Research Topic

Clinical Microbiology in Low Resource Settings

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The field of clinical microbiology faces increased pressures in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) where the burden of infection is highest and health systems are least able to respond. The current gaps in our knowledge relating to detection, characterization, effective treatment and follow-up constrain ...

The field of clinical microbiology faces increased pressures in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) where the burden of infection is highest and health systems are least able to respond. The current gaps in our knowledge relating to detection, characterization, effective treatment and follow-up constrain national governments and international organizations in their efforts to detect evolving trends and emerging threats.

As is true for many topics, hospitals and communities in different LMIC settings have unique challenges and methods for overcoming those challenges fully or partially. The regional and national variations of clinical microbiology implementation in LMICs limit our understanding and the extend to which clinical microbiology results can inform national and international health policies. An important component, and common limitation of health systems in LMICs are the human resources to do work, across all cadres of staff, including clinical, laboratory, managerial, policy-making, data analysis, project management groups. Microbiological expertise is particularly limited. An integrated model, combining clinical, laboratory and demographic information remains perhaps a distant aspiration. As such the need to share knowledge and experiences is an effective approach to remove communication barriers and contribute to reducing the inequities in understanding disease burden worldwide.

This themed issue aims to explore the implementation of clinical microbiology in LMICs through comparative and evidence-based examples from across the world. It will incorporate critical, theoretically informed and empirically grounded contributions which explore diverse approaches, case studies, conceptual framings, critiques and reviews in an interdisciplinary manner. Suitable article types will need to adhere to the Journal article categories. The Research Topic welcomes a multi-dimensionality of these themes and invites contributions from all areas of clinical microbiology. Studies describing the clinical relevance of new diagnostic tools in the clinical management of the infected patient living in low resource are also welcome.

We particularly welcome contributions that include but are not limited to responding to the following topics:
- Predictive microbiology for antibiotic resistant microorganisms
- Development and evaluation of improved or novel antimicrobial clinical interventions to reduce the risk of antimicrobial resistance emergence in pathogens in different LMIC settings
- Development of analytical methods for risk assessment studies
- Clinical microbiology methods for epidemiological, monitoring and surveillance studies in LMICs
- Diagnostic service organisational models by level of care;  
- Development and clinical validation of robust/portable technologies suitable for “field/low skills” laboratory environments;
- eHealth/mobile Health communication technology for field microscopy and automated notification of molecular testing results to healthcare providers
- Epidemiological surveillance systems/public health workers

All papers must be submitted online and will be subject to peer review.


Keywords: Clinical, Microbiology, Low resource, LMICs (Low- and Middle-Income Countries), developing countries


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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