The Zika ThreatASM Acts to Counter Zika Virus Outbreak.
ASM NEWS, JOURNAL ARTICLES AND UPDATES
FEDERAL AGENCY UPDATES
OTHER INFORMATION AND UPDATES
ASM Staff Participates in CDC Partner Call on upcoming CRE Vital Signs
On January 17, CDC hosted a partner call for its upcoming Vital Signs on CRE. This will be published in March and the call was to inform partners and to answer any questions on what topics will be covered in the upcoming report. CRE, which stands for carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, are a family of organisms that are difficult to treat because they have high levels of resistance to the broad spectrum Beta lactam antibiotics. Strains carrying the metallo-β-lactamases detected by OXA-48, NDM-1 beta lactamasea, or Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC) markers are examples of mechanisms by which Enterobacteriaceae develop carebpenem resistance.
ASM and APHL Revise LRN Sentinel Protocols
On January 10, members of the ASM PSAB Committees on Laboratory Practices and Professional Affairs met with Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) volunteers and staff to make final revisions to the Laboratory Response Network (LRN) Sentinel Level Clinical Laboratory Testing Protocols. These protocols have been developed for the purpose of promoting uniformity and standardization of testing among clinical laboratories. The tests and phenotypic characteristics described for each agent are conventional manual tests commonly performed in the laboratory and allow the clinical laboratory to rapidly rule out suspicious agents or refer them to the designated LRN Reference Laboratory. The ASM, in partnership with the APHL and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), serves as the lead agency for maintaining the protocols and making them available to the Sentinel Level Clinical Laboratory community. The sentinel protocols are available on the ASM web page at: http://www.asm.org/index.php/guidelines/sentinel-guidelines.
ASM Comments on Proposed Framework for Guiding HHS Funding Decisions about Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N1 Gain-of-Function Research
On January 7, ASM submitted comments Amy Patterson, M.D., Director, Biotechnology Activities Office Office of Science Policy at the National Institutes of Health on the November 27, 2012 Proposed Framework for Guiding HHS Funding Decisions about Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N1 Gain-of-Function Research. To both the proposed framework document and ASM’s specific concerns, please go to http://www.asm.org/index.php/programs2/public-policy/137-policy/documents/statements-and-testimony/91435-1-13-13-h5n1.
Minority Microbiology Mentor Newsletter
The January issue of the Minority Microbiology Newsletter has been published by the Committee on Microbiological Issues Impacting Minorities. 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/91460-mmm-1-13
ASM NEWS, JOURNAL ARTICLES AND UPDATES
3rd ASMET - The ASM Emerging Technologies Conference
June 25-28, 2013
Registration is now open.
For a complete list of upcoming ASM conferences, please see http://conferences.asm.org/
ASM/APHL Joint Webinar on Sentinel Clinical Laboratory Testing Protocols
Understanding the Sentinel Clinical Laboratory Testing Protocols
January 29, 2013 • 1:00 pm – 2:00 PM ET
Registration Deadline: January 27, 2013
For more information on this seminar, click http://www.aphl.org/courses/Documents/2013/588-901-13-ASMBTPHLBrochure.pdf
ASM Journal Articles of Interest
Pigs in Southern China Infected With Avian Flu
Researchers report of three strains of non-H1N1 avian influenza viruses in pigs in southern China. Influenza A virus is responsible both for pandemics that have killed millions worldwide, and for the much less severe annual outbreaks of influenza. Because pigs can be infected with both human and avian influenza viruses, they may act as reservoirs. Given the recent transmission of avian influenzas into swine, “We recommend strongly that the pork industry worldwide should monitor the prevalence of influenza in pigs, considering their important role in transmitting this virus to humans,” says Zhang.
Are Bacteria Making You Hungry?
It has become increasingly clear that the normal gastrointestinal (GI) bacteria play a variety of very important roles in the biology of human and animals. Investigators from the University of Rouen, France, propose yet another role for GI bacteria: that they exert some control over their hosts’ appetites.
Host Cholesterol Secretion Likely to Influence Gut Microbiota
For more than half a century, scientists have known that the bacteria that colonize the gastrointestinal tract of mammals influence their host’s cholesterol metabolism. Now researchers at the University of Nebraska show that diet induced changes in cholesterol metabolism can alter the gut flora.
NRCM Application Deadline February 1
Certification with the National Registry of Certified Microbiologists (NRCM) is a tangible credential and it certifies expertise in the following areas: biological safety; food safety and quality; and pharmaceutical and medical device. To register, click http://www.asm.org/index.php/programs2/professional-practice/105-professional-development/professional-certification/7841-certify-your-expertise-in-microbiology-with-nrcm-certification-deadline-august-1
ASM2013 Website and Registration Now Open
You can now register and submit abstracts through the general meeting website at http://gm.asm.org/. The general meeting will take place in Denver, CO from May 18-21, 2013.
FEDERAL AGENCY UPDATES
2012-2013 Influenza Season Week 3 ending January 19, 2013
Influenza activity remained elevated in the United States, but decreased in some geographic areas. The weekly Influenza Surveillance Report, prepared by the CDC Influenza Division is available by visiting the link http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/ .
All-Hazards Preparedness Bill Wins House Passage
On January 22, The House of Representatives passed a measure by 395-29 to reauthorize and modify several medical disaster preparation programs designed to counter chemical, biological, radioactive or nuclear emergencies. The legislation, HR 307: The Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2013 was sponsored by Rep. Mike Rogers and would reauthorize the National Disaster Medical System. It also would extend the Public Health Emergency Preparedness Cooperative Agreement program, which provides grants to state and local health departments to help respond to public health hazards. For the text of the bill, please go to http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-113hr307rfs/pdf/BILLS-113hr307rfs.pdf
FDA Permits Marketing of First Test That Can Simultaneously Identify 11 Causes of Infectious Gastroenteritis
On Jan. 14, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration allowed marketing for the first test that can simultaneously detect 11 common viral, bacterial, and parasitic causes of infectious gastroenteritis from a single patient sample. http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm335274.htm
FDA Approves Gleevec for Children with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
On January 25, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a new use of Gleevec (imatinib) to treat children newly diagnosed with Philadelphia chromosome positive (Ph+) acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). ALL is the most common type of pediatric cancer, affecting approximately 2,900 children annually, and progresses quickly if untreated. http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm336868.htm
CDC Public Health Grand Rounds
Next Grand Rounds Presentation: Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
Tuesday, February 19, at 1 p.m. - 2 p.m., EST
MMWR Articles of Interest
Notes from the Field: Emergence of New Norovirus Strain GII.4 Sydney: United States, 2012
In March 2012, a new GII.4 norovirus strain was identified in Australia. Named GII.4 Sydney, this emergent strain has since caused acute gastroenteritis outbreaks in multiple countries. In the United States, GII.4 Sydney has spread rapidly nationwide, causing an increasing number of outbreaks.
Infant Meningococcal Vaccination: Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) Recommendations and Rationale
At its October 2012 meeting, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted to recommend vaccination against meningococcal serogroups C and Y for children aged 6 weeks through 18 months at increased risk for meningococcal disease.
Early Estimates of Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness: USA, January 2013
Each season since 2004–05, CDC has estimated the effectiveness of seasonal influenza vaccine to prevent influenza-associated acute respiratory infection. This season, early data from 1,155 children and adults with ARI enrolled during December 3, 2012–January 2, 2013 were used to estimate the overall effectiveness of seasonal influenza vaccine for preventing laboratory-confirmed influenza virus infection.
Interruptions in Supplies of Second-Line Antituberculosis Drugs: United States, 2005–2012
In November 2010, a nationwide survey of TB control programs conducted by the National Tuberculosis Controllers Association (NTCA) indicated that shortages and other problems that hinder access to drugs interfere with patient care and could promote the development of drug resistance as well as the transmission of drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis. This report focuses on the growing issue of TB drug shortages and summarizes the findings of that survey.
NIH-Developed Candidate Dengue Vaccine Shows Promise in Early-Stage Trial
A candidate dengue vaccine developed by scientists at the National Institutes of Health has been found to be safe and to stimulate a strong immune response in most vaccine recipients, according to results from an early-stage clinical trial sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). The trial results were published online on January 17 in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.
OTHER INFORMATION AND UPDATES
Upcoming CLSI Workshop
Tools for Tackling EP23: Laboratory Quality Control Based on Risk Management
Sunday, March 10, 2013, 10:00 AM–5:00 PM ET
45th Oak Ridge Conference: Emerging Technologies for 21st Century Diagnostics
The 45th Oak Ridge Conference will take place at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel in Baltimore, MD from Thursday, April 18, 2013 7:30 AM - Friday, April 19, 2013 3:30 PM. Abstract Submissions Close February 28, 2013
Childhood Immunization Schedule and Safety: Stakeholder Concerns, Scientific Evidence, and Future Studies
Vaccines are among the most safe and effective public health interventions to prevent serious disease and death. Because of the success of vaccines, most Americans today have no firsthand experience with such devastating illnesses as polio or diphtheria. This report is the most comprehensive examination of the immunization schedule to date. The IOM committee uncovered no evidence of major safety concerns associated with adherence to the childhood immunization schedule, however, the report offers a framework for conducting safety research using existing or new data collection systems. Click the link to access the report http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2013/The-Childhood-Immunization-Schedule-and-Safety.aspx
The 29th Annual Clinical Virology Symposium
The 29th Annual Clinical Virology Symposium and Annual Meeting of the Pan American Society for Clinical Virology will be held April 28 - May 1, 2013 in Daytona Beach, FL. To submit an abstract, please click http://www.clinicalvirologysymposium.org/index.php/abstracts/call-for-abstracts
Articles of Interest
Research to Resume on Modified, Deadlier Bird Flu
The New York Times
January 23, 2013
Experiments with a deadly flu virus, suspended last year after a fierce global debate over safety, will start up again in some laboratories, probably within the next few weeks, scientists say.
How Scientists Stalked a Lethal Superbug: With the Killer's Own DNA
January 17, 2013
A lethal bacterium was running rampant at an NIH hospital. Antibiotics were useless. Then two scientists began a frantic race to track down the killer: with the superbug’s own DNA.
Antibiotic-resistant Diseases Pose 'Apocalyptic' Threat, Top Expert Says
January 23, 2013
Dame Sally Davies, Britain's most senior medical adviser, has warned Members of Parliament that the rise in drug-resistant diseases could trigger a national emergency comparable to a catastrophic terrorist attack, pandemic flu or major coastal flooding.
Giant Pandas Hold New Weapon In Fight Against Superbugs
December 30, 2012
Scientists have discovered that pandas produce a powerful antibiotic in their blood stream, called cathelicidin-AM which kills both bacteria and fungi.