Clinical Microbiology Issues Update - September 2012

PSAB ACTIVITIES

  • International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW)
  • ASM Collaborates with the Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute on Laboratory Developed Tests
  • ASM Participates in September Coordinating Council on the Clinical Laboratory Workforce Meeting
  • Legislative Alert: Contact Congress Regarding Sequestration Risks to Science and Public Health Programs
  • Minority Microbiology Mentor Newsletter

ASM NEWS, JOURNAL ARTICLES AND UPDATES

  • ASM Teleconferences
  • ASM Conferences
  • ASM Journal Articles of Interest
  • Bringing the Diagnostic Lab to Patients

FEDERAL AGENCY UPDATES

  • September is National Preparedness Month
  • FDA Approves New Orphan Drug for Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia
  • FDA Approves New Combination Pill for HIV Treatment for Some Patients
  • CDC Public Health Grand Rounds
  • NIH Awards $7.8 Million for Innovative HIV Vaccine Approaches
  • NIH Scientists Map First Steps in Flu Antibody Development
  • MMWR Articles of Interest

OTHER INFORMATION AND UPDATES

  • Molecular Testing for MRSA and C. diff., Using New Tools to Identify and Reduce HAIs
  • Best Care at Lower Cost: The Path to Continuously Learning Health Care in America
  • Improving Food Safety Through a One Health Approach: Workshop Summary
  • Articles of Interest      

PSAB ACTIVITIES

International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW)
The ASM has joined with the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) and other healthcare associations to become a Supporting Partner of the International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW). The IIPW will take place October 14-20, provides a focal point for healthcare professionals across the spectrum to spotlight on infection prevention and its impact on health. For more information on IIPW go to: http://iipw.site.apic.org/

ASM Collaborates with the Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute on Laboratory Developed Tests
The Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) has partnered with ASM on an Evaluation Project.   One of the important topics which will be covered in the new section is laboratory developed tests (LTDs). Two PSAB committee members, Eileen Burd, Committee on Laboratory Practices, and Alice Weissfeld, Professional Affairs Committee and ASM voting member of CLSI, are key participants in the drafting of this important document. They both attended a two day meeting September 8-9 in Scottsdale, AZ to begin the work on the LDT section. To read more about CLSI, please go to http://www.clsi.org/

ASM Participates in September Coordinating Council on the Clinical Laboratory Workforce Meeting
On September 10, Professional Affairs Committee chair Vickie Baselski attended the Coordinating Council on the Clinical Laboratory Workforce (CCCLW) meeting in Chicago, IL. The Council discussed strategies for increasing the visibility of clinical laboratory careers, recent changes in fee structure and leadership, and initiatives undertaken by various member societies to publicize the clinical laboratory. CCCLW is a united voice of 20 clinical laboratory organizations and stakeholders and focuses on collective efforts to increase the number of qualified clinical laboratory professionals and to increase healthcare and public awareness of the laboratory professional’s role in achieving positive patient outcomes.

Legislative Alert: Contact Congress Regarding Sequestration Risks to Science and Public Health Programs
As a result of the Budget Control Act of 2011 and failure by the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to reduce the Nation’s debt by $1.2 trillion, automatic across the board cuts to both defense and non-defense discretionary spending, known as sequestration, are set to be enacted on January 2, 2013. These mandatory cuts will have a devastating impact on the research and public health programs supported by federal agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Science Foundation, the Food and Drug Administration and others. For actions you can take, please see http://capwiz.com/asmusa/issues/alert/?alertid=61879501.

Minority Microbiology Mentor Newsletter

The September issue of the Minority Microbiology Newsletter has been published by the Committee on Microbiological Issues Impacting Minorities. You can read the newsletter by clicking: Minority Microbiology Mentor Newsletter - September 2012.

ASM NEWS, JOURNAL ARTICLES AND UPDATES

 

ASM Conferences

6th ASM Conference on Biofilms (ASM Biofilms 2012)
September 29 - October 4, 2012
Miami, Florida

4th ASM Conference on Beneficial Microbes
October 22-25, 2012
San Antonio, TX

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

ASM Journal Articles of Interest

Emerging Gastrointestinal Pathogen Linked With Human Fecal Contamination
A gastrointestinal pathogen associated with fecal contamination was present in 97 of 129 water samples taken from four beaches on the Lake Erie coast of Ohio according to research published in the August issue of Applied and Environmental Microbiology. In the new study, researchers found a fairly strong association between presence of Arcobacter and the number of days in which the density of E. coli, an indicator of fecal contamination, reached levels where a beach advisory is posted.

Researchers Map Molecular Details That Encourage H1N1 Transmission To Humans
The 2009 H1N1 pandemic influenza virus appears to have required certain mutations in order to be transmitted to humans, according to a paper in the September Journal of Virology. The research could prove extremely valuable for efforts to predict human outbreaks.

New Insights Into How Certain Slow Progressers Control HIV Infection
HIV infected people who have a rare genetic trait progress more slowly to AIDS than others. A new study illustrates in detail how the immune system fights the virus in those subjects who progress more slowly. The research, which could prove useful to efforts to develop a vaccine against HIV, is published in the September Journal of Virology

Viruses Not to Blame for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome After All
Contrasting previous findings, new research published Sept 18 in mBio® finds no link between chronic fatigue syndrome and the viruses XMRV (xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus) and pMLV (polytropic murine leukemia virus). 

Antibiotic residues in sausage meat may promote pathogen survival
Antibiotic residues in uncured pepperoni or salami meat are potent enough to weaken helpful bacteria that processors add to acidify the sausage to make it safe for consumption, according to a study published in mBio® on August 28.

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Designated “Milestones in Microbiology” Site
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory has been named a “Milestones in Microbiology” site. This ASM program recognizes institutions and the scientists who worked there that have made significant contributions toward advancing the science of microbiology. A ceremony unveiling the plaque that will mark the site was held on Friday, August 24 during the CSHL meeting on Bacteria, Archaea, and Phages.

Bringing the Diagnostic Lab to Patients
If properly designed and engineered, point-of-care diagnostic tests can have great impacts on health care in resource-limited settings. See this month’s Microbe for more details.

FEDERAL AGENCY UPDATES

Presidential Proclamation: National Preparedness Month, 2012
The President has declared September National Preparedness Month. To see the proclamation go to: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/08/31/presidential-proclamation-national-preparedness-month-2012. For specific steps you can take associated with laboratory and public health readiness, please see http://emergency.cdc.gov/hazards-all.asp.

FDA Approves New Orphan Drug for Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Bosulif (bosutinib) to treat chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) on September 4. An estimated 5,430 men and women will be diagnosed with CML in 2012.

FDA Approves New Combination Pill for HIV Treatment for Some Patients
On August 27, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Stribild (elvitegravir, cobicistat, emtricitabine, tenofovir disoproxil fumarate), a new once-a-day combination pill to treat HIV-1 infection in adults who have never been treated for HIV infection. Together, these drugs provide a complete treatment regimen for HIV infection.

CDC Public Health Grand Rounds

Explaining the Unexplained: Discovering New Diseases Using Advanced Detection Tool
The September presentation of Grand Rounds focused on rapid identification of emerging infectious diseases. Pathologists and medical examiners are often among the first healthcare workers to encounter infectious disease outbreaks. This session demonstrated their critical role in surveillance and rapid response to emerging infectious diseases.

NIH Awards $7.8 Million for Innovative HIV Vaccine Approaches
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of NIH, has awarded 14 grants totaling $7.8 million in first-year funding for basic research to identify new approaches for designing a safe and effective HIV vaccine. The grants were awarded under the Innovation for HIV Vaccine Discovery (IHVD) initiative, which is expected to receive up to $34.8 million over the next four years.

NIH Scientists Map First Steps in Flu Antibody Development
National Institutes of Health scientists have identified how a kind of immature immune cell responds to a part of the influenza virus and have traced the path those cells take to generate antibodies that can neutralize a wide range of influenza virus strains.

MMWR Articles of Interest

Evaluation of Rapid Influenza Diagnostic Tests for Influenza A (H3N2)v Virus and Updated Case Count: United States, 2012
H3N2v viruses can be detected by qualified U.S. public health laboratories using the CDC Flu rRT-PCR Dx Panel. On August 7, CDC updated the results interpretation of the CDC Flu rRT-PCR Dx Panel for H3N2v for public health laboratories.

Announcement: Clinical Vaccinology Course November 2–4, 2012
CDC and seven other national organizations are collaborating with the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID), Emory University School of Medicine, and the Emory Vaccine Center to sponsor a Clinical Vaccinology Course November 2–4, 2012, at the Hyatt Regency Miami in Miami, FL.

Tuberculosis Genotyping: United States, 2004–2010
The TB Genotyping Information Management System (TB GIMS), accessible to public health departments through a secure, online web portal allows systematic collection of genotyping results.

OTHER INFORMATION AND UPDATES

AACC Webinar: Molecular Testing for MRSA and C. diff., Using New Tools to Identify and Reduce HAIs
For both economic and regulatory reasons, hospitals and other healthcare facilities are stepping up efforts to decrease healthcare-associated infection (HAI) rates. Clinical labs can be helpful in these initiatives, particularly in identifying methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Clostridium difficile (C. diff.) infections. A webinar describing current methods will be held Thursday, November 15, 2012 2:00 PM. For more information, go to http://www.aacc.org/events/meetings/Pages/6913.aspx#

Best Care at Lower Cost: The Path to Continuously Learning Health Care in America
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) convened the Committee on the Learning Health Care System in America to explore the central challenges to health care today. The product of the committee’s deliberations, Best Care at Lower Cost, identifies three major imperatives for change.

Improving Food Safety Through a One Health Approach: Workshop Summary
The IOM’s Forum on Microbial Threats hosted a public workshop on December 13 and 14, 2011 that examined issues critical to the protection of the nation’s food supply. The workshop explored existing knowledge and unanswered questions on the nature and extent of food-borne threats to health.

Articles of Interest

Jerome Horwitz, AZT Creator, Dies at Age 93
New York Times
September 20, 2012
Jerome P. Horwitz died on Sept. 6 in Bloomfield Township, Mich. He was 93. Horowitz created AZT in 1964 as a cancer treatment but who entered the medical pantheon decades later when AZT became the first successful drug treatment for people with AIDS.

Hudson Valley Officials Issue Measles Alert
Wall Street Journal
September 24, 2012
Health officials in the Hudson Valley of New York have issued a measles alert after the disease was confirmed in a student at a private school in New Paltz.

Woman who had Liposuction in Baltimore County Dies from Infection
Washington Post
September 19, 2012
A woman who had liposuction at a Baltimore County cosmetic surgery center has died after contracting a bacterial infection. Two other women who had liposuction at the same center were also hospitalized with the same infection. State health officials shut down the Timonium, MD facility.

Scientists Hunt for Cause of Hantavirus Outbreak at Yosemite
San Jose Mercury News
September 24, 2012
Scientists seeking a cause for the deadly hantavirus outbreak among Yosemite visitors over the summer are investigating whether a spike in the deer mouse population, combined with the unusual design of some tent cabins that enabled mice to nest in the insulation, which made it easier for people to contract the rare disease.

Trader Joe’s Recalls Peanut Butter
The Salt Lake Tribune
September 24, 2012
The grocery store chain Trader Joe’s is recalling peanut butter that has been linked to 29 salmonella illnesses in 18 states. The FDA and CDC stated that the likely source of the infection is the Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter. The agencies are investigating whether any other items sold at the store could be contaminated.

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