Presentations and posters will cover topics such as mycobacterial infections, increasing rates of macrolide drug resistance, the state of parasitology following the COVID-19 pandemic, and more.

June 12, 2024

Medical directors, fellows, and scientists from ARUP Laboratories will showcase their latest research and advancements in laboratory medicine for infectious diseases at the upcoming American Society of Microbiology (ASM) Microbe 2024 conference.

The conference will be held in Atlanta, Georgia, from June 13 to 17 and will feature sessions on emerging topics and research in the microbial sciences.

Salika Shakir, PhD, D(ABMM), ARUP medical director of Mycology and Acid-Fast Bacillus (AFB), will join Reeti Khare, PhD, D(ABMM), to discuss the current challenges in the diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis and nontuberculous mycobacterial infections. The slow growth of mycobacteria makes culture and phenotypic susceptibility testing a lengthy process, delaying treatment. Shakir and Khare will address strategies and emerging technologies to overcome this challenge. Their presentation, “Moving Into the Future: New Tools for Detection and Resistance Testing of Mycobacteria,” will be on Saturday, June 15, at 1:45 p.m.

Also on Saturday, ARUP medical microbiology fellow Tristan Grams, PhD, will present as part of a discussion on unusual clinical cases, “Bench to Bedside: Challenging Clinical Cases - Part 2.”

Marc Couturier, PhD, ARUP medical director of emerging public health crises, and Blaine Mathison, BS, M(ASCP), ARUP scientist III, along with Anisha Misra, PhD, will present an in-depth symposium to discuss the state of diagnostic parasitology following the COVID-19 pandemic, exploring how labs can reengage in parasite detection. They will discuss best practices, common mistakes, and new technologies. Their presentation, “Diagnostic Parasitology: Best Practices and Future Directions,” will be on Monday, June 17.

In addition, Weston Hymas, MS, MB(ASCP), Research and Development scientific manager, Mark Fisher, MD, medical director of Bacteriology and Special Microbiology, and Shakir will exhibit their recent study on macrolide detection and resistance rates, which identified high rates of macrolide resistance-associated mutations in Mycoplasma genitalium from urogenital samples in a screening and diagnostic population. Their poster, “Detection Rates of Mycoplasma genitalium in Urogenital Samples at a National Reference Laboratory,” will be on display in the exhibit hall on Sunday, June 16.

The increasing rate of resistance to macrolides is a growing concern. ARUP is one of the only laboratories to offer an assay that detects and determines macrolide resistance in a single test to aid in the identification of more effective therapies.

More information on this development and validation of this assay will also be presented in a poster session. The poster, titled, “Development and Validation of a Real-Time PCR Assay to Detect Mycoplasma genitalium With Macrolide Resistance,” also by Hymas, Fisher, and Shakir, will be on display on Friday, June 14.

As part of its core mission, ARUP continually engages in the advancement of laboratory medicine for the betterment of patient care.

Last December, ARUP developed and validated an assay to detect drug-resistant mutations in cytomegalovirus that uses massively parallel sequencing. The assay analyzes multiple genes simultaneously and can detect drug-resistant variants at lower populations than can previous methods. As part of the assay, ARUP also developed software that aids in the detection and reporting of drug resistance. ARUP has made the software available to the public at no cost.

For more information on sessions, see the full schedule of presentations and posters by ARUP experts below.


Thursday, June 13

Histopathology of Infectious Diseases for Clinical Microbiologists
B. Mathison, B. Pritt, G. Procop, B. Bradley
8:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m.

BioFilms Mini-Conference
M. Burmølle, G. Micali, D. Karig, B. Bradley, C. Belzer
1:30 p.m.–4:00 p.m.

Friday, June 14

Battle of the Brains: Clinical and Public Health Microbiology
B. Bradley
8:15 a.m.–10:15 a.m., CPHM-IDS-002

Saturday, June 15

Moving Into the Future: New Tools for Detection and Resistance Testing of Mycobacteria
R. Khare, S. Shakir
1:45 p.m.–3:45 p.m.

Bench to Bedside: Challenging Clinical Cases - Part 2
T. Grams
3:15 p.m.–4:15 p.m., CIV-PD-002

Monday, June 17

Diagnostic Parasitology: Best Practices and Future Directions
A. Misra, B. Mathison, M. Couturier
8:15 a.m.–10:15 a.m.


Development and Validation of a Real-Time PCR Assay to Detect Mycoplasma genitalium With Macrolide Resistance.
W. Hymas, S. Shakir, M. Fisher

Characterization of a Rare Non-Tuberculous Mycobacterium, Mycobacterium saskatchewanense Isolated From Clinical Specimens
D. Montelongo-Jauregui, E. Young, K. James, V. Escuyer, A. Carey, A. Rossi, S. Shakir

Detection Rates of Mycoplasma genitalium in Urogenital Samples at a National Reference Laboratory
W. Hymas, M. Fisher, S. Shakir

Identification and Characterization of an Invasive, Hyper-Aerotolerant Campylobacter jejuni From a Blood Culture of a Pediatric Leukemia Patient
B.M. Liu, X. Zeng, K. Lloyd, R. Hamdy, C. Shapiro, J. Campos, M. Fisher, L. Jun

Evaluation of Artificial Intelligence Software for Screening of Stool Cultures
T. Grams, A. Ma, N. Baker, M. Hirschi, M. Fisher


Kellie Carrigan, kellie.carrigan@aruplab.com