About the department of Medical MicrobiologyAt the department of Medical Microbiology, we conduct diagnostic research and provide treatment advice. We work on tracking, diagnosing, and treating infectious diseases caused by microorganisms, e.g. by bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi.
Work methodIf a doctor or treating specialist suspects that an infection is the cause of an illness, they will have samples taken from the patient: blood, urine, excrement, swab test, biopsy, or cerebrospinal fluid. Our analysts will check whether this material contains microorganisms that cause infection and illness. Microorganisms include parasites, mold, yeasts, bacteria, and viruses. The medical microbiologist will discuss the results with the treating physician and make recommendations for treatment and any further diagnostics. Our infection prevention experts also ensure that the guidelines regarding the spread of (resistant) microorganisms are adhered to in our hospital and in the associated institutions in the environment. In this way, we prevent the microorganisms from spreading.
Research techniquesDepending on the clinical case of the patient, we will conduct a variety of research:
- Cultivation of bacteria or mold and examining their sensitivity to antibiotics.
- Detecting parasites using a microscope.
- Detecting microorganisms using molecular technology, such as a polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
- Serological testing to detect exposure to various microorganisms.
- Testing to detect antigens from microorganisms.
ISO accreditation quality certification markThe patient care laboratory of our department is ISO 15189 accredited: registration number M135. This means that the quality of our laboratory is regularly tested by an independent party (ISO) and they assess that the quality of our lab meets the applicable standards. go to website
Diagnostic operations in our medical handbook
In our laboratory, people can reference hundreds of different diagnostic operations. All Medical Microbiology diagnostic operations can be found in the Radboud university medical center e-lab guide.
Go to the e-lab guide
For some operations, we collaborate with other high-quality laboratories. In order to make the quality and competencies of our operations available for review, a statement of competencies for outsourced research has been created. You can download this and print it out for your administration.
Address and route
Radboudumc main entrance
Geert Grooteplein Zuid 10
6525 GA Nijmegen
Post addressP.O. Box 9101
6500 HB Nijmegen
Internal post 777
Our focus areas
Education about medical microbiologyThe department of Medical Microbiology is involved in education in a variety of ways.
- We offer degree programs which train students to become medical microbiologists and medical molecular microbiologists.
- Medical Microbiology contributes to the degree program which trains students to become infectiologists.
- Medical interns can come to receive a brief introduction to medical microbiology.
- Researchers in training and students (WO and HBO) can come to our department for education and internships.
- We offer a degree program which trains students to become infection prevention experts.
Degree program medical microbiologistThe degree program which trains students to becoming a medical microbiologist can be taken after the Medicine study program and lasts for 5 years. During the degree program, students are taught to provide support in the field of infectious diseases. Students also learn to carry out the following tasks:
- laboratory diagnostics
- peer consultation
- laboratory management
- policy formation and development of protocols and guidelines
- epidemiology of infectious diseases and hospital hygiene
- public healthcare
- providing information, education, and training
- scientific research
Upon completion, students are registered as medical microbiologists in the register of specialists (MSRC). View the entire degree program curriculum on the website of the Nederlandse Vereniging Medische Microbiologie (Netherlands association of medical microbiology).
Medical Molecular Microbiologist degree programThe Medical Molecular Microbiologist (MMM) degree program delves deeper into the development, performance, and interpretation of molecular diagnostic research in microbiology.
This two-year degree program begins after registration as a Medical Microbiological Researcher (MMO) with the Stichting voor Opleiding tot Medisch-Biologisch Wetenschappelijk Onderzoeker (SMBWO - Foundation for the training of medical-biological scientific researchers). Information about the MMO degree program can be found in the Medical Microbiology section on the website of SMBWO.
The degree program is divided into 3 periods. After each period, an evaluation by the instructor will follow. The general format is as follows:
- 18 months of molecular diagnostics and molecular epidemiology
- 4 months of conventional bacteriology, virology, parasitology, mycology, and serology
- 2 months of infection prevention, quality, management, and education
As a Medical Molecular Microbiologist in training, you will record your progress in a log book. You will discuss this with your instructor. They will sign your log book.
After a discussion in the general assembly of the Concilium Microbiologicum Medicum (MMM), you will receive the certificate of “Medical Molecular Microbiologist”. Next, you will be entered into the MMM register of the Nederlands Vereniging voor Medische Microbiologie (Netherlands association for medical microbiology).
Read the full description of the Medical Molecular Microbiologist degree program and the professional profile on the website of the Nederlandse Vereniging voor Medische Microbiologie.
Clinical Mycology course for internsClinical mycology is a small but significant part of medical microbiology. Mold can cause serious infections in patients with weakened immune resistance. That is why it is very important to start with the right antifungal agent in the proper dosage to the patient. The course is specifically designed for PhD candidates in medical microbiology and is annually offered by the Expertisecentrum voor Schimmelinfecties (Expertise center for fungal infections) of Radboud university medical center/CWZ hospital.
- Course information (in Dutch)
Hygiene and Infection PreventionThe Hygiene and Infection team (HIP) advises healthcare departments in our hospital about preventing infections. This is important because the patients at Radboud university medical center have (temporarily) reduced immune resistance. They are susceptible to infection. read more
BacteriologyIn our bacteriology laboratory, we perform diagnostics in the field of bacterial infections. Medical microbiologists conduct many consults regarding the interpretation of testing and results. We also provide treatment recommendations to individual treatment providers and during multidisciplinary consultations. An example of this is daily antibiotic stewardship: discussion in collaboration with the internist-infectiologist and hospital pharmacists at our hospital.
Radboud university medical center is a tertiary referral center for orthopedic infections. For this reason, we pay a great deal of attention to improving on the diagnostics in this field as well as making them more efficient.
Special attention is given to correctly performing susceptibility testing and research into resistance development, including the use of whole genome sequencing.
Clinical virologyClinical virology provides rapid, adequate virological diagnostics and consultation for various patient groups inside and outside of Radboud university medical center. In addition to standard serological and molecular diagnostics for patients at the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd levels of care, virological diagnostics focuses on specific patient groups at the academic medical center:
- Immune-compromised patients (due to transplants, hematological malignancies, immune diseases, congenital disease, or medication).
- Patients with HIV and/or chronic hepatitis.
- Patient groups for which the Radboud university medical center operates as a knowledge center:
- The department of Medical Microbiology at Radboud university center, along with the AMC and the RIVM (National Institute for Public Health and the Environment) component of the Landelijk Expert Centrum Lyme (National Lyme expertise center). To do that, we perform high-quality diagnostics in the field of infections with Borrelia spp and we provide supporting consultation via a team of infectiologists and microbiologists.
- We conduct extensive Q-fever diagnostics in support of the Radboud Q-fever Expertise Center. This center was founded to optimize multidisciplinary care for (chronic) Q fever patients.
Medical parasitologyOur laboratory provides diagnostics into all parasitic infections. We have special expertise in the field of malaria diagnostics.
Malaria diagnostics entail:
- Suspicion of acute infection: CITO diagnostic (024-818 70 95) microscopy using QBC, thick smear, swab.
- Exclusion of exposure in the past: serology.
- Suspicion of very low infection (tropical splenomegaly syndrome): serology and PCR.
- Confirming positive microscopy or species: PCR.
Our infectiologists and medical microbiologists also offer consultative services for the support of diagnostics and treatment of tropical and parasitic infections.