Clinical Microbiology Issues Update - October 2016

PSAB ACTIVITIES

  • Laboratory Practices Committee Authors Document of mcr-1 Colistin Resistance
  • ASM Summarizes the Details of the Continuing Resolution and Zika Funding
  • ASM Authors Zika Laboratory Testing Guideline
  • ASM Supports $1.9 Billion Emergency Funding to Combat Zika
  • ASM Launches the Kavli Microbiome Ideas Challenge with Two Leading Scientific Societies
  • ASM Revises Recommendations for Handling/Testing of VHF Specimens 
  • ASM Members Visit Congress 
  • ASM Acts to Counter Zika Virus Outbreak
  • ASM Publishes October Issue of the Minority Microbiology Mentor

ASM NEWS, JOURNAL ARTICLES AND UPDATES

  • Impact of New Microbiology Technology on Patient Outcomes Course
  • Multicare Health System: Quality Urine Samples and Clinical, Process and Fiscal Outcomes
  • ASM Conferences
  • ASM Journal Articles of Interest
  • ASM Press

FEDERAL AGENCY UPDATES

  • CDC Announces Zika Virus-Related Funding Opportunity 
  • 3rd Annual OSP National Biosafety Month in October
  • FDA Issues Final Rule on Safety and Effectiveness of Antibacterial Soaps
  • FDA Releases Draft Guidance on New Antimicrobial Drugs and Antimicrobial Susceptibility Tests
  • FDA Updates Warnings for Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics
  • NIH Begins Testing Investigational Zika Vaccine in Humans
  • CDC Expands Groundbreaking Disease Identification Tool, MicrobeNet
  • New Study Sheds Light on How Some Survive Ebola
  • MMWR Articles of Interest

OTHER INFORMATION AND UPDATES

  • Lab Institute 2016
  • ID Week 2016
  • AMP 2016 Annual Meeting
  • Articles of Interest

PSAB ACTIVITIES

Laboratory Practices Committee Authors Document of mcr-1 Colistin Resistance
The Committee on Laboratory Practices has developed a white paper to update members on the latest of the emergence of mcr-1 plasmid-mediated colistin resistance and appropriate testing.  To read it, go to http://www.asm.org/index.php/public-policy/93-policy/94613-colistinres-10-16.

ASM Summarizes the Details of the Continuing Resolution and Zika Funding
On September 28, the House passed H.R. 5325 a ten-week continuing resolution (CR) that will fund the federal government through December 9, 2016 avoiding a shutdown.   H.R. 5325 or the Continuing Appropriations and Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2017, and Zika Response and Preparedness Act, funds the Department of Veterans Affairs and related Agencies through the end of FY 2017.   To read the details, go to http://www.asm.org/index.php/public-policy/137-policy/documents/statements-and-testimony/94609-zika-cr-9-29-16.

ASM Authors Zika Laboratory Testing Guideline
The ASM Committee on Laboratory Practices and the PASCV Advocacy/Public Relations Committee jointly authored a document containing information and laboratory testing suggestions to assist clinical laboratories.  See the guideline here http://www.asm.org/images/PSAB/ZikaGuidance.pdf.

ASM Supports $1.9 Billion Emergency Funding to Combat Zika
ASM sent a letter of support for additional Zika funding to Senator Richard Shelby, supporting a higher level of funding than the $622 million proposed in the House Appropriations Committee. The letter can be viewed at http://www.asm.org/index.php/public-policy/137-policy/documents/statements-and-testimony/94230-zika-5-18-16.  

ASM Launches the Kavli Microbiome Ideas Challenge with Two Leading Scientific Societies
In support of the National Microbiome Initiative launched by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Kavli Foundation has committed $1 million to a Kavli Microbiome Ideas Challenge supporting development of next generation scientific tools for investigating life on a microbial scale. The Kavli Ideas Challenge will be led by the ASM and carried out in partnership with the American Chemical Society (ACS) and American Physical Society (APS).  See more at https://www.asm.org/index.php/asm-newsroom2/press-releases/94215-american-society-for-microbiology-launches-the-kavli-microbiome-ideas-challenge-in-partnership-with-two-leading-scientific-societies.

ASM Revises Recommendations for Handling/Testing of VHF Specimens
After a series of meetings with the Centers for Disease, the PSAB Laboratory Practices Committee has revised its recommendations for handling and testing of viral hemorrhagic fever (VHF) specimens for Sentinel Laboratories.  Specific details for laboratory test approaches are discussed, some of which are not currently addressed by the CDC. This document is presented as one possible approach for testing of patients with suspected VHF.  The revised recommendations can be found at http://www.asm.org/images/PSAB/ASM-VHF-5-2016.pdf.

ASM Members Visit Congress
ASM volunteer leaders have been on Capitol Hill advocating for funding for the microbial sciences and their messages have accelerated congressional action on funding to address the Zika threat.  To see their activities, click the link here http://www.asm.org/index.php/public-policy/93-policy/94228-hillvisits-6-16.

ASM Acts to Counter Zika Virus Outbreak
ASM has compiled the latest information on the Zika outbreak, the policy implications of Zika funding and more.  Please visit http://www.asm.org/index.php/public-policy/93-policy/94194-asm-acts-to-counter-zika-virus-outbreak to see the latest.

ASM Publishes October Issue of the Minority Microbiology Mentor
The September issue of the Minority Microbiology Mentor has been published by the Committee on Microbiological Issues Impacting Minorities (CMIIM) http://www.asm.org/index.php/public-policy/135-policy/documents/newsletters/minority-microbiology-mentor-newsletter/94641-mmm-10-16

ASM NEWS, JOURNAL ARTICLES AND UPDATES

Impact of New Microbiology Technology on Patient Outcomes Course
As diagnostic microbiology laboratories evolve from profit to cost centers in the era of declining reimbursements, the clinical microbiologist will need a better understanding of how technology can impact on the quality of patient care. This course will explore the latest advances in technology for microbiology, some issues surrounding these methods, and the overall impact of these newer tests on patient care and health outcomes.  See http://www.asmscience.org/ImpactWebinar2015 for more information. 

Multicare Health System: Quality Urine Samples and Clinical, Process and Fiscal Outcomes
This CME/CE accredited webcast discusses the importance of collecting urine specimens correctly, the costs associated with poorly collected specimens, and proper technique for collection.  It will also review the evidence-based guideline published by the CDC and ASM regarding urine cultures (http://cmr.asm.org/content/29/1/105). This will be available for unlimited viewing through March 2017 at www.ascls.org/webcasts.   

ASM Conferences

ASM Conference on Antibacterial Development
December 11-14, 2016
Washington, DC

ASM Conference on Mechanisms of Interbacterial Cooperation and Competition
March 1-4, 2017
Washington, DC
For a complete list of upcoming ASM conferences, please see http://conferences.asm.org/.

ASM Journal Articles of Interest

Rapid Bedside Inactivation of Ebola Virus for Safe Nucleic Acid Tests
Rapid bedside inactivation of Ebola virus would be a solution for the safety of medical and technical staff, risk containment, sample transport, and high-throughput or rapid diagnostic testing during an outbreak.  To see how this can be accomplished go to http://jcm.asm.org/content/54/10/2521.abstract.

Benefits of Adding a Rapid PCR-Based Blood Culture Identification Panel to an Established Antimicrobial Stewardship Program
Studies have demonstrated that the combination of antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASP) and rapid organism identification improves outcomes in bloodstream infections (BSI) but have not controlled for the incremental contribution of the individual components.  Read the study that adds a rapid, multiplex PCR-based blood culture identification panel (BCID) here http://jcm.asm.org/content/54/10/2455.full.pdf+html.

ASM Press

Clinical Microbiology Procedures Handbook, Fourth Edition
Editor:  Amy L. Leber
Hardcover, Three-Volume Set, 2,954 pages, full-color illustrations, index
(ISBN: 9781555818807) for more information, please visit the e-store at: http://www.asmscience.org/content/book/10.1128/9781555818814

FEDERAL AGENCY UPDATES

CDC Announces Zika Virus-Related Funding Opportunity 
Under the Advanced and Innovative Solutions to Improve Public Health program, Broad Agency Announcement (BAA), CDC has announced a Zika virus-related funding opportunity.  The announcement has four specific areas of interest, including Zika diagnostics development.  To see more, search for BAA 2017-N-18041 at https://www.fbo.gov/index?id=967b22e59aa3ea70f78241c9c00b4bb3

3rd Annual OSP National Biosafety Month in October
The NIH Office of Science Policy is pleased to announce the 3rd annual National Biosafety Month is being observed in October.  National Biosafety Month is a period during which institutions are encouraged to refocus their attention on biosafety policies, practices and procedures.  You can read more at http://osp.od.nih.gov/announcement/wed-2016-09-28-0000/3rd-annual-osp-national-biosafety-month-coming-october.

FDA Issues Final Rule on Safety and Effectiveness of Antibacterial Soaps
The Food and Drug Administration issued a final rule establishing that over-the-counter (OTC) consumer antiseptic wash products containing certain active ingredients can no longer be marketed. Companies will no longer be able to market antibacterial washes with these ingredients because manufacturers did not demonstrate that the ingredients are both safe for long-term daily use and more effective than plain soap and water in preventing illness and the spread of certain infections.  To see the final rule, click  http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm517478.htm.

FDA Releases Draft Guidance on New Antimicrobial Drugs and Antimicrobial Susceptibility Tests
On September 21, the Food and Drug Administration released “Coordinated Development of Antimicrobial Drugs and Antimicrobial Susceptibility Test Devices: Draft Guidance for Industry and Food and Drug Administration Staff.”  Public comments on this document will be accepted until November 21, 2016. 

FDA Updates Warnings for Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics
The Food and Drug Administration approved safety labeling changes for a class of antibiotics, called fluoroquinolones, to enhance warnings about their association with disabling and potentially permanent side effects and to limit their use in patients with less serious bacterial infections.

NIH Begins Testing Investigational Zika Vaccine in Humans
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has launched a clinical trial of a vaccine candidate intended to prevent Zika virus infection. The early-stage study will evaluate the experimental vaccine’s safety and ability to generate an immune system response in participants. For more, see https://www.niaid.nih.gov/news-events/nih-begins-testing-investigational-zika-vaccine-humans.   

CDC Expands Groundbreaking Disease Identification Tool, MicrobeNet
MicrobeNet allows better and quicker germ identification and health response by providing laboratorians with unprecedented access to CDC's virtual microbe library of more than 2,400 rare and emerging infectious bacteria and fungi at no cost. The recent multi-state outbreak of Elizabethkingia in Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan underscores the need for a tool like MicrobeNet in diagnostic laboratories.  You can read about MicrobeNet by going to http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/p0518-microbenet.html.

New Study Sheds Light on How Some Survive Ebola
A first-of-its-kind Ebola study yields clues to how some people are able to survive the deadly virus and suggests possible avenues for treatments that could save more lives. Researchers at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Emory University School of Medicine, and University of Nebraska Medical Center analyzed the immune responses of Ebola patients treated in the United States. Learn more at http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/p0629-survive-ebola.html.

MMWR Articles of Interest

Characteristics of Children Aged <18 Years with Zika Virus Disease Acquired Postnatally
During January 2015–July 2016, a total of 158 cases of confirmed or probable postnatally acquired Zika virus disease among children aged <18 years were reported to CDC from U.S. states.  This series of 158 children with postnatally acquired Zika virus disease corroborates previously published reports suggesting that the clinical course of Zika virus disease is typically mild in children, as it is in adults. 

Likely Sexual Transmission of Zika Virus from a Man with No Symptoms of Infection
In June 2016, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) was notified of a nonpregnant woman who sought treatment for a subjective fever and an itchy rash.  Case investigation revealed that the woman had not traveled to a region with ongoing transmission of Zika virus, but did have sexual contact with a male partner who had recently traveled to the Dominican Republic

OTHER INFORMATION AND UPDATES

Lab Institute 2016
This year’s conference will focus on navigating new regulations
October 26-28, 2016
Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill
Washington, DC
http://www.g2intelligence.com/conf/ 

ID Week 2016
Advancing Science, Improving Care
October 26-30, 2016
New Orleans, LA
http://www.idweek.org/

AMP 2016 Annual Meeting
Big World. Molecular Medicine. One Community.
November 10-12, 2016
The Charlotte Convention Center
Charlotte, NC
https://www.amp.org/meetings/

Articles of Interest

In the Wake of Matthew, Haitian Towns Struggle with Cholera
The Washington Post
October 10, 2016
Cholera cases were breaking out by the dozens across a hurricane-devastated swath of coastal Haiti on Sunday, forcing families in isolated villages to carry their ailing relatives out on grueling backcountry hikes to reach understaffed hospitals.

Theranos to Close Labs and Lay Off 340 Workers
New York Times
October 5, 2016
Theranos, the embattled blood-testing company, announced that it would close its laboratory operations, shutter its wellness centers and lay off about 340 employees. In a letter posted to the company’s website, Elizabeth Holmes, the company’s founder and chief executive, said the company would now focus on an initiative to create miniature medical testing machines

ASM Member Yoshinori Ohsumi Wins Nobel Prize
New York Times
October 3, 2016
Yoshinori Ohsumi was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine on Monday for his discoveries on how cells recycle their content, a process known as autophagy.  Dr. Ohsumi is a member of ASM.

A Raised Bar for Medical Tests
US News and World Report
September 13, 2016
There’s growing concern that many of the tests doctors use may provide misleading or false information.

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