Microbiology is the branch of medical science concerned with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases caused by pathogens such as bacteria, fungi, yeasts, parasites or viruses. A microbiologist studies the characteristics of pathogens, their modes of transmission, mechanisms of infection and growth to devise a treatment. The pioneer of modern bacteriology, German physician and microbiologist Robert Koch, was the first to identify the specific causative agents of tuberculosis, cholera, and anthrax by isolating pure bacterial cultures for which he was awarded a Nobel Prize in medicine.
The primary method used for isolation of infectious diseases in the laboratory is microbiological culture. Tissue or fluid samples are tested for the presence of a specific pathogen, which is determined by in vitro growth in a selective or differential medium. The medium can either be a solid culture (most bacteria and fungi), a liquid culture (certain parasites), or a cell culture (mostly for virus testing). When the pathogen has been isolated it can be studied with a light microscope. Here, contrast can be improved with various non-specific or specific stains such as the Gram stain that also allows to differentiate between Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria due to differences in the composition of the bacterial cell wall.
As most pathogens are very small (the average diameter of bacteria is between 0.2 and 2.0 micrometer) the light microscope not only needs to feature high magnifications but also oil immersion objectives to improve morphological examinations when differentiating between cocci (spheres), rods (bacilli) and spirals (spirochetes). Even higher specificity can be achieved with fluorescence microscopy, either unspecific for tuberculosis identification or highly specific with antibody-coupled immunofluorescence and FISH (fluorescence in-situ hybridization).
A very good differentiation of bacterial cell types and clearly visible cellular details are absolute prerequisites in microbiology. Microbiologists rely on crystal-clear images to examine cysts, protozoa and worm eggs in stool samples, Plasmodia in blood samples, or mycobacteria and other pathogenic microorganisms. For microscopic examination brightfield, phase contrast, darkfield, fluorescence, immunofluorescence, or FISH microscopy techniques are used. The optical quality of the microscope, the fidelity of the attached camera for digital documentation, and the ergonomic design of the instrument can make the difference when screening patient samples efficiently.
ZEISS Axiolab 5
Axiolab 5 is made for the clinical routine work that goes on every day in your microbiology or parasitology lab. Ergotubes and the height and torque adaptable stage handle allow you to work in a comfortable position, even during extended use. The constant color temperature of the LED and the light manager facilitate system operation and digital documentation. Combine Axiolab 5 with the microscope camera Axiocam 208 color and take full advantage of the smart microscopy concept: you'll be experiencing a completely new form of digital documentation in your daily clinical routine. Just focus your sample and press a single button for crisp 4k images in true color. Therefore you can document even moving samples such as cysts in stool samples with ease. A scale bar in the image is automatically included. Additional measurement and counting tools are available with the ease to use software Labscope. To store images with the respective patient ID Axiocam 208 color can be integrated with laboratory information systems that support Twain. For fluorescence, the powerful LEDs in various wavelengths are both energy efficient and easier to handle than conventional HBO illumination.
ZEISS Axioscope 5
Axioscope 5 makes documenting your microbiology samples very efficient. The color impression shows up in the camera image exactly the same as it appears through the eyepieces. This smart microscope makes automatic adjustments for brightness and white balance to keep digital documentation for your clinical routine tasks easy. All you have to do is focus on your sample, press the ergonomic Snap button on the microscope, and that's it. With the very high color rendering index LED you will clearly see subtle differences in your stained microbiology samples and experience all the advantages of LED illumination such as stable color temperature, low energy consumption and long lifetime. Acquiring fluorescent images has never been so easy. Combine Axioscope 5 with the LED light source Colibri 3 and the sensitive, standalone microscope camera Axiocam 202 mono to have the perfect setup for easy multichannel fluorescence documentation - even without a PC.
Detect and characterize your microbiological samples such as viruses or bacteria with high resolution and in a large field of view - with Gemini technology. Gemini optics stands for more than 20 years of experience in field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM). Produce high resolution transmission images with the aSTEM detector. Benefit from easier sample processing and system handling procedures and the higher sample throughput of the SEM for your routine work.
Info Graphic: Gram Staining in 5 Steps
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