Zika Virus Outbreak Update

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention elevated the Emergency Operations Center to level 1 (highest concern) in response to the Zika outbreak.  A total of 82 travel-associated cases have been reported in twenty-two states as of February 17th.
Additionally, the World Health Organization has declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern due to affected areas showing increasing cases of microcephaly and other neurological disorders.  

Zika is an enveloped virus in the same family as Hepatitis C, Dengue and West Nile viruses and transmitted via mosquito bite.  The EPA is strongly recommending the use of approved insect repellents effective against Aedesmosquitoes. 

Microchem Laboratory recently acquired Zika virus and is developing assays to assist customers in determining chemistry/device effectiveness.  Contact the lab for more information on Zika virus or general virus testing.

EPA Updates Draft Copper Protocol

The EPA released an updated draft protocol for testing copper containing hard non-porous surfaces and based on results of an extensive peer review of the September 2014 draft protocol. 

The 2014 protocol addressed physical durability and chemical stability of surfaces, and required repeat abrasion testing and extensive chemical exposure.  These elements remain in the updated protocol, however changes were made to abrasion frequency reducing it from a twelve week to an eight week procedure.

The agency also removed efficacy requirements for E. aerogenes, leaving S. aureus and P. aeruginosa as the two required test microorganisms.  Additionally, artificial soil (i.e. organic burden) requirements have changed to reflect a three-part organic cocktail consistent with OECD methods.

In summary, copper and copper-alloy surfaces that meet the updated protocol’s thorough performance criteria can be depended on to reduce pathogen levels over the lifetime of the surface.  However, the extent of performance required will likely prevent many technologies from participating in the market and remove many existing technologies once Data Call-Ins (DCIs) are implemented. 

Contact the lab to learn more about antimicrobial surface and textile testing and how Microchem can assist in project planning.

2016 ASM Biodefense & Anti-Biofilm Meetings Recap

ASM Biodefense and Emerging Disease

The American Society for Microbiology recently organized a Biodefense and Emerging Diseases Research Meeting in Arlington, Virginia.  Researchers and multi-disciplinary microbiologists gathered to discuss the threat of bio-terrorism.  Presentations were given covering a wide range of topics including histories of offensive biological weapons programs, bio-surveillance, and the importance of global health security.

Anti-Biofilm Technologies: Pathways to Product Development

Montana State University’s Center for Biofilm Engineering recently hosted a meeting in Arlington, Virgina.  The meeting was prefaced by a workshop on beneficial biofilms with topics covering crop care, bio-remediation, dental health and energy recovery.

The meeting brought researchers, members of industry and key regulators together to discuss FDA’s medical device arena and EPA’s focus on surface disinfection technologies. 

Contact the lab for more information on these meetings, status of the EPA biofilm collaborative or if you have general biofilm questions.