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jueves, 18 de octubre de 2018

A mobile biosafety microanalysis system for infectious agents

Biological threats posed by pathogens such as Ebola virus must be quickly diagnosed, while protecting the safety of personnel. Scanning electron microscopy and microanalysis requires minimal specimen preparation and can help to identify hazardous agents or substances. Here we report a compact biosafety system for rapid imaging and elemental analysis of specimens, including powders, viruses and bacteria, which is easily transportable to the site of an incident.
REFERENCE:
Beniac DR, Hiebert SL, Siemens CG, Corbett CR, Booth TF. A mobile biosafety microanalysis system for infectious agents. Sci Rep. 2015 Mar 30;5:9505. doi: 10.1038/srep09505. PubMed PMID: 25820944; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4377622.
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miércoles, 17 de octubre de 2018

Smart Card Decontamination in a High-Containment Laboratory

The action of checking or proving the
validity or accuracy of something.
Validated procedures for decontamination of laboratory surfaces and equipment are essential to biosafety and biorisk programs at high-containment laboratories. Each high-containment laboratory contains a unique combination of surfaces, procedures, and biological agents that require decontamination methods tailored to specific facility practices. The Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC) is a high-containment laboratory operating multiple biosafety level (BSL)-3, ABSL-3, and BSL-3 Ag spaces. The PIADC facility requires the use of federally issued smart cards, called personal identity verification (PIV) cards, to access information technology (IT) networks both outside and within the high-containment laboratory. Because PIV cards may require transit from the BSL-3 to office spaces, a validated procedure for disinfecting PIV card surfaces prior to removal from the laboratory is critical to ensure biosafety and biosecurity. Two high-risk select agents used in the PIADC high-containment laboratory are foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) and swine vesicular disease virus (SVDV). We evaluated disinfection of PIV cards intentionally spotted with FMDV and SVDV using a modified quantitative carrier test and the liquid chemical disinfectant Virkon® S. Our experimental design modeled a worst-case scenario of PIV card contamination and disinfection by combining high concentrations of virus dried with an organic soil load and use of aged Virkon® S prepared in hard water. Results showed that FMDV and SVDV dried on PIV card surfaces were completely inactivated after immersion for 30 and 60 seconds, respectively, in a 5-day-old solution of 1% Virkon® S. Therefore, this study provided internal validation of PIADC biosafety protocols by demonstrating the efficacy of Virkon® S to inactivate viruses on contaminated smart cards at short contact times.
REFERENCE:
Gabbert, Lindsay R. et al. “Smart Card Decontamination in a High-Containment Laboratory.” Health Security 16.4 (2018): 244–251. PMC. Web. 1 Oct. 2018.


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martes, 16 de octubre de 2018

Biosafety controls come under fire

Experts call for a stronger safety culture at secure sites after incidents involving anthrax and flu in a US laboratory.
Recent accidents involving deadly pathogens at a leading laboratory in the United States highlight the need for a major global rethink of biosafety controls, experts say. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, reported two accidents involving anthrax and the deadly H5N1 influenza virus. Biosafety professionals argue that such incidents show that without a strong culture of biosafety, even highly secure facilities are susceptible to errors that could place workers and the public at risk.
REFERENCE:
NATURE NEWS 29 July 2014: Declan Butler. Biosafety controls come under fire. Nature 511, 515–516 (31 July 2014) doi:10.1038/511515a

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lunes, 15 de octubre de 2018

Laboratory-Acquired Vaccinia Virus Infection in a Recently Immunized Person — Massachusetts, 2013

On November 26, 2013, the CDC poxvirus laboratory was notified by the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) of an inadvertent inoculation of a recently vaccinated (ACAM2000 smallpox vaccine) laboratory worker with wild type vaccinia virus (VACV) Western Reserve. A joint investigation by CDC and BPHC confirmed orthopoxvirus infection in the worker, who had reported a needle stick in his thumb while inoculating a mouse with VACV. He experienced a non-tender, red rash on his arm, diagnosed at a local emergency department as cellulitis. He subsequently developed a necrotic lesion on his thumb, diagnosed as VACV infection. Three weeks after the injury, the thumb lesion was surgically debrided and at 2 months post-injury, the skin lesion had resolved. The investigation confirmed that the infection was the first reported VACV infection in the United States in a laboratory worker vaccinated according to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations. The incident prompted the academic institution to outline biosafety measures for working with biologic agents, such as biosafety training of laboratory personnel, vaccination (if appropriate), and steps in incident reporting. Though vaccination has been shown to be an effective measure in protecting personnel in the laboratory setting, this case report underscores the importance of proper safety measures and incident reporting (1,2).
REFERENCE:
Hsu CH et al. Laboratory-Acquired Vaccinia Virus Infection in a Recently Immunized Person — Massachusetts, 2013. MMWR May 1, 2015 / 64(16);435-438

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domingo, 14 de octubre de 2018

Laboratory-associated infections and biosafety.

An estimated 500,000 laboratory workers in the United States are at risk of exposure to infectious agents that cause disease ranging from inapparent to life-threatening infections, but the precise risk to a given worker unknown. The emergence of human immunodeficiency virus and hantavirus, the continuing problem of hepatitis B virus, and the reemergence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis have renewed interest in biosafety for the employees of laboratories and health care facilities. This review examines the history, the causes, and the methods for prevention of laboratory-associated infections. The initial step in a biosafety program is the assessment of risk to the employee. Risk assessment guidelines include the pathogenicity of the infectious agent, the method of transmission, worker-related risk factors, the source and route of infection, and the design of the laboratory facility. Strategies for the prevention and management of laboratory-associated infections are based on the containment of the infectious agent by physical separation from the laboratory worker and the environment, employee education about the occupational risks, and availability of an employee health program. Adherence to the biosafety guidelines mandated or proposed by various governmental and accrediting agencies reduces the risk of an occupational exposure to infectious agents handled in the workplace.
REFERENCE:
Sewell DL. Laboratory-associated infections and biosafety. Clin Microbiol Rev. 1995 Jul;8(3):389-405. Review. PubMed PMID: 7553572; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC174631.

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sábado, 13 de octubre de 2018

Evidence-Based Biosafety

We examined the available evidence on the effectiveness of measures aimed at protecting humans and the environment against the risks of working with genetically modified microorganisms (GMOs) and with non-GMO pathogenic microorganisms. A few principles and methods underlie the current biosafety practice: risk assessment, biological containment, concentration and enclosure, exposure minimization, physical containment, and hazard minimization. Many of the current practices are based on experience and expert judgment. The effectiveness of biosafety measures may be evaluated at the level of single containment equipment items and procedures, at the level of the laboratory as a whole, or at the clinical-epidemiological level. Data on the containment effectiveness of equipment and laboratories are scarce and fragmented. Laboratory-acquired infections (LAIs) are therefore important for evaluating the effectiveness of biosafety. For the majority of LAIs there appears to be no direct cause, suggesting that failures of biosafety were not noticed or that containment may have been insufficient. The number of reported laboratory accidents associated with GMOs is substantially lower than that of those associated with non-GMOs. It is unknown to what extent specific measures contribute to the overall level of biosafety. We therefore recommend that the evidence base of biosafety practice be strengthened.
REFERENCE:
Kimman TG, Smit E, Klein MR. Evidence-based biosafety: a review of the principles and effectiveness of microbiological containment measures. Clin Microbiol Rev. 2008 Jul;21(3):403-25. doi: 10.1128/CMR.00014-08. Review. PubMed. PMID: 18625678
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viernes, 12 de octubre de 2018

Antibiotics, #Resistome and Resistance Mechanisms: A Bacterial Perspective

History of mankind is regarded as struggle against infectious diseases. Rather than observing the withering away of bacterial diseases, antibiotic resistance has emerged as a serious global health concern. Medium of antibiotic resistance in bacteria varies greatly and comprises of target protection, target substitution, antibiotic detoxification and block of intracellular antibiotic accumulation. Further aggravation to prevailing situation arose on observing bacteria gradually becoming resistant to different classes of antibiotics through acquisition of resistance genes from same and different genera of bacteria. Attributing bacteria with feature of better adaptability, dispersal of antibiotic resistance genes to minimize effects of antibiotics by various means including horizontal gene transfer (conjugation, transformation, and transduction), Mobile genetic elements (plasmids, transposons, insertion sequences, integrons, and integrative-conjugative elements) and bacterial toxin-antitoxin system led to speedy bloom of antibiotic resistance amongst bacteria. Proficiency of bacteria to obtain resistance genes generated an unpleasant situation; a grave, but a lot unacknowledged, feature of resistance gene transfer.
REFERENCE:
Sultan I, et al. Antibiotics, Resistome and Resistance Mechanisms: A Bacterial Perspective. Front Microbiol. 2018 Sep 21;9:2066.

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miércoles, 10 de octubre de 2018

Cabinas de seguridad biológica: Uso, desinfección y mantenimiento

Las cabinas de seguridad biológica (CSB), comúnmente conocidas como cabinas de bioseguridad, forman parte de un grupo de equipos destinados a mejorar las condiciones generales bajo las cuales se realizan una gran variedad de actividades en los laboratorios clínicos y de investigación en el área de salud pública. Estas actividades abarcan desde procesos rutinarios para la identificación de microorganismos hasta actividades especializadas de investigación. Así mismo, son igualmente conocidas con diversos nombres tales como “gabinetes de bioseguridad”, “campanas de flujo laminar” y “purificadores”, entre otros, el término “flujo laminar” se utiliza también comúnmente para identificarlas. Los equipos son los que garantizan la existencia de ambientes controlados, indispensables para realizar actividades que por sus características resultan potencialmente peligrosas para la salud del hombre y del ambiente. Por otra parte, algunas de las cabinas protegen el estado de los productos o cultivos objeto de la investigación.

REFERENCIA
Cabinas de seguridad biológica: Uso, desinfección y mantenimiento, WHO 2002. 1ª Ed.
ISBN 92 75 32416 6

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martes, 9 de octubre de 2018

The basics of animal biosafety and biocontainment training

The threat of biocontamination in an animal facility is best subdued by training. 'Training' is an ambiguous designation that may not be adequately appreciated in all animal facilities. The authors set down concrete training topics and provide practical advice on incorporating the basic principles of facility biosafety training--as well as the precautions and procedures that employees must know in case of accident or emergency--into various training models. They also discuss the current biosafety publications and guidelines and their relationship to biosafety training.

REFERENCE:
Pritt S, Hankenson FC, Wagner T, Tate M. The basics of animal biosafety and biocontainment training. Lab Anim (NY). 2007 Jun;36(6):31-8. PubMed PMID: 17519943.

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lunes, 8 de octubre de 2018

Chemical Use in Animal Models


Institutional health and safety programs are responsible for minimizing personnel risk in working with animals that have been administered hazardous chemicals. Regulations and associated guidance are lacking in specific processes for managing these animals. A chemical control banding system categorizes chemicals into bands where each band level is associated with specific control practices. This article describes a general approach to the engineering, administrative, and personal protective equipment practices for developing an animal chemical control banding system. An internal committee should be responsible for conducting the risk assessments to assign chemicals used in animals into band levels, with many factors and resources included to facilitate in this process. The authors provide examples from their home institution where an animal chemical banding system was implemented. Institutions can use this information when designing their own programs, which will likely be unique in consideration of their specific needs and resources.
REFERENCE:
Vanessa K. Lee, Leslie M. Hubble, and Scott W. Thomaston. Chemical Use in Animal Models. Applied Biosafety Vol 23, Issue 3, pp. 153 - 161

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