Laboratory Testing for Syphilis and Screening for Congenital Syphilis

Treponema pallidum is the causative agent of syphilis, a sexually transmitted disease that, as previously discussed, has been showing increasing activity in the United States.  Traditionally, screening for syphilis involved testing using a nontreponemal assay with positive  cases confirmed by...

Increase in Nationwide Syphilis Infection

Over the past two years, there have been multiple papers and articles published pertaining to the increasing rates of syphilis in the United States.  Recently I read an article “Syphilis Invades Rural America” by Lauren Weber, which led me to do a review of the subject.  The referenced article...

Update on Candida Auris

Candida auris fungus is frequently a multidrug-resistant organism that causes serious, often deadly infections.  I first became aware of it about a year ago and published information on the website labtestingmatters.org.  C. auris was originally identified in Japan in 2009 and subsequently...

Precision Pharmacogenetic Testing Offered to Military Veterans by Sanford Health

As part of a precision medicine partnership between U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs and Sanford Health, Sioux Falls, S.D., 250,000 U.S. veterans who are current VA Health Care System patients will receive no cost pharmacogenetic testing evaluating actionable genetic traits. 

Cat Do-Do Make You Coocoo?

A recent article in Daily News from Science published by American Association for the Advancement of Science asks the question “Can cat poop cause mental illness?” 

It is estimated that approximately 11% of the US population 6 years and older have been infected with Toxoplasma gondii. ...

Influenza Update: Increased Detection H3N2

While still prevalent in 48 states, the influenza season has appeared to have peaked.  However, the report from CDC last week indicated that of the influenza detected, 60% was type H3N2.  This type influenza causes more hospitalizations and deaths, especially in the elderly.  As you can see from...

GENETIC TESTING IN PRIMARY CARE

With our ever expanding genetic knowledge and the increasing number of molecular tests available, coupled with the decreasing cost to obtain results, it is not surprising to see genetic tests offered in primary care practices.  Last year saw expansion of genetic test availability in several...

Proposed Changes to Proficiency Testing Regulations

On February 1, 2019, CMS and CDC published proposed rules to update the CLIA Proficiency Testing Regulations.  The PT Regulations had not been updated since first enacted in 1992. 

Don’t Become Too Comfortable…Influenza Season Is Not Over

Thus far this influenza season has been far less severe than the 2017-18 season.  Last year Influenza A subtype H3N2 was the most common sub type reported accounting for 84% of infections.  This season H1N1 is most prevalent accounting for approximately 65% of reported infections.  The influenza...

Proficiency Testing Providers for Regulated Analytes

Proficiency testing is laboratory testing of unknown samples provided by a CMS approved proficiency testing provider.  The CLIA regulations require proficiency testing to be performed on all regulated analytes.