December 7, 2020 Intelligence: Late-Breaking Lab News

Supply chain issues associated with the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic are about to disrupt testing for other infectious diseases, ranging from strep throat and pneumonia to sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs). That was one important finding from the American Society for Microbiology’s (ASM) November survey of 134 microbiology labs around the country. More than half of the responding labs report shortages of supplies used in the microbiology lab for non-COVID-19 infections. 

MORE ON: Shortage of Microbiology Test Supplies

ASM’s survey responses from the week of Nov. 20-27, 2020, were summarized as follows:

• 70.0% of labs are short of supplies for the molecular detection of sexually transmitted infections.

• 39.1% of labs are short of supplies for detection of routine bacteria (including the bacteria causing strep throat, pneumonia, bronchitis, and urinary tract infections).

• 35.3% of labs are short of supplies for mycobacteria testing (including supplies for tuberculosis (TB), Buruli ulcer, and pulmonary nontuberculous mycobacterial disease testing).

• 17.6% of labs are short of supplies for routine fungal testing, ranging from superficial, localized skin conditions to deeper tissue infections to serious lung, blood (septicemia) or systemic diseases.


Last month, the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP) and the Clinical Laboratory Management Association (CLMA) announced a partnership. In that agreement, CLMA members will receive ASCP benefits. When CLMA’s virtual KnowledgeLab convenes in 2021, it will be “co-hosted” by CLMA and ASCP. All members of the two organizations will receive free registration. This collaboration is evidence that the pandemic, travel bans, and other factors are disrupting the normal educational conferences and workshops that laboratory professionals regularly attended prior to the pandemic. 


Mark McDonough was appointed as CEO of PierianDx of Creve Coeur, Missouri. He has held executive positions at CombiMatrix Molecular Diagnostics, Pathwork Diagnostics, DIANON Systems, US Labs, and Ventana Medical Systems. 

• NDA Partners, of Rochelle, Va., said that Julie Ballard had joined the firm as an Expert Consultant. She previously held positions at Seer, Grail, Guardant Health, and TOMA Biosciences.

That’s all the insider intelligence for this report. 

Look for the next briefing on Monday, December 28, 2020.

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