Clinical Laboratory Techniques: Techniques used to carry out clinical investigative procedures in the diagnosis and therapy of disease.Polymerase Chain Reaction: In vitro method for producing large amounts of specific DNA or RNA fragments of defined length and sequence from small amounts of short oligonucleotide flanking sequences (primers). The essential steps include thermal denaturation of the double-stranded target molecules, annealing of the primers to their complementary sequences, and extension of the annealed primers by enzymatic synthesis with DNA polymerase. The reaction is efficient, specific, and extremely sensitive. Uses for the reaction include disease diagnosis, detection of difficult-to-isolate pathogens, mutation analysis, genetic testing, DNA sequencing, and analyzing evolutionary relationships.Laboratories: Facilities equipped to carry out investigative procedures.Laboratories, Hospital: Hospital facilities equipped to carry out investigative procedures.Chemistry, Clinical: The specialty of ANALYTIC CHEMISTRY applied to assays of physiologically important substances found in blood, urine, tissues, and other biological fluids for the purpose of aiding the physician in making a diagnosis or following therapy.Clinical Laboratory Information Systems: Information systems, usually computer-assisted, designed to store, manipulate, and retrieve information for planning, organizing, directing, and controlling administrative and clinical activities associated with the provision and utilization of clinical laboratory services.Quality Control: A system for verifying and maintaining a desired level of quality in a product or process by careful planning, use of proper equipment, continued inspection, and corrective action as required. (Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 2d ed)Laboratory Infection: Accidentally acquired infection in laboratory workers.Medical Laboratory Personnel: Health care professionals, technicians, and assistants staffing LABORATORIES in research or health care facilities.Medical Laboratory Science: The specialty related to the performance of techniques in clinical pathology such as those in hematology, microbiology, and other general clinical laboratory applications.Microbial Sensitivity Tests: Any tests that demonstrate the relative efficacy of different chemotherapeutic agents against specific microorganisms (i.e., bacteria, fungi, viruses).Evaluation Studies as Topic: Studies determining the effectiveness or value of processes, personnel, and equipment, or the material on conducting such studies. For drugs and devices, CLINICAL TRIALS AS TOPIC; DRUG EVALUATION; and DRUG EVALUATION, PRECLINICAL are available.Pathology, Clinical: A subspecialty of pathology applied to the solution of clinical problems, especially the use of laboratory methods in clinical diagnosis. (Dorland, 28th ed.)Laboratory Proficiency Testing: Assessments aimed at determining agreement in diagnostic test results among laboratories. Identical survey samples are distributed to participating laboratories, with results stratified according to testing methodologies.Clinical Chemistry Tests: Laboratory tests demonstrating the presence of physiologically significant substances in the blood, urine, tissue, and body fluids with application to the diagnosis or therapy of disease.Bacteriological Techniques: Techniques used in studying bacteria.Reagent Kits, Diagnostic: Commercially prepared reagent sets, with accessory devices, containing all of the major components and literature necessary to perform one or more designated diagnostic tests or procedures. They may be for laboratory or personal use.Reference Standards: A basis of value established for the measure of quantity, weight, extent or quality, e.g. weight standards, standard solutions, methods, techniques, and procedures used in diagnosis and therapy.Candida: A genus of yeast-like mitosporic Saccharomycetales fungi characterized by producing yeast cells, mycelia, pseudomycelia, and blastophores. It is commonly part of the normal flora of the skin, mouth, intestinal tract, and vagina, but can cause a variety of infections, including CANDIDIASIS; ONYCHOMYCOSIS; vulvovaginal candidiasis (CANDIDIASIS, VULVOVAGINAL), and thrush (see CANDIDIASIS, ORAL). (From Dorland, 28th ed)Sensitivity and Specificity: Binary classification measures to assess test results. Sensitivity or recall rate is the proportion of true positives. Specificity is the probability of correctly determining the absence of a condition. (From Last, Dictionary of Epidemiology, 2d ed)Animals, LaboratoryAntifungal Agents: Substances that destroy fungi by suppressing their ability to grow or reproduce. They differ from FUNGICIDES, INDUSTRIAL because they defend against fungi present in human or animal tissues.Autoanalysis: Method of analyzing chemicals using automation.Culture Media: Any liquid or solid preparation made specifically for the growth, storage, or transport of microorganisms or other types of cells. The variety of media that exist allow for the culturing of specific microorganisms and cell types, such as differential media, selective media, test media, and defined media. Solid media consist of liquid media that have been solidified with an agent such as AGAR or GELATIN.Physicians' Offices: The room or rooms in which the physician and staff provide patient care. The offices include all rooms in the physician's office suite.Fluconazole: Triazole antifungal agent that is used to treat oropharyngeal CANDIDIASIS and cryptococcal MENINGITIS in AIDS.Reproducibility of Results: The statistical reproducibility of measurements (often in a clinical context), including the testing of instrumentation or techniques to obtain reproducible results. The concept includes reproducibility of physiological measurements, which may be used to develop rules to assess probability or prognosis, or response to a stimulus; reproducibility of occurrence of a condition; and reproducibility of experimental results.Blood Chemical Analysis: An examination of chemicals in the blood.Hematology: A subspecialty of internal medicine concerned with morphology, physiology, and pathology of the blood and blood-forming tissues.Microbiology: The study of microorganisms such as fungi, bacteria, algae, archaea, and viruses.Itraconazole: A triazole antifungal agent that inhibits cytochrome P-450-dependent enzymes required for ERGOSTEROL synthesis.Specimen Handling: Procedures for collecting, preserving, and transporting of specimens sufficiently stable to provide accurate and precise results suitable for clinical interpretation.Anti-Bacterial Agents: Substances that reduce the growth or reproduction of BACTERIA.Microbiological Techniques: Techniques used in microbiology.Drug Resistance, Microbial: The ability of microorganisms, especially bacteria, to resist or to become tolerant to chemotherapeutic agents, antimicrobial agents, or antibiotics. This resistance may be acquired through gene mutation or foreign DNA in transmissible plasmids (R FACTORS).Enterobacteriaceae: A family of gram-negative, facultatively anaerobic, rod-shaped bacteria that do not form endospores. Its organisms are distributed worldwide with some being saprophytes and others being plant and animal parasites. Many species are of considerable economic importance due to their pathogenic effects on agriculture and livestock.Agar: A complex sulfated polymer of galactose units, extracted from Gelidium cartilagineum, Gracilaria confervoides, and related red algae. It is used as a gel in the preparation of solid culture media for microorganisms, as a bulk laxative, in making emulsions, and as a supporting medium for immunodiffusion and immunoelectrophoresis.Laboratory Personnel: Professionals, technicians, and assistants staffing LABORATORIES.Clinical Laboratory Services: Organized services provided by MEDICAL LABORATORY PERSONNEL for the purpose of carrying out CLINICAL LABORATORY TECHNIQUES used for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease.Molecular Diagnostic Techniques: MOLECULAR BIOLOGY techniques used in the diagnosis of disease.Colorimetry: Any technique by which an unknown color is evaluated in terms of standard colors. The technique may be visual, photoelectric, or indirect by means of spectrophotometry. It is used in chemistry and physics. (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed)Immunoassay: A technique using antibodies for identifying or quantifying a substance. Usually the substance being studied serves as antigen both in antibody production and in measurement of antibody by the test substance.Mycology: The study of the structure, growth, function, genetics, and reproduction of fungi, and MYCOSES.Bacteria, AnaerobicAutomation: Controlled operation of an apparatus, process, or system by mechanical or electronic devices that take the place of human organs of observation, effort, and decision. (From Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 1993)Facility Regulation and Control: Formal voluntary or governmental procedures and standards required of hospitals and health or other facilities to improve operating efficiency, and for the protection of the consumer.Bacteriology: The study of the structure, growth, function, genetics, and reproduction of bacteria, and BACTERIAL INFECTIONS.Amphotericin B: Macrolide antifungal antibiotic produced by Streptomyces nodosus obtained from soil of the Orinoco river region of Venezuela.Diagnostic Errors: Incorrect diagnoses after clinical examination or technical diagnostic procedures.Oxacillin: An antibiotic similar to FLUCLOXACILLIN used in resistant staphylococci infections.Bacteria: One of the three domains of life (the others being Eukarya and ARCHAEA), also called Eubacteria. They are unicellular prokaryotic microorganisms which generally possess rigid cell walls, multiply by cell division, and exhibit three principal forms: round or coccal, rodlike or bacillary, and spiral or spirochetal. Bacteria can be classified by their response to OXYGEN: aerobic, anaerobic, or facultatively anaerobic; by the mode by which they obtain their energy: chemotrophy (via chemical reaction) or PHOTOTROPHY (via light reaction); for chemotrophs by their source of chemical energy: CHEMOLITHOTROPHY (from inorganic compounds) or chemoorganotrophy (from organic compounds); and by their source for CARBON; NITROGEN; etc.; HETEROTROPHY (from organic sources) or AUTOTROPHY (from CARBON DIOXIDE). They can also be classified by whether or not they stain (based on the structure of their CELL WALLS) with CRYSTAL VIOLET dye: gram-negative or gram-positive.Medicare Part B: The voluntary portion of Medicare, known as the Supplementary Medical Insurance (SMI) Program, that includes physician's services, home health care, medical services, outpatient hospital services, and laboratory, pathology, and radiology services. All persons entitled to Medicare Part A may enroll in Medicare Part B on a monthly premium basis.ComputersFlucytosine: A fluorinated cytosine analog that is used as an antifungal agent.Blood Specimen Collection: The taking of a blood sample to determine its character as a whole, to identify levels of its component cells, chemicals, gases, or other constituents, to perform pathological examination, etc.False Positive Reactions: Positive test results in subjects who do not possess the attribute for which the test is conducted. The labeling of healthy persons as diseased when screening in the detection of disease. (Last, A Dictionary of Epidemiology, 2d ed)Fungi: A kingdom of eukaryotic, heterotrophic organisms that live parasitically as saprobes, including MUSHROOMS; YEASTS; smuts, molds, etc. They reproduce either sexually or asexually, and have life cycles that range from simple to complex. Filamentous fungi, commonly known as molds, refer to those that grow as multicellular colonies.Hematologic Tests: Tests used in the analysis of the hemic system.TriazolesCandidiasis: Infection with a fungus of the genus CANDIDA. It is usually a superficial infection of the moist areas of the body and is generally caused by CANDIDA ALBICANS. (Dorland, 27th ed)Staphylococcus: A genus of gram-positive, facultatively anaerobic, coccoid bacteria. Its organisms occur singly, in pairs, and in tetrads and characteristically divide in more than one plane to form irregular clusters. Natural populations of Staphylococcus are found on the skin and mucous membranes of warm-blooded animals. Some species are opportunistic pathogens of humans and animals.Bacterial Typing Techniques: Procedures for identifying types and strains of bacteria. The most frequently employed typing systems are BACTERIOPHAGE TYPING and SEROTYPING as well as bacteriocin typing and biotyping.Licensure: The legal authority or formal permission from authorities to carry on certain activities which by law or regulation require such permission. It may be applied to licensure of institutions as well as individuals.Reference Values: The range or frequency distribution of a measurement in a population (of organisms, organs or things) that has not been selected for the presence of disease or abnormality.Maintenance: The upkeep of property or equipment.United StatesBiological Warfare: Warfare involving the use of living organisms or their products as disease etiologic agents against people, animals, or plants.Quality Assurance, Health Care: Activities and programs intended to assure or improve the quality of care in either a defined medical setting or a program. The concept includes the assessment or evaluation of the quality of care; identification of problems or shortcomings in the delivery of care; designing activities to overcome these deficiencies; and follow-up monitoring to ensure effectiveness of corrective steps.Gram-Negative Bacteria: Bacteria which lose crystal violet stain but are stained pink when treated by Gram's method.Methods: A series of steps taken in order to conduct research.Cefmetazole: A semisynthetic cephamycin antibiotic with a broad spectrum of activity against both gram-positive and gram-negative microorganisms. It has a high rate of efficacy in many types of infection and to date no severe side effects have been noted.Diagnostic Tests, Routine: Diagnostic procedures, such as laboratory tests and x-rays, routinely performed on all individuals or specified categories of individuals in a specified situation, e.g., patients being admitted to the hospital. These include routine tests administered to neonates.Pathology Department, Hospital: Hospital department which administers and provides pathology services.Point-of-Care Systems: Laboratory and other services provided to patients at the bedside. These include diagnostic and laboratory testing using automated information entry.Enterococcus: A genus of gram-positive, coccoid bacteria consisting of organisms causing variable hemolysis that are normal flora of the intestinal tract. Previously thought to be a member of the genus STREPTOCOCCUS, it is now recognized as a separate genus.Blood: The body fluid that circulates in the vascular system (BLOOD VESSELS). Whole blood includes PLASMA and BLOOD CELLS.beta-Lactamases: Enzymes found in many bacteria which catalyze the hydrolysis of the amide bond in the beta-lactam ring. Well known antibiotics destroyed by these enzymes are penicillins and cephalosporins.Competitive Bidding: Pricing statements presented by more than one party for the purpose of securing a contract.Species Specificity: The restriction of a characteristic behavior, anatomical structure or physical system, such as immune response; metabolic response, or gene or gene variant to the members of one species. It refers to that property which differentiates one species from another but it is also used for phylogenetic levels higher or lower than the species.Automation, Laboratory: Controlled operations of analytic or diagnostic processes, or systems by mechanical or electronic devices.Credentialing: The recognition of professional or technical competence through registration, certification, licensure, admission to association membership, the award of a diploma or degree, etc.Time Factors: Elements of limited time intervals, contributing to particular results or situations.Mycobacterium: A genus of gram-positive, aerobic bacteria. Most species are free-living in soil and water, but the major habitat for some is the diseased tissue of warm-blooded hosts.MycosesHaemophilus: A genus of PASTEURELLACEAE that consists of several species occurring in animals and humans. Its organisms are described as gram-negative, facultatively anaerobic, coccobacillus or rod-shaped, and nonmotile.Calibration: Determination, by measurement or comparison with a standard, of the correct value of each scale reading on a meter or other measuring instrument; or determination of the settings of a control device that correspond to particular values of voltage, current, frequency or other output.Feces: Excrement from the INTESTINES, containing unabsorbed solids, waste products, secretions, and BACTERIA of the DIGESTIVE SYSTEM.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S.): An agency of the UNITED STATES PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE that conducts and supports programs for the prevention and control of disease and provides consultation and assistance to health departments and other countries.Nephelometry and Turbidimetry: Chemical analysis based on the phenomenon whereby light, passing through a medium with dispersed particles of a different refractive index from that of the medium, is attenuated in intensity by scattering. In turbidimetry, the intensity of light transmitted through the medium, the unscattered light, is measured. In nephelometry, the intensity of the scattered light is measured, usually, but not necessarily, at right angles to the incident light beam.Coagulase: Enzymes that cause coagulation in plasma by forming a complex with human PROTHROMBIN. Coagulases are produced by certain STAPHYLOCOCCUS and YERSINIA PESTIS. Staphylococci produce two types of coagulase: Staphylocoagulase, a free coagulase that produces true clotting of plasma, and Staphylococcal clumping factor, a bound coagulase in the cell wall that induces clumping of cells in the presence of fibrinogen.Centrifugation: Process of using a rotating machine to generate centrifugal force to separate substances of different densities, remove moisture, or simulate gravitational effects. It employs a large motor-driven apparatus with a long arm, at the end of which human and animal subjects, biological specimens, or equipment can be revolved and rotated at various speeds to study gravitational effects. (From Websters, 10th ed; McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed)Enterobacteriaceae Infections: Infections with bacteria of the family ENTEROBACTERIACEAE.Bacterial Infections: Infections by bacteria, general or unspecified.DNA, Bacterial: Deoxyribonucleic acid that makes up the genetic material of bacteria.Mycological Typing Techniques: Procedures for identifying types and strains of fungi.Candida albicans: A unicellular budding fungus which is the principal pathogenic species causing CANDIDIASIS (moniliasis).Yeasts: A general term for single-celled rounded fungi that reproduce by budding. Brewers' and bakers' yeasts are SACCHAROMYCES CEREVISIAE; therapeutic dried yeast is YEAST, DRIED.Legislation, Medical: Laws and regulations, pertaining to the field of medicine, proposed for enactment or enacted by a legislative body.Cryptococcus: A mitosporic Tremellales fungal genus whose species usually have a capsule and do not form pseudomycellium. Teleomorphs include Filobasidiella and Fidobasidium.Guidelines as Topic: A systematic statement of policy rules or principles. Guidelines may be developed by government agencies at any level, institutions, professional societies, governing boards, or by convening expert panels. The text may be cursive or in outline form but is generally a comprehensive guide to problems and approaches in any field of activity. For guidelines in the field of health care and clinical medicine, PRACTICE GUIDELINES AS TOPIC is available.Parasitology: The study of parasites and PARASITIC DISEASES.Cryptococcus neoformans: A species of the fungus CRYPTOCOCCUS. Its teleomorph is Filobasidiella neoformans.Disk Diffusion Antimicrobial Tests: A method where a culturing surface inoculated with microbe is exposed to small disks containing known amounts of a chemical agent resulting in a zone of inhibition (usually in millimeters) of growth of the microbe corresponding to the susceptibility of the strain to the agent.Laboratory Animal Science: The science and technology dealing with the procurement, breeding, care, health, and selection of animals used in biomedical research and testing.Drug Resistance, Bacterial: The ability of bacteria to resist or to become tolerant to chemotherapeutic agents, antimicrobial agents, or antibiotics. This resistance may be acquired through gene mutation or foreign DNA in transmissible plasmids (R FACTORS).Gram-Positive Cocci: Coccus-shaped bacteria that retain the crystal violet stain when treated by Gram's method.Sequence Analysis, DNA: A multistage process that includes cloning, physical mapping, subcloning, determination of the DNA SEQUENCE, and information analysis.United States Public Health Service: A constituent organization of the DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES concerned with protecting and improving the health of the nation.Candidiasis, Oral: Infection of the mucous membranes of the mouth by a fungus of the genus CANDIDA. (Dorland, 27th ed)Clinical Medicine: The study and practice of medicine by direct examination of the patient.Staphylococcus aureus: Potentially pathogenic bacteria found in nasal membranes, skin, hair follicles, and perineum of warm-blooded animals. They may cause a wide range of infections and intoxications.Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections: Infections caused by bacteria that show up as pink (negative) when treated by the gram-staining method.False Negative Reactions: Negative test results in subjects who possess the attribute for which the test is conducted. The labeling of diseased persons as healthy when screening in the detection of disease. (Last, A Dictionary of Epidemiology, 2d ed)Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections: Infections caused by bacteria that retain the crystal violet stain (positive) when treated by the gram-staining method.Acinetobacter: A genus of gram-negative bacteria of the family MORAXELLACEAE, found in soil and water and of uncertain pathogenicity.Accreditation: Certification as complying with a standard set by non-governmental organizations, applied for by institutions, programs, and facilities on a voluntary basis.Ceftizoxime: A semisynthetic cephalosporin antibiotic which can be administered intravenously or by suppository. The drug is highly resistant to a broad spectrum of beta-lactamases and is active against a wide range of both aerobic and anaerobic gram-positive and gram-negative organisms. It has few side effects and is reported to be safe and effective in aged patients and in patients with hematologic disorders.Ketoconazole: Broad spectrum antifungal agent used for long periods at high doses, especially in immunosuppressed patients.Indicators and Reagents: Substances used for the detection, identification, analysis, etc. of chemical, biological, or pathologic processes or conditions. Indicators are substances that change in physical appearance, e.g., color, at or approaching the endpoint of a chemical titration, e.g., on the passage between acidity and alkalinity. Reagents are substances used for the detection or determination of another substance by chemical or microscopical means, especially analysis. Types of reagents are precipitants, solvents, oxidizers, reducers, fluxes, and colorimetric reagents. (From Grant & Hackh's Chemical Dictionary, 5th ed, p301, p499)Virology: The study of the structure, growth, function, genetics, and reproduction of viruses, and VIRUS DISEASES.Decision Support Systems, Management: Computer-based systems that enable management to interrogate the computer on an ad hoc basis for various kinds of information in the organization, which predict the effect of potential decisions.Penicillins: A group of antibiotics that contain 6-aminopenicillanic acid with a side chain attached to the 6-amino group. The penicillin nucleus is the chief structural requirement for biological activity. The side-chain structure determines many of the antibacterial and pharmacological characteristics. (Goodman and Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 8th ed, p1065)