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  Table of Contents  
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 32  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 213-215


Department of Microbiology, Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Center, Raisen Bypass Road, Karnod, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh

Date of Submission01-Mar-2014
Date of Acceptance01-Mar-2014
Date of Web Publication2-Apr-2014

Correspondence Address:
Prabha Desikan
Department of Microbiology, Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Center, Raisen Bypass Road, Karnod, Bhopal, 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. Snippets. Indian J Med Microbiol 2014;32:213-5

How to cite this URL:
Desikan P. Snippets. Indian J Med Microbiol [serial online] 2014 [cited 2020 Aug 5];32:213-5. Available from:

Antibiotic use is widespread and under reported. China has a high rate of antibiotic use for inpatients and outpatients. On average, each Chinese person consumes 138 g of antibiotics a year-10 times that consumed in the United States. About 75% of patients with seasonal influenza are estimated to be prescribed antibiotics, and the rate of antibiotic prescription for inpatients is 80%.The World Health Organization recommends a maximum of 30% (BMJ 2014;348:g1083

The evolution of antibiotic resistance in microbes poses one of the greatest challenges to the management of human health. One population model for rational antibiotic usage found tradeoffs from multiple resistance patterns. It was found that, because of tradeoffs, bacterial resistance does not evolve directionally and the system reaches an equilibrium state. When considering the equilibrium frequency of uninfected patients, both cycling and mixing were found to improve upon single-drug treatment strategies. Mixing was found to outperform optimal cycling regimens. Cocktails further improved upon aforementioned strategies. Moreover, conditions that increased the population frequency of uninfected patients were also found to increase the recovery rate of infected individual patients. Thus, it was found that a rational strategy did not necessarily result in a tragedy of the commons because benefits to the individual patient and general public were not in conflict. The study identified cocktails as the best strategy when tradeoffs between multiple-resistance are operating. Cocktails or other multiple-drug treatments are additionally attractive because they allow re-using antibiotics whose utility has been negated by the evolution of single resistance. (PLoS One. 2014 Jan 31;9(1):e86971. doi: 10.1371/journal pone.0086971. eCollection 2014).

A study carried out to estimate tuberculosis (TB) rates among young children in the United States by children's and parents' birth origins found that young children who are US born of foreign-born parents have relatively high rates of TB and account for most cases in this age group. (Pediatrics 2014 Feb 10. [Epub ahead of print]) This finding might have implications for TB control in our country because it prompted an accompanying editorial to call for the UnitedStates (US) to help reduce TB infections in poorer countries. The editorial statesthat the US cannot eradicate TB domestically until better TB control is attained inhigh-prevalence nations, especially those from which the United Statesreceives many immigrants and visitors.The editorial argues that not enough attention is being paid to TBin the United States because of the mistaken perception that thedisease is under control there. There is a call for a campaign toeradicate TB by fully funding programs outlined in the Roadmap for Childhood Tuberculosis, a plan developed by the World HealthOrganization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, andother US and international organizations.

Currently, there is little evidence for a notable role of the vertebrate microRNA (miRNA) system in the pathogenesis of RNA viruses. This is primarily attributed to the ease with which these viruses mutate to disrupt recognition and growth suppression by host miRNAs. However, a study (Nature 2014;506:245-248 (13 February 2014) doi:10.1038/nature12869) reports that the haematopoietic-cell-specific miRNA miR-142-3p potently restricts the replication of the mosquito-borne North American eastern equine encephalitis virus in myeloid-lineage cells by binding to sites in the 3′ non-translated region of its RNA genome. However, by limiting myeloid cell tropism and consequent innate immunity induction, this restriction directly promotes neurologic disease manifestations characteristic of eastern equine encephalitis virus infection in humans. Furthermore, the region containing the miR-142-3p binding sites is essential for efficient virus infection of mosquito vectors. The researchers propose that RNA viruses can adapt to use antiviral properties of vertebrate miRNAs to limit replication in particular cell types and that this restriction can lead to exacerbation of disease severity.

A family from San Diego (USA) is suing a pet specialty retailer after the death of their 10-year-old son from a bacterial infection they say he contracted from his pet rat.

 The San Diego County medical examiner's office ruled that the cause of death was _Streptobacillusmoniliformis_ infection, commonly known as rat bite fever, after exposure to an infected rat. (

 Rat bite fever is a rare infection and can sometimes result in complications. A case report describes native mitral valve endocarditis in a 44-year-old male patient caused by Streptobacillusmoniliformis. The diagnosis was confirmed by transesophageal echocardiography and blood cultures. The patient was treated with IV crystalline penicillin and gentamicin (2 weeks). The fundamental importance of a high index of suspicion, interpretation of investigations and appropriateness of therapy are highlighted in the report. (Indian Heart J. 2013 Jul-Aug;65(4):442-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ihj.2013.06.019. Epub 2013 Jul 23)

The life cycles of many parasites involve transitions between disparate host species, requiring these parasites to go through multiple developmental stages adapted to each of these specialized niches. Transmission of malaria parasites (Plasmodium spp.) from humans to the mosquito vector requires differentiation from asexual stages replicating within red blood cells into non-dividing male and female gametocytes. Although gametocytes were first described in 1880, our understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in commitment to gametocyte formation is extremely limited, and disrupting this critical developmental transition remains a long-standing goal. In an attempt to reach this goal, a study demonstrated that PfAP2-G function is essential for parasite sexual differentiation. By combining genome-wide PfAP2-G cognate motif occurrence with global transcriptional changes resulting from PfAP2-G ablation, they identified early gametocyte genes as probable targets of PfAP2-G and showed that their regulation by PfAP2-G is critical for their wild-type level expression. In the asexual blood-stage parasites pfap2-g appeared to be among a set of epigenetically silenced lociprone to spontaneous activation. Stochastic activation presented a simple mechanism for a low baseline of gametocyte production. Overall, these findings identified PfAP2-G as a master regulator of sexual-stage development in malaria parasites and marked the first discovery of a transcriptional switch controlling a differentiation decision in protozoan parasites (Nature 2014. doi:10.1038/nature12920

Sweden's Public Health Agency has declared an outbreak of listeriosis during the final 3 months of 2013, with 41 cases, compared to 25 for the same period in the previous year. While previous Listeria outbreaks have largely been linked to smoked or pickled salmon, investigators suspect cold cuts in the latest outbreak ( A study investigated the inhibitory effect of chlorine (50, 100, and 200 mg/kg) with and without UV radiation (300 mW·s/cm (2)) for the growth of Listeria monocytogenes in chicken breast meat. Using a polynomial model, predictive growth models were also developed as a function of chlorine concentration, UV exposure, and storage temperature (4, 10, and 15°C). The combination of chlorine at 100 mg/kg and UV at 300 mW·s/cm (2) was found to be an effective method to inhibit L. monocytogenes growth in broiler carcasses with no negative effects on color and textural quality. Based on the validation results, the predictive models could be used to accurately predict L.monocytogenes growth in chicken breast. (Poult Sci 2014 Jan;93(1):200-7. doi: 10.3382/ps.2013-03394

The dramatic jump in sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in North Dakota (USA), has state health officials trying to reverse the trend by raising awareness among not only residents but also doctors. The number of confirmed syphilis cases in North Dakota jumped from 15 in 2012 to 24 last year {2013} - a 60% percent rise. The number of gonorrhea cases climbed from 340 to 471 in the same time period - an increase of 39%. Health officials do not know whether the increases are due to more people being tested or to more people being infected (

A total of 122 strains of Neisseria gonorrhoeae isolated in the Tokyo metropolitan area in 2005-2011 were collected and analyzed by N. gonorrhoeaemultiantigen sequence typing (NG-MAST) and for their susceptibility to azithromycin and ceftriaxone. All 122 strains were susceptible to ceftriaxone, but 8 strains were azithromycin-resistant, defined as an azithromycin MIC ≥ 1 μg/ml. The 8 azithromycin-resistant strains were in 6 NG-MAST types, 3 strains in NG-MAST type 1407 and each of the other 5 strains in a different NG-MAST type. NG-MAST type 1407 strains are multidrug-resistant and are disseminated worldwide. (J Infect Chemother. 2014 Feb 24. pii: S1341-321X(14)00079-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jiac.2014.01.007. [Epub ahead of print])

Puckering up to a bearded dragon (a reptile that is sometimes kept as a pet) can damage your health. The National Health Service, Forth Valley, Scotland, has warned pet owners to avoid kissing bearded dragons, as most reptiles carry Salmonella in their gut without showing any signs of infection. These bacteria are then shed in droppings, which can quickly spread over the skin of pet lizards and other reptiles. As a result, any surface or object that the animal comes into contact with can be contaminated, such as toys, clothes, furniture, and household surfaces ( In French Guiana, a French overseas territory located in the South American northern coast, nearly 50% of Salmonella serotypes isolated from human infections belong to serotypes rarely encountered in metropolitan France. A reptilian source of contamination has been investigated. Between April and June 2011, in the area around Cayenne, 151 reptiles were collected: 38 lizards, 37 snakes, 32 turtles, 23 green iguanas and 21 caimans. Cloacal swab samples were collected and cultured. Isolated Salmonella strains were identified biochemically and serotyped. The overall carriage frequency of carriage was 23.2% (95% confidence interval: 16.7-30.4) with 23 serotyped strains. The frequency of Salmonella carriage was significantly higher for wild reptiles. Nearly two-thirds of the Salmonella serotypes isolated from reptiles were also isolated from patients in French Guiana. The study highlights the risk associated with the handling and consumption of reptiles and their role in the spread of Salmonella in the environment. (Vet Microbiol. 2014 Feb 3. pii: S0378-1135(14)00059-5. doi: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2014.01.024. [Epub ahead of print])

A study group reported the sequencing and assembly of the N. americanus genome (244 Mb, 19,151 genes). Characterization of this first hookworm genome sequence identified genes orchestrating the hookworm's invasion of the human host, genes involved in blood feeding and development, and genes encoding proteins that represent new potential drug targets against hookworms. The group also used a protein microarray to demonstrate a postgenomic application of the hookworm genome sequence. This genome provides an invaluable resource to boost ongoing efforts toward fundamental and applied postgenomic research, including the development of new methods to control hookworm diseases. (Nature Genetics 2014;46:261-269 doi:10.1038/ng.2875).

The practice of research is full of ethical challenges, many of which might be addressed through the teaching of responsible conduct of research (RCR). Although such training is increasingly required, there is no clear consensus about either the goals or content of an RCR curriculum. A survey, developed through advice from content matter experts, focus groups, and interviews, was distributed in November 2010 to U.S. faculty from 50 graduate programs for each of four different disciplines: microbiology, neuroscience, nursing, and psychology. The survey addressed practices and perceived standards, as well as perceptions about teaching and learning. Over 1,300 responses (response rate of 21 %) yielded statistically significant differences in responses to nearly all questions. However the magnitude of these differences was typically small, leaving little reason to argue for community consensus on standards. For nearly all questions asked, the clear finding was that there was nothing approaching consensus. These results may be useful not so much to teach what the standards are, but to increase student awareness of the diversity of those standards in reported practice (SciEngEthics. 2013 Dec 13. [Epub ahead of print])


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