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miércoles, 10 de febrero de 2016

Biosafety Test for Plant Growth-Promoting Bacteria

Plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB) colonize plants and enhance their growth by different mechanisms. Some of these microorganisms may represent a potential threat to human, animal or plant health; however, their use might be approved in parts of Europe if they have been recommended as plant growth enhancers. The current regulatory framework has resulted in a fragmented, contradictory system, and there is an urgent need to establish harmonized protocols for the predictability, efficiency, consistency and especially the safety of PGPB for human and animal health and for the environment. In response to current efforts to update biosafety policies and provide alternative methods to replace the use of vertebrate animals, we propose a panel of tests and an evaluation system to reliably determine the biosafety of bacterial strains used as PGPB. Based on the results of different tests, we propose a scoring system to evaluate the safety of candidates for PGPB within the limitations of the assays used.

REFERENCE:
Vílchez JI, et al. Biosafety Test for Plant Growth-Promoting Bacteria: Proposed Environmental and Human Safety Index (EHSI) Protocol. Front Microbiol. 2016 Jan 7;6:1514.

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viernes, 5 de febrero de 2016

Safe transportation of biomedical waste in a health care institution

INTRODUCTION: The chances of health care waste (Biomedical waste) coming in contact with the health care workers, patients, visitors, sanitary workers, waste handlers, public, rag pickers and animals during transportation are high.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study was conducted over a period of seven months (April 2013-October 2013) in a 500-bedded hospital where the average quantum of biomedical waste is 0.8 kg/bed/day. The issues related to transportation of health care waste from 39 generation sites to the health care waste storage site inside the hospital (intramural transfer) were addressed and analysed in a predesigned proforma.
RESULTS: The biomedical waste management team inspected the generation sites in the hospital on a daily basis and conformance to the procedures was checked. It was found that waste was collected at scheduled timings in 99.6% occasions; however, compliance to wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) was poor and ranged from 1.22-1.84%.
CONCLUSION: Transportation of health care waste is a crucial step in its management. Regular training program for all the sections of health care workers with special emphasis on waste handlers is needed.

REFERENCE:
Kumar A, Duggal S, Gur R, Rongpharpi SR, Sagar S, Rani M, Dhayal D, Khanijo CM. Safe transportation of biomedical waste in a health care institution. Indian J Med Microbiol. 2015 Jul-Sep;33(3):383-6.
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jueves, 4 de febrero de 2016

miércoles, 3 de febrero de 2016

What next for gain-of-function research in Europe?

A working group on gain-of-function research set up by the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC) has emphasised the importance of ensuring that the necessary safeguards and policies are in place.

REFERENCE:
Fears R, Ter Meulen V. What next for gain-of-function research in Europe?  Elife. 2015 Dec 30;4. pii: e13035. doi: 10.7554/eLife.13035.

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viernes, 29 de enero de 2016

Effectiveness of PPE for Healthcare Workers Caring for Patients with Filovirus Disease

Background: A rapid review, guided by a protocol, was conducted to inform development of the World Health Organization’s guideline on personal protective equipment in the context of the ongoing (2013–present) Western African filovirus disease outbreak, with a focus on health care workers directly caring for patients with Ebola or Marburg virus diseases.
Methods: Electronic databases and grey literature sources were searched. Eligibility criteria initially included comparative studies on Ebola and Marburg virus diseases reported in English or French, but criteria were expanded to studies on other viral hemorrhagic fevers and non-comparative designs due to the paucity of studies. After title and abstract screening (two people to exclude), full-text reports of potentially relevant articles were assessed in duplicate. Fifty-seven percent of extraction information was verified. The Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation framework was used to inform the quality of evidence assessments.
Results: Thirty non-comparative studies (8 related to Ebola virus disease) were located, and 27 provided data on viral transmission. Reporting of personal protective equipment components and infection prevention and control protocols was generally poor.
Conclusions: Insufficient evidence exists to draw conclusions regarding the comparative effectiveness of various types of personal protective equipment. Additional research is urgently needed to determine optimal PPE for health care workers caring for patients with filovirus.

REFERENCE:
Hersi, Mona et al. “Effectiveness of Personal Protective Equipment for Healthcare Workers Caring for Patients with Filovirus Disease: A Rapid Review.” Ed. Jens H. Kuhn. PLoS ONE 10.10 (2015): e0140290. PMC. Web. 20 Jan. 2016.
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miércoles, 27 de enero de 2016

Family cases of lung injury associated with the use of humidifier disinfectants

Background: This study describes 17 families with 38 lung injury patients (14 males, 24 females; 22 preschool-age children less than six years of age and 16 individuals of 13–50 years) who used disinfectant added to humidifiers in the home.
Methods: Clinical examination and humidifier disinfectant-use histories were taken, and a thorough home investigation was performed to assess exposure to humidifier disinfectant.
Results: Nine of the patients (three pregnant females, six preschool-age children) died soon after they first developed lung damage. Six (16%) were pregnant females and 22 (58%) were preschool-aged children younger than six years. The patients used humidifier disinfectant products containing either polyhexamethylene guanidine phosphate (PHMG, n = 36) or oligo(2-(2-ethoxy)ethoxyethyl guanidinium chloride (PGH, n = 2). Twenty-six patients (68%) used the brand "Oxy"®, which contains PHMG. Of the ten patients with fatal lung injury, nine were found to have used PHMG.
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that the use of humidifier disinfectant products containing either PGH or PHMG can cause lung injury, especially in preschool-age children younger than six years and pregnant women.

REFERENCE:
Park, Donguk et al. “Exposure Characteristics of Familial Cases of Lung Injury Associated with the Use of Humidifier Disinfectants.” Environmental Health 13 (2014): 70. PMC. Web. 20 Jan. 2016.

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lunes, 25 de enero de 2016

Building Infectious Disease Research Programs to Promote Security and Enhance Collaborations with Countries of the Former Soviet Union

Addressing the threat of infectious diseases, whether natural, the results of a laboratory accident, or a deliberate act of bioterrorism, requires no corner of the world be ignored. The mobility of infectious agents and their rapid adaptability, whether to climate change or socioeconomic drivers or both, demand the science employed to understand these processes be advanced and tailored to a country or a region, but with a global vision. In many parts of the world, largely because of economic struggles, scientific capacity has not kept pace with the need to accomplish this goal and has left these regions and hence the world vulnerable to infectious disease outbreaks. To build scientific capability in a developing region requires cooperation and participation of experienced international scientists who understand the issues and are committed to educate the next generations of young investigators in the region. These efforts need to be coupled with the understanding and resolve of local governments and international agencies to promote an aggressive science agenda. International collaborative scientific investigation of infectious diseases not only adds significantly to scientific knowledge, but it promotes health security, international trust, and long-term economic benefit to the region involved. This premise is based on the observation that the most powerful human inspiration is that which brings peoples together to work on and solve important global challenges. The republics of the former Soviet Union provide a valuable case study for the need to rebuild scientific capacity as they are located at the crossroads where many of the world's great epidemics began. The scientific infrastructure and disease surveillance capabilities of the region suffered significant decline after the breakup of the Soviet Union. The U.S. Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) Program, a part of the U.S. Department of Defense, together with partner countries, have worked diligently to improve the capabilities in this region to guard against the potential future risk from especially dangerous pathogens. The dissolution of the Soviet Union left behind many scientists still working to study pathogens using antiquated protocols in unsafe laboratories. To address this situation, the CTR program began improving laboratory infrastructure, establishing biosafety and biosecurity programs, and training scientists in modern techniques, with emphasis on biosurveillance and safe containment of especially dangerous pathogens. In the Republic of Georgia, this effort culminated in the construction of a modern containment laboratory, the Richard G. Lugar Center for Public Health Research in Tbilisi to house both isolated especially dangerous pathogens as well as the research to be conducted on these agents. The need now is to utilize and sustain the investment made by CTR by establishing strong public and animal health science programs in these facilities tailored to the needs of the region and the goals for which this investment was made. A similar effort is ongoing in other former Soviet Republics. Here, we provide the analysis and recommendations of an international panel of expert scientists appointed by the Cooperative Biological Engagement Program of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency to provide advice to the stakeholders on the scientific path for the future. The emphasis is on an implementation strategy for decision makers and scientists to consider providing a sustainable biological science program in support of the One Health initiative. Opportunities, potential barriers, and lessons learned while meeting the needs of the Republic of Georgia and the Caucasus region are discussed. It is hoped that this effort will serve as a model for similar scientific needs in not only the former Soviet Union republics but also other regions challenged by infectious diseases where the CTR program operates.

REFERENCE:
Bartholomew JC, et al. Building Infectious Disease Research Programs to Promote Security and Enhance Collaborations with Countries of the Former Soviet Union. Front Public Health.
2015 Nov 26;3:271.

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viernes, 22 de enero de 2016

Nanoparticles as potential new generation broad spectrum antimicrobial agents

The rapid emergence of antimicrobial resistant strains to conventional antimicrobial agents has complicated and prolonged infection treatment and increased mortality risk globally. Furthermore, some of the conventional antimicrobial agents are unable to cross certain cell membranes thus, restricting treatment of intracellular pathogens. Therefore, the disease-causing-organisms tend to persist in these cells. However, the emergence of nanoparticle (NP) technology has come with the promising broad spectrum NP-antimicrobial agents due to their vast physiochemical and functionalization properties. In fact, NP-antimicrobial agents are able to unlock the restrictions experienced by conventional antimicrobial agents. This review discusses the status quo of NP-antimicrobial agents as potent broad spectrum antimicrobial agents, sterilization and wound healing agents, and sustained inhibitors of intracellular pathogens. Indeed, the perspective of developing potent NP-antimicrobial agents that carry multiple-functionality will revolutionize clinical medicine and play a significant role in alleviating disease burden.

REFERENCE:
Yah, Clarence S., and Geoffrey S. Simate. “Nanoparticles as Potential New Generation Broad Spectrum Antimicrobial Agents.” DARU Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences 23 (2015): 43. PMC. Web. 20 Jan. 2016.
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miércoles, 20 de enero de 2016

The history of the Conference of Research Workers in Animal Diseases (CRWAD) 1920-2014.

The following history has been compiled and written by the authors. The historical facts are available from the Conference of Research Workers in Animal Diseases (CRWAD) archives, dating back to letters and summaries written by the founders, and by a few of the Secretary-Treasurers from the early decades through 2014. The Organization and Purpose: The CRWAD is a non-profit organization and has been since its origin. The sole purpose of CRWAD is to discuss and disseminate the most current research advances in animal diseases. Graduate students and industry and academic professionals present and discuss the most recent advances on subjects of interest to the CRWAD and of importance to the global livestock and companion animal industries. The oral and poster abstracts of new and unpublished data presented at the meeting sessions are published each year in the CRWAD Proceedings (formerly the CRWAD Abstracts). CRWAD publishes, copyrights, and distributes the Proceedings. The presentations are arranged into the following 10 sections, according to the primary topic of the presentation: Bacterial Pathogenesis, Biosafety and Biosecurity, Companion Animal Epidemiology, Ecology and Management of Foodborne Agents, Epidemiology and Animal Health Economics, Immunology, Pathobiology of Enteric and Foodborne Pathogens, Respiratory Diseases, Vector-Borne and Parasitic Diseases, and Viral Pathogenesis. Prospective members should be actively engaged in animal disease research or research administration. Meeting information and membership applications may be obtained by contacting the Executive Director or by visiting the CRWAD website. Annual abstracts are currently available on-line at the On-line Meeting Planner and Itinerary Builder, with access through the CRWAD website.

REFERENCE:
Ellis, Robert P., L. Susanne Squires Ellis, and Erwin M. Kohler. “The History of the Conference of Research Workers in Animal Diseases (CRWAD) 1920–2014.” Animal Health Research Reviews 16.2 (2015): 177–192. PMC. Web. 17 Jan. 2016.
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lunes, 18 de enero de 2016

#Zika Virus in the Americas - Yet Another Arbovirus Threat

CDC
The explosive pandemic of Zika virus infection occurring throughout South America, Central America, and the Caribbean (see map) and potentially threatening the United States is the most recent of four unexpected arrivals of important arthropod-borne viral diseases in the Western Hemisphere over the past 20 years. It follows dengue, which entered this hemisphere stealthily over decades and then more aggressively in the 1990s; West Nile virus, which emerged in 1999; and chikungunya, which emerged in 2013. Are the successive migrations of these viruses unrelated, or do they reflect important new patterns of disease emergence? Furthermore, are there secondary health consequences?

REFERENCE:
Fauci AS, Morens DM. Zika Virus in the Americas - Yet Another Arbovirus Threat. N Engl J Med. 2016 Jan 13.

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