lunes, 31 de marzo de 2014

Samples of the coating, which contains dyes that make bacteria die

Highly reactive oxygen radicals destroy the cell walls of bacteria.
Hospital-acquired infections are a major health threat, and have prompted the development of preventative measures incorporating things like blue light and selenium nanoparticles. One of the latest such developments is a light-activated antimicrobial surface coating made from silicone, dye and gold. For some reason, it also works in the absence of light.
Created at University College London, the coating incorporates crystal violet and methylene blue dyes, along with gold nanoparticles. When the dyes are exposed to light, the electrons in them become excited. This in turn results in the production of "highly reactive oxygen radicals," which destroy the cell walls of bacteria.
To make the material, an organic solvent was used to swell the silicone, which allowed the methylene blue and gold to diffuse throughout it. The dye- and gold-infused silicone was then dipped in a bath of crystal violet, causing a layer of that dye to bond to its surface.
In lab tests, the coating was shown to have "the most potent bactericidal effect ever observed in such a surface" when exposed even just to a regular fluorescent light bulb, killing all the bacteria placed upon it within three to six hours.
What was surprising, however, was that it also killed microbes when contaminated with them and left in the dark – it just took longer, up to 18 hours. It's reportedly the first time that a light-activated antibacterial substance has shown such good no-light performance. Exactly how it was able to do so is still being investigated.
Additionally, the coating is said to be relatively inexpensive to manufacture, and resists being worn off of surfaces when they're being cleaned. It could end up being used on items ranging from medical equipment to a hospital's door handles, keyboards or other frequently-touched objects.

Source: University College London

jueves, 27 de marzo de 2014

South Korea Granted Poultry Inspection Equivalency

Slaughtered poultry or parts or other products thereof processed in certified Korean establishments will be eligible for export to the United States.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has added South Korea to the list of countries eligible to export poultry products to the U.S. after determining that the country’s poultry-inspection system is equivalent to ours.

Under this final rule, slaughtered poultry or parts or other products thereof processed in certified Korean establishments will be eligible for export to the United States, reads the Federal Register notice published Wednesday. All such products will be subject to re-inspection at United States ports of entry by FSIS inspectors.

In 2005, the government of South Korea requested approval for the importation of Korean poultry products into the U.S. South Korea stated that its immediate intention was to export two types of ginseng chicken stew products. USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) then began to evaluate South Korea’s inspection system to determine whether it is equivalent to the U.S. system.

After two audits and two corrective action plans, FSIS proposed equivalency. This final rule will become effective on May 27, 2014.

Under import regulations, the South Korean government must still certify to FSIS that those establishments that wish to export poultry products to the U.S. are operating under requirements equivalent to those of the United States.

Source: Food Safety News

CDC reporta Datos de Vigilancia de 32 serotipos de Salmonella

La CDC reporta 32 serotipos de aislados de Salmonella  provenientes  de un periodo de 40 años

El  Centro  de Control y Prevención de Enfermedades (CDC) está reportando datos  de Vigilancia en línea (on line) de 32 aislados de Salmonella provenientes de personas, animales y ambiente comprendidos en un lapso de 40 años.
Este “Atlas de Salmonella de EEUU, 1968-2011” categoriza a los aislados por geografía, estación del año, edad y sexo de la persona infectada, en un documento de 248 páginas o 32 reportes individuales de cada serotipo. Esto  permitirá a los usuarios  ver las tendencias  de infección de Salmonella en relación al tiempo, a la geografía, a la edad y sexo de las personas infectadas en ese país.
Este Atlas, además de los informes de infecciones reportados en humanos, incluirá  informes de presencia de Salmonella en los animales, en el ambiente y en los alimentos para animales, que puedan ser fuentes para la generación de cepas resistentes a los antibióticos.
Salmonella es la causa número uno de las enfermedades transmitidas por alimentos en EE.UU. Salmonelosis enferma un estimado de 1.2 millones de personas cada año y causa más de 23,000 hospitalizaciones y 450 muertes, según la CDC. 
Infección por Salmonella es usualmente causada por el consumo de carne cruda, carne de aves, huevos o subproductos derivados del huevo. El período de incubación varía desde varias horas a dos días. Signos y síntomas más comunes son náuseas, vómitos, dolor abdominal, diarrea, fiebre, escalofríos, dolor de cabeza, dolores musculares y sangre en las heces.
Funcionarios de los CDC señalaron que los datos presentados en el "Atlas" son sólo la punta del iceberg, ya que muchos casos de salmonelosis humana no son diagnosticados y reportados a los departamentos de salud. Este “subregistro” puede ocurrir debido a que la persona enferma no aquede a la atención médica, o que los resultados de los coprocultivos no son reportados a las autoridades de la salud pública.

Source: Food Safety News  

lunes, 24 de marzo de 2014

Honey may stop bacterial resistance to antibiotics

Honey could be one solution to the ever-growing problem of bacterial resistance to antibiotics, according to researchers.
It uses hydrogen peroxide, acidity, osmotic effect, high sugar concentration and polyphenols to actively kill bacterial cells, said a study presented at the 247th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS).
Previous studies have shown that honey inhibits the formation of biofilms by disrupting quorum sensing, which weakens bacterial virulence, rendering the bacteria more susceptible to conventional antibiotics, said the researchers.
Honey to control biolfilms?: Susan Meschwitz, assistant professor, Department of Chemistry and Salve Regina University, told that it would make sense to prevent and control biofilm formation by using naturally occurring compounds such as honey. She said they are testing various honeys to see if they can inhibit quorum sensing and initial studies indicate that some can.
“We are in the preliminary stages of our research where we are looking at the effect that honey has on a process called quorum sensing, which is a bacterial communication system. “It is believed that in many bacteria, this quorum sensing controls the production of virulence factors and biofilm formation.”
Antibiotic resistance is becoming a growing issue in the food industry with a US study showing that Kosher chicken has the highest frequency of antibiotic-resistant E. coli at nearly twice that of conventional products.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said last year that antibiotic use for promoting growth of food producing animals plays a role in drug resistance and should be “phased out”.
Inhibit biofilms: Researchers will test the same honeys for their ability to inhibit biofilm formation.  “We are in the process of developing these assays. Many of these effects have already been seen with NewZealand Manuka honey. “We are hoping to see this effect also with honeys from floral sources common to North America. Also, the fact that honey uses various mechanisms for its antimicrobial properties makes it less likely for bacteria to be able to build up a resistance.”

The osmotic effect, which is the result of the high sugar concentration in honey, draws water from the bacterial cells, dehydrating and killing them, Meschwitz said at the ACS meeting. "The unique property of honey lies in its ability to fight infection on multiple levels, making it more difficult for bacteria to develop resistance," she said.

Source: FoodQualityNews

martes, 18 de marzo de 2014

Muere segunda paciente contagiada con Clostridium difficile en el Hospital de Antofagasta.

Aumentan a 13 los contagiados con la bacteria intrahospitalaria.
Una mujer de 68 años es la segunda paciente contagiada con la bacteria Clostridium difficile que fallece en el Hospital Regional de Antofagasta, según confirmaron en el recinto asistencial.

Actualmente existen 13 pacientes con Clostridium difficile en el Hospital Regional de Antofagasta, encontrándose aislados con el respectivo tratamiento y las medidas del caso. Todos con patologías bases crónicas, hombres y mujeres, mayoritariamente de la tercera edad, evolucionando favorablemente al tratamiento de esta patología, el cual está ad portas de su finalización en la mayoría de ellos.
De estos 13 pacientes, todos pacientes de riesgo, es decir, con patologías bases crónicas; entre ellas VIH, cáncer de vesícula y hospitalizaciones prolongadas con uso de antibióticos por periodos extensos.

Debido a la detección de nueves casos se mantienen las medidas de seguridad y de contención, aunque no se descarta la aparición de nuevos casos.
C. difficile es parte de la microbiota intestinal normal en un pequeño número de individuos sanos y de pacientes hospitalizados. Sin embargo, cuando el paciente, por diversos motivos debe consumir antibióticos, la flora normal disminuye y se le da a ésta y otras bacterias la posibilidad de aumentar y causar enfermedad.
Tras la aparición de esta bacteria intrahospitalaria, se acrecentaron las críticas respecto al manejo de la higiene en el recinto, así como la molestia por los continuos retrasos en la construcción de un nuevo centro de salud para la ciudad.

domingo, 2 de marzo de 2014

The Global Health Security Agenda goals were recently announced

Safer World: Prevention, Detection, & Response
Even today’s severe snowstorm in Washington was not enough to deter diplomats, health ministers and secretaries from dozens of countries from joining us at HHS headquarters to discuss a new agenda for global health security.  We were joined via satellite by the Directors General of the World Health Organization, the World Organization for Animal Health, and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
We came together in the belief that everyone – regardless of which country they happen to live – deserves the basic human dignity of being protected from infectious disease. 
Our world is connected in ways previously unimagined or foreseen.  This greater connectedness brings with it both new vulnerabilities and new opportunities.
On the one hand, microbes and diseases are moving faster and farther than ever.  And one thing we know for certain: They do not recognize or stop at national borders.  A threat anywhere is indeed a threat everywhere.
And yet, for all the challenges we face, we’re seeing an unprecedented willingness to work together.  Meanwhile, scientists and researchers at places like the National Institutes of Health are discovering new cures, developing new vaccines, and unleashing new innovations.
The Global Health Security Agenda is framed around three primary strategies:
1.    Enhanced prevention of infectious disease threats both naturally-occurring and manmade.
2.    More robust detection which includes real-time bio surveillance and more effective modern diagnostics.
3.    More effective response, including a public health Emergency Operation Center in each country that functions according to common standards.
Global health security is one of President Obama’s top priorities, and the Administration is working to advance these strategies.
Working together across 30 countries, we can protect at least 4 billion global citizens within the next five years.  And our vision is for all people in all countries to be effectively protected against the threats posed by infectious disease.
Ridding the world of infectious diseases is not a small goal.   There are few simple solutions and no magic cures, but we can’t afford the cost of defeat—economically, socially, or in the devastating loss of lives. With prevention, detection, and effective response, we can build a safer world.