The Diagnostic Microbiology Development Program (DMDP) was co-founded in 2008 by Dr. Jim McLaughlin and Dr. Ellen Jo Baron to implement diagnostic microbiology laboratories and currently supports laboratories in the Kampong Cham, Takeo, Siem Reap, and Battambang Provincial Hospitals and in the National Institute of Public Health. DMDP uses experienced microbiologists as laboratory mentors working side by side with Cambodian staff using a simplified and reliable approach developed by Dr Ellen Jo Baron for the isolation, identification and antibiotic resistance testing of bacteria in specimens from patients with infectious diseases. This basic approach uses photos and diagrams to teach laboratory technicians how to collect specimens, inoculate agar plates, isolate and identify bacterial pathogens and perform standardized, reliable antibiotic susceptibility tests. This approach has been endorsed by WHO and used in many countries.
DMDP also has a team of physicians, nurses, and pharmacists who work closely with the Cambodian clinical staff for effective utilization of the clinical microbiology laboratories in the provincial hospitals. DMDP staff train and mentor Cambodian government physicians, nurses and pharmacists on ordering microbiology tests, appropriate collection of specimens, interpretation of laboratory results, and effective treatment of infectious diseases. The DMDP laboratory and clinical teams coordinate their efforts with Cambodian government colleagues at the national and hospital level to develop national guidance, training, and standard operating procedures (SOPs) to effectively implement surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), Antimicrobial Stewardship (AMR), Biosurveillance for rare and endemic pathogens, such as Burkholderia pseudomallei, and improved patient care and public health.
DMDP helped implement the Central Media Making Laboratory (CMML) at the University of Health Sciences (UHS) in Phnom Penh to provide high quality bacteriology culture media to Cambodian clinical laboratories as an efficient, less wasteful, more reliable approach than individual laboratories preparing media. A flock of sheep are maintained and cared for as a sustainable source for sheep blood, an essential ingredient for sheep blood agar (SBA) which is used for the growth of many bacterial pathogens. The CMML received ISO 9001 accreditation in 2018 and supplies media to >20 Cambodian laboratories.