Microbiology is a very important biological science, given that the micro-organisms (bacteria, fungi, viruses) are present in all habitats and their activities have great effects in numerous areas of interest, especially in the study of pathogenic micro-organisms.
Micro-organisms are living things of very small size which can only be seen using a microscope, with the result that for the study it is necessary to obtain thousands or millions of individual organisms. These populations are obtained by making the micro-organisms grow under more or less well-defined conditions such as cultures.
Clinical microbiology is based on study by different techniques of identification of the microorganism causing different infections which occur in our organism as well as the determination of their sensitivity to different antibiotics and antifungal treatments. .
The methods based on culture in culture mediums continue to be recommended for the isolation and subsequent identification and conduct of an anti-biogram (a technique which makes it possible to measure the sensitivity of a strain of bacteria which is suspected of being responsible for an infection to one or several antibiotics), for the majority of infections caused by bacteria. Some examples of this are as follows:
- Infections of the urinary tract (urine culture)
- Gastrointestinal infections (stool culture)
- Infections of the seminal tracts (semen culture)
- Infections of the upper respiratory tracts (culture of pharyngeal, nasal and aural exudates…)
- Infections of the lower respiratory tracts (culture bronchial sputum, etc. )
- Infections of wounds
- Infections of internal organs (cultures of sterile liquids)