Hunter Hospital, Conjoint Professor School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle The diverse bacterial communities which live in our gastrointestinal tract (primary in the colon), are collectively known as the “gut microbiota” and their collective […]

Guest posting: Dr Jonathan Ash, Infectious Diseases Registrar, John Hunter Hospital, Newcastle, NSW.  A recent single centre retrospective case series from Switzerland examined the clinical characteristics, microbiology and treatment of 97 patients with small native joint septic arthritis. The paper highlights significant differences in the pathogenesis of small joint septic arthritis compared to large joints, […]

A recent paper, “Urinary Tract Infection”-Requiem for a Heavyweight  by Dr Thomas Finucaine skillfully unpacks many key issues, coupling this with a consideration of the emerging knowledge of the urinary microbiome and virome, suggesting that the term “UTI” might better be referred to as a “urinary dysbiosis”.  The paper is worth a detailed read – here […]

Guest posting : Dr Jonathan Ash, Advanced training registrar, John Hunter Hospital. Ventriculitis is a rare but potentially disastrous complication of external ventricular drain placement, and with increasing rates of multi-drug resistant organisms, effective parenteral antibiotic choices are limited. Colistin has an established role in the treatment of infections caused by MDR Gram negatives, particularly […]

SITUATION Due to a global shortage, many Hunter New England Local Health District sites have low supplies of piperacillin+tazobactam with shortages likely until after September. It is essential that further use of this agent is conserved as below.  Amoxycillin+clavulanate is now available in a parenteral form and is a suitable option in many circumstances, contingent on local […]