Thursday, 30 March 2017 10:42

Clinical Microbiology Issues Update - March 2017

PSAB ACTIVITIES

  • ASM Urges Strong Support for Research and Public Health in the FY 2017 Agency Budgets
  • ASM and PASCV Make Requests to CDC about Zika PRNT Turnaround Times
  • ASM Signs Coalition Letter on UN and WHO’s Commitment on Antimicrobial Resistance
  • ASM Signs Coalition Letter on Maintaining the Public Health Workforce Capacity
  • ASM Signs Coalition Letter Supporting Biomedical Research
  • ASM Submits Funding Recommendations to Congress
  • ASM Publishes March Issue of the Minority Microbiology Mentor

ASM NEWS, JOURNAL ARTICLES AND UPDATES

  • TWiM Special: Q fever with Robert Heinzen
  • Testing Staphylococci for Oxacillin Resistance: Why Is It So Complicated?
  • Hot Topics in Clinical Microbiology: Clostridium difficile
  • ASM Conferences
  • ASM Journal Articles of Interest
  • ASM Press
  • Journal Articles of Interest

FEDERAL AGENCY UPDATES

  • Presidential Memorandum on the White House Office of American Innovation
  • The Administration has Revealed Its Budget Blueprint
  • Immune Molecule Protects Against Zika Virus Infection in Animal Models
  • NIAID Leaders Discusses Yellow Fever in the Americas
  • NIAID-Funded Antibacterial Resistance Leadership Group Details Progress, Challenges
  • NIH Begins Study of Vaccine to Protect Against Mosquito-Borne Diseases
  • Experimental PfSPZ Malaria Vaccine Provides Protection in NIH Clinical Trial
  • MMWR Articles of Interest

OTHER INFORMATION AND UPDATES

  • ASCP’s 2015 Wage Survey of Medical Laboratories in the United States
  • 69th AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo
  • Articles of Interest

PSAB ACTIVITIES

ASM Urges Strong Support for Research and Public Health in the FY 2017 Agency Budgets
The American Society for Microbiology urges Congress to continue its traditionally strong support of the Nation’s science agencies as it negotiates an FY 2017 omnibus appropriations bill for the remainder of this budget year.

ASM and PASCV Make Requests to CDC about Zika PRNT Turnaround Times
The ASM and the Pan American Society for Clinical Virology (PASCV) authored a joint letter expressing concerns about the limited capacity for Zika virus Plaque Reduction Neutralization Test (PRNT) and the effect that it has on turnaround times.

ASM Signs Coalition Letter on UN and WHO’s Commitment on Antimicrobial Resistance
ASM joined other members of U.S. Stakeholder Forum on Antimicrobial Resistance (S-FAR) in a letter to the United Nations Secretary-General and the World Health Organization Director-General to express support for the advancement of the goals of the U.N. political declaration, including the establishment of the interagency coordination group that draws upon the expertise of relevant stakeholders on antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

ASM Signs Coalition Letter on Maintaining the Public Health Workforce Capacity
The ASM signed a coalition letter to President Trump regarding the role of the federal public health and biomedical research workforce. Maintaining public health workforce capacity before an emergency occurs is essential to ensure that a public emergency is swiftly identified and resources rapidly deployed.

ASM Signs Coalition Letter Supporting Biomedical Research
ASM Joined 260 members of the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research urge the President and Congressional Leadership to enact fiscal year (FY) 2017 spending package that includes the Senate Appropriations Committee-approved $34.1 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and to ensure that NIH remains a priority in FY 2018 and beyond.

ASM Submits Funding Recommendations to Congress
In February, ASM submitted funding recommendations for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to at least maintain fiscal year 2017 (FY-17) levels, if not surpass them.

ASM Publishes March Issue of the Minority Microbiology Mentor
The March issue of the Minority Microbiology Mentor has been published by the Committee on Microbiological Issues Impacting Minorities (CMIIM).

ASM NEWS, JOURNAL ARTICLES AND UPDATES

TWiM Special: Q fever with Robert Heinzen
In a special episode of This Week in Microbiology, Vincent speaks with Robert Heinzen about the work of his laboratory on Q fever and its causative microbe, Coxiella burnetii.

Testing Staphylococci for Oxacillin Resistance: Why Is It So Complicated?
UCLA’s Romney Humphries discusses S. aureus and its ability to throw susceptibility curve-balls to clinical microbiologists on a fairly regular basis.

Hot Topics in Clinical Microbiology: Clostridium difficile
Clostridium difficile is an increasingly important problem being faced by clinical microbiologists. Because of this, it has become a significant area of research, as researchers search for better antimicrobial therapies, diagnostic assays, and prevention tactics. ASM recently invited Alice Guh, MD, MPH, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to present the most recent C. difficile research as part of the Hot Topics in Clinical Microbiology series

ASM Conferences

Conference on Tuberculosis: Past, Present and Future
April 1-4, 2017
New York, NY

ASM/ASV Conference on Interplay of Viral and Bacterial Pathogens
May 1-4, 2017
Bethesda, MD

The 33rd Clinical Virology Symposium
May 7-10, 2017
Savannah, GA

ASM Journal Articles of Interest

Study Shows How Bacteria Spread from Sink Drainpipes to Patients
Many recent reports have found multidrug resistant bacteria living in hospital sink drainpipes, putting them in close proximity to vulnerable patients. But how the bacteria find their way out of the drains, and into patients, has been unclear. Researchers from the University of Virginia discovered some of the ways this happens.

Evolution and Epidemiology of Multidrug-Resistant K. pneumoniae in the U.K. and Ireland
Klebsiella pneumoniae is a human commensal and opportunistic pathogen that has become a leading causative agent of hospital-based infections over the past few decades. The emergence and global expansion of hypervirulent and multidrug resistant (MDR) clones of K. pneumoniae have been increasingly reported in community acquired and nosocomial infections. Despite this, the population genomics and epidemiology of MDR K. pneumoniae at the national level are still poorly understood.

A New Development in Trypanosoma cruzi Detection
Chagas disease is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in the Americas where it is endemic and among infected individuals who have migrated to nonendemic areas. There are many diagnostic tests that are employed in the serological diagnosis of this infection. In the most recent issue of the J. Clin. Microbiol., Bautista-López et al. provide characterization of excretory vesicles (EVs) from Vero cells infected with T. cruzi. Their proteomic study defines potential targets to evaluate for improved diagnostic tests, effects on host cell biology that contribute to the pathogenesis of infection, and vaccine candidates.

ASM Press

Biological Safety: Principles and Practices, Fifth Edition
Editors: Dawn P. Wooley and Karen B. Byers
Hardcover, 650 pages, full-color illustrations, index.
(ISBN: 9781555816209)

Urinary Tract Infections, Second Edition
Editors: Matthew A. Mulvey, David Klumpp, Ann Stapleton
Hardcover, 690 pages, full-color illustrations, index.
(ISBN: 9781555817398)

Clinical Virology, Fourth Edition
Editors: Douglas D. Richman, Richard J. Whitley, Frederick G. Hayden
Hardcover, 1,489 pages, illustrations, index.
(ISBN: 9781555819422)

Journal Articles of Interest

The Evaluation of Three Different Bottles in BACTEC 9240 Automated Blood Culture System and Direct Identification of Candida species to Shorten the Turnaround Time of Blood Culture
Candida spp. are the most common causes of fungemia. Rapid and accurate diagnostic methods are very important for appropriate management of candidemia. At present, blood culture is the essential diagnostic test despite its long detection time and low sensitivity rate.

Multidonor Intensive Fecal Microbiota Transplantation for Active Ulcerative Colitis
The intestinal microbiota is implicated in the pathogenesis of ulcerative colitis. Fecal microbiota transplantation is a novel form of therapeutic microbial manipulation, but its efficacy in ulcerative colitis is uncertain. Authors aimed to establish the efficacy of intensive-dosing, multidonor, fecal microbiota transplantation in active ulcerative colitis.

FEDERAL AGENCY UPDATES

Presidential Memorandum on the White House Office of American Innovation
On March 27, the White House established the White House Office of American Innovation (OAI), which includes the Senior Advisor to the President, the Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff, the Senior Advisor to the President for Policy, the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy, the Assistant to the President for Strategic Initiatives, and other senior White House personnel.

The Administration has Revealed Its Budget Blueprint
On March 16, the White House posted its America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again. This document offers insight into the full Budget Request, which is likely to be revealed in May. To read more about the budget items affecting the microbial sciences, see the ASM breakdown, here.

Immune Molecule Protects Against Zika Virus Infection in Animal Models
A molecule naturally produced by the immune system called 25-hydroxycholesterol or 25HC, protects mice and monkeys against Zika virus infection. Administering the molecule to pregnant mice reduced Zika virus infection in the fetal brain and protected against Zika-induced microcephaly.

NIAID Leaders Discusses Yellow Fever in the Americas
Writing in a Perspectives piece for the New England Journal of Medicine, Drs. Anthony Fauci and Catharine Paules note that a new outbreak of Yellow Fever comes as Zika virus, which is spread by the same mosquito as yellow fever virus, continues to affect countries throughout the Americas.

NIAID-Funded Antibacterial Resistance Leadership Group Details Progress, Challenges
In 2013, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) provided $2 million in funding to establish an Antibacterial Resistance Leadership Group (ARLG) to develop, prioritize, and implement a clinical research agenda to address the growing public health threat of antibiotic resistance. A new series of articles appearing in the March 15th issue of the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases details the group’s progress and outlines its ongoing and future efforts.

NIH Begins Study of Vaccine to Protect Against Mosquito-Borne Diseases
NIAID has launched a Phase 1 clinical trial to test an investigational vaccine intended to provide broad protection against a range of mosquito-transmitted diseases, such as Zika, malaria, West Nile fever and dengue fever. The investigational vaccine, called AGS-v, was developed by the London-based pharmaceutical company SEEK, which has since formed a joint venture with hVIVO in London.

Experimental PfSPZ Malaria Vaccine Provides Protection in NIH Clinical Trial
An investigational malaria vaccine has protected a small number of healthy U.S. adults from infection with a malaria strain different from that contained in the vaccine. The PfSPZ Vaccine used was developed by Sanaria Inc., and the study enrolled healthy adults at NIAID’s Vaccine Research Center (VRC), and the University of Maryland Center for Vaccine Development.

MMWR Articles of Interest

Salmonella Enteritidis Outbreak Associated with Truffle Oil; District of Columbia, 2015
The District of Columbia Department of Health (DCDOH) received an initial call from a person who reported experiencing gastrointestinal illness after eating at a District of Columbia (DC). Further investigation of the outbreak by DCDOH identified 159 patrons who were residents of 11 states and DC with gastrointestinal illness after eating at restaurant A July 1 through September 10. A case-control study was conducted, which suggested truffle oil -containing food items as a possible source of Salmonella enterica serotype Enteritidis infection.

Near Real Time Surveillance of Outbreaks by the Norovirus Sentinel Testing and Tracking Network
Norovirus is the leading cause of endemic and epidemic acute gastroenteritis in the United States. New variant strains of norovirus GII.4 emerge every 2–4 years and are often associated with increased disease and health care visits. Since 2009, CDC has obtained epidemiologic data on norovirus outbreaks from state health departments through the National Outbreak Reporting System (NORS)

ACIP Recommended Immunization Schedule for Children and Adolescents
In October 2016, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) approved the Recommended Immunization Schedule for Children and Adolescents Aged 18 Years or Younger. The 2017 child and adolescent immunization schedule summarizes ACIP recommendations, including several changes from the 2016 immunization schedules, in three figures.

Francisella tularensis Type B Infection from a Fish Hook Injury, Minnesota, 2016
On June 27, 2016, the Minnesota Department of Health Public Health Laboratory (MDH-PHL) was notified of a suspected Francisella tularensis isolate cultured at a hospital laboratory. The isolate was confirmed as F. tularensis type B at MDH-PHL by RT-PCR, culture, and direct fluorescent antibody testing. The case occurred in an immunocompetent woman aged 67 years who had been fishing on a freshwater lake in northeastern South Dakota.

OTHER INFORMATION AND UPDATES

ASCP’s 2015 Wage Survey of Medical Laboratories in the United States
The American Society for Clinical Pathology has released its 2015 Wage Survey. It contains data on all levels of clinical laboratory professionals.

69th AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo
July 30-August 2, 2017
San Diego, CA
The online abstract submission system is now open.

Articles of Interest

FDA Nominee to Recuse Himself from Decisions on More Than 20 Healthcare Companies
President Trump's nominee to lead the Food and Drug Administration plans to recuse himself for a year from agency decisions involving more than 20 companies that he has worked for, invested in, or had some other kind of financial relationship with, according to federal ethics filings.

New Vaccine Could Slow Disease That Kills 600 Children a Day
New York Times
March 22, 2017
The new vaccine against rotavirus, the most common cause of death from diarrhea in children under age 5, is made by an Indian company and was tested in Niger by Médecins Sans Frontières Doctors/Without Borders. The vaccine is expected to be as cheap as or cheaper than current alternatives.

Ex-Pharmacy Exec Convicted in Deadly Meningitis Outbreak
Washington Post
March 22, 2017
The former head of a Massachusetts pharmacy was acquitted Wednesday of murder allegations but convicted of racketeering and other crimes in a meningitis outbreak that was traced to fungus-contaminated drugs and killed 64 people across the country.

Use of Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Considered in Houston
Washington Post
March 20, 2017
Officials are considering releasing genetically modified mosquitoes in Houston as part of the fight against the insects known to carry diseases such as the Zika virus. Harris County, Texas, officials are negotiating with a British biotech company, Oxitec, to release mosquitoes that have been genetically engineered to produce offspring that die.

Five DC Women Who Were Given False Zika Negative Test Results Have Given Birth
Washington Post
March 17, 2017
At least one woman with the Zika virus and four others who may have been infected but were mistakenly told last year they were healthy, because of botched tests at a D.C. government lab, have since given birth, according to health-care providers.

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