Clinical Microbiology Issues Update - February 2012

PSAB ACTIVITIES

  • ASM Attends Workforce Coalition Meeting
  • Summary of the President’s FY 2013 Budget Request
  • ASM Signs Coalition Letters to House and Senate Leadership on Antimicrobial Resistance
  • ASM Signed CLC Letter Opposing Cuts to the Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule
  • ASM Attends the Laboratory Response Network Partner’s Meeting
  • Public and Scientific Affairs Board Meeting
  • ASM Publishes Special Commentaries on H5N1 Research

ASM NEWS, JOURNAL ARTICLES AND UPDATES

  • ASM Teleconferences
  • ASM Conferences
  • ASM Journal Articles of Interest
  • ABMM Certification Deadline April 1

FEDERAL AGENCY UPDATES

  • CMS Gives Consumers Access Details about Infection Rates at America’s Hospitals 
  • FDA and Industry Reach Agreement in Principle on Medical Device User Fees
  • FDA Permits Marketing of First Test for Risk of brain Infection in People Treated with Tysabri 
  • NIH-Funded HIV Clinical Research Sites to Join Pediatric TB Vaccine Study
  • MMWR Articles of Interest

OTHER INFORMATION AND UPDATES

  • The Beginner’s Guide to Establishing Molecular Diagnostic Testing
  • Students Urged to 'Go Viral to Improve Health' in $10,000 Collegiate Challenge
  • Articles of Interest

     

PSAB ACTIVITIES

ASM Attends Workforce Coalition Meeting
PSAB Professional Affairs Committee Chair Vickie Baselski attended the Coordinating Council on the Clinical Laboratory Workforce (CCCLW) 12 December meeting in Chicago, Ill. This meeting focused on highlighting past CCCLW accomplishments and the identification of new initiatives to enhance the clinical laboratory professions. For more information on CCCLW, please go to http://ccclw.org/default.aspx.

Summary of the President’s FY 2013 Budget Request

The President released the Administration’s FY 2013 budget request to Congress.  Highlights of research and development and public health funding proposed for federal agencies can be found at: Research and Development Funding for FY 2013.

ASM Signs Coalition Letters to House and Senate Leadership on Antimicrobial Resistance
ASM signed onto a letter sent to the House and Senate leadership regarding antimicrobial resistance and the dry pipeline for antibiotic research and development.  The letter can be viewed here http://www.asm.org/images/pdf/Policy/ar-2-22-12house.pdf

ASM Signed CLC Letter Opposing Cuts to the Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule
ASM joined with members of the Clinical Laboratory Coalition (CLC) on a letter to House and Senate leadership opposing cuts to the clinical laboratory to address physician fees.  The letter can be seen in full at http://www.asm.org/images/pdf/Clinical/clcletterlabcutsbaucus.pdf

ASM Attends the Laboratory Response Network Partner’s Meeting
Alice Weissfeld, member of the Professional Affairs Committee, represented ASM at the February 10 meeting of the Laboratory Response Network (LRN) Partner’s group in Atlanta, GA.  Topics for discussion were the impact of budget cuts on response capabilities and electronic data messaging.  For more information of this partnership, please go to http://www.bt.cdc.gov/lrn/partners.asp

Public and Scientific Affairs Board Meeting
The ASM Public and Scientific Affairs Board (PSAB) held its annual board meeting at ASM Headquarters on February 9 and 10.  The following policymakers attended and participated in the meeting: Anthony Fauci, M.D., Director, NIAID, NIH; Sally J. Rockey, Ph.D., Deputy Director for Extramural Research, NIH; Rima Khabbaz, M.D., Deputy Director for Infectious Disease, CDC; John C. Wingfield, Ph.D., Assistant Director, Directorate for Biological Sciences, NSF, Amy P. Patterson, M.D., Director, Office of Science Policy, Office of the Director, NIH; and Michael V. Callahan, Ph.D., Program Manager, Defense Sciences Office, DARPA, DoD. The PSAB reviewed policy issues of importance to microbiology and committee activities for the coming year.  For more information on the numerous 2011 activities of the PSAB, see PSAB 2011 Annual Report.

ASM Comments on Draft Recreational Water Quality Criteria
On February 22, ASM sent comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the proposed Recreational Water Quality Criteria (RWQC) for use in managing all US coastal, inland and Great Lakes waters designated for primary contact recreation.  To see this letter, please click:  February 22, 2012 - ASM Comments on Draft Recreational Water Quality Criteria.

ASM Publishes Special Commentaries on H5N1 Research
The ASM open-access journal mBio® published four commentaries, including an editorial, on the recent H5N1 transmissibility studies and the NSABB recommendation on them.  To see them all, please go to NSABB and H5N1 Redactions: Biosecurity Runs Up Against Scientific Endeavor

ASM NEWS, JOURNAL ARTICLES AND UPDATES

 

ASM Conferences

11th ASM Conference on Candida and Candidiasis

March 29 - April 2, 2012

San Francisco, California

http://www.asm.org/index.php/meetings/asm-conferences-landing-page.html

 

ASM Journal Articles of Interest

Copper Iodide Nanoparticles Effective Against 2009 Pandemic H1N1 Influenza Virus
Copper-iodide nanoparticles have long-lasting antiviral activity against the 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza virus.  The copper iodide generates reactive oxygen species which kill viruses by degrading viral proteins.  http://aem.asm.org/content/78/4/951.full

Single Dose of Antibiotic Leaves Mice Highly Vulnerable to Intestinal Infection
A team of researchers from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center has shown in mouse models that a single dose of the commonly used antibiotic, clindamycin, wiped out nearly 90 percent of bacterial taxa, leaving the mice unusually susceptible to infection by Clostridium difficile.  http://iai.asm.org/content/77/9/3661.full

Staph ID/R: a Rapid Method for Determining Staphylococcus Species Identity and Detecting the mecA Gene Directly from Positive Blood Culture
A rapid test that can identify the major pathogenic strains of Staphylococcus to the species level as well as the presence or absence of the methicillin resistance determinant gene, mecA is described. http://jcm.asm.org/content/50/3/810.full

Intruders below the Radar: Molecular Pathogenesis of Bartonella spp.
Infections with Bartonella are ubiquitous among mammals, and many species can infect humans either as their natural host or incidentally as zoonotic pathogens.  http://cmr.asm.org/content/25/1/42.full

Clinical Validation of Multiplex Real-Time PCR Assays for Detection of Bacterial Meningitis Pathogens
Neisseria meningitidis, Haemophilus influenzae, and Streptococcus pneumoniae are important causes of meningitis and other infections, and rapid, sensitive, and specific laboratory assays are critical for effective public health interventions. http://jcm.asm.org/content/50/3/702.full

How Should Long-Term Tunneled Central Venous Catheters Be Managed in Microbiology Laboratories in Order To Provide an Accurate Diagnosis of Colonization?
The objectives of the study were to compare the roll-plate technique and the sonication method and to define the validity values of Gram staining for the prediction of colonization and CRBSI in patients with long-term tunneled CVCs. http://jcm.asm.org/content/50/3/1003.full

ABMM Certification
The American Board of Medical Microbiology (ABMM) certifies the expertise of doctoral-level microbiologists seeking to direct public health or clinical microbiology laboratories. It is recognized by federal and state governmental agencies as a significant component toward meeting licensure requirements to direct laboratories engaged in the microbiological diagnosis of human disease. It is recognized under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 final rule and in all 12 states that require licensure.

ABMM certification is achieved by passing an online multiple-choice exam that is offered daily in the month of June at testing centers worldwide. Visit http://www.microbiologycert.org/  to learn more and apply online. Deadline: April 1, 2012

FEDERAL AGENCY UPDATES

CMS Gives Consumers Access to Details about Infection Rates at America’s Hospitals
Central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) are among the most serious of all healthcare-associated infections, resulting in thousands of deaths each year and nearly $700 million in added costs to the U.S. healthcare system.  On February 7th, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that Hospital Compare will now include data about how often these preventable infections occur in hospital intensive care units across the country.  To see the press release in full, go to  http://www.cms.gov/apps/media/press/release.asp?Counter=4260

FDA and Industry Reach Agreement in Principle on Medical Device User Fees
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and representatives from the medical device industry have reached an agreement in principle on proposed recommendations for the third reauthorization of a medical device user fee program.  The recommendations would authorize the FDA to collect $595 million in user fees over five years.  Once the final details of the agreement are in place, FDA will give the public an opportunity to comment before they are submitted to Congress.  http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm289828.htm

FDA Permits Marketing of First Test for Risk of Brain Infection in People Treated with Tysabri
FDA announced January 20 that it would allow marketing of the first test to help determine the risk for a rare brain infection called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) in people using the drug Tysabri to treat multiple sclerosis (MS) or Crohn’s disease (CD). The Stratify JCV Antibody ELISA test, when used with other clinical data from the patient, can help health care providers determine the risk for developing PML in MS and CD patients.
http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm288471.htm

NIH-Funded HIV Clinical Research Sites to Join Pediatric TB Vaccine Study
Several U.S. government-funded HIV/AIDS clinical research sites in Africa will join other collaborators in an ongoing clinical trial testing an investigational tuberculosis (TB) vaccine in infants at risk for TB infection.  The Phase II proof-of-concept study is testing the safety and effectiveness of an investigational booster TB vaccine developed by Aeras, a Rockville, Md.-based nonprofit organization focused on developing vaccines and other products to prevent TB, and Crucell N.V., a biopharmaceutical company based in the Netherlands. http://www.niaid.nih.gov/news/newsreleases/2012/Pages/AERAS.aspx

MMWR Articles of Interest

Notes from the Field: Norovirus Infections Associated with Frozen Raw Oysters: Washington, 2011
On October 19, 2011, Public Health – Seattle & King County was contacted regarding a woman who had experienced acute gastroenteritis after dining at a local restaurant with friends. Staff members interviewed the diners and confirmed that the party had consumed a raw oyster dish.

Recovery of a Patient from Clinical Rabies: California, 2011
In May 2011, a girl aged 8 years from a rural county in California was brought to a local emergency department (ED) with a 1-week history of progressive sore throat, difficulty swallowing, and weakness. After she developed flaccid paralysis and encephalitis, rabies was diagnosed.

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
February 7 was National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, an observance intended to raise awareness of and encourage action to reduce the impact of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) on the Black population in the United States.

Notes from the Field: Outbreak of Salmonellosis Associated with Pet Turtle Exposures: United States, 2011
CDC is collaborating with the Pennsylvania State Health Department in an ongoing investigation of an outbreak of human Salmonella enterica serotype Paratyphi B var. L (+) tartrate + infections associated with pet turtle exposures. 

OTHER INFORMATION AND UPDATES

The Beginner’s Guide to Establishing Molecular Diagnostic Testing
March 1, 2012 • 1:00–2:00 PM Eastern Time
Leslie Hall, MMSc, M(ASCP), Jean Amos Wilson, PhD, FACMG, CGMB

Students urged to 'Go Viral to Improve Health' in $10,000 Collegiate Challenge
This is the second annual collegiate challenge sponsored by the Institute of Medicine and National Academy of Engineering to spur students to work in interdisciplinary teams and transform health data into mobile apps, online tools or games, or other innovative products that solve vexing health problems. http://www.iom.edu/Activities/PublicHealth/HealthData/News-Release.aspx

Articles of Interest

Entry point for hepatitis C infection identified
MedicalXPress
January 24, 2012
The cholesterol receptor offers a promising new target for anti-viral therapy, for which an approved drug may already exist.

Nanoparticles for a new vaccine against shigellosis
Basque Research
January 18, 2012
A team of researchers from the departments of Microbiology and Pharmaceutical Technology of the Universidad of Navarra worked on the development of a new oral vaccine in order to treat shigellosis.

Salmonella Linked to Labs Infected 109
Food Safety News
January 19, 2012
Between August 2010 and June 2011, the CDC counted 109 people in 38 states infected with a commercial strain of Salmonella Typhimurium most commonly found in microbiology laboratories.

Computer simulation of tuberculosis bacteria could lead to discovery of new ways to fight disease
NJ.com
January 22, 2012
A Rutgers–Camden professor is using his expertise in computer science to aid in the development of new methods to fight tuberculosis.

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