ASM Division G Newsletter

November, 1996

Table of Contents

Division G Officers

1996 General Meeting

1997 General Meeting

ASM Workshop

Student Travel Grants

Recruitment of new members

Division G Homepage

IOM Congress Highlights

The 1996-97 Division G Officers are:


F. Chris Minion
Vet. Med. Res. Instit.
1802 Elwood Drive
Ames, IA 50011
Phone: (515) 294-6347
Fax: (515) 294-1401


Duncan Krause
Department of Microbiology
University of Georgia
523 Biological Services Building
Athens, GA 30602
phone: (706) 542-2671
Fax: (706) 542-2674


Kim Wise
Dept. of Microbiology & Immunology
University of Missouri
Columbia School of Medicine
M-642 Medical Sciences Building
Columbia, MO 65212
Phone: (314) 882-8138
Fax: (314) 882-4287

Alternate Councilor:

Kevin Dybvig
Dept. of Comparative Medicine
University of Alabama at Birmingham
418 Volker Hall
Birmingham, AL 35942
Phone: (205) 934-9327
Fax: (205) 975-4418

Former chair:

Kevin Hackett
U.S.D.A. - A. R. S.
Insect Biocontrol Laboratory
Building 011A, Room 214
10300 Baltimore Avenue
Beltsville, MD 20705-2350

1996 ASM Meeting in New Orleans, LA

As the new chair of Division G, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the former chair, Dr. Kevin Hackett, for his stewardship of Division G. Kevin is being reassigned by U.S.D.A. and will be sorely missed by all in mycoplasmology. It is hoped that he will continue to keep in contact by attending the ASM General meeting and visiting the sessions, posters, etc. as time allows. We will miss you, Kevin!

Those who attended the 1996 General Meeting this year were treated to an outstanding scientific program organized by Kevin and the other divisional officers. Division G hosted three seminars and had a single poster session, a significant achievement considering the percentage of Division G members relative to the rest of the ASM. A seminar (co-hosted with Division B) entitled "Proteases of microbial pathogens and modulation of disease" was co-convened by Harold Watson and Alain Blanchard. A second seminar entitled "The evolving role of mycoplasmas in urogenital tract infections" was co-convened by Sharon Hillier and Joseph Tully. The third seminar entitled "Life at the limit: minimal genomes" was co-chaired by Kenneth Bott and Dennis Pollack. The Divisional lecture, "Mycoplasma pneumoniae cytadherence: Houston, we have a problem", was delivered by Duncan Krause. The only problem seemed to be the lack of time we had in the poster session. Several individuals committed on this - one and half hours is just not enough time to cover 28 posters. Hopefully, we'll have more posters this year and can split them into two sessions of smaller numbers.

Our association with Divisional Group II has been particularly worthwhile, but we still seem to have trouble with the balloting procedure. Someone at ASM still thinks we are associated with Divisional Group I. I have been receiving ballots for the Divisional Group I Representatives for the past two years, and I haven't yet found out who to discuss this with at ASM. I'll keep working on it.


1997 General Meeting Program

The program for the 1997 General Meeting will include three seminars, one co-hosted by Division B. Barry Cole and Shy-Ching Lo will co-convene a seminar entitled "Diverse interactions of mycoplasmas with mammalian cells". Chris Minion and Stan Kleven will co-convene a seminar entitled "Mycoplasma gallisepticum: a better model for mycoplasma pathogenesis". The third seminar, co-hosted with Division B, will be co-convened by Kim Wise and Rachel Fernandez and is entitled "Evasion of mucosal defenses by pathogens that interact with the respiratory tract". The planning for the meeting is ahead of last year's planning process and most of the scheduling is complete. It will not be finalized until February, however. So far, it looks like the Division G seminars and poster session(s) will be in the first part of the week. Please plan to attend and bring your students!


ASM Workshop on Diagnosis of Mycoplasma Infections in Clinical Laboratories.

For the third year in a row, the ASM Board of Education and Training has asked Ken Waites to convene the workshop "Diagnosis of Mycoplasma Infections in Clinical Laboratories" at the 1997 General Meeting. It will take place on Sunday, May 4 from 8:30 - 4:30. Information regarding specific location and instructions for registration for the workshop will be provided as part of the general information concerning meeting registration which will be printed in the ASM News early next year. Registration is limited to 40 persons.

For the past two years at the ASM General Meeting, this workshop has provided an up to date discussion of laboratory techniques for detection of mycoplasmal infections in diagnostic laboratories. Almost 60 people have participated thus far. This coming year, the workshop will provide essentially the same topics in a lecture-discussion format, followed by laboratory demonstrations in which participants will have the opportunity to examine mycoplasma cultures.

The topics which will be presented and their discussants are as follows: Overview of Mollicute Taxonomy and Classification, Dr. Janet Robertson, University of Alberta; Role of Mycoplasmas in Human Disease, Dr. Gail Cassell, University of Alabama at Birmingham; Culture-based methods of mycoplasma detection and antimicrobial susceptibility testing, Dr. Ken Waites, University of Alabama at Birmingham; Commercial media, Quality Control, Rapid and Molecular Methods for Detection of Mycoplasmas in Clinical Specimens, Dr. Christiane Bebear, University of Bordeaux; and Serologic Diagnosis of M. pneumoniae infection, Dr. Deborah Talkington, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ms. Lynn Duffy, University of Alabama at Birmingham will preside over the laboratory session.

This workshop is taught at an intermediate level. Participants should have some microbiology laboratory experience, but not necessarily with mycoplasmas. The workshop is designed for persons working in diagnostic microbiology laboratories who wish to implement or possibly improve mycoplasma detection in their facility, persons in the pharmaceutical industry or those engaged in clinical or basic research in which mycoplasma detection in clinical specimens is important. All participants will be provided with a course syllabus which includes detailed procedures for cultural, serologic and molecular based methods for detection of mycoplasmas in clinical specimens along with copies of numerous reprints from recent published studies on the subject.


Student travel grants

Every year, the ASM provides funding for graduate students to assist with travel expenditures to the General Meeting. The student must be a presenter (usually a poster). Division G has one travel award to present each year, but normally, there are only a few applications. Please keep this in mind as you prepare for the meeting.


Recruitment of new members

Every year, it is important to recruit new members to Division G. We are one of the smaller divisions, but not the smallest. We usually have an excellent percentage attendance at the meeting and overall attendance at the seminars is very good. We get lots of support from non Division G members in our seminars. We have for several years now been treated extremely favorably by ASM in regards to the number of seminars that we are assigned. We need to increase our membership, however. Please encourage your students to join the association and affiliate with Division G. In addition, spread the word to other colleagues. There are many ASM members who have not placed an affiliation with a division. Some of the individuals could be in hospital clinical laboratories, etc. and could have an interest in mycoplasmas. They need to part of Division G!


ASM Division G Homepage

Starting this year, every division will have their own homepage for the distribution of information. I am seeking help in assembling this homepage and suggestions for the content. I need digitized figures to add interest to the page. There is a standardized format for information, but there is also some flexibility that we can put to good advantage. I will be webmaster (at least for the time being), unless someone else would like to take on the challenge. Contact me at if you would like to be actively involved. I welcome the help.

The IOM is also developing a homepage which will be linked to the ASM Division G homepage. Much of the work has been done for both pages, but a few details remain. I expect both homepages to be up and running by the end of January. They may be a little sparse to start with, but I expect that you will come through with suggestions for content and digitized artwork to use. For the ASM homepage, we will have the latest newsletter, information about the upcoming general meeting as well as other meetings of interest to mycoplasmologists, information regarding changes at ASM that will affect Division G, etc. There will be links to the IOM homepage and other related pages such as the TIGR database for M. genitalium, etc. The IOM page will have the Constitution, present and past officers, the awards rules, information about the next IOM Congress, etc. It is hoped that sometime next year we will have a database of strains, etc. available around the world. This could be quite useful if we can include information about clones, probes, PCR primers, etc. Mary Brown, Jerry Davis and Maureen Davidson (University of Florida) are working on this database. Please contact me at with suggestions and/or contributions. As for the ASM Division G homepage, I will be the IOM homepage webmaster unless someone else would like the responsibility.


IOM Congress highlights

The 11th International Congress was held July 14-19, 1996, in Orlando, Florida. The Program Committee was co-chaired by Jerry Davis and Maureen Davidson, and the local organizing committee, by Mary Brown, Jerry Davis, and Maureen Davidson. Everybody involved is to be commended for a very successful Congress in a beautiful venue. Social activities included a trip to Sea World and a "wild" closing dinner at "Buffalo Bill's." This year's winners of the Emmy Klieneberger-Nobel and Derrick Edward Awards were Shlomo Rottem and Alaine Blanchard, respectively. Congratulations to both!

The new officers for 1996-1998 are Chair, Dennis Pollack (USA); Chair-Elect, Gunna Christiansen (Denmark); Past-Chair, David Taylor-Robinson (UK); Secretary-General, Itzhak Kahane (Israel); Treasurer, Ricardo Rosenbusch (USA); and Membership Secretary, John Davis (USA). The important addresses for information on membership and contributions to the newsletters are, respectively:


Dr. John W. Davis, Jr., IOM Membership Secretary
Depart. of Biology & Med. Lab. Tech.
Bronx Community College
Univ. Ave. & W 181 St.
Bronx, NY 10453-3102, USA
Fax: 718-289-6026
Dr. Itzhak Kahane, IOM Secretary-General
Dept. Membrane and Ultrastructure Research
Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School
P.O.B. 12272
Jerusalem 91120, ISRAEL
Fax: 972-2-757413

As of July 1996, IOM had 435 paid members. All Division G members are certainly invited and encouraged to join. Perks include the Newsletter, in which early announcements of IOM Congresses, reports of other international mycoplasmology conferences, information about new mycoplasmology reference books, and news about fellow members can be found, the IOM Directory, containing names and addresses of all the other members, and significant discounts on Congress registration fees. Definitely worth the price ($50 for two years for regular members, $10 for students). The person to contact is John Davis at the above address.

The 12th Congress (1998) will be in Sydney, Australia, and the 13th (2000), in Japan. Start making plans!

Leigh R. Washburn, 1994-1996 IOM Secretary-General

Don't hesitate to call (or write) and let me know what you think about the ASM, Division G, etc. It gets lonely in Iowa in the winter. Expect the next Newsletter in March with the finalized General Meeting program. Thanks for your interest.

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Chris Minion

Chair, Division G

This page was authored and designed by Division G which is fully responsible for its contents. For more information, please contact: F. Chris Minion

Copyright © 1997 American Society for Microbiology

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Created: March 25, 1997
Revised: March 25, 1997