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Applying the 5 Is of Microbiology

Applying the 5 Is of Microbiology

In microbiology, five crucial steps are applied in the location, growing, observation, and characterization of microorganisms. These steps are known as the 5 I’s, and in a sequence of the first step to the last, they incorporate inoculation, incubation, isolation, inspection, and identification. These steps are the go-to in all microbiological processes, especially in identifying emerging infectious diseases. One of the most recent infectious diseases that is causing a serious global health concern is Candida auris (Bao et al., 2018). This microorganism causes severe infections, primarily in the bloodstream, which have high mortality rates. In addition, Candida auris is prevalent in hospital settings, especially in intensive care settings (Mahmoudi et al., 2019).

Application of the Five I’s of Microbiology in Candida auris.

After a sample with a suspected microorganism (Candida auris) is collected, the first step is to provide an environment for the sample to grow so that more tests can be done on an unlimited supply of microorganisms. These tests also help with the elimination of contaminants; this is known as inoculation (Opota, 2015). During this process, the sample is placed in a sterile growth medium containing many nutrients for the fast growth of the microorganism. For Candida auris, a selective medium of blood culture placed in blood culture bottles is used. The media is then spiked with strains of the microorganism combined with 12.5% sodium chloride and 9Mm ferrous sulphate mixed with YPD. Subsequently, the culture is then incubated at 42℃ (Das et al., 2021).

While other traditional growth media allow other strains of Candida to grow on them, this particular media has a high salt and metal concentration and a high temperature of incubation. These conditions inhibit other isolates of Candida from growing, apart from Candida auris, which is tolerant to these conditions (Das et al., 2021). The fourth step involves the inspection, whereby the culture is inspected for growth characteristics and other essential details that are useful in assessing the microorganisms. This is mostly done using a microscope. The last step is identification, which determines the exact species of the microorganism. For Candida auris, very few identification techniques can be applied, including MALDI-TOF MS, ribosomal DNA sequencing, or Candida auris-specific PCR or qPCR (Bao et al., 2018).

The Challenging ‘I’ to Complete

In the application of the Five I’s of microbiology for Candida auris, identification is the most challenging step. This is because most identification methods that use conventional phenotypic techniques make it difficult to differentiate between numerous species of Candida (Bao et al., 2018). In addition, some commercial identification systems fail to identify or misidentify Candida auris for other Candida isolates. Most routine lab settings in hospitals use commercial identification systems or conventional phenotypic techniques, all of which make it hard to identify these microorganisms correctly.

As mentioned before, Candida auris is a global health concern because of three main reasons based all on its characteristics. First, the microorganisms are not only difficult to identify, but they are also frequently misidentified, which leads to low recognition of their prevalence and wrong treatment (Iguchi et al., 2019). Second, the microorganism is highly resistant to most antifungal medications, making it even more challenging to treat them. Lastly, Candida auris can maintain easy colonization in a person’s body and any other environment, for example, hospital settings.


Bao, J. R., Master, R. N., Azad, K. N., Schwab, D. A., Clark, R. B., Jones, R. S., & Shier, K. L. (2018). Rapid, accurate identification of Candida auris by using a novel matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization–time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) database (library). Journal of Clinical Microbiology56(4), e01700-17.

Das, S., Singh, S., Tawde, Y., Chakrabarti, A., Rudramurthy, S. M., Kaur, H., & Ghosh, A. (2021). A selective medium for isolation and detection of Candida auris, an emerging pathogen. Journal of Clinical Microbiology59(2), e00326-20.

Iguchi, S., Itakura, Y., Yoshida, A., Kamada, K., Mizushima, R., Arai, Y., & Kikuchi, K. (2019). Candida auris: a pathogen difficult to identify, treat, and eradicate and its characteristics in Japanese strains. Journal of Infection and Chemotherapy25(10), 743-749.

Mahmoudi, S., Afshari, S. A. K., Gharehbolagh, S. A., Mirhendi, H., & Makimura, K. (2019). Methods for identification of Candida auris, the yeast of global public health concern: A review. Journal de mycologie medicale29(2), 174-179.

Opota, O., Croxatto, A., Prod’hom, G., & Greub, G. (2015). Blood culture-based diagnosis of bacteraemia: state of the art. Clinical Microbiology and Infection21(4), 313-322.


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Read about the Five I’s in Microbiology. (Inoculation, Incubation, Isolation, Inspection, and Identification)
Building on the concept of the 5 I’s, search for a current or past infectious disease in the news.

Applying the 5 I’s of Microbiology

Applying the 5 I’s of Microbiology

In a one to two-page paper, Examine how the Five I’s of Microbiology are being applied to your infectious disease.
Research which of the Five I’s may be the most difficult to complete.
Provide an explanation for your reasoning.

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