What are the roles of Medical Microbiologist?

Last updated on November 21st, 2021

Microbiologists work in public health laboratories, hospital laboratories, reference or independent laboratories, and physician office laboratories. Microbiologists must be aware of what the physician needs and as well as what the laboratory needs.

At an elementary level, the physician needs answers to three basic questions from the microbiology laboratory:

Role of Microbiologist: Cartoon by Czichos
  1. Is my patient’s illness caused by a microbe?
  2. If so, what is it?
  3. What is the antibiotic susceptibility profile of that organism so that therapy can be targeted?

To answer the above-mentioned questions, the laboratory needs quality specimen: a specimen that is sufficient in quantity as well as properly selected, collected, and transported. To ensure this, microbiologists must communicate with physicians, nurses, and laboratory staff regarding appropriate selection, collection, and transport methods. Preanalytical specimen management in a microbiology laboratory is critical to accuracy.

Roles of medical microbiologists differ according to the workstations. Medical microbiologists working in reference laboratories might be devoted to carrying out research in a particular gene whereas the microbiologist working in a general diagnostic laboratory are confined to routine laboratory works.

But in general a microbiologist will perform one or more of the following functions:

  1. Direct detection of pathogenic organisms by microscopy  (this might involve the use of staining techniques tailored for suspected pathogenic organisms).
  2. Cultivation (growth), identification, and antimicrobial susceptibility testing of microorganisms
  3. Direct detection of specific products of infecting organisms using chemical, immunologic, or molecular techniques.
  4. Detection of antibodies produced by the patient in response to an infecting organism (serodiagnosis).
  5. working with specialist computer software to undertake studies and research;
  6. Managing and overseeing laboratory work.
  7. Work as a key figure in the control of hospital infection and in the antimicrobial policy.
  8. Academic jobs:  microbiologists make a substantial contribution to teaching activity i.e. teaching  medical laboratory, medical science, or basic science students, preparing the assessment, and providing feedback

Looking for a job as a microbiologist? Try here

About Acharya Tankeshwar 476 Articles
Hello, thank you for visiting my blog. I am Tankeshwar Acharya. Blogging is my passion. I am working as an Asst. Professor and Microbiologist at Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Patan Academy of Health Sciences, Nepal. If you want me to write about any posts that you found confusing/difficult, please mention in the comments below.


  1. As a biotechnology student doing micro as a module…what posts for me are available for me in the medical field,will i even get employed in the medical field?

  2. Hello sir I am, microbiology student of 2nd semester i have little confusion about my field .could a microbiologists does all health related tests like malaria , typhoid, hepatitis A, and B, C etc?

    • Arif Jan, yest, its the (clinical/medical) microbiologist who is supposed to do such tests but in some lab, technicians might be doing the routine works. In some settings you may find serological tests under Biochemistry lab too (thus Biochemist running the tests).

  3. Iam a Bsc. Holder in public health Science with Second class upper Division, I want to do my post graduate Study PGD on Medical microbiology, instead of MSc. In public health. What is your advise to me.?

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