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Clinical Microbiology

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News Article | May 18, 2017
Site: www.sciencedaily.com

Tulip bulbs imported into Ireland from the Netherlands may be helping to spread resistance to vital antifungal medicines called Triazoles that treat potentially fatal fungal infections. That is according to research showing that the inter-country transfer of bulbs of Holland's iconic flowers may inadvertently have opened up a new transport route for a particularly nasty fungal pathogen called Aspergillus fumigatus. Professor of Clinical Microbiology at Trinity College Dublin, Tom Rogers, led the research that has recently been published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. Among the headline findings are that samples taken from five out of six imported tulip-bulb packages cultured A. fumigatus resistant to Voriconazole -- the leading antifungal therapy in Aspergillosis -- while some isolates showed cross-resistance to other Triazole antifungals. Prior work had already confirmed that resistant fungi can also be found in the environment, so, once arrived and established, the threat may extend far beyond the life of the pretty flowers with which it has just been associated. Professor Rogers said: "Aspergillosis is a major risk in our immunocompromised transplant patients. We were aware of reports from the Netherlands of this type of resistance and its possible link to the widespread use of Triazole antifungal drugs as fungicides in agriculture and floriculture which may be selecting it out in the environment. We have an ongoing surveillance programme, which has shown that these resistant fungi are sometimes present in air and soil samples but what we we didn't think about until now is that they could be arriving here via tulip bulbs shipped from the Netherlands." "Given that these fungi can persist for a long time, we are advising people not to plant tulip or narcissus bulbs in or near healthcare facilities or in the gardens of living quarters of patients who are in any way immunocompromised." The next step in this research is to provide new insights into the way that environmental Triazole resistance is evolving and to prompt more debate on the implications of using medically vital Triazole antifungals as fungicides in agriculture and floriculture. Triazole antifungals are the go-to drugs for medical practitioners charged with treating infections caused by the common fungus Aspergillus fumigatus. These drugs are vital in warding off Aspergillosis, which can cause potentially fatal pneumonia. The environmental type of resistance to these drugs first emerged in the Netherlands and it has been suggested that this is linked to the extensive use of triazole fungicides, which are used in agriculture to promote healthy plant growth. The tulip industry is big business in the Netherlands, with the country exporting close to 2.5 billion bulbs in 2014. As with other cases of microbial resistance, extensive and frequent exposure to specific drugs can inadvertently aid the development of wide-scale resistance, because any genetic mutations that provide an individual microbe with resistance will promote its survival. These mutations are thus likely to be passed on to future generations.


News Article | May 18, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Tulip bulbs imported into Ireland from the Netherlands may be helping to spread resistance to vital antifungal medicines called Triazoles that treat potentially fatal fungal infections. That is according to research showing that the inter-country transfer of bulbs of Holland's iconic flowers may inadvertently have opened up a new transport route for a particularly nasty fungal pathogen called Aspergillus fumigatus. Professor of Clinical Microbiology at Trinity College Dublin, Tom Rogers, led the research that has recently been published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. Among the headline findings are that samples taken from five out of six imported tulip-bulb packages cultured A. fumigatus resistant to Voriconazole -- the leading antifungal therapy in Aspergillosis -- while some isolates showed cross-resistance to other Triazole antifungals. Prior work had already confirmed that resistant fungi can also be found in the environment, so, once arrived and established, the threat may extend far beyond the life of the pretty flowers with which it has just been associated. Professor Rogers said: "Aspergillosis is a major risk in our immunocompromised transplant patients. We were aware of reports from the Netherlands of this type of resistance and its possible link to the widespread use of Triazole antifungal drugs as fungicides in agriculture and floriculture which may be selecting it out in the environment. We have an ongoing surveillance programme, which has shown that these resistant fungi are sometimes present in air and soil samples but what we we didn't think about until now is that they could be arriving here via tulip bulbs shipped from the Netherlands." "Given that these fungi can persist for a long time, we are advising people not to plant tulip or narcissus bulbs in or near healthcare facilities or in the gardens of living quarters of patients who are in any way immunocompromised." The next step in this research is to provide new insights into the way that environmental Triazole resistance is evolving and to prompt more debate on the implications of using medically vital Triazole antifungals as fungicides in agriculture and floriculture. Triazole antifungals are the go-to drugs for medical practitioners charged with treating infections caused by the common fungus Aspergillus fumigatus. These drugs are vital in warding off Aspergillosis, which can cause potentially fatal pneumonia. The environmental type of resistance to these drugs first emerged in the Netherlands and it has been suggested that this is linked to the extensive use of triazole fungicides, which are used in agriculture to promote healthy plant growth. The tulip industry is big business in the Netherlands, with the country exporting close to 2.5 billion bulbs in 2014. As with other cases of microbial resistance, extensive and frequent exposure to specific drugs can inadvertently aid the development of wide-scale resistance, because any genetic mutations that provide an individual microbe with resistance will promote its survival. These mutations are thus likely to be passed on to future generations. A copy of the journal article is available on request.


SALT LAKE CITY, Feb. 15, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Great Basin Scientific, Inc. (OTCQB:GBSN), a molecular diagnostics company, today announced the Journal of Clinical Microbiology published results of a multicenter study that demonstrated the effectiveness of its Staph ID/R Blood Culture Panel in rapidly identifying several species of Staphylococci and in accurately detecting the mecA gene directly from a positive blood culture. The results of the study, which was conducted across three clinical sites, demonstrated the performance and efficacy of the Staph ID/R Blood Culture Panel compared to conventional methods, and concluded that the Company’s panel provided decreased time to results at a lower price, helping physicians diagnose and deliver a timely, accurate and cost-effective course of treatment. “Bloodstream infection-related sepsis, including those caused by MRSA and other pathogenic Staphylococcus species, is not only a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the U.S., but is also associated with over $17 billion in rising healthcare costs annually. Traditional blood culture methods provide physicians with a diagnosis 48 to 72 hours after a positive sample is identified, delaying appropriate treatment and putting the patient at further risk,” said Rob Jenison, chief technology officer and senior vice president of R&D at Great Basin Scientific. “Great Basin’s Staph ID/R Blood Culture Panel is proven to provide highly accurate and actionable results in under two hours. Our panel potentially eliminates 32 to 88 hours of inappropriate antibiotic therapy, thereby potentially reducing length of patient stay and improving patient care - creating time and cost efficiencies for hospitals and labs of all sizes.” Led by Dr. Gerald A. Denys from the Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine at Indiana University, the study found that Great Basin’s Staph ID/R Blood Culture Panel correctly identified positive results for Staphylococcus species 99.4 percent of the time and negative results were correctly identified 99.9 percent of the time. Also, the mecA gene, a major drug resistance marker conferring resistance to methicillin and other beta-lactams and creating the superbug MRSA, was detected accurately from positive samples 99.7 percent of the time and negative results were properly identified 99.2 percent of the time. The results of this study also revealed that the Great Basin molecular assay was more effective than conventional biochemical and cefoxitin disk methods performed at an independent laboratory, with performance estimates at 95 percent confidence intervals (CI) across all three sites. The Company believes the Staph ID/R Blood Culture Panel is one of the most comprehensive Staphylococcus molecular tests currently on the market, in that it identifies Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus lugdunensis and other Staphylococcus species to the genus level and detects the mecA gene in all Staphylococcal species from positive blood cultures. “We’re so pleased by the positive findings of this study and are excited by the response from the market for our blood culture panel,” said Sandra Nielsen, senior vice president, sales, marketing and HR at Great Basin.  “The results of this study illustrate our panel’s accuracy, cost-effectiveness and ability to deliver definitive and highly actionable information which we believe contribute to the increased adoption of our panel by a significant percentage of our installed customer base, as well as new and larger hospitals and labs.” The Company announced the commercial launch of the Staph ID/R Blood Culture Panel in U.S. and Europe in September 2016, and the test also has CE mark designation under the European Directive of In Vitro Diagnostic Medical Devices. Great Basin’s molecular diagnostics system offers low-plex (one to three analytes), mid-plex (four to six analytes) and multiplex (syndromic) testing, with commercial assays available for the detection of Shiga Toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), Group B Streptococcus (GBS), Toxigenic Clostridium difficile (C. diff), and Staph ID/R Blood Culture Panel. Continuing the Company’s efforts to expand its menu of sample-to-result assays to diagnose infectious disease, Great Basin has five additional tests on their product roadmap, including a Stool Bacterial Pathogens Panel and a Bordetella Direct Test, both of which recently completed clinical trials and have been submitted to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for 510(k) clearance; and a Nasal S. aureus Pre-surgical Screen, Candida Blood Infections Panel, and CT/NG Test, which are currently in development. About Great Basin Scientific Great Basin Scientific is a molecular diagnostics company that commercializes breakthrough chip-based technologies. The Company is dedicated to the development of simple, yet powerful, sample-to-result technology and products that provide fast, multiple-pathogen diagnoses of infectious diseases. The Company’s vision is to make molecular diagnostic testing so simple and cost-effective that every patient will be tested for every serious infection, reducing misdiagnoses and significantly limiting the spread of infectious disease. More information can be found on the company’s website at www.gbscience.com. Forward-Looking Statements This press release includes forward-looking statements regarding events, trends and business prospects, which may affect our future operating results and financial position, including but not limited to statements regarding the anticipated current customer uptake of the Staph ID/R Blood Culture Panel, the effectiveness and role of the Staph ID/R Blood Culture Panel in patient care decisions, anticipated FDA approval of current pending assays, commercialization of future approved assays, and the Company’s general development plans of sample-to-result technology and products. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially, and reported results, should not be considered as an indication of future performance. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: delay or denial in obtaining FDA approval of pending assays, uncertainty in the Company’s ability to commercialize new assays, changes in customer needs, competition in the industry being greater than anticipated, our limited operating history and history of losses; our ability to develop and commercialize new products and the timing of commercialization; our ability to obtain sufficient capital to continue as a going concern and implement our business plan; and other risks set forth in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the risks set forth in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2015 and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2016. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof, and Great Basin Scientific specifically disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements, except as required by law.


News Article | November 22, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Research on the mosquito-borne Rift Valley fever in east Africa and the Arabian Peninsula shows that current surveillance systems are unable to detect the virus in livestock before it spreads to humans. A coherent policy is needed to combat the viral disease, which has the potential to spread to previously unaffected areas, according to studies at Umeå University in Sweden. Researchers found that knowledge, attitudes and practices around Rift Valley fever (RVF) varied in local communities in affected countries. There were also no existing connections between many affected areas and authorities that could have limited the impact of RVF outbreaks. "To confront Rift Valley fever outbreaks we need a policy that better incorporates the local communities, ecological factors and human interactions with livestock and the environment," says Osama Ahmed Hassan, doctoral student at the Umeå University Department of Clinical Microbiology, Unit of Virology and the Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Unit of Epidemiology and Global Health. RVF is a viral infection that spreads by mosquitoes and causes mass abortions and death in livestock. The RVF virus can also cause a potentially deadly haemorrhagic fever in humans, for which there are no available treatments or vaccines. Osama Ahmed Hassan and his research colleagues at Umeå University found that the ecology of the affected countries in east Africa is conducive for mosquitoes, livestock and human interaction. The researchers at Umeå University and International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology in Nairobi, Kenya, have developed RVF risk maps on a sub-regional scale that can be used in efforts to manage future RVF outbreaks. Frequent outbreaks of Rift Valley fever occur in Africa and on the Arabian Peninsula. At the moment there is an ongoing outbreak in West Africa. There have also been imported Rift Valley fever cases reported in Europe and China, which points to the threat and likelihood of a global expansion of the mosquito-borne viral disease. "Our research shows that the best way to combat Rift Valley fever outbreaks is with the so called 'One Health' approach. By this we mean strategies to combat the disease that incorporates knowledge about RVF virus in environment, animals and local communities and also consider socio-cultural and behavioural differences between communities," says Osama Ahmed Hassan. Osama Ahmed Hassan is an infectious disease epidemiologist from Sudan who has been studying emerging zoonotic diseases such as RVF for over 6 years in east Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. Osama completed his Master's Degree in Public Health Epidemiology as well as his Ph.D. in Epidemiology and Public Health at Umeå University in Sweden. His research interest focuses on better approaches to outbreak investigation, risk communication during outbreaks and innovative tools for surveillance system for early detection of emerging zoonotic diseases. He is committed to using his findings to influence policy-making to better confront emerging zoonotic diseases on a regional and global scale.


News Article | November 10, 2016
Site: en.prnasia.com

NEW YORK, Nov 9, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Research carried out by LBT Innovations' Scientific Advisor, John Glasson, has been published in the American Society for Microbiology's prestigious Journal of Clinical Microbiology (1). Mr Glasson and his co-authors studied the variation between human and instrument readings of microbiology culture plates during extensive trials of LBT Innovations' Automated Plate Assessment System (APAS®) image analysis device. Mr Glasson said, "During our recent clinical trial of almost 10,000 cases, we found that members of panels of microbiologists reached agreement 96.4% of the time on the final interpretation of a culture. Yet in the same study, we found that APAS® was able to show 97.4% accuracy with the same samples." This finding is a significant contribution to the global literature because, before its publication, there was little information on the variable interpretations made by microbiologists when reading cultures. Microbiologists were seen to always provide the correct or "gold standard" result for comparative purposes. "Our conclusion is that humans, by their nature, produce variable results while automation such as APAS® is more objective and consistent. These factors should be considered by regulatory bodies when assessing new technologies," said Mr Glasson. LBT Innovations' CEO and Managing Director, Brent Barnes, congratulated Mr Glasson on having his research published in a journal which is held in high regard throughout the global microbiology community. "Our extensive trials on the APAS® technology validated our unique image interpretation software and played an important part in securing approval from the US Food & Drug Administration for APAS®," Mr Barnes said. "We are pleased that it may have also contained important lessons for the future about how heavily we should rely on human inputs when evaluating new technologies." (1) Glasson JH, Hill R, Summerford M, Giglio S. 2016. Observations on variations in manual reading of cultures. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 54: 2841. LBT Innovations (LBT) improve patient outcomes by making healthcare more efficient. Based in Adelaide, South Australia, the Company has two world class-leading products in microbiology automation: MicroStreak®, which provides automated culture plate streaking and Automated Plate Assessment System (APAS®). Based on LBT's intelligent imaging and interpretative software, APAS® specifically addresses the automated imaging, analysis and interpretation of culture plates following incubation. LBT has entered into a joint venture Clever Culture Systems AG (CCS) with Hettich AG Switzerland to drive the commercialisation of APAS® products. LBT also has a third product in early development, WoundVue®, a proposed automated solution to assist in the management of chronic wounds. For more information, see www.lbtinnovations.com This message and its attachments may contain legally privileged or confidential information. It is intended solely for the named addressee. If you are not the addressee indicated in this message (or responsible for delivery of the message to the addressee), you may not copy or deliver this message or its attachments to anyone. Rather, you should permanently delete this message and its attachments and kindly notify the sender by reply e-mail. No warranty is made that the e-mail or attachment(s) are free from computer virus or other defect. If you wish to be removed from our contact list please send an email to info@monsoon.com.au immediately. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/new-lbt-research-published-in-asms-journal-of-clinical-microbiology-300359497.html


PARIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--PathoQuest, a biotechnology company spun out from Institut Pasteur, announced today the on-line publication of results from the PATHOQUEST-1 study. The full manuscript, titled Untargeted next-generation sequencing-based first-line diagnosis of infection in immunocompromised adults: a multicentre, blinded, prospective study, is available in Clinical Microbiology and Infection. PATHOQUEST-1 (NCT02007642) is an observational proof-of-concept study conducted in 2 reference hospitals -Necker-Enfants Malades and Européen-Georges Pompidou hospitals- (Paris, France). It enrolled 101 immunocompromised patients suspected of infection, and compared the performance of PathoQuest’s NGS-based metagenomics test and the conventional diagnostic pipeline to identify pathogens. PATHOQUEST-1 was run with a prototype version of the CE-IVD iDTECT Blood™ test. The 3 key components of the test -i.e. sample preparation, sequencing and data analysis- have been improved to reach the level of performance and validation required for CE marking. Specific steps of the test process have been patented or copyrighted and are proprietary. “This study demonstrates that the metagenomic test identified a relevant pathogen in more patients in a difficult-to-diagnose population than the conventional pipeline,” said Marc Eloit, PhD, Pathogen Discovery Laboratory at Institut Pasteur, Paris, France, a study investigator and founder and scientific advisor for PathoQuest. “These data underscore the potential of NGS to improve detection and identification of pathogens in routine diagnostic testing of biological samples including blood which is technically challenging.” “With the broader availability of sequencing platforms in clinical microbiology laboratories, metagenomics-based testing will increase our chances of identifying pathogens in infected patients and allow a better management of infectious diseases, especially in immunocompromised patients where the current diagnostic pipeline frequently fails to identify a responsible pathogen.” added Xavier Nassif, MD, PhD, Head of the Clinical Microbiology Laboratory, Necker-Enfants Malades Hospital, Paris, France, and a study investigator. “These study results should pave the way for such developments”. Immunocompromised patients have an impaired or weakened immune system resulting in an increased susceptibility to infection and reduced ability to efficiently respond to such situations. This inability to fight infections can be caused by a number of diseases (such as cancer or leukemia), or drugs (such as anti-cancer therapies or long term immune-suppressants used to prevent organ rejection). Prevalence of these conditions is increasing. Identifying the causative pathogen(s) in immunocompromised patients suspected of infection can be challenging. For instance, only 20 to 30% of blood cultures, the conventional diagnostic test in this clinical situation, are positive for a pathogen in patients developing febrile neutropenia following chemotherapy or stem cell transplantation (1,2,3). In most other cases, the infection remains of unknown origin, leading to the systematic use of broad spectrum instead of targeted antibiotics. Moreover, these patients are more susceptible to viruses or other microorganisms which have limited or no pathogenicity for non-immunocompromised subjects. Many also receive prophylactic or recurrent courses of antibiotics, making their pathogens difficult to grow in the lab. 1 Gyamarti et al, Scientific Reports, 2016 2 Freifeld et al, CID 2011 3 Gea-Banacloche, Hematology Am Soc Hematol Educ Program. 2013 PathoQuest, a spin out of Institut Pasteur, is a biotechnology company offering a game changing metagenomics approach to improving pathogen detection in biological samples that overcomes the current limitation associated with pathogen detection. PathoQuest’s technology combines a Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) platform and a proprietary sample preparation process which is applicable to several types of samples with a proprietary pathogen genome sequence database and automated analysis pipeline. The company’s solution provides microbiologists and clinicians with a comprehensive analysis covering all known clinically relevant human pathogens. PathoQuest has developed iDTECT™ Blood Test, the first and only clinical CE IVD metagenomic test in infectious disease. Using a single blood sample, the test provides clinicians and microbiologists with an improved method for detecting pathogens, particularly for immunocompromised patients with suspected infections. This new molecular diagnostic test should improve antibiotic stewardship and lead to better patient care through precision medicine. Based on the company’s technological platform, PathoQuest also offers biopharmaceutical companies a disruptive approach to secure production of biologics like vaccines and recombinant proteins. PathoQuest’s solution is currently being utilized by several major biopharma companies for this purpose. To learn more about PathoQuest, visit www.pathoquest.com


News Article | February 24, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

One in five physicians working in medical microbiology and infectious diseases is suffering from burnout, bullying and poor work-life balance, according to a study published in European Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases [1]. The findings, which come from a survey of more than 400 young doctors working across Europe, also show that women's experiences are worse than men's, and that the situation is worse for doctors working in southern and eastern European countries. Overall, the survey reveals that nearly 22% have experienced bullying at work. Many also reported burnout, including feeling worn-out (63%), unappreciated (48%) and frustrated (68%). Women, in particular, were more likely to feel that they were 'achieving less than they deserved'. Men, on the other hand, were more likely to turn to alcohol, as were doctors working in northern or western European countries (34%). Around 63% reported having to work beyond their normal hours on a regular basis, and the survey suggested that this is having an impact on their ability to meet personal commitments. The study also shows a mixed picture in terms of parental leave allowance for clinicians during training for clinical microbiology and infectious disease specialisms. Those working in southern and eastern Europe were less likely to be allowed parental leave during training. Overall, women were less satisfied with the parental leave they were allowed to take. The survey, which included responses from 416 participants with an average age of 32, was conducted anonymously online by the Trainee Association of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID). The leading authors of the report were Dr David Ong, president of the Trainee Association of ESCMID and resident in clinical microbiology at University Medical Centre Utrecht, The Netherlands and Dr Alberto Enrico Maraolo, vice-president of Trainee Association of ESCMID and research fellow in infectious diseases at University of Naples Federico II, Italy. Dr Ong said: "This survey suggests less than ideal working conditions and worrying levels of dissatisfaction among young clinicians working in clinical microbiology and infectious diseases. It's notable that, while the situation in some parts of Europe is worse than others, even high-income countries seem unable to create good working conditions for staff in this area. "Parenthood is perceived by a number of study participants as having a negative impact on the professional career of young physicians, and this seems especially pronounced for women. "This is a growing and worrying issue since the number of women entering the medical profession is rising, and this includes women working in clinical microbiology and infectious disease specialisms. One solution might be providing mentoring programmes, role models and flexible career structures, which can better support female physicians." The study was funded by ESCMID. It was supervised and co-authored by three members of the ESCMID Executive Committee: Prof. Evelina Tacconelli, ESCMID Education Officer; Prof. Maurizio Sanguinetti, ESCMID Professional Affairs Officer and Prof. Mario Poljak, President of ESCMID. Prof. Tacconelli said: "Having an adequate work-life balance is important for individual physicians, but it is also important because it affects the quality of the medical care they give to patients. "This survey suggests that conditions vary within Europe with worse conditions in southern and eastern European countries. This is a risk because it could mean doctors choosing to work in countries where working conditions are better, with shortages in other countries. "It's important to acknowledge that the issues raised in this research are also affecting young doctors working in all specialties. However, ESCMID is one of only a few international medical societies investigating these factors and seeking solutions." Prof. Sanguinetti added: "Issues of equality and professional development are major concerns to ESCMID and its members, and we will use the finding of this research to guide our discussions at national and European levels." Medical microbiology and infectious diseases are still not recognized as individual medical specialties in all European countries. [2,3] Prof. Poljak said: "We are already lobbying the governments of European countries where these medical specialties are not yet recognized and seeing progress, for example, recently in Spain and Romania. We believe better recognition would raise the profiles of these specialties, improve professional development and improve job satisfaction. All these will ultimately improve medical care of patients suffering from infectious diseases." [1] Maraolo et al. (2017) Personal life and working conditions of trainees and young specialists in clinical microbiology and infectious diseases in Europe: a questionnaire survey. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. doi:10.1007/s10096-017-2937-4 [2] Read RC, Cornaglia G, Kahlmeter G; for the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Professional Affairs Workshop group. Professional challenges and opportunities in clinical microbiology and infectious diseases in Europe, Lancet Infectious Diseases, 2011; 11: 408-415 http://www. (10)70294-2 [3] Winfried V. Kern, Infectious diseases as a clinical specialty in Germany and Europe, Zeitschrift für Evidenz, Fortbildung und Qualität im Gesundheitswesen, Volume 109, Issue 7, 2015, Pages 493-499 http://www.


News Article | February 5, 2016
Site: www.sej.org

"WASHINGTON -- The Zika virus’s health effects generally are described as mild – flu-like symptoms for those that show symptoms at all – or not yet certain, with references to Guillain-Barré Syndrome, which causes paralysis, or microcephaly, an often devastating birth defect. But the linkage to Guillain-Barré, an autoimmune disorder first brought to the American public’s attention three decades ago as a reaction to swine flu vaccine, isn’t new to the current outbreak. Researchers raised the likelihood of a Zika-Guillain-Barré connection two years ago after an outbreak of the virus in French Polynesia, the first time the disease had spread to a population that could be tracked and treated. According to an article in the October 2014 edition of the journal Clinical Microbiology and Infection, the first case of Guillain-Barré was detected just one month after the first Zika cases were reported in French Polynesia in October 2013. The Guillain-Barré sufferer – the syndrome typically causes paralysis that can be so severe as to affect the ability to open one’s eyes and even to breathe – had had a confirmed case of Zika a week earlier."


News Article | November 18, 2016
Site: www.sciencedaily.com

A new study from the University of Leicester shows that small amounts of damage to salad leaves in bagged salads encourage the presence of Salmonella enterica. Juices released from damaged leaves also enhance the pathogen's ability to attach to the salad's plastic container. The research is published November 18th in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology. In the study, salad juices in water -- to mimic the grocery salad bag environment -- more than doubled motility, or movement of individual Salmonella bacteria, abetting salad leaf colonization. In the course of a typical five day refrigeration storage time around 100 Salmonella bacteria multiplied to approximately 100,000 individual bacteria. Salad juices also boosted formation of biofilms on salad leaves. Microbial biofilms generally cling tenaciously to the surfaces they coat -- medical implants, stainless steel, or one's teeth, in the form of dental plaque -- and Salmonella biofilms on salad leaves are no exception. They are powerfully resistant to being washed off. Yet surprisingly, the normal microbial flora on salad leaves did not respond to leaf juices, suggesting that the leaf juices give Salmonella a marked advantage in colonizing salad leaves as compared to competing bacteria, according to the report. Salad leaf crops are usually grown in open fields where they can be exposed to Salmonella, via insects, bird poop, and manure, among other sources. While outbreaks of Salmonellosis due to such contamination are uncommon, they are nonetheless a public health problem. Such outbreaks may occur despite practices used to mitigate the problem, such as irrigation with clean water, good hygiene, leaf washing, and the like, said coauthor Primrose Freestone, PhD, Associate Professor in Clinical Microbiology, University of Leicester, UK. In fact, salad leaves can acquire Salmonella from recycled wash water, she said. Moreover, earlier studies have shown that Salmonella are so powerfully attracted to salad leaf and root juices that they can find their way into the plant vasculature during the salad plant's germination, and once inside, there is no way to wash them out, said Freestone. Salmonella grows especially well on spinach, said Freestone. ""It seems the pathogen prefers spinach." Pre-prepared salads are sold increasingly commonly in grocery stores, said Freestone. They also appear in fast food and in airline meals. However, few studies had previously investigated the behavior of Salmonella within ready-to-eat bagged salad, she said. "We wanted to investigate what happens to Salmonella in a bag of salad to better understand the potential risks to consumers and inform future research on reducing attachment of this pathogen to salad leaves. This study is part of our ongoing research into ways to reduce the risk of Salmonella persisting and growing when it is present in bagged salad."


News Article | November 18, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Washington, DC - November 18, 2016 - A new study from the University of Leicester shows that small amounts of damage to salad leaves in bagged salads encourage the presence of Salmonella enterica. Juices released from damaged leaves also enhance the pathogen's ability to attach to the salad's plastic container. The research is published November 18th in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology. In the study, salad juices in water--to mimic the grocery salad bag environment--more than doubled motility, or movement of individual Salmonella bacteria, abetting salad leaf colonization. In the course of a typical five day refrigeration storage time around 100 Salmonella bacteria multiplied to approximately 100,000 individual bacteria. Salad juices also boosted formation of biofilms on salad leaves. Microbial biofilms generally cling tenaciously to the surfaces they coat--medical implants, stainless steel, or one's teeth, in the form of dental plaque--and Salmonella biofilms on salad leaves are no exception. They are powerfully resistant to being washed off. Yet surprisingly, the normal microbial flora on salad leaves did not respond to leaf juices, suggesting that the leaf juices give Salmonella a marked advantage in colonizing salad leaves as compared to competing bacteria, according to the report. Salad leaf crops are usually grown in open fields where they can be exposed to Salmonella, via insects, bird poop, and manure, among other sources. While outbreaks of Salmonellosis due to such contamination are uncommon, they are nonetheless a public health problem. Such outbreaks may occur despite practices used to mitigate the problem, such as irrigation with clean water, good hygiene, leaf washing, and the like, said coauthor Primrose Freestone, PhD, Associate Professor in Clinical Microbiology, University of Leicester, UK. In fact, salad leaves can acquire Salmonella from recycled wash water, she said. Moreover, earlier studies have shown that Salmonella are so powerfully attracted to salad leaf and root juices that they can find their way into the plant vasculature during the salad plant's germination, and once inside, there is no way to wash them out, said Freestone. Salmonella grows especially well on spinach, said Freestone. ""It seems the pathogen prefers spinach." Pre-prepared salads are sold increasingly commonly in grocery stores, said Freestone. They also appear in fast food and in airline meals. However, few studies had previously investigated the behavior of Salmonella within ready-to-eat bagged salad, she said. "We wanted to investigate what happens to Salmonella in a bag of salad to better understand the potential risks to consumers and inform future research on reducing attachment of this pathogen to salad leaves. This study is part of our ongoing research into ways to reduce the risk of Salmonella persisting and growing when it is present in bagged salad." The research was funded in part by a Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) i-case Studentship for PhD student Giannis Koukkidis. The American Society for Microbiology is the largest single life science society, composed of over 48,000 scientists and health professionals. ASM's mission is to promote and advance the microbial sciences. ASM advances the microbial sciences through conferences, publications, certifications and educational opportunities. It enhances laboratory capacity around the globe through training and resources. It provides a network for scientists in academia, industry and clinical settings. Additionally, ASM promotes a deeper understanding of the microbial sciences to diverse audiences.

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