BD New Automated ID/AST System Against Antimicrobial Resistance

BD announced the launch of its next generation diagnostic instrument for the rapid identification of bacteria and detection of antimicrobial resistance.

The global health care community is facing unprecedented challenges with the spread of multidrug resistant organisms, and today’s clinical microbiology laboratories are under increasing pressure to provide fast and accurate bacterial identification and antimicrobial susceptibility testing  (ID/AST) results to influence clinical decision and outcomes.

The new BD Phoenix™ M50 ID/AST system helps deliver the same rapid, accurate and cost-effective testing as the legacy BD Phoenix™ 100, within a smaller footprint. The system is highly reliable and requires no preventative maintenance, thanks to innovative materials and engineering techniques employed during its development.  In addition to being robust, the system offers multiple languages, facilitating even broader adoption in laboratories around the world.

The new system benefits from the demonstrated performance of the legacy BD Phoenix 100 system for detecting current and emerging resistances as well as the extended testing capabilities provided by BD Phoenix™ Emerge AST panel with 136 wells.

The BD Phoenix M50 system also offers integration with multiple other analyzers, including the BD BACTEC™ and BD Bruker™ MALDI Biotyper systems, through BD EpiCenter™ middleware connectivity that enables data traceability and security, paperless workflow and flexible communication capabilities to deliver the efficiencies expected by laboratories of all sizes.  The BD Phoenix M50 system joins the overall BD diagnostics portfolio to help drive the transformation of microbiology.

A press release is available from BD website.

Researchers develop new weapon for hard-to-treat bacterial infections

Health workers may soon have a new weapon in the fight against abscesses—difficult-to-treat bacterial infections that lead to millions of emergency-room visits every year.

Researchers at the University of British Columbia successfully prevented drug-resistant bacteria from forming abscesses, or painful pus-filled lesions, using a peptide, or mini-protein. The peptide worked by disrupting the bacteria’s stress response.

Abscesses are bacterial-induced lesions that are responsible for 3.2 million emergency room visits every year in the United States. Because antibiotics seldom work on them, standard treatment for abscesses involves cutting out the infected tissue or draining it.

Full story is available from UBC wesite.

Major study evaluates use of antibiotics against diarrhea

Scientists at the University of Washington and Kenya Medical Research Institute are working to discern whether antibiotics could help prevent thousands of child deaths from diarrheal disease.

A four-year, $2.5 million grant from the World Health Organization is supporting UW’s role in the largest clinical trial to date examining diarrhea-management. It aims to determine potential benefits of antibiotics as well as potential harms, such as antibiotic resistance.

Diarrhea remains a leading cause of death in children, mostly affecting children under 2 years in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. More than a half-million children under 5 died from diarrheal disease in 2013, according the UW Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

“That children continue to die from diarrhea is unacceptable,” said Patty Pavlinac, UW acting assistant professor of global health and one of the lead researchers. Although interventions have greatly reduced diarrhea deaths attributed to dehydration, “young children with bacterial causes of diarrhea experience other severe consequences, including malnutrition, gastrointestinal dysfunction, and death, which are unaddressed with existing interventions,” she said.

The researchers hope to build on earlier findings that three of the four leading infectious causes of diarrhea may be treatable with antimicrobial agents. Specifically, a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial will determine the ability of two antibiotics to reduce risk of death in children under 2 with diarrhea and dehydration or malnutrition.

Some 15,000 children will be enrolled at study sites in Kenya, Mali, Malawi, Tanzania, Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan. Each child will be randomly assigned to a three-day course of azithromycin, ciprofloxacin or a placebo. Patients will be followed for 90 days to assess risk of death or chronic malnutrition.

A subset of children will be followed for an additional three months, along with another child in their household, to monitor for development of antimicrobial resistance and to evaluate potential impact on their intestinal health.

The study’s ambitious scope is designed to provide clear evidence for or against using antibiotics to treat diarrhea, in order to inform an update of WHO guidelines created more than 20 years ago. The current guidelines do not recommend antibiotics unless blood is present in the stool, an indicator for bacterial infection that misses a large number of treatable diarrhea cases.

Many experts have questioned why the guidelines do not recommend antibiotics as a common practice for treating high-risk children with diarrhea, especially when they are readily prescribed to healthy American travelers who have little to no risk of death from diarrhea.

Investigators from the University of Washington Center for Women, Children and Adolescent Health and Kenya Medical Research Institute will lead the Kenya field site of this multicountry trial under leadership of the WHO Maternal, Newborn, Child, & Adolescent Health Research and Development Team. Researchers also include Judd Walson, Benson Singa and Christine McGrath.

Full story can be found from University of Washington website.

Official vaccine investigation begins in China

A large quantity of improperly stored or expired vaccines have allegedly been sold across the country since 2011. Twenty-nine pharmaceutical companies have been implicated in sales, and 16 institutions in purchases. More than 130 people have been questioned and 69 criminal cases have been filed.


A cross-departmental team will investigate the recent case of improper vaccines trading. The group, established by the State Council, will be led by Bi Jingquan, head of the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA). Senior officials from the National Health and Family Planning Commission, the Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Supervision and the CFDA are deputy heads.

Officials from the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, Cyberspace Administration of China and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate are also in the team.

The State Council has also formed a supervision team to oversee the Investigation.