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miércoles, 30 de septiembre de 2015

Política gubernamental para la investigación de preocupación de uso dual #DURC

La investigación de preocupación de uso dual [DURC, Dual Use Research of Concern] es un término que hace referencia a toda investigación científica que es realizada con propósitos legítimos para generar conocimiento, información, tecnologías y/o productos, que pueden ser utilizados con fines benévolos o para causar daño. La mayoría de las investigaciones científicas tienen un potencial para generar información que puede ser mal utilizada. Sin embargo, aquellas que pueden ser utilizadas de forma inmediata y que son una amenaza a la salud pública y la seguridad para la agricultura, la ganadería, el ambiente, los animales, o la seguridad son de gran preocupación. El manejo de los riesgos por las DURC, debe ser compartido por investigadores, editores, editoriales, comités de bioseguridad, ciencia y bioética, instituciones de vigilancia, gobiernos locales, estatales y federales. En EU se ha establecido una política institucional gubernamental para la vigilancia de la investigación de preocupación de uso dual. Pueden ver esta información en la página sobre DURC en  http://www.phe.gov/s3/dualuse. También pueden descargar los siguientes documentos:


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lunes, 28 de septiembre de 2015

CDC. Workbook for Designing, Implementing and Evaluating a Sharps Injury Prevention Program


An effective sharps injury prevention program includes several components that must work in concert to prevent healthcare personnel from suffering needlesticks and other sharps-related injuries. This program plan is designed to be integrated into existing performance improvement, infection control, and safety programs. It is based on a model of continuous quality improvement, an approach that successful healthcare organizations are increasingly adopting. We can describe this model in a variety of terms, but the underlying concept is that of a systematic, organizationwide approach for continually improving all processes (Processes Performance Improvement) involved in the delivery of quality products and services. The program plan also draws on concepts from the industrial hygiene profession, in which prevention interventions are prioritized based on a hierarchy of control strategies.

REFERENCE:
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viernes, 25 de septiembre de 2015

Dual-Use Research of Concern (#DURC) Review at American Society for Microbiology Journals

Scheme of the review process used by
ASM journals for manuscripts containing DURC.
The potential use of biological knowledge for nefarious purposes has attracted significant concern. The field of microbiology has come under particular scrutiny because some microbes and toxins are potential agents for bioterrorism and biological warfare. In 2005, the U.S. government established the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) to address issues related to biosecurity and dual-use research. Over the past decade, the NSABB has considered several topics, including defining the boundary between research that requires no special oversight and research that could be misapplied, which is known as dual-use research of concern (DURC). One of the major accomplishments of the NSABB was to draft a definition for DURC as “life sciences research that, based on current understanding, can be reasonably anticipated to provide knowledge, information, products, or technologies that could be directly misapplied to pose a significant threat with broad potential consequences to public health and safety, agricultural crops and other plants, animals, the environment, materiel, or national security.” In addition to defining the type of research that should elicit heightened concern, the NSABB recommended that research be examined for DURC potential throughout its life span, from experimental conception to final dissemination of the results and developed tools for communicating findings that meet the definition. Furthermore, the NSABB sought to establish a culture of responsibility to mitigate risks associated with DURC that extended through the entire scientific enterprise and included journals and editors. In 2007, the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) responded to the NSABB directives by introducing a questionnaire in the manuscript referee review form used by its journals that asked reviewers to provide an assessment about whether the work involved experiments of concern.

REFERENCE:
Casadevall, Arturo et al. “Dual-Use Research of Concern (DURC) Review at American Society for Microbiology Journals.” mBio 6.4 (2015): e01236–15. PMC. Web. 24 Sept. 2015.

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miércoles, 23 de septiembre de 2015

Novel Human Virus That Shares Genomic Features with Hepaciviruses and Pegiviruses

To investigate the transmission of novel infectious agents by blood transfusion, we studied changes in the virome composition of blood transfusion recipients pre- and posttransfusion. Using this approach, we detected and genetically characterized a novel human virus, human hepegivirus 1 (HHpgV-1), that shares features with hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human pegivirus (HPgV; formerly called GB virus C or hepatitis G virus). HCV and HPgV belong to the genera Hepacivirus and Pegivirus of the family Flaviviridae. HHpgV-1 was found in serum samples from two blood transfusion recipients and two hemophilia patients who had received plasma-derived clotting factor concentrates. In the former, the virus was detected only in the posttransfusion samples, indicating blood-borne transmission. Both hemophiliacs were persistently viremic over periods of at least 201 and 1,981 days. The 5′ untranslated region (UTR) of HHpgV-1 contained a type IV internal ribosome entry site (IRES), structurally similar to although highly divergent in sequence from that of HCV and other hepaciviruses. However, phylogenetic analysis of nonstructural genes (NS3 and NS5B) showed that HHpgV-1 forms a branch within the pegivirus clade distinct from HPgV and homologs infecting other mammalian species. In common with some pegivirus variants infecting rodents and bats, the HHpgV-1 genome encodes a short, highly basic protein upstream of E1, potentially possessing a core-like function in packaging RNA during assembly. Identification of this new human virus, HHpgV-1, expands our knowledge of the range of genome configurations of these viruses and may lead to a reevaluation of the original criteria by which the genera Hepacivirus and Pegivirus are defined.
IMPORTANCE More than 30 million blood components are transfused annually in the United States alone. Surveillance for infectious agents in the blood supply is key to ensuring the safety of this critical resource for medicine and public health. Here, we report the identification of a new and highly diverse HCV/GB virus (GBV)-like virus from human serum samples. This new virus, human hepegivirus 1 (HHpgV-1), was found in serum samples from blood transfusion recipients, indicating its potential for transmission via transfusion products. We also found persistent long-term HHpgV-1 viremia in two hemophilia patients. HHpgV-1 is unique because it shares genetic similarity with both highly pathogenic HCV and the apparently nonpathogenic HPgV (GBV-C). Our results add to the list of human viruses and provide data to develop reagents to study virus transmission and disease association and for interrupting virus transmission and new human infections.

REFERENCE:
Kapoor A, et al. Virome Analysis of Transfusion Recipients Reveals a Novel Human Virus That Shares Genomic Features with Hepaciviruses and Pegiviruses. September 2015 mBio vol. 6 no. 5 e01466-15

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lunes, 21 de septiembre de 2015

State-of-the-Art in Biosafety and Biosecurity in European Countries

The terms biosafety and biosecurity are widely used in different concepts and refer not only to protection of human beings and their surrounding environment against hazardous biological agent, but also to global disarmament of weapons of mass destruction. As a result, the biosafety and biosecurity issues should be considered interdisciplinary based on multilateral agreements against proliferation of biological weapons, public health and environmental protection. This publication presents information on both, international and national biosafety and biosecurity legislation. Status of national implementation of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, penalization issues and measures to account for and secure production, use, storage of particularly dangerous pathogens or activities involving humans, plants and animals where infection may pose a risk have been analyzed. Safety and security measures in laboratories have been studied. Moreover, dual-use technology and measures of secure transport of biohazard materials have been also taken into account. In addition, genetic engineering regulations, biosecurity activities in laboratories and code of conducts have been investigated, as well. Keywords: Biosafety, Biosecurity, Legislation, BTWC

REFERENCE:
Bielecka, Anna, and Ali Akbar Mohammadi. “State-of-the-Art in Biosafety and Biosecurity in European Countries.” Archivum Immunologiae et Therapiae Experimentalis 62.3 (2014): 169–178. PMC. Web. 20 Aug. 2015.
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jueves, 17 de septiembre de 2015

To PAPR or not to PAPR?

The present outbreak of Ebola has health care professionals seeking guidance on isolation precautions for routine care and aerosol-generating procedures (AGPs). The most recent guidelines state that during AGPs, health care professionals should wear respiratory protection at least as protective as a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health-certified fit tested N95 filtering face piece respirator or higher; for example, a powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR). The present review discusses the advantages and disadvantages of using a PAPR versus an N95 mask, and relates the experience of the Jewish General Hospital (Montreal, Quebec) of PAPR policy implementation. Training programs on proper donning and doffing of personal protective equipment and quality control systems need to be in place. Respiratory therapists are frontline during AGPs and need to be active in the decision making of the type of equipment chosen to protect them.

REFERENCE:
Roberts V. To PAPR or not to PAPR? Can J Respir Ther. 2014 Fall;50(3):87-90. Review.
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lunes, 14 de septiembre de 2015

Health worker #Ebola infections in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone

This preliminary report summarizes the impact of the Ebola epidemic on the health workforce of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. It investigates the determinants of infection and describes safe practices put in place to protect health workers during the epidemic. The report covers the period from 1 January 2014 to 31 March 2015 and is presents findings from the 815 confirmed and probable cases for whom individual case reports were available.

The Ebola epidemic has taken a heavy toll on the already scarce health workforce. Among the health workers for whom final outcome is known, two-thirds of those infected died. Preliminary analysis shows that, depending on their occupation in the health service, health workers are between 21 and 32 times more likely to be infected with Ebola than people in the general adult population. With higher risks of exposure in caring for others, health workers were disproportionately impacted and traumatised by Ebola.

Health worker infections can be prevented. WHO and partners have worked with ministries of health, partners, managers and health workers to put in place infection prevention control (IPC) and occupational health and safety (OHS) strategies and supplies to prevent health worker infections and improve patient safety. Health worker protection and support must be at the core of emergency response, preparedness and efforts to build a resilient health system. Cementing this lesson learnt into practice can be a lasting tribute to health workers.

REFERENCE:
Health worker #Ebola infections in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone
Number of pages: 16.  Publication date: May 2015.  Languages: English
WHO reference number: WHO/EVD/SDS/REPORT/2015.1

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viernes, 11 de septiembre de 2015

Genetic Analysis of a Sarcoma Accidentally Transplanted from a Patient to a Surgeon #LAIs

Modern concepts of cancer immunology originated from the classic observations by Jensen, Loeb, Tyzzer, and Little in the early years of the 20th century of the rejection of transplanted allogeneic tumors and the acceptance of syngeneic tumors. Despite this law of transplantation, there are several clinical examples of the accidental transplantation of a malignant tumor or tumor cells into a healthy recipient. We describe the accidental transplantation of a malignant sarcoma from a patient to a surgeon. Using molecular methods, we showed that the sarcomas in the unrelated patient and surgeon were genetically identical.

REFERENCE:
Gärtner HV, Seidl C, Luckenbach C, Schumm G, Seifried E, Ritter H, Bültmann B. Genetic analysis of a sarcoma accidentally transplanted from a patient to a surgeon. N Engl J Med. 1996 Nov 14;335(20):1494-6.
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jueves, 10 de septiembre de 2015

Reduced Efficiency of Chlorine Disinfection of Naegleria fowleri in a Drinking Water Distribution Biofilm

Naegleria fowleri associated with biofilm and biological demand water (organic matter suspended in water that consumes disinfectants) sourced from operational drinking water distribution systems (DWDSs) had significantly increased resistance to chlorine disinfection. N. fowleri survived intermittent chlorine dosing of 0.6 mg/L for 7 days in a mixed biofilm from field and laboratory-cultured Escherichia coli strains. However, N. fowleri associated with an attached drinking water distribution biofilm survived more than 30 times (20 mg/L for 3 h) the recommended concentration of chlorine for drinking water. N. fowleri showed considerably more resistance to chlorine when associated with a real field biofilm compared to the mixed laboratory biofilm. This increased resistance is likely due to not only the consumption of disinfectants by the biofilm and the reduced disinfectant penetration into the biofilm but also the composition and microbial community of the biofilm itself. The increased diversity of the field biofilm community likely increased N. fowleri's resistance to chlorine disinfection compared to that of the laboratory-cultured biofilm. Previous research has been conducted in only laboratory scale models of DWDSs and laboratory-cultured biofilms. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study demonstrating how N. fowleri can persist in a field drinking water distribution biofilm despite chlorination.

REFERENCE:
Miller HC, Wylie J, Dejean G, Kaksonen A, Sutton D, Braun K, Puzon G. Reduced efficiency of chlorine disinfection of Naegleria fowleri in drinking water distribution biofilm. Environ Sci Technol. 2015 Aug 19.
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lunes, 7 de septiembre de 2015

WHO Guidelines for Containment of Poliovirus Following Type-Specific #Polio Eradication

In 1988, the World Health Assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO) resolved to eradicate polio worldwide. Among the three wild poliovirus (WPV) types (type 1, type 2, and type 3), WPV type 2 (WPV2) has been eliminated in the wild since 1999, and WPV type 3 (WPV3) has not been reported since 2012. In 2015, only Afghanistan and Pakistan have reported WPV transmission. On May 25, 2015, all WHO Member States endorsed World Health Assembly resolution 68.3 on full implementation of the Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan 2013-2018 (the Endgame Plan), and with it, the third Global Action Plan to minimize poliovirus facility-associated risk (GAPIII). All WHO Member States have committed to implementing appropriate containment of WPV2 in essential laboratory and vaccine production facilities* by the end of 2015 and of type 2 oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV2) within 3 months of global withdrawal of OPV2, which is planned for April 2016. This report summarizes critical steps for essential laboratory and vaccine production facilities that intend to retain materials confirmed to contain or potentially containing type-specific WPV, vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV), or OPV/Sabin viruses, and steps for nonessential facilities† that process specimens that contain or might contain polioviruses. National authorities will need to certify that the essential facilities they host meet the containment requirements described in GAPIII. After certification of WPV eradication, the use of all OPV will cease; final containment of all polioviruses after polio eradication and OPV cessation will minimize the risk for reintroduction of poliovirus into a polio-free world.

REFERENCE:
Previsani N, Tangermann RH, Tallis G, Jafari HS. World Health Organization Guidelines for Containment of Poliovirus Following Type-Specific Polio Eradication - Worldwide, 2015. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2015 Aug 28;64(33):913-7.

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jueves, 3 de septiembre de 2015

MERS-CoV in Upper Respiratory Tract and Lungs of Dromedary Camels, Saudi Arabia, 2013-2014

To assess the temporal dynamics of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection in dromedary camels, specimens were collected at 1-2 month intervals from 2 independent groups of animals during April 2013-May 2014 in Al-Ahsa Province, Saudi Arabia, and tested for MERS-CoV RNA by reverse transcription PCR. Of 96 live camels, 28 (29.2%) nasal swab samples were positive; of 91 camel carcasses, 56 (61.5%) lung tissue samples were positive. Positive samples were more commonly found among young animals (<4 years of age) than adults (>4 years of age). The proportions of positive samples varied by month for both groups; detection peaked during November 2013 and January 2014 and declined in March and May 2014. These findings further our understanding of MERS-CoV infection in dromedary camels and may help inform intervention strategies to reduce zoonotic infections.

 REFERENCE: 
Khalafalla AI, Lu X, Al-Mubarak AI, Dalab AH, Al-Busadah KA, Erdman DD. MERS-CoV in Upper Respiratory Tract and Lungs of Dromedary Camels, Saudi Arabia, 2013-2014. Emerg Infect Dis. 2015 Jul;21(7):1153-8. 
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