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jueves, 27 de agosto de 2015

BSL-3 Laboratory Practices in the United States: Comparison of Select Agent and Non–Select Agent Facilities

New construction of biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) laboratories in the United States has increased in the past decade to facilitate research on potential bioterrorism agents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention inspect BSL-3 facilities and review commissioning documentation, but no single agency has oversight over all BSL-3 facilities. This article explores the extent to which standard operating procedures in US BSL-3 facilities vary between laboratories with select agent or non–select agent status. Comparisons are made for the following variables: personnel training, decontamination, personal protective equipment (PPE), medical surveillance, security access, laboratory structure and maintenance, funding, and pest management. Facilities working with select agents had more complex training programs and decontamination procedures than non–select agent facilities. Personnel working in select agent laboratories were likely to use powered air purifying respirators, while non–select agent laboratories primarily used N95 respirators. More rigorous medical surveillance was carried out in select agent workers (although not required by the select agent program) and a higher level of restrictive access to laboratories was found. Most select agent and non–select agent laboratories reported adequate structural integrity in facilities; however, differences were observed in personnel perception of funding for repairs. Pest management was carried out by select agent personnel more frequently than non–select agent personnel. Our findings support the need to promote high quality biosafety training and standard operating procedures in both select agent and non–select agent laboratories to improve occupational health and safety.

REFERENCE:
Richards, Stephanie L., Victoria C. Pompei, and Alice Anderson. “BSL-3 Laboratory Practices in the United States: Comparison of Select Agent and Non–Select Agent Facilities.” Biosecurity and Bioterrorism : Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science 12.1 (2014): 1–7. PMC. Web. 30 July 2015. -----------------------------------------------------------
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lunes, 24 de agosto de 2015

Pathogen transfer and high variability in pathogen removal by detergent wipes

BACKGROUND:
The rise in health care-associated infections has placed a greater emphasis on cleaning and disinfection practices. The majority of policies advocate using detergent-based products for routine cleaning, with detergent wipes increasingly being used; however, there is no information about their ability to remove and subsequently transfer pathogens in practice.
METHODS: Seven detergent wipes were tested for their ability to remove and transfer Staphylococcus aureus, Acinetobacter baumannii, and Clostridium difficile spores using the 3-stage wipe protocol.
RESULTS: The ability of the detergent wipes to remove S aureus, A baumannii, and C difficile spores from a stainless steel surface ranged from 1.50 log10 (range, 0.24-3.25), 3.51 log10 (range, 3.01-3.81), and 0.96 log10 (range, 0.26-1.44), respectively, following a 10-second wiping time. All wipes repeatedly transferred significant amounts of bacteria/spores over 3 consecutive surfaces, although the percentage of total microorganisms transferred from the wipes after wiping was low for a number of products.
CONCLUSIONS: Detergent-based wipe products have 2 major drawbacks: their variability in removing microbial bioburden from inanimate surfaces and a propensity to transfer pathogens between surfaces. The use of additional complementary measures such as combined detergent/disinfectant-based products and/or antimicrobial surfaces need to be considered for appropriate infection control and prevention.

REFERENCE:
Ramm L, et al. Pathogen transfer and highvariability in pathogen removal by detergent wipes. Am J Infect Control. 2015 Jul 1;43(7):724-8.
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jueves, 20 de agosto de 2015

Worker Health and Safety Practices in Research Facilities Using Nonhuman Primates, North America

Since 1975, federal quarantine regulations have restricted nonhuman primate importation to scientific, educational, or exhibition purposes to limit risks for disease introduction. Infectious diseases resulting from importation of nonhuman primates need to be prevented to ensure that colonies of these animals are available for research and to protect persons working with them from exposure to established and emerging zoonotic diseases.

REFERENCE:
Emily W. Lankau. Worker Health and Safety Practices in Research Facilities Using Nonhuman Primates, North America. Emerg Infect Dis. 2014 Sep; 20(9): 1589–1590. 
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lunes, 17 de agosto de 2015

Debate on MERS-CoV respiratory precautions: surgical mask or N95 respirators?

Since the emergence of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in mid-2012, there has been controversy over the respiratory precaution recommendations in different guidelines from various international bodies. Our understanding of MERS-CoV is still evolving. Current recommendations on infection control practices are heavily influenced by the lessons learnt from severe acute respiratory syndrome. A debate on respiratory precautions for MERS-CoV was organised by Infection Control Association (Singapore) and the Society of Infectious Disease (Singapore). We herein discuss and present the evidence for surgical masks for the protection of healthcare workers from MERS-CoV.

REFERENCE:
Chung SJ, Ling ML, Seto WH, Ang BS, Tambyah PA. Debate on MERS-CoV respiratory precautions: surgical mask or N95 respirators? Singapore Med J. 2014
Jun;55(6):294-7.
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jueves, 13 de agosto de 2015

Guidelines for safe work practices in human and animal medical diagnostic laboratories. Recommendations of a CDC-convened, Biosafety Blue Ribbon Panel.

Prevention of injuries and occupational infections in U.S. laboratories has been a concern for many years. CDC and the National Institutes of Health addressed the topic in their publication Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories, now in its 5th edition (BMBL-5). BMBL-5, however, was not designed to address the day-to-day operations of diagnostic laboratories in human and animal medicine. In 2008, CDC convened a Blue Ribbon Panel of laboratory representatives from a variety of agencies, laboratory organizations, and facilities to review laboratory biosafety in diagnostic laboratories. The members of this panel recommended that biosafety guidelines be developed to address the unique operational needs of the diagnostic laboratory community and that they be science based and made available broadly. These guidelines promote a culture of safety and include recommendations that supplement BMBL-5 by addressing the unique needs of the diagnostic laboratory. They are not requirements but recommendations that represent current science and sound judgment that can foster a safe working environment for all laboratorians. Throughout these guidelines, quality laboratory science is reinforced by a common-sense approach to biosafety in day-to-day activities. Because many of the same diagnostic techniques are used in human and animal diagnostic laboratories, the text is presented with this in mind. All functions of the human and animal diagnostic laboratory--microbiology, chemistry, hematology, and pathology with autopsy and necropsy guidance--are addressed. A specific section for veterinary diagnostic laboratories addresses the veterinary issues not shared by other human laboratory departments. Recommendations for all laboratories include use of Class IIA2 biological safety cabinets that are inspected annually; frequent hand washing; use of appropriate disinfectants, including 1:10 dilutions of household bleach; dependence on risk assessments for many activities; development of written safety protocols that address the risks of chemicals in the laboratory; the need for negative airflow into the laboratory; areas of the laboratory in which use of gloves is optional or is recommended; and the national need for a central site for surveillance and nonpunitive reporting of laboratory incidents/exposures, injuries, and infections.

REFERENCE:
Miller JM, et al.; Biosafety Blue Ribbon Panel; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Guidelines for safe work practices in human and animal medical diagnostic laboratories. Recommendations of a CDC-convened, Biosafety Blue Ribbon Panel. MMWR Surveill Summ. 2012 Jan 6;61 Suppl:1-102. Erratum in: MMWR Surveill Summ. 2012 Mar 30;61(12):214.
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lunes, 10 de agosto de 2015

Evaluation of a Disinfectant Wipe Intervention on Fomite-to-Finger Microbial Transfer

Inanimate surfaces, or fomites, can serve as routes of transmission of enteric and respiratory pathogens. No previous studies have evaluated the impact of surface disinfection on the level of pathogen transfer from fomites to fingers. Thus, the present study investigated the change in microbial transfer from contaminated fomites to fingers following disinfecting wipe use. Escherichia coli (108 to 109 CFU/ml), Staphylococcus aureus (109 CFU/ml), Bacillus thuringiensis spores (107 to 108 CFU/ml), and poliovirus 1 (108 PFU/ml) were seeded on ceramic tile, laminate, and granite in 10-μl drops and allowed to dry for 30 min at a relative humidity of 15 to 32%. The seeded fomites were treated with a disinfectant wipe and allowed to dry for an additional 10 min. Fomite-to-finger transfer trials were conducted to measure concentrations of transferred microorganisms on the fingers after the disinfectant wipe intervention. The mean log10 reduction of the test microorganisms on fomites by the disinfectant wipe treatment varied from 1.9 to 5.0, depending on the microorganism and the fomite. Microbial transfer from disinfectant-wipe-treated fomites was lower (up to <0.1% on average) than from nontreated surfaces (up to 36.3% on average, reported in our previous study) for all types of microorganisms and fomites. This is the first study quantifying microbial transfer from contaminated fomites to fingers after the use of disinfectant wipe intervention. The data generated in the present study can be used in quantitative microbial risk assessment models to predict the effect of disinfectant wipes in reducing microbial exposure.

REFERENCE:
Lopez, Gerardo U. et al. “Evaluation of a Disinfectant Wipe Intervention on Fomite-to-Finger Microbial Transfer.” Ed. D. W. Schaffner. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 80.10 (2014): 3113–3118. PMC. Web. 9 July 2015.

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jueves, 6 de agosto de 2015

Analysis of variation in total airborne bacteria concentration to assess the performance of biological safety cabinets in microbial laboratories

BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to compare the concentration of total airborne bacteria (TAB) in biosafety cabinets (BSCs) at universities and hospital microbial laboratories to assess the performance of BSCs.
METHODS: TAB was determined by using the single-stage Anderson sampler (BioStage Viable Cascade Impactor). The samples were obtained three times (with the BSC turned off and the shield open; with the BSC turned off and the shield closed; and with the BSC tuned on and operating) from the areas in front of 11 BSCs.
RESULTS: TAB concentrations of accredited and nonaccredited BSCs were determined. No significant differences were observed in the TAB concentrations of the accredited BSCs and the nonaccredited BSCs for the areas outside the BSCs in the laboratories (p > 0.05). TAB concentrations for the BSCs sampled with the shield open and the instrument turned off showed differences based on the sampling site outside the BSC in each laboratory.
CONCLUSION: These results imply that TAB concentration is not altered by the performance of the BSCs or TAB itself and/or concentration of TAB outside the BSC is not a good index of BSC performance.

REFERENCE:
Hwang SH, Park HH, Yoon CS. Analysis of variation in total airborne bacteria concentration to assess the performance of biological safety cabinets in microbial laboratories. Saf Health Work. 2014 Mar;5(1):23-6.
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lunes, 3 de agosto de 2015

Respiratory Precautions for Protection from Bioaerosols or Infectious Agents: A Review of the Clinical Effectiveness and Guidelines [Internet].

There are a number of infectious diseases that are transmitted from person to person via the respiratory route, including influenza, tuberculosis (TB), and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus, and these infectious agents are associated with considerable morbidity and mortality. Healthcare workers (HCWs) are vulnerable to exposure to these agents given the nature of their jobs, and as a result, risk both becoming infected, and spreading the infectious agents to other patients. To avoid transmission of these infectious diseases to (HCWs), exposure-appropriate respiratory precautions are sometimes necessary to protect both HCWs and the patients they care for. However, the selection of respiratory equipment depends on the pathogen, aerosol generation rate, and ventilation rate. Two types of devices that are commonly used to prevent transmission of airborne infectious agents are medical masks and respirators. For this report, medical masks (also known as surgical masks or surgical face masks) are defined as unfitted devices worn by the healthcare worker (HCW) “to reduce transfer of potentially infectious bodily fluids between individuals”. Masks are designed prevent droplets from an infectious patient from coming in contact with the mucous membranes in the nose and mouth of the person wearing the mask. It must be noted that masks are not designed to filter small airborne infectious particles. In contrast, respirators are “medical devices designed to protect the wearer from airborne infectious aerosols transmitted directly from the patient or when artificially created such as during aerosol-generating procedures”, and this is done by filtering the airborne particles (known as an air-purifying respirator) or supplying clean air to the person wearing the respirator (known as an atmosphere-supplying respirator). Air-purifying respirators are further classified by the efficiency at which they remove particles (95%, 99%, and 100%), and into N-Series respirators that are not resistant to oil (N95, N99, N100), R-Series that are resistant to oil (R95, R99, R100), and P-Series that are oil-proof (P95, P99, P100). As the Canadian Biosafety Standards and Guidelines note: “Using the wrong respirator or misusing one can be as dangerous as not using one at all”. Given the variety of devices, respirators, and potential infectious exposures, the purpose of this report is to identify studies and clinical practice guidelines examining the clinical effectiveness of exposure-appropriate respiratory protection for HCWs at risk of exposure to airborne infectious agents.

REFERENCE:
Respiratory Precautions for Protection from Bioaerosols or Infectious Agents: A Review of the Clinical Effectiveness and Guidelines [Internet]. Ottawa (ON):
Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health; 2014 Aug 19.
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martes, 28 de julio de 2015

Solicitamos tesista de licenciatura

Solicitamos pasante de licenciatura para realizar tesis en temas relacionados a la Bioseguridad. Ofrecemos amplia capacitación en el tema. Requerimos disponibilidad de horario. Podrá participar en sesiones de entrenamiento relacionados. Informes:  amexbio(arroba)gmail.com

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Emotional motivators might improve hand hygiene among healthcare workers

Campaigns that use feelings such as disgust might help to reduce healthcare associated infection better than rational campaigns that teach infection prevention, writes Layla McCay
Something about articles on hand hygiene in healthcare tempts us to turn the page. Hand hygiene: that bastion of infection control, inspiration for a thousand dog-eared posters proclaiming the critical moments, creator of chapped hands, consumer of time that could otherwise be spent with patients, general guilt inducer.
We know this. We all learnt the importance of hand hygiene back in medical or nursing school. We all sat through the mandatory training and read the hospital policies. We recognise that globally 5-15% of hospital patients acquire a healthcare associated infection during their stay.1 We have seen the studies: healthcare associated infections are being transmitted on the hands of healthcare workers all the time, whether we are measuring blood pressure,2 moving around the patient area,3or handling fluid secretions.4 We know all about hand hygiene.
REFERENCE:
http://www.bmj.com/content/351/bmj.h3968.full?ijkey=sCpSkOxEG2ot4TD&keytype=ref 

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