Rev Esp Quimioter 2008;21(4):206-212

A day in Spanish microbiology. Descriptive study of the activity of the clinical microbiology departments

J. Prieto ,  J. Á. García Rodríguez ,  J. Barberán ,  J. J. Granizo ,  M. P. Rodicio ,  J. González     

Introduction. The laboratory is an essential part of the work in the Clinical Microbiology Department. This study has aimed to measure the activity of these laboratories.

Material and methods. A survey was self-administered on the activity occurring during one work day by each hospital in October 2007.

Results. Thirty six hospitals reported 14,076 tests. Serology was the most frequently reported test (30.3%) followed by urine culture (27.8 %), blood tests (13.2 %), respiratory tract samples (8%), feces (7.1%), urethral (5.8%), skin (5.3%) and cerebrospinal fluid (2.6%). According to species, 73.2% of the isolates were bacteria (22.9 % were positive), 8.9% were virus (17% positive), fungi 8.1% (25.2% positive), and 5.5% mycobacterias (5.9% were positive) and parasite 4.5% (12.5% positive). Susceptibility test were performed by automatic methods (62.3%) followed by diffusion test (27.1%) and E-test (9.1%). A total of 5.6% of the susceptibility tests showed in vitro resistance to antibiotics. Fungi were identified in 108 isolates. Candida and Aspergillus were the most frequent genus (85.1% and 8.3%, respectively). Origins of the samples were: lower respiratory tract (32.4 %), genital tract (24.1 %), urine (10.2 %), blood (10.2 %) and skin (10.2 %). Twelve identification techniques were used, the most frequent being the morphological test (54.8%) and biochemical test (39.7%). Broken down by departments, 20.4% were sent from the ICU, 16.7% from surgery, 29.6% from medicine and 18.5% from primary care.

Discussion. Although the workload of the laboratories has been measured in this work, aspects such as specimen manipulation, clinical advice and research were not considered.


Key words: Laboratory. Fungi. Activity. Assistance. Organization.

Rev Esp Quimioter 2008;21(4):206-212 [pdf]