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miércoles, 21 de febrero de 2018

Containment Studies of Transgenic Mosquitoes in Disease Endemic Countries

Genetic strategies for large scale pest or vector control using modified insects are not yet operational in Africa, and currently rely on import of the modified strains to begin preliminary, contained studies. Early involvement of research teams from participating countries is crucial to evaluate candidate field interventions. Following the recommended phased approach for novel strategies, evaluation should begin with studies in containment facilities. Experiences to prepare facilities and build international teams for research on transgenic mosquitoes revealed some important organizing themes underlying the concept of "facilities readiness," or the point at which studies in containment may proceed, in sub-Saharan African settings. First, "compliance" for research with novel or non-native living organisms was defined as the fulfillment of all legislative and regulatory requirements. This is not limited to regulations regarding use of transgenic organisms. Second, the concept of "colony utility" was related to the characteristics of laboratory colonies being produced so that results of studies may be validated across time, sites, and strains or technologies; so that the appropriate candidate strains are moved forward toward field studies. Third, the importance of achieving "defensible science" was recognized, including that study conclusions can be traced back to evidence, covering the concerns of various stakeholders over the long term. This, combined with good stewardship of resources and appropriate funding, covers a diverse set of criteria for declaring when "facilities readiness" has been attained. It is proposed that, despite the additional demands on time and resources, only with the balance of and rigorous achievement of each of these organizing themes can collaborative research into novel strategies in vector or pest control reliably progress past initial containment studies.
REFERENCE:
Quinlan MM, et al. Containment Studies of Transgenic Mosquitoes in Disease Endemic Countries: The Broad Concept of Facilities Readiness. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2018 Jan;18(1):14-20. doi: 10.1089/vbz.2017.2189. PubMed PMID: 29337664; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5770120.

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viernes, 16 de febrero de 2018

Invitación a publicar en Applied Biosafety Journal








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miércoles, 14 de febrero de 2018

NOM-018-STPS-2015, Sistema armonizado para la identificación de sustancias químicas peligrosas

Objetivo
Establecer los requisitos para disponer en los centros de trabajo del sistema armonizado de identificación y comunicación de peligros y riesgos por sustancias químicas peligrosas, a fin de prevenir daños a los trabajadores y al personal que actúa en caso de emergencia.
Campo de aplicación
La presente Norma Oficial Mexicana rige en todo el territorio nacional y aplica a todos los centros de trabajo donde se manejen sustancias químicas peligrosas.
No aplica a productos terminados tales como: farmacéuticos, aditivos alimenticios, artículos cosméticos, residuos de plaguicidas en los alimentos y residuos peligrosos.
REFERENCIA:
NORMA Oficial Mexicana NOM-018-STPS-2015, Sistema armonizado para la identificación y comunicación de peligros y riesgos por sustancias químicas peligrosas en los centros de trabajo.

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lunes, 12 de febrero de 2018

Preparation of Containment Facilities for Studies of Transgenic Mosquitoes

Novel approaches to area-wide control of vector species offer promise as additional tools in the fight against vectored diseases. Evaluation of transgenic insect strains aimed at field population control in disease-endemic countries may involve international partnerships and should be done in a stepwise approach, starting with studies in containment facilities. The preparations of both new-build and renovated facilities are described, including working with local and national regulations regarding land use, construction, and biosafety requirements, as well as international guidance to fill any gaps in regulation. The examples given are for containment categorization at Arthropod Containment Level 2 for initial facility design, classification of wastes, and precautions during shipping. Specific lessons were derived from preparations to evaluate transgenic (non-gene drive) mosquitoes in West and East African countries. Documented procedures and the use of a non-transgenic training strain for trial shipments and culturing were used to develop competence and confidence among the African facility staff, and along the chain of custody for transport. This practical description is offered to support other research consortia or institutions preparing containment facilities and operating procedures in conditions where research on transgenic insects is at an early stage.
REFERENCE:
MM Quinlan et al. Studies of Transgenic Mosquitoes in Disease-Endemic Countries: Preparation of Containment Facilities. Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2018 Jan 1; 18(1): 21–30. Published online 2018 Jan 1. doi:  10.1089/vbz.2017.2192

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viernes, 9 de febrero de 2018

Detection of antimicrobial resistance in the International Space Station surface

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global health issue. In an effort to minimize this threat to astronauts, who may be immunocompromised and thus at a greater risk of infection from antimicrobial resistant pathogens, a comprehensive study of the ISS “resistome’ was conducted. Using whole genome sequencing (WGS) and disc diffusion antibiotic resistance assays, 9 biosafety level 2 organisms isolated from the ISS were assessed for their antibiotic resistance. Molecular analysis of AMR genes from 24 surface samples collected from the ISS during 3 different sampling events over a span of a year were analyzed with Ion AmpliSeq™ and metagenomics. Disc diffusion assays showed that Enterobacter bugandensis strains were resistant to all 9 antibiotics tested and Staphylococcus haemolyticus being resistant to none. Ion AmpliSeq™ revealed that 123 AMR genes were found, with those responsible for beta-lactam and trimethoprim resistance being the most abundant and widespread. Using a variety of methods, the genes involved in antimicrobial resistance have been examined for the first time from the ISS. This information could lead to mitigation strategies to maintain astronaut health during long duration space missions when return to Earth for treatment is not possible.
REFERENCE:
Urbaniak C, et al. Detection of antimicrobial resistance genes associated with the International Space Station environmental surfaces. Sci Rep. 2018; 8: 814. doi:  10.1038/s41598-017-18506-4

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miércoles, 7 de febrero de 2018

Rapid deployment of a mobile biosafety level-3 laboratory in Sierra Leone during the 2014 #Ebola virus epidemic

A Mobile Biosafety Level-3 Laboratory (MBSL-3 Lab) and a well-trained diagnostic team were dispatched to Sierra Leone to assist in Ebola virus disease (EVD) diagnosis when the largest outbreak of EVD to date emerged in West Africa in 2014. This setup allowed for the diagnosis of suspected EVD cases in less than 4 hours from the time of sample receiving. The laboratory was composed of three container vehicles and was equipped with advanced ventilation system, communication system, electricity and gas supply system. Multiple safety precautions were strictly applied to reduce exposure risks. A total of 1,635 suspected EVD cases were evaluated from September 28 to November 11, 2014, and none of the staff members was infected with Ebola virus or other pathogens. The China mobile laboratory was thus instrumental in the EVD outbreak response by providing timely and accurate diagnostics. Therefore, the MBSL-3 Lab played a significant role in establishing a suitable laboratory response capacity during the emergence of EVD in Sierra Leone.

REFERENCE:
Zhang, Yi et al. “Rapid Deployment of a Mobile Biosafety Level-3 Laboratory in Sierra Leone during the 2014 Ebola Virus Epidemic.” Ed. Brian Bird. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 11.5 (2017): e0005622. PMC. Web. 4 Jan. 2018.


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lunes, 5 de febrero de 2018

Assessing infection control practices to protect health care workers and patients

Transmission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) in health settings threatens health care workers and people living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa. Nosocomial transmission is reduced with implementation of infection control (IC) guidelines. The objective of this study is to describe implementation of TB IC measures in Malawi. We conducted a cross-sectional study utilizing anonymous health worker questionnaires, semi-structured interviews with facility managers, and direct observations at 17 facilities in central Malawi. Of 592 health care workers surveyed, 34% reported that all patients entering the facility were screened for cough and only 8% correctly named the four most common signs and symptoms of TB in adults. Of 33 managers interviewed, 7 (21%) and 1 (3%) provided the correct TB screening questions for use in adults and children, respectively. Of 592 health workers, only 2.4% had been screened for TB in the previous year. Most (90%) reported knowing their HIV status, 53% were tested at their facility of employment, and half reported they would feel comfortable receiving ART or TB treatment at their facility of employment. We conclude that screening is infrequently conducted and knowledge gaps may undercut its effectiveness. Further, health care workers do not routinely access TB and HIV diagnostic and treatment services at their facility of employment.
REFERENCE:
Flick, Robert J. et al. “Assessing Infection Control Practices to Protect Health Care Workers and Patients in Malawi from Nosocomial Transmission of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis.” Ed. Sarah L Pett. PLoS ONE 12.12 (2017): e0189140.

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miércoles, 31 de enero de 2018

The efficacy of medical masks and respirators against respiratory infection in healthcare workers

Objective: We aimed to examine the efficacy of medical masks and respirators in protecting against respiratory infections using pooled data from two homogenous randomised control clinical trials (RCTs).
Methods: The data collected on 3591 subjects in two similar RCTs conducted in Beijing, China, which examined the same infection outcomes, were pooled. Four interventions were compared: (i) continuous N95 respirator use, (ii) targeted N95 respirator use, (iii) medical mask use and (iv) control arm. The outcomes were laboratory‐confirmed viral respiratory infection, influenza A or B, laboratory‐confirmed bacterial colonisation and pathogens grouped by mode of transmission.
Results: Rates of all outcomes were consistently lower in the continuous N95 and/or targeted N95 arms. In adjusted analysis, rates of laboratory‐confirmed bacterial colonisation (RR 0.33, 95% CI 0.21‐0.51), laboratory‐confirmed viral infections (RR 0.46, 95% CI 0.23‐0.91) and droplet‐transmitted infections (RR 0.26, 95% CI 0.16‐0.42) were significantly lower in the continuous N95 arm. Laboratory‐confirmed influenza was also lowest in the continuous N95 arm (RR 0.34, 95% CI 0.10‐1.11), but the difference was not statistically significant. Rates of laboratory‐confirmed bacterial colonisation (RR 0.54, 95% CI 0.33‐0.87) and droplet‐transmitted infections (RR 0.43, 95% CI 0.25‐0.72) were also lower in the targeted N95 arm, but not in medical mask arm.
Conclusion: The results suggest that the classification of infections into droplet versus airborne transmission is an oversimplification. Most guidelines recommend masks for infections spread by droplets. N95 respirators, as “airborne precautions,” provide superior protection for droplet‐transmitted infections. To ensure the occupational health and safety of healthcare worker, the superiority of respirators in preventing respiratory infections should be reflected in infection control guidelines.
REFERENCES: MacIntyre, Chandini Raina et al. “The Efficacy of Medical Masks and Respirators against Respiratory Infection in Healthcare Workers.” Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses 11.6 (2017): 511–517.

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lunes, 29 de enero de 2018

Introducing Mammalian Cell Culture and Cell Viability Techniques in the Undergraduate Biology Laboratory

Undergraduate students learn about mammalian cell culture applications in introductory biology courses. However, laboratory modules are rarely designed to provide hands-on experience with mammalian cells or teach cell culture techniques, such as trypsinization and cell counting. Students are more likely to learn about cell culture using bacteria or yeast, as they are typically easier to grow, culture, and manipulate given the equipment, tools, and environment of most undergraduate biology laboratories. In contrast, the utilization of mammalian cells requires a dedicated biological safety cabinet and rigorous antiseptic techniques. For this reason, we have devised a laboratory module and method herein that familiarizes students with common cell culture procedures, without the use of a sterile hood or large cell culture facility. Students design and perform a time-efficient inquiry-based cell viability experiment using HeLa cells and tools that are readily available in an undergraduate biology laboratory. Students will become familiar with common techniques such as trypsinizing cells, cell counting with a hemocytometer, performing serial dilutions, and determining cell viability using trypan blue dye. Additionally, students will work with graphing software to analyze their data and think critically about the mechanism of death on a cellular level. Two different adaptations of this inquiry-based lab are presented—one for non-biology majors and one for biology majors. Overall, these laboratories aim to expose students to mammalian cell culture and basic techniques and help them to conceptualize their application in scientific research.

REFERENCE:
Bowey-Dellinger, Kristen et al. “Introducing Mammalian Cell Culture and Cell Viability Techniques in the Undergraduate Biology Laboratory.” Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education 18.2 (2017): 18.2.38. PMC. Web. 4 Jan. 2018.


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viernes, 26 de enero de 2018

Biosafety and Biosecurity in European Containment Level 3 Laboratories: Focus on French Recent Progress and Essential Requirements

Even if European Union (EU) Member States are obliged to implement EU Directives 2000/54/EC on the protection of workers from risks related to exposure to biological agents at work, national biosafety regulations and practices varied from country to country. In fact, EU legislation on biological agents and genetically modified microorganisms is often not specific enough to ensure harmonization leading to difficulties in implementation for most laboratories. In the same way, biosecurity is a relatively new concept and a few EU Member States are known to have introduced national laboratory biosecurity legislation. In France, recent regulations have reinforced biosafety/biosecurity in containment level 3 (CL-3) laboratories but they concern a specific list of pathogens with no correlation in other European Members States. The objective of this review was to summarize European biosafety/biosecurity measures concerning CL-3 facilities focusing on French specificities. Essential requirements needed to preserve efficient biosafety measures when manipulating risk group 3 biological agents are highlighted. In addition, International, European and French standards related to containment laboratory planning, operation or biosafety equipment are described to clarify optimal biosafety and biosecurity requirements.

REFERENCE:
Pastorino, Boris, Xavier de Lamballerie, and Rémi Charrel. “Biosafety and Biosecurity in European Containment Level 3 Laboratories: Focus on French Recent Progress and Essential Requirements.” Frontiers in Public Health 5 (2017): 121.


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