Microbiology, Medical Laboratory Science, and Science Laboratory Technology are different courses which have a whole lot of differences. In one of my posts, I have explained the difference between SLT and MLS.
But in this article, I will discuss the difference between microbiology and medical laboratory science; microbiology and science laboratory technology.
Firstly, it is important to know define microbiology. It is the study of microscopic organisms, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa. This discipline includes fundamental research on the biochemistry, physiology, cell biology, ecology, evolution and clinical aspects of microorganisms, including the host response to these agents.
MLS is a clinical science course with specialization on Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, Virology and Mycology, Public Health and Epidemiology, Histopathology and Cytopathology, Chemical pathology or Clinical chemistry, etc. This means a Medical Laboratory Scientist with option in medical Microbiology has knowledge in Bacteriology, Mycology, parasitology, Virology etc.
Science laboratory technologists are technicians and they focus on the fundamental principles of the biological and physical sciences and emphasize analytical laboratory techniques and applications, specifically in the realms of chemistry and biology.
From the above definition, you can see that there is a wide difference in the function of each course.
Difference between Microbiology and MLS
One of the clear differences between the above courses is that in Nigeria a medical laboratory scientist comes out with a professional degree BMLS and an oath taking ceremony (induction) which deems him fit to go for internship with a provisional license while this same process isn’t done for a graduate of microbiology.
Some microbiologists have no basic Medical science training on humans (Anatomy, physiology and biochemistry)
Microbiology do not study extensively drug reaction and its processes through pharmacology unlike a medical lab scientist
Microbiologists do not have any medical training on other aspects of laboratory practices (haematology, Immunology and Molecular biology, immunohaematology, cytology, cytogenetics, histopathology, Clinical Chemistry).
Difference between Microbiology and SLT
As I have explained above, a science laboratory technologist is a technician that performs roles like Standardization of Science Laboratories for teaching, research, and services, Laboratory Personnel Capacity Building, Laboratory Administration and Management, etc. while a microbiologist is responsible for investigating the growth, structure development, and other characteristics of microscopic organisms such as bacteria, algae, and fungi. Also a microbiologist can also help in developing new pharmaceutical products, vaccines, etc.