Proficiency of clinical laboratories in and near Monterrey, Mexico, to detect vancomycin-resistant enterococci.
Early detection of vancomycin-resistant enterococci is important for preventing its spread among hospitalized patients. We surveyed the ability of eight hospital laboratories in and near Monterrey, Mexico, to detect vancomycin resistance in Enterococcus spp. and found that although laboratories can reliably detect high-level vancomycin resistance, many have difficulty detecting low-level resistance. (+info)
How microbial ancient DNA, found in association with human remains, can be interpreted.
The analysis of the DNA of ancient micro-organisms in archaeological and palaeontological human remains can contribute to the understanding of issues as different as the spreading of a new disease, a mummification process or the effect of diets on historical human populations. The quest for this type of DNA, however, can represent a particularly demanding task. This is mainly due to the abundance and diffusion of bacteria, fungi, yeasts, algae and protozoans in the most diverse environments of the present-day biosphere and the resulting difficulty in distinguishing between ancient and modern DNA. Nevertheless, at least under some special circumstances, by using rigorous protocols, which include an archaeometric survey of the specimens and evaluation of the palaeoecological consistency of the results of DNA sequence analysis, glimpses of the composition of the original microbial flora (e.g. colonic flora) can be caught in ancient human remains. Potentials and pitfalls of this research field are illustrated by the results of research works performed on prehistoric, pre-Columbian and Renaissance human mummies. (+info)
Plasmid-encoded AmpC beta-lactamases: how far have we gone 10 years after the discovery?
The dogma that ampC genes are located exclusively on the chromosome was dominant until about 10 years ago. Since 1989 over 15 different plasmid-encoded AmpC beta-lactamases have been reported from several countries. Most of these enzymes evolved in two clusters. The major cluster includes several enzymes with a high similarity to CMY-2, which is the closest related chromosomal AmpC enzyme of Citrobacter freundii. A second cluster centers around CMY-1. It is less homogeneous and not closely related chromosomal AmpC enzymes. Molecular diversification by amino acid substitutions does not usually translate into a change in the resistance phenotype. At this time, CMY-2 appears to be the most prevalent and widely distributed. Further global increase of prevalence and diversity of plasmidic AmpC beta-lactamases have to be anticipated in the next millenium. (+info)
Clinical Microbiology Reviews: genesis of a journal.
In 1986 planning for a new ASM review journal, Clinical Microbiology Reviews (CMR), began. CMR would publish articles primarily of interest to persons concerned with pathogenesis, laboratory diagnosis, epidemiology, and control of human and veterinary pathogens. The first issue was published in January 1988, with quarterly publication since then. The journal quickly became successful in terms of subscribers and impact on the field, earning a strong national and international reputation. The achievements of CMR are owed to many persons, including the editorial board, the production team, and especially the contributing authors. (+info)
Diffusion through agar blocks of finite dimensions: a theoretical analysis of three systems of practical significance in microbiology.
A number of experimental methods in biology depend on the kinetics of diffusion of a substance through a gel. This paper reviews the diffusion equations, gives the experimental limitations for some useful cases, and presents computer simulations for cases that cannot be treated analytically. While double diffusion is not considered, three single-diffusion situations are treated. (1) Systems for the study of chemotaxis in the gliding bacterium Myxococcus xanthus. Experimental designs used for this in many cases in the literature were inappropriate and mathematical analysis of these is presented. (2) The development of gradient plates. The time necessary for vertical diffusion to become substantially complete and before diffusion in the direction of the original slant has proceeded significantly is calculated. (3) The application to antimicrobial disk susceptibility tests. The basis of the measurement of antibiotic sensitivities with disks containing antimicrobial agents, as routinely used in clinical microbiological and testing laboratories, is analysed and the limitations are assessed and improvements suggested. (+info)
Use of bar code readers and programmable keypads to improve the speed and accuracy of manual data entry in the clinical microbiology laboratory: experience of two laboratories.
AIM: To assess the effect of the use of bar code readers and programmable keypads for entry of specimen details and results in two microbiology laboratories. METHODS: The solutions selected in each laboratory are described. The benefits resulting from the implementation were measured in two ways. The speed of data entry and error reduction were measured by observation. A questionnaire was completed by users of bar codes. RESULTS: There were savings in time and in reduced data entry errors. Average time to enter a report by keyboard was 21.1 s v 14.1 s for bar coded results entry. There were no observed errors with the bar code readers but 55 errors with keystroke entries. The laboratory staff of all grades found the system fast, easy to use, and less stressful than conventional keyboard entry. CONCLUSIONS: Indirect time savings should accrue from the observed reduction in incorrectly entered data. Any microbiology laboratory seeking to improve the accuracy and efficiency of data entry into their laboratory information systems should consider the adoption of this technology which can be readily interfaced to existing terminals. (+info)
A bit of history.
Reviews of scientific literature began to appear in the 17th century. Journals dedicated to them soon followed, leading eventually to this one, which emerged in the 1930s as Bacteriological Reviews; it adapted to the many changes in our fluid discipline, evolving into the present, much broader Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews. (+info)
A paean to Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews.
This article celebrates the accomplishments of Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews from its early days to the present time. The importance of this journal in the professional lives of microbiologists is emphasized, and examples of outstanding reviews are presented. (+info)