James Snyder and Gwen McMillin will be at Clinical Diagnostics and Research, will you?


The 8th annual Clinical Diagnostics & Research free virtual conference is coming up next week! The conference offers an amazing opportunity to benefit from interacting with a global community of like-minded colleagues from the comfort of home, and the opportunity to earn free CME and CE Credits.

Topics for this year’s virtual conference will focus on Diagnostic Analysis and Management, ABIM/Consumer Reports Choosing Wisely Initiative, Mental Health and Healthy Aging, Vitamin D, Pain Management, and Evolution Biomarker and Regulation in Clinical Labs. Be sure not to miss these engaging speakers…

snyderJames Snyder, PhD, a Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Louisville and the Medical Director of the Clinical Microbiology & Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory at the University of Louisville Hospital, will be a Keynote speaker this year, giving his presentation on “Integration of the Simplexa C. difficile Direct assay into a two-step algorithm for the laboratory diagnosis of C. difficile.”

Dr. Snyder is a part of ASM, currently serves on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, is a member of the APHL Biosafety/Biosecurity Committee and the South Central Association for Clinical Microbiology Audioconference Planning Committee, and President Elect of SCACM. He has authored or co-authored over 60 publications and was the recipient of the TREK Diagnostic ABMM/ABMLI Professional Recognition Award at ASM in 2009.

Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) has become the leading cause of healthcare associated infections in the United States and currently accounts for 15% to 20% of infectious diarrhea in the healthcare setting.  Accurate diagnosis of CDI is critical in promoting effective management of patients and implementing appropriate infection control measures to prevent transmission.  Reliable diagnostic tests are needed to confirm a presumptive clinical diagnosis of CDI.

Nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT) have become available within the last ten years and have been used in one of two ways: 1) Direct testing, 2) algorithmic testing as a supplement to enzyme immunoassay (EIA) for the detection of glutamate dehydrogenase and Toxin A/B.  Much controversy exists as to which approach is optimal for laboratory diagnosis.  The latest NAAT-based test to enter the market is the Simplexa C. difficile Direct Assay.   An evaluation of this technology was conducted for the purpose of determining its overall performance and potential integration into two-step algorithm testing format.  The assay was evaluated and compared to two other NAAT platforms.  The results of this evaluation are the subject of this presentation.

gwenGwen McMillin, PhD, the Medical Director for Toxicology and Pharmacogenetics at ARUP Laboratories and Professor of Pathology at the University of Utah School of Medicine, will be giving her presentation on “Monitoring Pain Management Medications in Pregnancy and the Neonate.”

Dr. McMillin is certified by the American Board of Clinical Chemistry in clinical chemistry and toxicological chemistry. She is actively involved in professional associations such as the International Association of Therapeutic Drug Monitoring and Clinical Chemistry (IATDMCT), the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC), and the College of American Pathologists (CAP). Her primary interests include detection of neonatal drug exposures, as well as clinical applications and implementation of pharmacogenomics.

Acute and chronic pain are often managed with drug therapy, which may include extended use of drug classes such as opioids and benzodiazepines.  Pain does not go away and may intensify during pregnancy.  A woman who uses drugs (prescribed and/or non-prescribed) during pregnancy may expose her unborn child to compounds that could adversely affect neonatal development, may lead to premature delivery, and may precipitate a characteristic withdrawal syndrome called neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS).  In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that among 28 states surveyed, the overall incidence of NAS increased by 300% from 1999 to 2013.

A pregnant woman that has a known addiction to opioids may be managed with opioid substitution agents such as buprenorphine or methadone, which may reduce the incidence and severity of NAS.  Nonetheless, treatment of NAS may require several weeks of intensive care for the newborn, as well as extensive follow-up care and social management.  As such, accurate and timely detection of in utero substance exposure is a critical component of pre- and post-natal care and can assure provision of appropriate medical and social services for the newborn, the mother, and the associated caregivers.  Testing biological specimens for drugs is an important tool for detection and confirmation of drug exposure.  This presentation will describe pros and cons of several specimen types used to monitor exposure to medications during pregnancy and after delivery.  Common analytical methods and challenges with interpretation of results will also be discussed.


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