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Microbiology is the study of disease-causing microorganisms. It is responsible for finding infectious agents in:
Other body fluids
The infectious agents can also be tested for sensitivity to certain antibiotics used to treat infections.
Microbiology uses many methods to find microorganisms, such as:
Chemical, immunological, and genetic tests
Exam under a microscope
Microorganisms can include:
Can diagnose bacterial or fungal blood infections
Burn, tissue, and wound culture
Can find disease-causing organisms in many tissues
Sputum culture or nasal swab
Can find bacteria that cause upper and lower respiratory tract infections, such as pneumonia
Can find parasites and bacteria that cause disease, such as salmonella or hookworms
Can find disease-causing bacteria in the kidneys and urinary tract
Throat swab or culture
Often used to diagnose or rule out strep throat
The culture may find there is an infection. Then the disease-causing microbe may be tested. This is done to figure out its sensitivity to antibiotic or antimicrobial medicines. Sometimes, antibiotics that should work don't work, because the microbes are resistant. This culture and sensitivity test can help the healthcare provider find the right medicine to treat an infection and avoid antibiotics that may not work.
Cultures may take 24 to 48 hours for results. Antibiotic susceptibility studies may take another 24 to 48 hours.
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