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a culture of service…

December, 2018


© 2018, Hardy Diagnostics,

all rights reserved 


Citrus crops are threatened due to 
bacterial infection…

Antibiotics in Your Orange Juice?

A bacterial disease thought to have originated in China in the early 1900s has grown to become one of the most destructive plant diseases worldwide affecting citrus trees. It was first found in Florida in 2005 and has since been found in at least seven states in the US causing substantial losses in an over $9 billion industry. 

Citrus greening, also called Huanglongbing (HLB) or yellow dragon disease, is caused by Candidatus liberocacter asiaticus, a non-culturable Gram-negative bacteria that is transmitted by a host- specific type of jumping plant lice called the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP).  These organisms can reproduce asexually with the females laying up to 800 eggs annually.
The infection prevents the citrus from ripening which renders crops useless and ultimately destroys infected trees. Methods of treatment include using heat, antibiotics, biological controls, and genetic modification. Without the use of one or more of these methods, farmers are often left with no choice other than to use insecticides and cut down infected trees, which often proves to be ineffective at stopping the spread of the disease.
Genetically modified trees confer resistance against the disease, Using a combination of heat and antibiotics also works well to stop or slow the spread, but these options are often unfavorable with consumers. In addition, the detrimental effect of broad-spectrum antibiotic treatments on plant-beneficial microbiota and the potential implications on public and ecosystem health remains a concern. Nonetheless, these treatments have been found to be effective in the recovery or slowing of disease progression on infected trees.
Most of the studies using tetracyclines and similar bactericides were conducted in the 1960s through the 1980s where several members of the tetracycline group were investigated, including tetracycline hydrochloride, chlortetracycline, dimethyl chlortetracycline, and oxytetracycline. For the most part, these studies investigated the performance of antibiotics when applied by foliar application or by trunk injection. Some of the tetracyclines used in these experiments were found to be toxic to the plant, causing symptoms such as yellowing, smaller leaves, and discoloration at trunk injection sites. When tested, dimethyl chlortetracycline and oxytetracycline did not cause the same symptoms, possibly because of the greater solubility of these agents. In addition, the pH in these formulations could be adjusted to prevent toxicity to plants. Due to earlier toxicity issues, oxytetracycline was not widely used, but recently the industry has taken a renewed interest due to studies showing its efficacy. Results from these studies, in addition to other independent studies, led to a 2015 petition to the EPA for a Section 18 emergency exemption that would allow the use of these agents on citrus in Florida. The Florida Department of Agriculture asserted that an emergency situation existed in accordance with the criteria for approval of an emergency exemption and requested the use of two oxytetracycline products on citrus crops. This new regulation establishes a time-limited tolerance for residues of oxytetracycline, oxytetracycline calcium, and oxytetracycline hydrochloride. These formulations are registered as pesticides and are considered to be of equal toxicity and referred to equally as oxytetracycline.
The EPA concluded that this time-limited tolerance expires on December 31, 2019, and that the residues are safe (based upon toxicological data) as long as they do not exceed the authorized level. It is also stated that the EPA would act to revoke the time-limited tolerance earlier if any additional scientific data or other relevant data showed a change in safety status. This is still a relatively new development, and it remains to be seen if any downstream effects may occur due to this regulation.  Probably one of the biggest concerns is the promotion of antibiotic resistance if overused. It may be worth noting that other approaches, such as releasing parasitic wasps in affected areas of California, have been employed and may be equally effective as a way of eradicating or controlling ACP.


Ref: 1, 2, 3 , 4 , 5 , 6


By Marcus Zuzow
R&D Microbiologist



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“Throw your hat into the ring”
This expression came from the days when a boxing match was held in an outdoor area marked off in a circle (ring). If any young man was bold enough and wanted to challenge the winner, he would throw his hat into the ring, since his voice could not be heard amongst the hubbub of the crowd. The first time this expression made it into print was in 1805.
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Think about it…


The Thinker


  • Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog’s face, he gets mad at you, but when you take him for a car ride, he sticks his head out the window?
  • Why do we press harder on a remote control when we know the batteries are going dead?
  • Why do banks charge a fee on ‘insufficient funds’ when they know there is not enough money?
  • Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?
  • Why do they use sterilized needles for death by lethal injection?


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Wisdom to Ponder…

Nikola Tesla
1856 ~ 1943
Born in Serbia, this American inventor developed the first alternating current (AC) system; also he was among the first to work on X-ray machines, wireless lighting and controls, and ozone generators.







“The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.”

“The feeling is constantly growing on me that I had been the first to hear the greeting of one planet to another.”
“I myself eschew all stimulants. I also practically abstain from meat.”
“In the twenty-first century, the robot will take the place which slave labor occupied in ancient civilization.”
“Our senses enable us to perceive only a minute portion of the outside world.”
“Let the future tell the truth, and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine.”


“Be alone, that is the secret of invention; be alone, that is when ideas are born.”
“The gift of mental poser comes from God, Divine Being, and if we concentrate our minds on that truth, we become in tune with this great power.
“Fights between individuals, as well as governments and nations, invariably result from misunderstandings in the broadest interpretation of this term. Misunderstandings are always caused by the inability of appreciating one another’s point of view.”
“We are whirling through endless space, with and inconceivable speed, all around everything is spinning, everything is moving, and everywhere there is energy. There must be some way of availing ourselves of this energy more directly. Then, with the light obtained from the medium, with the power derived from it, with every form of energy obtained without effort, from the store forever inexhaustible, humanity will advance with giant strides. The mere contemplation of these magnificent possibilities expand our minds, strengthens our hopes and and fills our hearts with supreme delight.”






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Did you know? 
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Hardy Diagnostics…
  • Is celebrating its 38th year of serving microbiologists.
  • Manufactures from two ISO certified factories; one in California and one in Ohio.
  • Is ISO 13485 certified for the manufacture of medical devices to give you confidence in our products.
  • Services over 10,000 labs and maintains a worldwide network of over 80 distributors.
  • Is a 100% Employee-Owned company. “If we act like we own the place…it’s because we do!”

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Did you know that Hardy was the first company to introduce Chromogenic media to America in 1996? Hardy has been the leader in the field of easy identification by color ever since.
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Using one bacteria to inhibit another bacteria…
Can a Probiotic Treat Cholera?
Cholera is a bacterial infection of the intestine caused by pathogenic strains of the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. This disease occurs worldwide and is spread primarily via poor sanitation of water and food sources. The spread of this disease is extremely rapid within populations and can be deadly to an individual within several days if left untreated. This poses a problem with traditional treatment methods which are only effective after cholera has been positively identified, which may be too late to prevent its spread. Furthermore, prevention methods such as cholera vaccines currently take too long to effectively provide protection to an already affected population.
The most common cholera vaccination is taken orally and comes in two configurations: inactivated and attenuated. The inactivated version contains dead bacterial cells and toxin complexes to infer resistance from the host immune system. The attenuated or live version contains live V. cholerae cells with disabled virulence factors to provoke an immunological response without the pathogenic effects of infection. Unfortunately, these vaccines take upwards of two to three weeks to provide immunity to the individual. Due to the rapid and widespread infection rate among populations, this approach is not practical to administer during an epidemic outbreak, such as those that occurred in Haiti in 2010 and Yemen in 2016.
Considering these challenges, microbiological researchers at MIT elected to explore a new approach for fast-acting prevention of cholera using a novel vaccination method. The initial aim of the research was to diagnose and treat cholera via genetically engineered bacteria species, which would produce antimicrobial peptides effective against V. cholerae. However, during a preliminary in-vitro study, it was found that a common dairy culture bacteria, Lactoccocus lactis, inhibited or eliminated V. cholerae naturally. It was determined that the lactic acid produced by this bacterium created an inhospitable environment for the V. cholerae bacteria.
Lactococcus lactis is a non-motile, Gram-positive cocci that is commonly used to make cheese, beer, wine, pickled vegetables, and buttermilk.
Based on the initial testing, it was reasonable to suspect that L. lactis could out-compete pathogenic V. cholerae within the intestinal tract in-vivo. In a controlled laboratory test using mice, the samples fed L. lactis with the cholera pathogen had an 84.6% survival rate, compared to mice infected with cholera had a survival rate of 45.7%. Confirmation that lactic acid was inhibitory towards cholera was confirmed when researchers used a genetically modified strain of L. lactis which did not produce lactic acid. This discovery demonstrated one of the first observable methods in which a probiotic actively prevented disease. The products of lactose fermentation of L. lactis have also been shown to be effective against Salmonella by interfering with the rotation of its flagella.
Further exploration into this idea led researchers to also develop a diagnostic tool in conjunction with the protective probiotic. Researchers used gene splicing techniques to insert genes into a strain of L. lactis to detect the presence of pathogenic cholera within the host by changing the color of the host’s stool. The combination of the increased protectiveness of the L. lactis, paired with the diagnostic stool color change, will help affected individuals present milder symptoms and have a clear indication of whether or not they are infected.
This probiotic vaccine could be particularly useful in times of natural disaster or seasonal outbreaks in areas where cholera is endemic. Affected populations could be given this probiotic in order to experience weaker symptoms and to produce a simple indication that they are infected and need to receive more care. This development represents a large step forward in the treatment and prevention of cholera.


Ref: 1, 2, 3

By Cameron Whipple
R&D Microbiologist



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STDs on the Rise…


The FDA announces….
Fluoroquinolones Can 
Increase Risk of Aneurysm
Just before Christmas, the FDA released a warning that the use of fluoroquinolone antibiotics, such as ciprofloxacin, can lead to an increased risk of aortic aneurysms. Certain patient groups are especially vulnerable, such as those with peripheral atherosclerotic vascular disease, hypertension, the elderly, certain genetic conditions such as Marfan syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.
The FDA Commissioner, Scott Gottlieb, said, “Although the risk of aortic aneurysm or dissection is low, we’ve observed that patients are twice as likely to experience an aortic aneurysm or dissection when prescribed fluoroquinolone drug.”
This adverse side effect is added to the list of previous warnings from the FDA regarding the use of fluoroquinolones:
2008 – Tendinitis and tendon rupture (particularly the Achilles tendon)
2013 – Peripheral Neuropathy
2016 – Restricted the use of these drugs for uncomplicated cases
2016 – Damage to tendons, nerves, muscles, joints, and the central nervous system
2018 – Significant decreases in blood glucose, certain mental health side effects.
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   Optical oddities…

Are the man and horse coming towards you
or going away from you…or maybe both?


  “Believe half of what you see

and none of what you hear.”

 ~ Benjamin Franklin ~



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~ If a man jumps off the bridge in Paris, he would be in Seine.
~ Two hydrogen atoms meet.
One says, “I’ve lost my electron”.
The other says  “Are you sure?”
The first replies, “Yes, I’m positive.”
~ The fattest knight at King Arthur’s round table was Circumference.
He acquired his size from too much pi.
~ Two silk worms had a race.
They ended up in a tie.
~ No matter how much you push the envelope,
it’ll still be stationery.
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“When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. 
When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. 

That’s relativity.” 


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“As Hardy Diagnostics enters its 39th year of serving microbiologists in the laboratory, I would like to thank each of our customers for their support and loyalty. It truly has been a pleasure to serve you!
If there is any way we can improve or expand upon our service, would you please let me know?”
Jay Hardy, CLS, SM(NRCM)


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