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a culture of service…

December, 2011

© 2011, Hardy Diagnostics,

all rights reserved

Update on Drug Resistance…

Seminar with Schreckenberger

Dr. Schreck

Join us in warm and sunny Palm Springs for a full day seminar on antimicrobial resistance, ESBLs, KPCs, SMEs, and NDM-1; taught by Paul Schreckenberger, PhD from Loyola University Medical Center.

Palm Springs

See Details….



Time for some
“Cranial Aerobics”…

Click here for a workout

Micro Tips…

Which tubes should be incubated with tight caps?


When incubating tubes for anaerobes (e.g., Thioglycollate or Cooked Meat), always tighten the caps. Also, caps onStrep B Carrot Broth™ should be tightened to produce maximum color development by Group B Streptococci. Caps are also tightened onTransgrow bottles, which contain a CO2 enriched atmosphere.

All other tubes and bottles should be incubated with slightly loose caps. Fungi especially need an exchange of air for optimal growth. Biochemical reactions, such as with TSI, KIA, and LIA slants, also require an exchange of air in order to produce a pH shift resulting in proper color development.

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The Booby Prize

Booby bird

The origin of the word “Booby” dates back to the Spanish word “bobo”, which means dunce or fool.  In English, the word has been used to mean idiot or nincompoop since at least the late 16th century and that’s the ‘booby’ of ‘booby prize’ and ‘booby trap‘.

Sailors from the 17th century named the blue footed bird, shown above, the “booby bird,” because they seemingly did not have sense enough to fly away when approached.

It was in America in the 1880s that the phrase “booby prize” was first used to name someone who scored the lowest in a contest.

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Can Strep Throat Cause Mental Disorders?

Strep Throat

New research is showing that obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD) may be caused by Group A Strep infections in children. This new condition is known as  PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcus).

It has been found that common strep throat infections may at times trigger an autoimmune response in which the child’s antibodies bind to brain cells and cause them to release excessive amounts of dopamine, which has been linked to OCD.

After a strep infection, children may become moody, irritable, or display motor or vocal tics.

Many cases of pediatric OCD can be resolved quickly by treating with penicillin.

“I’ve been working in psychiatry for 20 years and I’ve never seen psychotropic medications turn a child around as quickly as I’ve seen antibiotics turn a PANDAS child around,” says Tanya Murphy, director of the Rothman Center for Pediatric Neuropsychiatry at the University of South Florida.

Selective Beta Strep Agarprovides you with the most sensitive method for Step detection. Confirm all your isolates with theRapid PYR Test.

More information…

Think about it…

The Thinker

* Why does your doctor leave the room when you get undressed if they are going to look at you anyway?

* If quizzes are quizzical, what are tests?

* If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, then what is baby oil made from?

* Do illiterate people get the full effect of Alphabet Soup?

* Does pushing the elevator button more than once make it arrive faster?

* Why doesn’t glue stick to the inside of the bottle?

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HardyCHROM formulas…

Wisdom to ponder…


Stephen Hawking

English theoretical physicist and cosmologist. He was diagnosed with ALS in 1963, and is almost completely paralyzed. He communicates through a voice synthesizer activated by his cheek muscles.

“God not only plays dice, He also sometimes throws the dice where they cannot be seen.”

“If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as whenColumbuslanded in America, which didn’t turn out well for the Native Americans.”

“I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road.”

“I think computer viruses should count as life. I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We’ve created life in our own image.”

“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.”

“It is not clear that intelligence has any long-term survival value.”

“Most sets of values would give rise to universes that, although they might be very beautiful, would contain no one able to wonder at that beauty.”

“My goal is simple. It is a complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all.”

“Someone told me that each equation I included in the book would halve the sales.”

“The whole history of science has been the gradual realization that events do not happen in an arbitrary manner, but that they reflect a certain underlying order, which may or may not be divinely inspired.”

“There are grounds for cautious optimism that we may now be near the end of the search for the ultimate laws of nature.”

“To confine our attention to terrestrial matters would be to limit the human spirit.”

“Even if there is only one possible unified theory, it is just a set of rules and equations. What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe?”

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Did you know?
East Wing

Hardy Diagnostics…
  • Manufactures over3,000 productsfor microbiology for you to choose from.
  • Maintains seven distribution centers in the U.S. for faster turn around time to your lab.
  • IsISO 13485certified for the manufacture of medical devices to give you confidence in our products.
  • Offers you its technical manual,HUGO, which contains over 4,500 pages of information regarding microbiology.
  • Maintains a worldwide network of over 30distributors.

Send amessage to the president.

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Micro Musings..

Cartoon Dec 2011

Resistance of gram negatives…

Photo by Nathan Reading


Extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) enzymes are plasmid-mediated enzymes capable of hydrolyzing and inactivating a wide variety of ß-Lactams, including broad-spectrum cephalosporins, penicillins, and aztreonam.

The first ESBL isolates were discovered in Western Europe in the mid-1980s and, subsequently, in the U.S. in the late 1980s.

These resistant organisms, alongside other multi-drug resistant organisms (AmpCs, KPCs), have been a worldwide problem and can be found in a variety of Enterobacteriaceae species. However, the majority of ESBL-producing strains areK. pneumoniae,K. oxytoca,andE. coli. Other organisms reported to harbor ESBLs includeEnterobacterspp.,Salmonella enterica,M. morganii,Proteus mirabilis,S. marcescens, andP. aeruginosa; however, the frequency of ESBL production in these organisms is low.

Since ESBL plasmid-coded enzymes are extra-chromosomal material, they are easily transferable among different bacteria. In addition, most plasmids containing ESBLs also tend to carry genes conferring resistance to several other non-ß-Lactam antibiotics; thus enhancing the proliferation of resistant species and increasing the likelihood of multi-drug resistant isolates carrying multiple resistance genes. Such organisms have the potential to co-produce ESBL, KPC, and AmpC enzymes, confer resistance to several non-ß-Lactam antibiotics, and also harbor other non-enzyme related kinds of resistance mechanisms such as efflux pumps and porin mutations.

According to Lehey Clinic’s ESBL cataloging website, there have been 142 SHV, 196 TEM, and 18 OXA types of ESBL gene mechanisms reported as of December 2011. Another type of ESBL, CTX-M, commonly described in other parts of the world has also been reported in the U.S. in the past few years.

The complexity of these linked mechanisms poses the problem of few effective therapeutic options and is also a great challenge for laboratory detection, especially when multiple mechanisms are involved. Of all available ß-Lactams, carbapenems are the most effective and reliable antimicrobial agents against ESBL isolates.


However, overuse of carbapenems may lead to resistance of other gram-negative organisms and may promote selection of gram-positive organisms such as vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE). Therefore, accurate laboratory detection, in addition to restricting the use of broad spectrum antimicrobials and implementation of infection control measures, are the most effective means of controlling and decreasing the spread of ESBL and other multi-resistant organisms.

HardyCHROM ESBLprovides an effective method to quickly screen for the presence of ESBLs by colony color.

ESBL Klebsiella

Below are the antibiotic disks recommended by the CDC for ESBL confirmation by disk diffusion testing onMueller Hinton Agar.

Disk diffusion testing forK. pneumoniae,K. oxytoca, andE. coli:*
Cefpodoxime≤ 17 mm
Ceftazidime≤ 22 mm
Aztreonam≤ 27 mm
Cefotaxime≤ 27 mm
Ceftriaxone≤ 25 mm

Disk Diffusion forProteus mirabilis*:
Cefpodoxime<22 mm
Ceftazidime<22 mm
Cefotaxime<27 mm

*From CLSI Document M100, Table 2A-S1More informationfrom the CDC.

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Lyophilized Microorganisms
MBL Organisms

Time to stock up for the new year? Hardy Diagnostics offers a complete line of lyophilized microorganisms. They are available in a traditional vial or in a swab format (Kwik Stiks). These organisms are available for qualitative or quantitative testing. As an authorized dealer for Microbiologics, you can trust Hardy Diagnostics to offer only the best.

Please send me the complete catalog.

I have a question about stock microorganisms.

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The Debt Watch…

How much do you

owe your state?

State governments vary widely in the amount of money that they borrow to keep their coffers well funded.Find outthe amount of your share of your state’s debt. Hint: If you are a Nebraskan, you can breath a sigh of relief. From Connecticut? You’re in big trouble! See how well your state legislators are minding your tax dollars.Click here.


“The consequences arising

from the continual accumulation

of public debts in other countries

ought to admonish us

to be careful to prevent their

growth in our own.”

J. Adams


Second president of the United States

Camel Ad

Devoted to Your Health

This vintage ad for Camels states that bacteriologists and biochemists are doctors too; and  “like all doctors, they are tirelessly devoting their lives to the cause of human health and happiness.”

Take the MicroBytes survey…

climate change

Do you believe that
man-made global climate change
is a serious problem


There have been much debate and controversy regarding the increase in CO2 levels due to emissions fromfossil fuelcombustion,ozone depletion, animal agriculture, anddeforestation. Is this something we should be concerned about to the point of taking action?

Check out the survey results…

Do you agree that incandescent bulbs
should be outlawed?

Light bulbs

Four years ago, the federal government enacted theEnergy Independence and Security Act of 2007. As a result, starting in January of 2012, inefficient incandescent light bulbs will be phased out, by making their manufacture and importation illegal.

One problem is that the now favored Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL) contain toxic mercury vapor that is released if the bulb is broken. Some states, cities and counties have outlawed putting CFL bulbs in the trash. Now what?


Rubes December 2011

Find more

of Leigh Rubin’s cartoon humor.

Advice from the Founders…


“Those who stand for nothing
will fall for anything.”

There is a certain enthusiasm in liberty,

that makes human nature rise above itself,

in acts of bravery and heroism.”

Alexander Hamilton

1755 ~ 1804

America’s first Secretary of the Treasury

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Seeing is Bel

Optical Ill Dec 2011

How many deer do you see?


“Believe half of what you see
and none of what you hear.”

~ Marvin Gaye

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