Volume 60, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


A clinical bacteriologic laboratory was established in a tertiary care government hospital in The Philippines, where expert bacteriologic laboratories do not usually exist at this level of health care. The laboratory was jointly established by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) (Manila, The Philippines) and the National Public Health Institute (KTL) (Helsinki, Finland). The laboratory was planned, its personnel were trained, and its functioning was continuously supported by the RITM and KTL. The following aspects were of utmost importance in establishing the laboratory and launching its work: 1) the support of the RITM bacteriologic laboratory, with back-up and consultations from KTL; 2) creation and maintenance of personal contacts between clinicians and laboratory staff with an emphasis on clinical relevance and rapid reporting of laboratory results; 3) the consideration of the quality aspects of the work from the start; and 4) keen follow-up of the bacteriologic results and their clinical significance and use, of practical laboratory work, and of quality assurance aspects. In the first two years of its operation, the laboratory identified Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae as the most important causes of severe pneumonia, sepsis or meningitis in children less than two years of age, and Salmonella typhi as the most frequent significant isolate from the blood cultures, being found most often in school age children and young adults.


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