Forensic Science Medicine And Pathology 2021

Microbiology in minimally invasive autopsy: best techniques to detect infection. ESGFOR (ESCMID study group of forensic and post-mortem microbiology) guidelines.

Saegeman V, Cohen MC, Burton JL, Martínez MJ, Rakislova N, Offiah AC, Fernández-Rodríguez A
This manuscript aims to: 1) provide specific guidelines on PMM techniques in the setting of minimally invasive autopsy (MIA), both for pathologists collecting samples and for microbiologists advising pathologists and interpreting the results and 2) introduce standardization in PMM sampling at MIA. Post-mortem microbiology (PMM) is crucial to identify the causative organism in deaths due to infection. MIA including the use of post-mortem (PM) computed tomography (CT) and PM magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), is increasingly carried out as a complement or replacement for the traditional PM. In this setting, mirroring the traditional autopsy, PMM aims to: detect infectious organisms causing sudden unexpected deaths; confirm clinically suspected but unproven infection; evaluate the efficacy of antimicrobial therapy; identify emergent pathogens; and recognize medical diagnostic errors. Meaningful interpretation of PMM results requires careful evaluation in the context of the clinical history, macroscopic and microscopic findings. These guidelines were developed by a multidisciplinary team with experts in various fields of microbiology and pathology on behalf of the ESGFOR (ESCMID - European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases - Study Group of Forensic and Post-mortem Microbiology, in collaboration with the ESP -European Society of Pathology-) based on a literature search and the author's expertise. Microbiological sampling methods for MIA are presented for various scenarios: adults, children, developed and developing countries. Concordance between MIA and conventional invasive autopsy is substantial for children and adults and moderate for neonates and maternal deaths. Networking and closer collaboration among microbiologists and pathologists is vital to maximize the yield of PMM in MIA.