Clinical Microbiology Issues Update - April 2016

PSAB ACTIVITIES

  • ASM Joins Letter on Preparedness Funding
  • ASM Endorses Letter on Antimicrobial Funding
  • ASM Participates in CDC Zika Action Plan Summit
  • ASM Attends Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Meeting
  • ASM Attends NAS Gain of Function Workshop
  • ASM Comments on Select Agents and Toxins Regulations
  • ASM Staff Hear Updates on CDC Recommendations Related to Zika virus
  • ASM Funding Recommendations to Congress for Fiscal Year 2017
  • PSAB Committees Co-Author CIDT Interim Guideline
  • ASM Sends Letter to Congress on Zika Virus Supplemental Funding
  • ASM Staff Attends Congressional Hearing on Zika Virus
  • ASM Staff Participate in S-FAR Congressional Briefing
  • ASM Attends FDA Pharmacy Compounding Advisory Committee Meeting
  • Minority Microbiology Mentor Newsletter

ASM NEWS, JOURNAL ARTICLES AND UPDATES

  • Complete the C. difficile Laboratory Practice Survey
  • Hot Topic
  • Clinical Microbiology Photo Quiz
  • ASM Conferences
  • ASM Journal Articles of Interest
  • ASM Press
  • Articles of Interest

FEDERAL AGENCY UPDATES

  • FDA Proposes Ban on Most Powdered Medical Gloves
  • CDC Issues Updated Zika Recommendations
  • Scientists Discover Potential Bacterial Indicator for Intestinal Disease in Premature Infants
  • Superbugs Threaten Hospital Patients
  • FDA Approves New Treatment for Inhalation Anthrax
  • New Lyme-Disease-Causing Bacteria Species Discovered
  • MMWR Articles of Interest

OTHER INFORMATION AND UPDATES

  • Pathology and Lab Medicine: 2016 ASCP Annual Meeting
  • AACC/MSSS: Mass Spectrometry and Separation Sciences for Laboratory Medicine
  • Articles of Interest

PSAB ACTIVITIES

ASM Joins Letter on Preparedness Funding
The ASM joined an informal coalition on biodefense and public health preparedness in a letter to Congress urging them to support funding for programs that strengthen the nation’s preparedness against emerging infectious disease threats.  You can read this letter by going to http://www.asm.org/images/PSAB/FY17LHHS_Funding_Stakeholder_Sign-on_LetterHouse.pdf

ASM Endorses Letter on Antimicrobial Funding
The ASM signed onto a letter asking Congress to support increased funding for antimicrobial resistance programs in Fiscal Year 2017.  The funding would provide resources necessary implement the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria.  To read the letter, please go to   http://www.asm.org/images/PSAB/InformalCoalitionFY-2017.pdf.

ASM Participates in CDC Zika Action Plan Summit
On April 1, ASM joined governors and other officials from states in a one day Zika Action Plan Summit held at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, GA.  A pre-summit webinar was held on March 10 to prepare officials and provide guidelines and planning templates for Zika preparedness and response plans.  To view documents from the summit, go to http://www.cdc.gov/zap/.  

ASM Attends Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Meeting
ASM staff attends the March public meeting of the Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (PACCARB).  To be featured are reports from working groups: Antibiotic Stewardship; One Health Surveillance; Diagnostic Innovations; Treatment, Prevention and Control Research and Development; and International Collaboration on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (CARB).  Relevant documents can be found at http://www.hhs.gov/ash/carb/march3031meeting/index.html

ASM Attends NAS Gain of Function Workshop
ASM staff attended the “Gain-of-Function Research: The Second Symposium” held by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on March 10-11.  This public meeting was the Academies' second gathering to provide a mechanism to engage the life sciences community and the broader public and solicit feedback on optimal approaches to ensure effective federal oversight of gain of function (GOF) research.  Among those participating were officials from the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Food and Drug Administration, the National Institutes of Health, the Departments of Health and Human Services and Homeland Security, and the World Health Organization.  View the meeting agenda by going to http://dels.nas.edu/resources/static-assets/bls/agenda/GOFagendafinal.pdf.

ASM Comments on Select Agents and Toxins Regulations
The ASM sent comments to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) regarding the biennial review of the List of Select Agents and Toxins and enhanced biosafety requirements.  You can read the comments at http://www.asm.org/index.php/public-policy-2/137-policy/documents/statements-and-testimony/94078-sa-3-16

ASM Staff Hear Updates on CDC Recommendations Related to Zika virus
ASM staff participated in the CDC telebriefing which provided updates from Denise Jamieson, Co-Lead, Pregnancy and Birth Defects Team, CDC Zika Virus Response Team, Sonja Rasmussen, Director of the Division of Public Health Information and Dissemination, and Editor-in-Chief of CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), and Catherine Spong, Acting Director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development on the latest recommendations related to Zika virus.  You can hear the briefing here http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/t0325-zika.html.  

ASM Funding Recommendations to Congress for Fiscal Year 2017
The ASM has submitted appropriation recommendations to Congress for federal agencies that support biomedical and public health research.   Read them here:  http://www.asm.org/index.php/public-policy-2/137-policy/documents/statements-and-testimony/94075-fy-2017.

PSAB Committees Co-Author CIDT Interim Guideline
Members of the PSAB Committees on Laboratory Practices and Professional Affairs joined the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) Culture-Independent Diagnostics (CID) Subcommittee to author “Interim Guideline: Submission of Enteric Pathogens from Positive Culture-independent Diagnostic Test Specimens to Public Health.”  To read the document, go to http://www.aphl.org/AboutAPHL/publications/Documents/FS-Enteric_Pathogens_Guidelines_0216.pdf.

ASM Sends Letter to Congress on Zika Virus Supplemental Funding
ASM wrote in support of the President’s request of $1.8 billion for emergency supplemental funding to prepare for and respond to the Zika virus outbreak.  At present, there are no vaccines, no rapid diagnostics, and no treatment for Zika infection.  Read more here: http://www.asm.org/index.php/public-policy-2/137-policy/documents/statements-and-testimony/94027-2-16-zika.

ASM Staff Attends Congressional Hearing on Zika Virus
On February 24, ASM staff attended “The Zika Virus: Coordination of a Multi-Agency Response” hearing held by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.  Witnesses included Anne Schuchat, Principal Deputy Director of CDC and Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).  John Armstrong, the Surgeon General and Secretary of Health of the State of Florida, and Bill Moreau, Managing Director for Sports Medicine for the United States Olympic Committee raised specific concerns about mosquito eradication and risks to U.S. athletes.  To see the full hearing, click https://oversight.house.gov/hearing/the-zika-virus-coordination-of-a-multi-agency-response/.

ASM Staff Participate in S-FAR Congressional Briefing
On February 24th, ASM joined the other members of the U.S. Stakeholder Forum on Antimicrobial Resistance (S-FAR) in a briefing discussing the public health crisis of antimicrobial resistance (AR) and related programs in the President’s Budget Request for Fiscal Year 2017.  Attendees had the opportunity to hear clinician and patient perspectives on infections with AR organisms and were able to interact with federal agency officials who are working to implement the “National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria”.  Read more about S-FAR here: http://s-far.org/.

ASM Attends FDA Pharmacy Compounding Advisory Committee Meeting
ASM Staff attended the March 8-9 U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Pharmacy Compounding Advisory Committee Meeting (PCAC) meeting in Silver Spring, MD.  The portion of the meeting of interest to ASM members involved the discussion of quinacrine hydrochloride and its use as an anti-parasitic treatment, an anti-lupus treatment and for intrauterine sterilization. Materials can be found at http://www.fda.gov/AdvisoryCommittees/CommitteesMeetingMaterials/Drugs/PharmacyCompoundingAdvisoryCommittee/ucm486094.htm

Minority Microbiology Mentor Newsletter
The March issue of the Minority Microbiology Newsletter has just been published by the Committee on Microbiological Issues Impacting Minorities (CMIIM).  You can read the newsletter by going to this link: http://www.asm.org/index.php/public-policy-2/135-policy/documents/newsletters/minority-microbiology-mentor-newsletter/94073-mmm-3-16

ASM NEWS, JOURNAL ARTICLES AND UPDATES

Complete the C. difficile Laboratory Practice Survey
The ASM and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are conducting a survey to learn about laboratories’ microbiological practices related to improving diagnosis and management of patients with Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infection. This survey will take approximately 20 minutes to complete; participation is voluntary. The results from the survey will be compiled and shared in aggregate as a learning tool, presented at professional conferences and potentially published in a professional journal in the field of laboratory science. All information collected in this survey will be kept in a secure manner; your IP address will NOT be retained.  If your laboratory has not yet participated in the survey, please visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/M627S86 and complete it by April 1, 2016. Your feedback is important for guiding ASM and CDC in their efforts to understand laboratory C. difficile practice. Contact clinmicro@asmusa.org with questions or concerns.

Hot Topic
The February Hot Topic discussion, "Molecular Multiplex Testing: Respiratory and Gastrointestinal Pathogens”, was presented by Melissa Miller, Ph.D., D(ABMM), University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and PSAB Laboratory Practices Chair.  To see it, click the link on the portal https://clinmicro.asm.org/index.php/portal/hot-topics

Clinical Microbiology Photo Quiz
The photo quiz is a popular feature from the Journal of Clinical Microbiology.  Test your skill at identification by going to https://clinmicro.asm.org/index.php/bench-work-resources/guidelines/22-identifying-organisms/399-photo-quizzes.     

ASM Conferences

13th ASM Conference on Candida and Candidiasis
April 13-17, 2016
Seattle, WA

The 32nd Clinical Virology Symposium
May 19 – 22, 2016
Daytona Beach, FL
Early Registration ends April 7
http://www.clinicalvirologysymposium.org/

@ASM Conference: Special President's Edition on What Does the Biology of Flaviviruses Tell Us about Zika: The Importance of Fundamental Virus Biology
June 1, 2016
Washington, DC

ASM Conference on Streptococcal Genetics
July 31-August 3, 2016
Washington, DC

2nd ASM Conference on Experimental Microbial Evolution
August 4–7, 2016
Washington, DC

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

ASM Journal Articles of Interest

Nonpathogenic Bacteriophages Transferred During Fecal Transplants
In a new study in the journal MBio, researchers analyzed the fecal transplants from a single, healthy donor to three children with chronic ulcerative colitis and found a number of temperate phages transferred from host to recipients. Read more at http://www.asm.org/index.php/journal-press-releases/94109-nonpathogenic-viruses-transferred-during-fecal-transplants.

Contact Lens Wear Alters Eye Microbiome
In a study of 58 adults seeking outpatient eye care, researchers at New York University School of Medicine found that contact lens wear may make the eye microbiome more skin-like, with higher proportions of Pseudomonas, Acinetobacter, Methylobacterium, and Lactobacillus and lower proportions of Haemophilus, Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, and Corynebacterium.  Read more at http://www.asm.org/index.php/journal-press-releases/94089-contact-lenses-alter-eye-bacteria-making-it-more-skin-like.

ASM and CDC Review of UTI Diagnosis and Management Improves Practice, but Needs More Evidence
Managing the factors that affect diagnosis and treatment of UTIs contributes to generating meaningful culture results. To determine how these factors impact the management of UTIs, the ASM and CDC  have together developed a an Evidence-Based Laboratory Medicine Practice Guideline (EBLMPG) to determine if optimizing the collection, preservation and transport of urine for microbiological culture improves the diagnosis and management of UTIs.  Read more at http://www.asm.org/index.php/asm-newsroom2/press-releases/94000-improving-quality-recommendations-for-uti-management-american-society-for-microbiology-and-centers-for-disease-control-and-prevention-s-review-of-uti-diagnosis-and-management-leads-to-improved-practices-but-indicates-need-for-further-evidence.

ASM Press

Manual of Molecular and Clinical Laboratory Immunology, Eighth Edition
Editors: Barbara Detrick, John L Schmitz, and Robert G Hamilton
Electronic and Hardcover, 1,340 pages, full-color illustrations, index.
(Print ISBN: 9781555818715) For more information, please visit the e-store at: http://www.asmscience.org/content/book/10.1128/9781555818722

Clinical Microbiology Procedures Handbook, Fourth Edition
Editor: Amy Leber
Electronic and Hardcover, Three-Volume Set, 2700 pages, full-color illustrations, index.
(Print ISBN: 9781555818807) For more information, please visit the e-store at: http://www.asmscience.org/content/book/10.1128/9781555818814

Diagnostic Medical Parasitology, Sixth Edition
Author: Lynn Garcia
Electronic and Hardcover, 1200 pages, full-color illustrations, index.
(Print ISBN: 9781555818999) For more information, please visit the e-store at: http://www.asmscience.org/content/book/10.1128/9781555819002

Articles of Interest

Laboratory Automation in Clinical Bacteriology: What System to Choose?
Laboratory automation systems are rapidly evolving to provide improved hardware and software solutions to optimize laboratory efficiency. However, the complex parameters of the laboratory and automation systems must be considered to determine the best system for each given laboratory. This article addresses several topics on laboratory automation that may help clinical bacteriologists to understand the particularities and operative modalities of the different systems.  Read the full article by going to http://www.clinicalmicrobiologyandinfection.com/article/S1198-743X(16)00006-9/abstract.

Development and application of two independent real-time PCR assays to detect clinically relevant Mucorales species
PCR-based detection of Mucorales species could improve diagnosis of suspected invasive fungal infection, leading to a better patient outcome. This study describes two independent probe-based real-time PCR tests for detection of clinically relevant Mucorales, targeting the 18S and the 28S rRNA genes.  Read more at http://jmm.microbiologyresearch.org/content/journal/jmm/10.1099/jmm.0.000218.

FEDERAL AGENCY UPDATES

FDA Proposes Ban on Most Powdered Medical Gloves
On March 18, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced a proposal to ban most powdered gloves in the United States. While use of these gloves is decreasing, they pose an unreasonable and substantial risk of illness or injury to health care providers, patients and other individuals who are exposed to them, which cannot be corrected through new or updated labeling.  See the announcement at http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm491466.htm.

CDC Issues Updated Zika Recommendations
On March 25, the CDC issued a series of updated recommendation on the Zika virus, including “Updated Interim Guidance for Pregnant and Reproductive Age Women”, “Updated Interim Guidance for Preventing Sexual Transmission of Zika”, and “Increasing Access to Contraception in Areas with Active Zika Transmission.” You can find these documents at http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/s0325-zika-virus-recommendations.html.

Scientists Discover Potential Bacterial Indicator for Intestinal Disease in Premature Infants
Scientists have discovered a microbial biomarker that may indicate which premature infants are at increased risk for developing necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a serious intestinal disease that affects approximately 10 percent of premature infants and commonly leads to infant death. The findings may offer potential targets for interventions to prevent the disease. Read more here http://www.niaid.nih.gov/news/newsreleases/2016/Pages/Infant-gut-microbiome.aspx

Superbugs Threaten Hospital Patients
America is doing a better job of preventing healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), but more work is needed – especially in fighting antibiotic-resistant bacteria. CDC’s latest Vital Signs report urges healthcare workers to use a combination of infection control recommendations to better protect patients from these infections.  Read more at http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/p0303-superbugs.html.

FDA Approves New Treatment for Inhalation Anthrax
On March 18, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Anthim (obiltoxaximab) injection to treat inhalational anthrax in combination with other antibacterial drugs. Anthim is also approved to prevent inhalational anthrax when alternative therapies are not available or not appropriate.  To read more, see http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm491470.htm.

New Lyme-Disease-Causing Bacteria Species Discovered
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in collaboration with Mayo Clinic and health officials from Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota, report the discovery of a new species of bacteria (Borrelia mayonii) that causes Lyme disease. Until now, Borrelia burgdorferi was the only species believed to cause Lyme disease in North America.  See more at http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/p0208-lyme-disease.html.

MMWR Articles of Interest

Leveling of Tuberculosis Incidence: U.S., 2013–2015
TB incidence in the United States remained approximately 3.0 cases per 100,000 persons during 2013–2015. Resuming progress toward TB elimination in the United States will require intensification of efforts both in the United States and globally, including increasing U.S. efforts to detect and treat latent TB infection, strengthening systems to interrupt TB transmission in the United States and globally, accelerating reductions in TB globally, particularly in the countries of origin for most U.S. cases.

Outbreak of Foodborne Botulism Associated with Improperly Jarred Pesto
On July 28, 2014, the Cincinnati Health Department was notified of suspected cases of foodborne botulism in two women admitted to the same hospital 12 days apart.  It was learned that on July 13, patient A and patient B had shared a meal that included prepackaged pesto from a jar. The pesto had been purchased from company A’s farm stand in San Clemente, CA. 

Possible Airborne Person-to-Person Transmission of Mycobacterium bovis
In April 2014, a Mexico-born Nebraska man was determined to have extensive pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) caused by M. bovis.Four months later, a U.S.-born Hispanic girl from a nearby town who had been ill for 4–5 months was also determined to have pulmonary TB caused by M. bovis. The only social connection between the two patients was attendance at the same church, and no common dietary exposure was identified. Whole-genome sequencing results of the isolates were nearly indistinguishable.

OTHER INFORMATION AND UPDATES

Pathology and Lab Medicine: 2016 ASCP Annual Meeting
Join your colleagues and top leaders from around the world to make an impact on patient care and ensure your success.
September 14-17, 2016
Las Vegas, NV
For more information, see http://ascp.org/2016-Annual-Meeting/index.html

AACC/MSSS: Mass Spectrometry and Separation Sciences for Laboratory Medicine
Mass spectrometry and separation sciences are increasingly gaining acceptance for routine assays in clinical laboratories.
September 29-30, 2016
Chicago, IL
For more information, see https://www.aacc.org/store/conferences/11000/aaccmsss-mass-spectrometry-and-separation-sciences-for-laboratory-medicine--sixth-annual-confer

Articles of Interest

Zika Study Could Help Overcome an Obstacle to Vaccine Research
The New York Times
March 28, 2016
The first new mouse model in which the Zika virus can be tested was described in The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Virologists at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston announced that they had found a type of immune-deficient mice that lost weight, became lethargic and died when infected. Normal laboratory mice do not.

This Man-made Cell Has the Smallest Genome Ever, But a Third of Its Genes Are a Mystery
The Washington Post
March 25, 2016
Scientists created the first synthetic bacterium back in 2010. But in a new study published in Science, they've taken this proof of concept a step further. Their latest single-cell creation has what they're calling a "minimal genome." They've created an organism that has just 473 genes, the smallest known genome of any living organism.  But even this minimal genome has many genes with unknown purposes.

Class-Action Settlement Reached in Meningitis Outbreak Suit
The New York Times
March 25, 2016
A settlement has been reached in a class-action lawsuit involving a Michigan clinic and a 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak that killed 64 people and sickened more than 750 people in 20 states.  The deal reached Friday in Livingston County Circuit Court covers 311 patients of Michigan Pain Specialists.

One Traveler May Have Brought Zika to the Americas in 2013
The New York Times
March 24, 2016
The Zika virus now spreading widely throughout the hemisphere probably arrived in the Americas in a single traveler in the second half of 2013, according to a new Science article on the study of the virus’s genome led by Brazilian and British researchers.

Early FDA Approval Sought for Zika Virus Blood Tests
San Jose Mercury News
March 7, 2016
As the number of Zika virus cases in the U.S. grows, teams of California researchers are working against the clock to develop tests to detect Zika in the blood supply that about 5 million Americans rely on each year for transfusions.

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