Considerations When Using Automated Identification Systems

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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Preliminary Identification of the Primary Select Agents of Bioterrorism. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

Learn more about Preliminary Identification of the Primary Select Agents of Bioterrorism (online CE course)
Considerations When Using Automated Identification Systems

It is important to consider that commercial identification systems may misidentify the bioterrorism threat agents. There is an increased risk of incorrect identification for organisms that are:
  • Slow growing
  • Fastidious
  • Limited in the number of strains available in the database
It is also important to note that automated systems can create aerosols, which increases the possibility of laboratory exposure to these pathogens.
The LRN Sentinel Level Clinical Laboratory Testing Protocols are to be utilized for meeting the primary objective of “rule-out or refer.” Do NOT use automated of kit-based systems for the identification and susceptibility testing if you see either of the following characteristics:
  • Growth on MacConkey agar
  • Slow growing, tiny, gram-negative rods