Author Archives: mdjkf

Blood culture surveillance (Pathology North)- contamination and double set culture rates

Contamination (e.g. with Coagulase negative staphylococci) Across the HNE LHD, the blood culture contamination rate was 2.3% (range 1.2-4.6%) which was satisfactory (below 3%). This is the current list of potential contaminant organisms (HNELHD) NHSN potential contaminant species list augmented by Pathology North: for a positive culture (any principal source) with one of these species […]

2017 Cumulative Antibiograms are released – HNE, MNC and Northern NSW

Cumulative antibiograms provide a summary of current bacterial antimicrobial susceptibility for key pathogens in urine and non-urine specimens.  Treatment recommendations based on Therapeutic Guidelines, Antibiotic, Edition 15, 2014 are included in the commentaries. These are prepared by Pathology North, Microbiology for Hunter, New England, Northern NSW and Lower Mid-north coast regions. The detailed antibiogram reports are […]

Inducing ceftriaxone-deficiency in hospitals: practical stewardship insights

Originally posted on AIMED – Let's talk about antibiotics:
2018 update! Just as relevant. Upside – Ceftriaxone and cefotaxime (third generation cephalosporins-TGC) are amongst the most important agents for directed therapy of infections due to Gram negative organisms that are resistant to ampicillin or cephazolin (a first generation cephalosporin),  including Klebsiella pneumoniae .  They penetrate the CSF…

Acute piperacillin+tazobactam shortage – important advice – JHH and HNELHD

Currently (still in Feb 2018) there is a worldwide shortage of piperacillin+tazobactam , an additional issue to the shortage earlier in 2017 . Appropriate substitutions – see – HNELHD advice (November 2017)  JHH_Pip_Taz_Fact_Sheet_Oct_2017 . This includes new dosage recommendations for IV amox+clavulanate for intra-abdominal infection (6 -hrly rather than 8- hrly dosing). For further advice, please contact the […]

Bacterial cultures, respiratory virus/bacterial PCR and infection control screen cultures- collection guides with new Floqswab kits

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 […]

Reflections on speeches by Nobel Prize winners – Bob Dylan to Alexander Fleming to BLING-3

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 […]

Treating Mycoplasma genitalium urethritis in primary care

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 […]

Do we need to cover ‘atypical’ community acquired pneumonia?

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 […]

Respiratory virus, pertussis and M. pneumoniae PCR detection – new FloqSwab Kit collection instructions

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 […]

You are what you eat – or should our gut microbiome be considered an important body system in its own right?

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 […]