Aspects of Safety and Quality Control

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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Arthropods and the Clinical Laboratory. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

Learn more about Arthropods and the Clinical Laboratory (online CE course)
Aspects of Safety and Quality Control

In the microbiology laboratory, safety is of utmost importance. Suspected arthropods of medical importance must be submitted and transported to the laboratory in proper containers, following the policies of the facility. If the suspect organisms are not immobilized by alcohol or formalin fixatives, a live and creeping, crawling (or hopping and jumping) arthropod could escape as the microbiologist opens the container. The arthropod might harbor a bacteria, virus, or parasite. Scabies mites are highly contagious.
Always be prepared by wearing all required personal protective equipment and taking all precautions to prevent the escape of the organism.
Quality control (QC) for arthropod identification is minimal compared with other laboratory test procedures. However, some basic QC is required.
  • Microscope (measurement tools, such as the ocular micrometer, require periodic calibration)
  • Microscope maintenance log