Partnering with microbiologists to diagnose and prevent diseaseTM
Microbytes logo tm

Hardy Logo White

a culture of service…

February, 2013

© 2013, Hardy Diagnostics,

all rights reserved

Now available….

Parasite Suspensions

Hardy Diagnostics now offers a line of parasite suspensions in 1ml vials for your QC, parasitology training program, or for proficiency testing.

The following organisms, prepared by MBL, are now available:


spp now available in 1ml vial suspensions

# # # # #



How can I identify

Candida glabrata



HardyCHROM Candida


C. glabrata

will appear as pink or mauve colonies, often with darker centers.

candida glabrata

However, since other types of yeast may appear the same color, it is best to follow up with a trehalose test.



Rapid Trehalose Test

takes only about three hours to complete.


a catalog of all rapid methods.

*  *  *

Do you have a MicroTip or a case history to share with your fellow MicroBytes readers?

Click here.

Antimicrobial disks

HardyDisk AST

hardydisk ast

Hardy offers a complete line of antimicrobial disks for susceptibility testing (Kirby-Bauer).  HardyDisks are compatible with all the BBL disk dispensers and are packaged in cartridges of 50


New feature:


The last disk of the cartridge has a black mark on it to alert you that it is the last disk and it is time to insert a new cartridge!


our susceptibility mini-catalog.


a paper copy.

Recent report

of defective disks that were recalled from the market.

# # # # #



Get ready to

strain your brain!


if you dare…



No – this is not an acronym for “Gentlemen Only, Ladies Forbidden” as some internet postings would like you to believe.

Tiger Woods

Golf, as we know it today, was invented in Scotland in 1552 at the famous St. Andrews course.

The medieval Dutch word “kolf” or “kolve” meant “club.” It is believed that word passed to the Scots, whose old Scots dialect transformed the word into “golve,” “gowl” or “gouf.”

This morphed into another Scottish word “golph”, and now the English word, “golf.”

~ ~ ~

Think about it…

The Thinker

* Isn’t Disney World a people trap operated by a mouse?

* Why are they called “buildings,” when they’re already finished? Shouldn’t they be called “builts”?

* If the universe is everything, and scientists say that the universe is expanding, what is it expanding into?

* If you got into a taxi and the driver started driving backward, would the taxi driver end up owing you money?

* Why is a carrot more orange than an orange?

* Why are there 5 syllables in the word “monosyllabic”?

* * *

Wisdom to ponder…

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln

1809 ~ 1865

Sixteenth president

of the united States

“Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

“The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time.”

“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

“Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.”

“You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

“Good things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”

“Don’t interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties.”

“When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That’s my religion.”

“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”

* * * * *

We crave your comments…


How are we doing?

Customer Feedback:

“I appreciate all the support you have given me lately. You are definitely amazing! I really enjoyed our phone conversation; it is a pleasure to talk to people like you!”

Kosodo Imports

Are you a Hardy customer? If so, we need your help in assessing our performance.

At Hardy Diagnostics, we are fanatics about implementing Continuous Improvement. Would you please take a moment to answer two questions?

It should only take a minute or two and would be an immense help to us in honing our skills.

Provide some feedback…


Hardy Logo White

Want to receive the MicroBytes


at home?


Want to review past issues

of MicroBytes?

Did you know?


Hardy Diagnostics…
  • Is celebrating its 33rd year of serving microbiologists.
  • Is

    ISO 13485

    certified for the manufacture of medical devices to give you confidence in our products.
  • Offers you its technical manual,


    , which contains over 4,500 pages of information regarding microbiology.
  • Maintains a worldwide network of over 40


Send a

message to the president


Blue Logo

Micro Musings….

Cartoon Feb 2013

707 people developed

fungal meningitis.

47 died.

Prednisone vials

What Went Wrong?

Find out

~ ~ ~


New research reveals how…

Leprosy bacterium creates stem cells

The bacterium that causes leprosy spreads through the body by converting nerve cells into stem cells with migratory properties, according to research published in the journal



mycobacterium leprae

Micrograph of

Mycobacterium leprae

(red) taken from a leprosy skin lesion.

CDC photo.

In a recent article by Toshihiro Masaki et al., the ability of

Mycobacterium leprae

to transform mature Schwann cells into progenitor stem-like cells was discovered.

This bacterium, responsible for leprosy, is able to infect adult Schwann cells and reprogram them into a precursor state. Because

M. leprae

is an intracellular pathogen, it utilizes the plasticity of Schwann cells to spread. Once reprogrammed, these cells can disseminate through the body differentiating into other cell types while also recruiting macrophages, further spreading infection.

Research into the mechanisms behind this pathogen’s cellular hijacking technique could lead to a better understanding of cellular plasticity as well as provide a means of creating stable stem cells for disease research.

* * *


The Bacteriophage Comeback?

bacteriophage 3


ould the use o

f bacteriophage be the next big thing in antimicrobial therapy?

Due to increasing resistance to antibiotics, there is an increasing demand to take a second look at novel therapies, such as using the bacteriophage against bacterial diseases.  Bacteriophage therapy began in the 1930s in Eastern Europe and still continues today in Georgia.

The word bacteriophage literally means “to eat bacteria.”

It is a virus that exclusively attacks bacteria. Once the phage has entered the body, it attaches itself to the bacteria causing the infection, and shoots in its own DNA to make the bacteria start producing new bacteriophage. Within 30 minutes, up to 200 new phage are created, and in the process the bacteria die. Once the job is done, the phage automatically start to disappear.

bacteriophage 2

What has long made antibiotics so appealing is the fact that they eliminate so many types of bacteria in one go. Phage are more complicated and specific: a certain type has to be found to combat each infection.

“But it’s this specificity which makes them so attractive,” says Ron Dixon, Head of the Department of Forensic and Biomedical Sciences at Lincoln University. “It will only kill the bacteria you want it to.”

And if the bacteria become resistant to the phage, as they have done to antibiotics, a new phage matched to the new bacteria can be developed. In order to inhibit resistance, a cocktail of phage would most likely be used in treatment.

There are no known side-effects, researchers stress, although there were significant numbers of deaths in the 1930s and 1940s mainly

due to a failure to understand the biology of phage, inaccurate diagnoses of patients in the first place and poor manufacturing procedures.

Nonetheless, few Western companies have ventured into the field of bacteriophage therapy. Nick Housby of


Limited in the UK – one firm which has – says this is because of the intellectual property rights surrounding the therapy, which has so long been used elsewhere. Phage are notoriously hard to patent, the process by which drug companies secure future profits.

Novolytics is currently working on a cream which they say could combat MRSA. Inserted into the nose, where MRSA bacteria frequently linger, it is hoped the cream could combat more than 15 strains of the condition.

This new therapy still needs to be subjected to two phases of clinical testing, and even if these are proved to be successful, it may take as many as five years for the cream to hit the market.

* * *

Teflaro – A New drug for MRSA




eftaroline is a unique broad-spectrum cephalosporin with novel

in vitro


in vivo

activity against a variety of community- and hospital-acquired pathogens, including methicillin-resistant

Staphylococcus aureus

(MRSA), multidrug-resistant

Streptococcus pneumoniae

(MDRSP), and common (non-Extended-Spectrum Beta-Lactamase-producing) gram-negative bacteria. Ceftaroline was cleared for clinical use by the United States Food and Drug Administration in October 2010.  The brand name is Teflaro, made by Forest Pharmaceuticals.

In December of 2010, Hardy Diagnostics became the first U.S. medical device manufacturer to offer

ceftaroline disks

for susceptibility testing under the HardyDisk line. Moreover, since its FDA clearance, ceftaroline has yet to be offered for use on any commercial susceptibility test platform; thereby requiring clinical microbiology laboratories to perform traditional agar diffusion methods (Kirby-Bauer) to test clinical isolates for ceftaroline susceptibility.

Ceftaroline works by binding penicillin binding proteins (PBPs). In

Staphylococcus aureus

, there are four naturally occurring PBPs (PBP1-4) and ceftaroline binds to all, with the highest affinity for PBP2a. PBP2a is a principal factor of broad-spectrum


-lactam resistance in MRSA isolates. PBP2a has a low affinity for


-lactams and, thus, provides transpeptid

ase activity to allow cell wall synthesis at


-lactam concentrations that inhibit the


-lactam-sensitive PBPs normally produced by

S. aureus

. Consequently, binding of ceftaroline to the PBP2a protein in S. aureus results in ceftaroline activity against MRS

A. Interpretive criteria and quality control ranges for ceftaroline can be found in the current edition of the CLSI M100: Performance Standards for Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing document.

Ceftaroline HardyDisks

are available from Hardy Diagnostics in the single cartridge 50 disk format (Cat. no.


) or as a five pack of cartridges containing 50 disks (Cat. no.



* * *

Optical oddities…

Opt Ill Feb 2013

Who’s who here?

The faces are are identical only the coiffure differs.

“Believe half of what you see

and none of what you hear.”

~ Marvin Gaye

Get the survey results…

Should clinical labs

hire more MLT’s?

Lab Tech

Currently the management of clinical laboratories find that they must continually cut costs and increase efficiency.

Some labs do this by utilizing more and more the services of Medical Laboratory Technicians (MLT), rather than hiring the more highly paid and  extensively trained Clinical Laboratory Scientists (CLS). Is this a trend that should continue?

Voice your opinion …

Should the post office have discontinued Saturday delivery service?
postal worker


he Postal Service posted a $16 billion loss in 2012, that’s $40 million per day. The agency claims eliminating Saturday delivery will save $2 billion annually.

Therefore, the Postal Service announced that they would cease Saturday deliveries by August, after providing this service for 150 years. Packages, Express, and Priority mail will still be delivered on Saturdays.

The Postmaster General reminded everyone that the USPS takes no taxpayer dollars, and that the Post Office used to deliver mail twice a day during the week, and we all survived the end of that.

Was this a good thing?

Take our survey


Rubes Feb 2013

Find more

of Leigh Rubin’s cartoon humor.

Marilyn  Monroe

“In Hollywood a marriage is a

success if it outlasts milk.”

Rita Rudner

* * *

“It’s scientific fact. For every year a person lives in Hollywood, they lose two points of their IQ.”

Truman Capote

* * *


Pun Zone Ahead

Dog litter

  • A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.
  • A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.
  • Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.
  • Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a Banana.
  • A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it.