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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 200--201


P Desikan 
 Department of Microbiology, Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre, Raisen Bypass Road, Karond, Bhopal - 462 036, India

Correspondence Address:
P Desikan
Department of Microbiology, Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre, Raisen Bypass Road, Karond, Bhopal - 462 036

How to cite this article:
Desikan P. Snippets.Indian J Med Microbiol 2011;29:200-201

How to cite this URL:
Desikan P. Snippets. Indian J Med Microbiol [serial online] 2011 [cited 2020 Aug 8 ];29:200-201
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The 2G scam notwithstanding, dirty money in India has other connotations as well; a study on the isolated strains of Aspergillus niger, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella spp., Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Citrobacter spp., Pseudomonas spp., Acinetobacter spp., Enterobacter agglomerans, Micrococcus spp., Streptococcus spp. and Bacillus spp. from currency notes and coins. Available from: ( ). An average of 98% contamination of currency was demonstrated. Perhaps the Reserve Bank of India ought to consider cleaning up of currency in more ways than one.

Encephalitis has various etiologies, but usually similar symptoms. In March this year, a 47-year-old man from South Australia was reported admitted to hospital with Murray Valley encephalitis virus (MVEV) infection, the state's first case in more than 35 years. Available from: ( ). MVEV is a mosquito-borne Flavivirus which is closely related to Japanese encephalitis virus, West Nile virus and St. Louis encephalitis virus. MVE can cause confusion, headaches, drowsiness, neck stiffness, tremors, seizures and even death. Rainfall is a major environmental factor influencing MVEV activity. Utilizing data on rainfall and seroconversions, statistical relationships between MVEV occurrence and rainfall can be determined. (Int J Health Geogr 2011;10:8).

Thirty workers of a cleaning company in the Governorate of Al - Qassim, Saudi Arabia were diagnosed with cutaneous leishmaniasis Available from: ( ). A spokesperson for the company said the infected workers worked near farms and swamps. The disease is endemic in the area. A study examined 50 skin ulcers in Al Baha and Al Qassim provinces using a nested polymerase chain reaction. Leishmania major was detected in 25 samples and Leishmania tropica in 11 samples. (Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis 2011 Mar 21[Epub ahead of print]).

Reports of patients with measles in USA, UK, Australia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Available form: ( , ,, ) underscore the importance of vaccination in an essentially preventable disease. MMR vaccination rates fell precipitously in the UK following a report in 1998 linking MMR vaccination with autism in children. Some years later, following allegations of scientific misconduct, a 'Fitness to Practice' panel hearing for Dr Andrew Wakefield, who linked the MMR vaccine to autism (Lancet 1998;351 : 637-41), was carried out. On 28 January 2010, the General Medical Council (GMC) of UK ruled that Dr Wakefield had acted dishonestly and irresponsibly and had provided misleading data during the course of his study on the MMR vaccine ( ). On 2 February 2010, the Lancet retracted Wakefield's 1998 publication, noting that several elements of the manuscript were incorrect (Lancet, Early Online Publication, 2 February 2010). Hopefully, MMR vaccination rates will now increase.

Holidaying can be a risk factor for Legionnaires' disease. After using the leisure center at a 4-star hotel in Dundee, Scotland, a visitor contracted Legionnaires' disease. Other staff and visitors at the Landmark Dundee also experienced flu-like sickness. Available from: ( An evidence-based review of disinfection methods to control Legionella in hospital drinking water found that routine performance of surveillance cultures of drinking water and monitoring of disinfectant concentrations are necessary to ensure their efficacy (Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2011;32:166-73). Sounds remarkably like common sense!

The CDC is investigating a multistate outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections in the USA. As of 22 March 2011, 14 persons infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 have been reported. There have been no deaths. Available from: ( ). Collaborative investigative efforts of local, state, federal public health and regulatory agencies have associated this outbreak with eating Lebanon bologna. Lebanon bologna is a fermented, semi-dry sausage. This beef product has an appearance similar to salami. Recently, a multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) procedure based on fliC(h7) and rfbE genes has been developed for the detection of E. coli O157:H7 in raw pork meat and ready-to-eat (RTE) meat products (Meat Sci 2011 Mar 16 [Epub ahead of print]). An evaluation of the assay indicates it can detect E. coli O157:H7 in raw pork meat and RTE meat products in approximately 10 hours with good sensitivity and specificity.

In a curious case of canine criminal culpability, Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code has been clamped on dogs in Lunglei town, in Lunglei district in south Mizoram, for a period of two months. Available from: ( ). The step was taken to prevent spread of rabies since at least 10 persons had been reported bitten by dogs. The district administration, however, denied that shoot-at-sight orders had been issued. In Mizoram, dogs are raised as pets or reared for meat. Post-exposure prophylaxis remains the standard preventive practice against rabies. A study examining 45 persons immunized in 1975-1976 against rabies with the human diploid cell vaccine (HDCV) found persistence of rabies neutralizing antibody 32 years after they received post-exposure prophylaxis (Vaccine 2001 Mar 30 [Epub ahead of print]).

Bird flu may be out of the headlines for now, but it continues to make its presence felt. The Ministry of Health of Egypt has announced three new confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza A (H5N1) virus. Available from: ( ) in March this year. On home territory, fresh cases of bird flu have been detected in Tripura in poultry ( ). It is hoped that the outbreak will be contained following culling operations and intensified surveillance.

Having said that, there are other avian influenza viruses in the vicinity. A single human case of infection by low pathogenic avian influenza (H9N2) virus has been reported by the Institute of Epidemiology Disease Central and Research (IEDCR), in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on 26 March, 2011. Available from: ( ). The development of representative influenza A(H5N1) and A(H9N2) candidate viruses for influenza vaccines, which is coordinated by WHO, remains an essential component of the overall global strategy for pandemic preparedness. Available from: ( ).

Finally, the role of communication in pandemic control. A study on biosecurity and metacommunication in the context of the 2009 swine flu pandemic examined the ways in which swine flu was communicated, both globally and locally, during the pandemic (Health Place 2011 Mar 16 [Epub ahead of print]). Findings showed that the interaction between traditional and digital media as well as the interaction between warnings about swine flu and previous warnings about other epidemics contributed to a heightened discourse of blame and counter-blame, and, more surprisingly, self-blame and reflections about the role of the media in pandemic communication