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  Table of Contents  
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 30  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 376-377

Research snippets

Department of Microbiology, Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre, Raisen Bypass Road, Karond, Bhopal - 462 038, Madhya Pradesh, India

Date of Submission16-Jul-2012
Date of Acceptance16-Jul-2012
Date of Web Publication8-Aug-2012

Correspondence Address:
P Desikan
Department of Microbiology, Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre, Raisen Bypass Road, Karond, Bhopal - 462 038, Madhya Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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How to cite this article:
Desikan P. Research snippets. Indian J Med Microbiol 2012;30:376-7

How to cite this URL:
Desikan P. Research snippets. Indian J Med Microbiol [serial online] 2012 [cited 2020 May 28];30:376-7. Available from:

An outbreak of cholera in Cuba, with 100 confirmed cholera cases, has led Cuban public health officials to advise residents of the worst-hit area, the southeastern province of Granma, to avoid traveling (<>). An examination of the strains of V. cholera strains in an earlier epidemic in Haiti found both V. cholerae O1 and non-O1/O139 isolates in clinical samples collected from 18 towns across eight Arrondissements of Haiti. The results showed that two distinct populations of V. cholerae coexisted in Haiti early in the epidemic. As non-O1/O139 V. cholerae was the sole pathogen isolated from 21% of the clinical specimens, its role in this epidemic, either alone or in concert with V. cholerae O1, could not be ruled out (Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Jun 18. [Epub ahead of print].

It is essential to diagnose cholera at the earliest for timely mobilization of public health responses and to abort outbreaks. With this in mind, the usefulness of the Crystal VC rapid dipstick kit was assessed for its ability to detect the aetiologic agent of a probable outbreak of cholera. It was found that the kit had the potential to identify cholera cases in 10 min in field conditions from stool samples. The study concluded that the kit could be considered as a cholera detecting tool in outbreak investigations. However, it was felt that specimens from clinically typical cholera cases, if negative by the dipstick test, ought to be reanalyzed by culture based methods (Indian J Med Res. 2012 Apr;135(4):523-8).

Although incomplete, the molecular typing of Bacillus anthracis_ DNA from the third German case of anthrax in an injecting drug user

(IDU) in Berlin suggests that it could be genetically similar to the first two cases in the Regensburg region and to the 2009/2010 outbreak strain from the United Kingdom and Germany. The case had presented on 17th June, 2012, at a Berlin hospital with severe soft tissue infection at a heroin injection site. The infection with B. anthracis_ was confirmed by real-time PCR on a specimen from a necrotic ulcer and by positive serology for specific anthrax toxin antibodies performed at the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). Additional information in German is published on the website of the Robert Koch Institute at <

It has been recorded that one of the possible causes that eventually escalated into the 1857 manslaughter at Mountain Meadows in Southern Utah was the poisoning of an open spring by the Fancher-Baker party as they crossed the Utah territory on their way from Arkansas to California. Historical accounts report that a number of cattle died, followed by human casualties from those that came in contact with the dead animals. Even after the Arkansas party departed, animals continued to perish and people were still afflicted by some unknown plague. Proctor Hancock Robison, a local 14-year-old boy, died shortly after skinning one of the "poisoned" cows. A careful review of the historical records, along with the more recent scientific literature, seems to exclude the likelihood of actual poisoning in favor of a more recent theory that would point to the bacterium  Bacillus anthracis Scientific Name Search as the possible cause of human and animal deaths. In order to test this hypothesis, Proctor's remains were exhumed, identified through mitochondrial DNA analysis, and tested for the presence of anthrax spores. Although preliminary testing of remains and soil was negative, the description of the clinical conditions that affected Proctor and other individuals does not completely rule out the hypothesis of death by anthrax (Int J Legal Med. 2012 Mar 7. [Epub ahead of print]).

The number of people infected by E. coli O157 in Germantown, USA, has risen to 55, according to Public Health-Dayton and Montgomery County officials. The health department is investigating the outbreak, which appears to have stemmed from a customer appreciation picnic on 3rd July, 2012, at Neff's Lawn Care. A spokesman for the health department stated that 19 additional cases were identified on Wed 11 Jul 2012, with 10 hospitalizations since the event ( > ). Escherichia More Details coli has raised a lot of safety concerns in recent years. Five major intestinal pathogenic groups have been recognized amongst which the verocytotoxin or shiga-toxin (stx1 and/or stx2) producing E. coli (VTEC or STEC respectively) have received a lot of attention . The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has requested the monitoring of the "top-five" serogroups (O26, O103, O111, O145 and O157) most often encountered in food borne diseases and addressed the need for validated VTEC detection methods. In this context, there is a report of the development of a set of intercalating dye Real-time PCR methods capable of rapidly detecting the presence of the toxin genes together with intimin (eae) in the case of VTEC, or aggregative protein (aggR), in the case of the O104:H4 strain responsible for the outbreak in Germany in 2011. These Real-time PCR methods could facilitate the detection of VTEC in a new. highly efficient way and could represent the basis for developing a simple pathogenic E. coli platform (PLoS One. 2012;7(6):e39287. Epub 2012 Jun 25).

A novel phenotype was recently identified whereby specific strains of Escherichia coli inhibit competing E. coli via a mechanism that was designated "proximity-dependent inhibition" (PDI). PDI-expressing E. coli (PDI(+)) is known to inhibit susceptible E. coli strains (PDI(-)), including several enterohemorrhagic (EHEC) and enterotoxigenic (ETEC) strains. In this study, every strain from a genetically diverse panel of E. coli O157:H7 (n=25) and additional strains of E. coli serovar O26 were susceptible to the PDI phenotype. The ability to inhibit diverse E. coli strains indicates that microcin may influence gut community composition and could be useful for control of important enteric pathogens (Appl Environ Microbiol. 2012 Jul 6. [Epub ahead of print]).

The number of students who fell ill with  Salmonellosis More Details at a Chiang Mai school in Thailand is estimated at 460. Health authorities said that the students fell ill after eating 3-day-old boiled eggs contaminated with with  Salmonella More Detailse. They stated that Chiang Mai Welfare School students became sick after eating donated eggs that were boiled 3 days previously and not reheated before they were consumed ( < > ).Systemic infections caused by Salmonella enterica are an important public health problem. Thus, a rapid blood-culture based bacterial species diagnosis including an immediate sub-differentiation of the various serovars is necessaryy. A MALDI-TOF based intact cell mass spectrometry (ICMS) advances was tested for the potential of this technology to discriminate S. enterica subsp. enterica serovar Typhi (S. Typhi) from other serovars. It was found that ICMS was able to identify the isolates and may facilitate the rapid discrimination of the clinically and epidemiologically important serovar S. Typhi and other non-S. Typhi serovars (PLoS One. 2012;7(6):e40004. Epub 2012 Jun 29.).

In order to investigate the perceptions and needs of public health inspectors (PHIs) in the province of Ontario, Canada, with regard to food safety issues and information resources, a cross-sectional online survey of 239 Ontario PHIs was conducted between April and June 2009. Questions pertained to their perceptions of key food safety issues and foodborne pathogens, knowledge confidence, available resources, and resource needs. All respondents rated time-temperature abuse, inadequate hand washing, and cross contamination as important food safety issues. Salmonella, Campylobacter, and E. coli O157:H7 were pathogens reported to be of concern to 95% of respondents (221/233). Most respondents indicated that they were confident in their knowledge of food safety issues and foodborne pathogens, but wanted a central, online resource for food safety information and ongoing food safety education training for PHIs (J Environ Health. 2012 Jun;74(10):22-9).

Under the current International Health Regulations, 194 state parties are obligated to report potential public health emergencies of international concern to the World Health Organization (WHO) within 72 hours of becoming aware of an event. Between July 2007-December 2011, WHO assessed and posted on a secure web portal, 222 events from 105 state parties, including 24 events from the United States. Twelve US events involved human influenza caused by a new virus subtype, including the first report of influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus, which constitutes the only public health emergency of international concern determined by the WHO director-general to date. Additional US events involved five Salmonella spp. outbreaks, botulism, Escherichia coli O157:H7 infections, Guillain-Barré syndrome, contaminated heparin, Lassa fever, an oil spill, and typhoid fever. Such rapid information exchange among WHO and member states facilitated by the International Health Regulations would lead to better situation awareness of emerging threats and enable a more coordinated and transparent global response (Emerg Infect Dis. 2012 Jul;18(7):1047-53).

Infection with Leishmania donovani leads to immunosuppression in a susceptible host. A study tested the anti-leishmanial efficacy of a combination of a novel immunomodulator, Mycobacterium indicus pranii (Mw), and an anti-leishmanial drug, Amphotericin B (AmpB). It was found that Mw alone or with a suboptimal dose of AmpB offers significant protection against L. donovani infection by activating macrophages (PLoS One. 2012;7(7):e40265. Epub 2012 Jul 5). Pitting one micro-organism against another might just about be an effective strategy for antimicrobial therapy in this age of multidrug resistance!


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