Culture Smears: Importance and Reporting
The culture smear is used to determine the staining characteristic, size, shape and cellular arrangement of the unknown organism. This data helps the microbiologist to decide on additional culture and identification methods.
By correlating the Gram stain reaction, size, shape, and cellular arrangement of the organism with colony morphology and growth requirements, the microbiologist may be able to tentatively identify the organism. This information may help the physician to optimize treatment until definitive culture and antibiotic susceptibility results become available.
Gram stain reaction and bacterial shape must be included in the report.
The cellular arrangement is usually not included in the report since it may vary depending on the culture medium (liquid or solid) used to isolate the organism.
The following 12 screens contain additional ungraded practice questions pertinent to the material covered.