Clinical Microbiology Issues Update - June 2014

PSAB ACTIVITIES

  •  ASM Signs onto a Letter Regarding the 21st Century Cures Initiative and the Antibiotic Development to Advance Patient Treatment (ADAPT) Act
  • Laboratory Practices Committee Prepares MERS Guidance Document
  • ASM Staff Participates in CDC Measles Briefing
  • ASM Resource Posted on CDC Salmonella Outbreak Investigation Notice
  • ASM Staff Joins Coalition for Health Funding in Senate Briefing
  • Minority Microbiology Mentor Newsletter

ASM NEWS, JOURNAL ARTICLES AND UPDATES

  • June Hot Topic
  • Cumitechs Are Now Available on the Clinical Microbiology Portal
  • ASM Conferences
  • ASM Journal Articles of Interest
  • ASM Press

FEDERAL AGENCY UPDATES

  • CDC Investigates Ongoing Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Chia Products
  • MERS-CoV Not Spread to Household Members or Health Care Contacts of the Two U.S. Cases
  • Norovirus is the Leading Cause of Disease Outbreaks from Contaminated Food in the U.S.
  • The 25th Anniversary of the Discovery of the Hepatitis C Virus: Looking Back to Look Forward
  • FDA Approves Dalvance to Treat Skin Infections
  • Cutting-Edge Scientific Images Now on Display at Washington Dulles International Airport
  • MMWR Articles of Interest

OTHER INFORMATION AND UPDATES

  • AACC Annual Meeting and Clinical Lab Expo
  • ASCP 2014 Annual Meeting
  • Articles of Interest

PSAB ACTIVITIES

ASM Signs onto a Letter Regarding the 21st Century Cures Initiative and the Antibiotic Development to Advance Patient Treatment (ADAPT) Act
The ASM joined more than 20 other organizations in signing a letter to the House Energy & Commerce Committee urging them to act promptly on the Antibiotic Development to Advance Patient Treatment (ADAPT) Act and carry out the PCAST recommendation to establish a new approval pathway for antibiotics to treat serious or life-threatening infections where an unmet medical need exists. To read the letter in full, please go to http://www.asm.org/images/ADAPT-Act_-FINAL.pdf.

Laboratory Practices Committee Prepares MERS Guidance Document
The Committee on Laboratory Practices prepared A Practical Guidance Document for the Detection of Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) to aid laboratory personnel in the proper identification of this organism. Specimens must often be shipped to the local public health laboratory for confirmation, so proper specimen types, collection and shipping are discussed. The document was drafted by committee members Michael Pentella and Melissa Miller, and reviewed by Committee on Laboratory Practices members and can be found by going to http://www.asm.org/images/MERSGuidance.pdf.

ASM Staff Participates in CDC Measles Briefing
On May 29, Assistant Surgeon General Anne Schuchat held a tele-briefing with stakeholders in advance of the release of a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) showing a 30 year record high number of measles cases. Nearly 300 cases were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States between Jan. 1 and May 23 of this year. Of these cases, the majority were associated with importation from at least 18 countries to unvaccinated individuals. To read more details about the about the measles outbreak, please go to http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2014/p0529-measles.html.

ASM Resource Posted on CDC Salmonella Outbreak Investigation Notice
On June 5, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released findings from a collaborative investigation with public health officials in several states to investigate human Salmonella Typhimurium infections linked to exposure to clinical and university teaching laboratories. The report, titled “Human Salmonella Typhimurium Infections Linked to Exposure to Clinical and Teaching Microbiology Laboratories,” provides documents in their Key Resources section, including a 2012 ASM report Biosafety Guidelines for Handling Microorganisms in the Teaching Laboratory: Development and Rationale, authored by Elizabeth Emmert and the ASM Task Committee on Laboratory Biosafety. To access the Key Resource section, please go to http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/typhimurium-labs-06-14/key-resources.html.

ASM Staff Joins Coalition for Health Funding in Senate Briefing
On May 23, ASM staff and other members of the Coalition for Health Funding (CHF) met with the Staff Director of the Senate Committee on Appropriations to discuss the status of funding in various non-defense discretionary federal programs. The CHF is the oldest and largest nonprofit alliance working to preserve and strengthen public health investments in America. Member organizations together represent more than 100 million patients, health care providers, public health professionals, and scientists. To read more about CHF and their member organizations, please go to http://www.publichealthfunding.org/about_us1/.    

Minority Microbiology Mentor Newsletter
The June issue of the Minority Microbiology Newsletter has been published by the Committee on Microbiological Issues Impacting Minorities (CMIIM). ASM members can read the newsletter by going to this link:https://www.asm.org/index.php/publicpolicy-2/newsletters/minority-microbiology-newsletter/135-policy/documents/newsletters/minority-microbiology-mentor-newsletter/92980-mmm-8-14

ASM NEWS, JOURNAL ARTICLES AND UPDATES

June Hot Topic
ASM’s June hot topic discussion, “The Emergence of Cryptococcus gattii in the US” was presented by Shawn R. Lockhart, Ph.D., D(ABMM), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To review the presentation, please go to https://clinmicro.asm.org/index.php/portal/hot-topics/82-portal-resources/415-the-emergence-of-cryptococcus-gattii-in-the-us.  

Cumitechs Are Now Available on the Clinical Microbiology Portal
Cumitechs are consensus reports in booklet form on topics of special interest to clinical microbiology laboratories. Experts cover the optimal procedures for a variety of clinical microbiology techniques. Each Cumitech focuses on a particular diagnostic concern, laboratory technique, or infectious agent and attempts to consolidate, in an authoritative, brief, and practical form, the latest that is known on each subject. To view the many available documents, please click http://clinmicro.asm.org/index.php/bench-work-resources/guidelines/cumitechs.

ASM Conferences

5th ASM Conference on Beneficial Microbes
September 27-30, 2014
Washington, DC

5th ASM Conference on Cell-Cell Communication in Bacteria
October 18-21, 2014
San Antonio, TX

3rd ASM Conference on Viral Manipulation of Nuclear Processes
October 30 - November 2, 2014
Washington, DC

1st ASM Conference on Polymicrobial Infections
November 13 – 16, 2014
Washington, DC

For a complete list of upcoming ASM conferences, please see http://conferences.asm.org/

ASM Journal Articles of Interest

Fecal Transplants Restore Healthy Bacteria and Gut Functions
Fecal microbiota transplantation works by restoring healthy bacteria and functioning to the recipient’s gut, according to a study published in mBio®. The study provides insight into the structural and potential metabolic changes that occur following fecal transplant, says senior author Vincent B. Young, from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The transplants have been used successfully since the 1950s, with a cure rate of over 90%, although the mechanism is still unknown.

 

Good Bacteria Armed With Antibiotic Resistance Protect Gut Microbiome

Researchers from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland have discovered that populating the gastrointestinal (GI) tracts of mice with Bacteroides species producing a specific enzyme helps protect the good commensal bacteria from the harmful effects of antibiotics. Their research is published ahead of print in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

 

Improved Identification of War Wound Infections Promises More Successful Treatment

War wounds that heal successfully frequently contain different microbial species from those that heal poorly, according to a paper published ahead of print in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology. These and other findings have important implications for improving wound healing, says first author Nicholas Be of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

 

Studies Find Existing and Experimental Drugs Active against MERS-Coronavirus

A series of research articles published ahead of print in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy have identified a number of existing pharmaceutical compounds under development that may be effective against Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). In the first study, researchers screened a library of 290 pharmaceutical drugs for antiviral activity against the MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) in cell culture. They found 27 compounds that were active against both viruses including some cancer drugs and antipsychotics.

ASM Press

Clinical Laboratory Management, Second Edition
Editor: Lynne S. Garcia
Hardcover, 1050 pages, illustrations, glossary, index
(9781555817275) for more information, please visit the e-store at:
http://www.asmscience.org/content/book/10.1128/9781555817282

FEDERAL AGENCY UPDATES

CDC Investigates Ongoing Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Chia Products
As of June 9, 2014, a total of 21 persons infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Newport (13 persons), Salmonella Hartford (6 persons), or Salmonella Oranienburg (2 persons) have been reported from 12 states. To read more about the outbreak, go to http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2014/a0613-chia-products.html

MERS-CoV Not Spread to Household Members or Health Care Contacts of the Two U.S. Cases
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has now confirmed that neither of the two imported cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in the United States spread the virus to any of their household members or to the health care workers who treated the two individuals. To read more, please click the link http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2014/p0617-Mers.html.

Norovirus is the Leading Cause of Disease Outbreaks from Contaminated Food in the U.S.
Most norovirus outbreaks from contaminated food occur in food service settings, according to a Vital Signs report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Infected food workers are frequently the source of these outbreaks, often by touching ready-to-eat foods served in restaurants with their bare hands. To read more, please see
http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2014/p0603-norovirus.html.  

The 25th Anniversary of the Discovery of the Hepatitis C Virus: Looking Back to Look Forward
The Public Health Grand Rounds is a monthly webcast created to foster discussion on major public health issues. Each session focuses on key challenges related to a specific health topic, and explores cutting-edge scientific evidence and potential impact of different interventions by CDC and its partners. To view, click the following link http://www.cdc.gov/cdcgrandrounds/archives/2014/june2014.htm.

FDA Approves Dalvance to Treat Skin Infections
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Dalvance (dalbavancin), a new antibacterial drug used to treat adults with skin infections caused by certain susceptible bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes. Dalvance is the first drug designated as a Qualified Infectious Disease Product (QIDP) to receive FDA approval under the Generating Antibiotic Incentives Now (GAIN) title of the FDA Safety and Innovation Act. To read more, go to http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm398724.htm.

Cutting-Edge Scientific Images Now on Display at Washington Dulles International Airport
Stunning scientific images of blood, brain, bacteria, viruses and more, enlarged by as much as 50,000 times, are on display in an exhibit called “Life: Magnified,” on view through November 2014 at Washington Dulles International Airport’s Gateway Gallery. To see some of the images, please go to http://nih.gov/news/health/jun2014/nigms-05.htm.

MMWR Articles of Interest

Chikungunya Virus Spreads in the Americas: Caribbean and South America, 2013-2014
In December 2013, the World Health Organization reported the first local transmission of chikungunya virus in the Western Hemisphere, with cases identified in Saint Martin. Since then, local transmission has been identified in 17 countries or territories in the Caribbean or South America (Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Dominican Republic, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Haiti, Martinique, Puerto Rico, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Sint Maarten). As of May 30, 2014, a total of 103,018 suspected and 4,406 laboratory-confirmed chikungunya cases had been reported from these areas. 

Measles: United States, January 1 - May 23, 2014
Measles is a highly contagious, acute viral illness that can lead to serious complications and death. Although measles elimination was declared in the United States in 2000, importations of measles cases from endemic areas of the world continue to occur, leading to secondary measles cases and outbreaks in the United States, primarily among unvaccinated persons.

Influenza Activity: United States, 2013-14 Season and Composition of the 2014-15 Influenza Vaccines
During the 2013-14 influenza season in the United States, influenza activity increased through November and December before peaking in late December. Influenza A (H1N1)pdm09 (pH1N1) viruses predominated overall, but influenza B viruses and, to a lesser extent, influenza A (H3N2) viruses also were reported in the United States. This influenza season was the first since the 2009 pH1N1 pandemic in which pH1N1 viruses predominated and was characterized overall by lower levels of outpatient illness and mortality than influenza A (H3N2) predominant seasons, but higher rates of hospitalization among adults aged 50-64 years compared with recent years. 

Using Online Reviews by Restaurant Patrons to Identify Unreported Cases of Foodborne Illness: New York City, 2012-2013
While investigating an outbreak of gastrointestinal disease associated with a restaurant, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) noted that patrons had reported illnesses on the business review website Yelp that had not been reported to DOHMH. 

OTHER INFORMATION AND UPDATES

AACC Annual Meeting and Clinical Lab Expo
The American Association of Clinical Chemists Annual Meeting and Clinical Lab Expo will be held in Chicago, IL July 27-31, 2014.  Please go to http://www.aacc.org/events/2014_annual_meeting/Pages/default.aspx# for details and to register.

ASCP 2014 Annual Meeting
The American Society of Clinical Pathology Annual Meeting will be held in Tampa, FL October 8-10, 2014. Discounted registration is now available by going to http://www.ascp.org/2014-Annual-Meeting/index.html.

Articles of Interest

Bacteria found in Squid Raises Concern about Spread of Antibiotic Resistance, Study Finds
The Washington Post
June 10, 2014
Researchers in Canada have discovered one of the deadliest kinds of antibiotic-resistant bacteria for the first time in a food product, raw squid, widening the potential exposure for consumers. 

Mosquito-borne Chikungunya Fever May Be in Tennessee
The Tennessean
June 10, 2014
The Tennessee Department of Health said it is investigating the first potential cases of chikungunya virus in the state. It is a mosquito-borne disease that is circulating in the Caribbean. Tennesseans who traveled there are showing symptoms of the disease.

In a First, Test of DNA Finds Root of Illness
The New York Times
June 4, 2014
Joshua Osborn, 14, lay in a coma at American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison, Wis. For weeks his brain had been swelling with fluid, and a battery of tests had failed to reveal the cause. Scientists would search Joshua’s cerebrospinal fluid for pieces of DNA. Some of them might belong to the pathogen causing his encephalitis.

Study Documents MERS Spread from Camel to Person
The Washington Post
June 4, 2014
A new report offers the strongest evidence yet that a mysterious Middle East virus spreads from camels to people. Researchers studied the illness of a 44-year-old camel owner in Saudi Arabia, who died in November of Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS. Through repeated tests, they were able to show: the man and one camel were infected with the same virus; the camel got it first; and the man got sick after putting medicine on the animal’s runny nose.

Single Dose of Antibiotic Found Effective in Quelling MRSA
The New York Times
June 4, 2014
A single infusion of an antibiotic can clear serious bacterial skin infections, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, just as effectively as the 10-day regimen now used to treat patients.

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