#ABSA Orlando 2012, American Biological Safety Asociation

Early Registration Discounts End Today!
Leaders in the field of biosafety will be meeting in Orlando, Florida from October 19-24, 2012 for the 55th Annual Biological Safety Conference. Three days of preconference courses will continue to offer ABSA's highly regarded education programs for all levels of biosafety experience covering topics from aerobiology to virology. This year's scientific program will also include a Town Hall Meeting on the new select agent regulations. Make sure you arrange your travel so you don't miss the Wednesday afternoon Mock IBC session. Discounts for early registration will end on September 28, 2012. Registration is open and spaces are filling quickly. Reserve your seat!

Low-temperature decontamination with hydrogen peroxide or chlorine dioxide for space applications

The currently used microbial decontamination method for spacecraft and components uses dry-heat microbial reduction at temperatures of >110°C for extended periods to prevent the contamination of extraplanetary destinations. This process is effective and reproducible, but it is also long and costly and precludes the use of heat-labile materials. The need for an alternative to dry-heat microbial reduction has been identified by space agencies. Investigations assessing the biological efficacy of two gaseous decontamination technologies, vapor hydrogen peroxide and chlorine dioxide, were undertaken in a 20-m(3) exposure chamber. Five spore-forming Bacillus spp. were exposed on stainless steel coupons to vaporized hydrogen peroxide and chlorine dioxide gas. Exposure for 20 min to vapor hydrogen peroxide resulted in 6- and 5-log reductions in the recovery of Bacillus atrophaeus and Geobacillus stearothermophilus, respectively. However, in comparison, chlorine dioxide required an exposure period of 60 min to reduce both B. atrophaeus and G. stearothermophilus by 5 logs. Of the three other Bacillus spp. tested, Bacillus thuringiensis proved the most resistant to hydrogen peroxide and chlorine dioxide with D values of 175.4 s and 6.6 h, respectively. Both low-temperature decontamination technologies proved effective at reducing the Bacillus spp. tested within the exposure ranges by over 5 logs, with the exception of B. thuringiensis, which was more resistant to both technologies. These results indicate that a review of the indicator organism choice and loading could provide a more appropriate and realistic challenge for the sterilization procedures used in the space industry.

Pottage T, Macken S, Giri K, Walker JT, Bennett AM. Low-temperature decontamination with hydrogen peroxide or chlorine dioxide for space applications. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2012 Jun;78(12):4169-74.

USDA ARS 2nd International Biosafety and Biocontainment Symposium

February 4-7, 2013
Hilton Alexandria Mark Center                         
Registration Now Open!
ABSA will be the managing partner of the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) 2nd International Biosafety & Biocontainment Symposium - Agriculture Research and Response for Field and Lab. The Symposium will be held February 4-7, 2013, in Alexandria Virginia at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center. The Symposium will include ten pre-symposium courses and 2½ days of scientific presentations. There will also be exhibits showcasing the latest agricultural biosafety and biocontainment products and services. Registration, sponsors, and details for this event are available at http://arssymposium.absa.org.
Pre-Symposium Courses: (4 hours each)
Plant Pathology 101: Introduction of Principles on Plant Pathology

Program Outline (Subject to Change)

Pre-symposium Courses: (4 hours each)
Monday February 4, 2013
  • Plant Pathology 101
  • Plant Containment
  • Intro to APHIS regulatory oversight
  • APHIS Permitting
  • Integrated Pest Management & Biocontrol
  • Agrodefense
  • FBI Biosecurity for Lab Research
  • GMO – International Perspective on Biological Safety
  • Biocontainment Techniques beyond the Biosafety Cabinet
  • Food Defense
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
  • Session I – Food Safety, Defense, and Security Research and Biosafety/Biocontainment Challenges
  • Session II – Containment and Research Challenges for Work on Plant Pathogens, Pests, GMOs, and Biocontrol AgentsWednesday, February 6, 2013
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
  • Session III – Regulatory and Oversight Issues
  • Session IV – LAIs

Thursday, February 7, 2013
  • Session V – Animal Health

The Symposium will consist of sessions covering a variety of topics including containment and security challenges, GMOs, and agroterrorism. There will be a roundtable discussion on the culture of responsibility and security and another on LAIs and break in containment. Keynote speakers will open the program on Tuesday and Wednesday.
In addition to the valuable courses and sessions, you will have the opportunity to network with professionals from the biosafety and scientific research industries, organizations, and agencies.
Register soon as space is limited. http://arssymposium.absa.org

Pulmonary and heart rate responses to wearing N95 filtering facepiece respirators


BACKGROUND: Filtering facepiece respirators are the most common respirator worn by US health care and industrial workers, yet little is known on the physiologic impact of wearing this protective equipment.
METHODS: Twenty young, healthy subjects exercised on a treadmill at a low-moderate (5.6 km/h) work rate while wearing 4 different models of N95 filtering facepiece respirators for 1 hour each, 2 models of which were equipped with exhalation valves, while being monitored for physiologic variables.
RESULTS: Compared with controls, respirator use was associated with mean 1 hour increases in heart rate (range, 5.7-10.6 beats per minute, P < .001), respiratory rate (range, 1.4-2.4 breaths per minute, P < .05), and transcutaneous carbon dioxide (range, 1.7-3.0 mm Hg, P < .001). No significant differences in oxygen saturation between controls and respirators were noted (P > .05).
CONCLUSION: The pulmonary and heart rate responses to wearing a filtering facepiece respirator for 1 hour at a low-moderate work rate are relatively small and should generally be well tolerated by healthy persons.
Kim JH, Benson SM, Roberge RJ. Pulmonary and heart rate responses to wearing N95 filtering facepiece respirators. Am J Infect Control. 2012 Aug 31.

Establishing a laboratory network of influenza diagnosis in Indonesia

Indonesia has been part of the global influenza surveillance since the establishment of a National Influenza Center (NIC) at the National Institute of Health Research and Development (NIHRD) by the Indonesian Ministry of Health in 1975. When the outbreak of avian influenza A (H5N1) occurred, the NIC and US Naval Medical Research Unit 2 were the only diagnostic laboratories equipped for etiology confirmation. The large geographical area of the Republic of Indonesia poses a real challenge to provide prompt and accurate diagnosis nationally. This was the main reason to establish a laboratory network for H5N1 diagnosis in Indonesia. Currently, 44 laboratories have been included in the network capable of performing polymerase chain reaction testing for influenza A. Diagnostic equipment and standard procedures of biosafety and biosecurity of handling specimens have been adopted largely from World Health Organization recommendations.

Setiawaty V, Pangesti KN, Sampurno OD. Establishing a laboratory network of influenza diagnosis in Indonesia: an experience from the avian flu (H5N1) outbreak. Clin Epidemiol. 2012;4:209-12. Epub 2012 Aug 15.