British Society for Microbial Technology

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The BSMT is famous for its excellent Microbiology conferences!

  • Date for your Diary!

    BSMT Annual Scientific Conference 2019
    Thursday 16 May 2019, Royal Air Force Museum, Hendon
    Respiratory Microbiology – A Day of Inspiration

    As usual, we have excellent speakers with topics to cover aspects of the Respiratory Microbiology:

    • Clinical perspectives of respiratory infection
      Dr Simon Tiberi, Infectious Diseases Consultant, Division of Infection, Barts Health NHS Trust, London
    • Invasive fungal infections and the need for improved diagnostic testing
      Dr S. G. Agrawal, Blizard Institute, Queen Mary, University of London
    • Cystic Fibrosis Microbiome
      Professor Chris van der Gast, Professor of Microbiology, Manchester Metropolitan University, School of Healthcare Sciences
    • Non tuberculous mycobacterial infections
      Dr Katherina Kranzer, Associate Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
    • New diagnostics for MDR/XDR-TB
      Dr Riccardo Alegna, Emerging Bacterial Pathogens Unit, WHO Collaborating Centre and TB Supranational Reference Laboratory, Milan
    • Respiratory tract infections: diagnostic tests which make a difference
      Dr Kate Templeton, Consultant Clinical Scientist and Honorary Lecturer in Medical Microbiology, Edinburgh
    • Severe respiratory infections in the ICU
      Professor Mervyn Singer, Professor of Intensive Care Medicine, University College London, Gower St, London

    Professor Brian Duerden CBE and Professor Eric Bolton, President of the BSMT, will chair the conference.

    If you have difficulty accessing the links, the programme and application form may also obtained by emailing and we will send you the documents as attachments in MS Word.

    We will again have a comprehensive trade show and are grateful to the following commercial companies for supporting the forthcoming conference. It is only with their support that BSMT conferences can take place:

    • Alpha Laboratories Limited
    • Beckman Coulter UK Limited
    • Becton Dickinson UK Limited
    • Bioconnections Limited
    • BioMérieux UK Limited
    • Bruker UK Limited
    • Culture Collections Public Health England
    • Don Whitley Scientific Limited
    • E&O Laboratories
    • Genetic Signatures
    • Launch Diagnostics Limited
    • Mast Group Limited
    • Medical Wire and Equipment Co Limited
    • Mobidiag Ltd
    • Pro-lab Diagnostics
    • Qiagen
    • R-Biopharm Rhône Limited
    • Serosep UK Ltd
    • Siemens Healthineers
    • Sysmex UK Ltd

BSMT conferences are aimed at senior biomedical and clinical scientists, other scientists, medical microbiologists and other healthcare professionals. They are particularly relevant for bench microbiologists to provide up-to-date information about organisms and techniques especially with regard to new molecular technologies.

We had a great Symposium on 19 October 2018 in Liverpool - many thanks to everyone who came. Thank you to the Exhibitors for their continued support and thank you to the delegates who joined us, many of whom travelled significant distances. Thank you especially to the speakers who provided some very interesting and thought provoking talks and to the chairs for keeping everyone in order. Thank you also to the Maritime Museum for providing an excellent venue.

The BSMT 33rd Annual Scientific Conference, held in May 2018 at PHE, Colindale, was also a decisive success. The conference focused on Rapid Diagnostics – Time is Relative. It teased out some of the benefits and advantages of new technology whilst also reviewing and describing improvements with some older technologies. This use of conventional methods was shown to be particularly relevant in blood stream infections where streamlining the process from blood collection to identification of the organism responsible improved patient outcomes. This excellent presentation from Dr Michael Weinbren is accessible on the presentations page, along with some of the other talks from the meeting. We also have a comprehensive write-up from the meeting in Pathology in Practice.

Recent Events

Evaluation Reports

View the Evaluation Report on the 2018 Autumn Symposium in Liverpool here

View the Evaluation Report on the 2018 Annual Scientific Meeting here

View the Evaluation Report on the 2017 Annual Scientific Meeting here

View the Evaluation Report on the 2016 Annual Scientific Meeting here

View the Evaluation Report on the 2015 Annual Scientific Meeting here

View the Evaluation Report on the 2014 Annual Scientific Meeting here

View the Evaluation Report on the 2013 Sheffield Symposium here

View the Evaluation Report on the 2013 Annual Scientific Meeting here

View the Evaluation Report on the 2012 Annual Scientific Meeting here

Responding to the Evaluation Reports

The BSMT committee is very pleased with the feedback from delegates on the scientific meetings where over 90% of those completing the form scored the content, speakers and venue very highly. Praise from delegates included:
Excellent speakers
Professional presentations in high profile establishment with excellent Chairs
Excellent trade show and opportunity for networking
Good food
Variety of topics

Please follow the link to find out about the criticisms and how we are responding!

About Us:

The BSMT is a not-for-profit organisation of healthcare scientists and medical microbiologists working mainly in the NHS and Public Health England. The society's aim is to promote an exchange of information on laboratory practices in clinical microbiology and it does this mainly by organising an annual scientific conference every May in Colindale and every other year holds an autumn symposium in a regional venue.

The BSMT was founded in 1985 by microbiologists from a widespread geographical area in the UK with a common interest in antimicrobial susceptibility sensitivity testing and with concerns about the plethora of methods and the need for validation of procedures. Since then, the BSMT has become broader in its interests and covers many different aspects of microbial technology and management. The BSMT has complementary roles by offering grants to support laboratory based education and facilitating consultation of microbiology guidance / policies via this website.

In 1986, the Society produced a Handbook for Multipoint Methods which is available for download.

Laboratory Education Grants

The BSMT offers Laboratory Education Grants of up to £1000. Ideally, these will support the practical side of laboratory-orientated education. For example, they may be used to purchase consumables or commercial kits used in the project module of microbiology courses.

Grants will be awarded on the basis of the application’s quality and its relevance to diagnostic microbiology. Submissions should include a budget breakdown of costs.

If you would like to apply, please fill out the Laboratory Education Grants Application Form and post it to the address in the form. If you would like to discuss an application in advance of applying, please contact Sally Lowe at

Invitation to Comment on UK Standards for Microbiology Investigations

All microbiologists are invited to comment of the UK Standards for Microbiology Investigations (SMIs).
To access current SMIs and documents under consultation follow the following link on the PHE website: UK Standards for Microbiology Investigations.
To access documents "under consultation" please go to the following link Publications: Consultations.

Additional information on the UK Standards for Microbiology Investigations can be viewed here.

Fifty years of microbiology, antibiotics and vaccines

Read Trevor Winstanley's article: 'Fifty years of microbiology, antibiotics and vaccines'.

Past Events:

Over the past few years, the BSMT has run several very successful annual scientific meetings at the Centre for Infections, Colindale, in North London.

The BSMT, with colleagues from the NHS and HPA, has also convened four Management in Microbiology Conferences in October 2004, November 2005, November 2006 and November 2007.


Contact the BSMT at or any of the committee members.