JUN 08, 2016 11:00 AM PDT

Emerging infectious diseases - back to the future

  • Professor, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine University of Tennessee Health Science Center
      Vickie Baselski received her doctoral degree in microbiology from the University of Texas at Austin in 1978, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Medical and Public Health Laboratory Microbiology at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta from 1978-1980. She achieved certification by the American Board of Medical Microbiology in 1982, and attained fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology in 2000. She holds a current license as a microbiology and public health laboratory director in Tennessee. Her professional service activities have included technical direction of microbiology at The University of Tennessee Bowld Hospital, The Regional Medical Center at Memphis, and Memphis Pathology Laboratory/American Esoteric Laboratory. She currently serves as the laboratory director at the Shelby County Health Department, and as the microbiology technical director at at Methodist University Hospital and Regional One Health. She is a tenured Professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and plays an active teaching role in the area of infectious disease diagnostics. She also publishes in the area in of laboratory diagnosis of infectious diseases, particularly on topics of sexually transmitted diseases and lower respiratory tract infections. She is a member of the ASM Sentinel Laboratory Guideline Workgroup, and helped develop the Tennessee Sentinel Laboratory Preparedness Workshop for which she received an NLTN recognition award in 2004. She has continued to present annual updates on Emerging Infectious Diseases and the role of the Sentinel Laboratory for APHL. She was a member and subsequently Chair of the Professional Affairs Committee of the American Society for Microbiology where she worked on a number of regulatory, managerial, and reimbursement issues in diagnostic microbiology. She has prepared and presented statements on behalf of ASM to federal, state, and private professional groups on areas relating to reimbursement, including issues related to emerging technologies. She participates in national and regional workshops and audioconferences as well as publishing in these areas. She was recognized in 2007 with the ASM BioMerieux Sonnenwirth Award for Excellence in Clinical Microbiology, and in 2008 with the Trek Diagnostics ABMM/ABMLI Professional Recognition Award.


    An emerging infectious disease or re-emerging infectious disease is defined by WHO as “one that has appeared in a population for the first time, or that may have existed previously but is rapidly increasing in incidence or geographic range.” A 2003 IOM report identified several factors that have contributed to the emergence and re-emergence of infectious diseases. Healthcare has seen many examples of emerging infectious in the past few decades and each outbreak has presented new lessons for dealing with future outbreaks.  In addition, the microbiology laboratory is challenged to serve as both sentinels for the disease activity as well as resources for testing and diagnostic information, and there are lessons to be learned here as well. This presentation will highlight several recent situations involving emerging infectious diseases, discuss the key contributing factors, identify lessons learned for the future, and describe the critical role of the laboratory in outbreak response.
    Learning Objectives:

    1. Describe factors that contribute to emerging infectious diseases, and provide examples of infections related to those factors.
    2. Describe the role of the microbiology laboratory in recognition and diagnosis of emerging infectious diseases.

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