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TWiM regularly receives listener email with corrections, comments, suggestions for show topics, requests for clarification, and additional information. A selection of these is archived on this page.
long time listener, first time writer. I was just wondering, am I missing something really crucial? I've been reading in the news about Europe's "E.coli virus" everywhere. I have to assume that people are just mis-speaking and they mean illness not virus, but maybe there is a virus of E.coli that is released from the bacteria and are causing some sort of double whammy illness in folks.
Do you happen to know any more about this than I do?
Those of us who teach (undergraduate) diagnostic microbiology are sometimes caught in a dilemma.
On one hand, we need to teach students to process cultures (urines, throats, sputums, blood, stool, etc) and identify organisms that are commonly associated with those specimens..and we all know there are some potential pathogens in the mix.
On the other, we don't want to any kind of exposure incidences.
What recommendations can you guys make about how to handle this situation. We want to keep it "real." We feel the student will work with the organisms on an internship and then once they graduate so we want to make sure they are well prepared. We all wear PPE (gowns, gloves), practice good hand hygiene, and have a Class IIA safety cabinet. I haven't had (knock, knock, knock) any incidences, but I still worry.
I wanted to ask about a comment made by Cliff regarding Salmonella and potato salads. Working from memory, which I apologize if I am wrong, he talked about performing a fun experiment with Salmonella and potato salad. From my understanding, food poisoning from potato salad is not Salmonella sp. at all. Instead, food poisoning from potato salad is typically Staphylococcus aureus exotoxin B. So saying that Salmonella is not typically found in potato salad is true, but it can be misleading because you can still get food poisoning from potato salad with S. aureus. I guess that is not really a question, but truly more of a comment.
I first found TWiP, which led me to TWiV which led me here (Hey Vincent- get on Dickson for more TWiP episodes!). I love all three shows. I work as a research technician at a medical/veterinary entomology lab, and spend several hours of my day counting and identifying mosquitoes caught in traps in rice paddies (when I'm not sitting in a makeshift african hut...) Your podcasts have saved my sanity on multiple occasions! While I work closely with vectors of many of the parasites/pathogens you discuss, it is great to learn about the mechanisms of infection and disease, a subject which I feel I am slightly lacking in.
I just finished reading a couple books about the history and discovery of prions, and while I am not sure they can be classified as microbes, I would love to hear a show on the subject. I've become slightly obsessed! Keep up the great podcasting - I have several thousand more mosquitoes to go!
Look forward to all the TWi* discussions. Last months TWiM on Salmonella, with its reference to Typhoid Fever, reminded me of Bertolucci's twenty year old film masterpiece, The Sheltering Sky in which Port played by John Malkovich contracts Typhoid.
The story written by Paul Bowles, is interesting by itself in that Bowles lives in Tangiers - - where the story plays out - - and for his friendship with William Burroughs. Debra Winger is magnificent as Kit, Malkovich's wife. At the end of the film the viewer struggles with moral issues and whether or not Kit lost her sanity. Reading the book doesn't help.
The photography and the acting are superb. The progression of the Typhoid Fever in Port is accurately portrayed. The source of Port's infection is only hinted at. As one of the World's great films, the film was grossly underrated by film reviewers. Nevertheless, most people with a scientific background will appreciate the film and likely give it the highest ratings.
Is the effect of silver nanoparticles related to electron transport? What determines which metals will be antimicrobial (copper, silver) and which won't be (iron)?
Dear Dr. Racaniello and friends,
I am a Medical Laboratory Technologist working in clinical microbiology at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Ontario. I'm an avid listener of TWiV and TWiP and have been hoping you would start a bacteriology-themed podcast for a very long time. The first few episodes of TWiM have been fantastic! As a recent graduate and novice technologist, your podcasts are an excellent way for me build knowledge and to keep current on the infectious disease literature. Now I just have to find a way to get my accrediting body to give me continuing education credits for listening! Have you ever considered getting your podcasts CME accredited for the physicians out there?
Keep up the great work! A big thanks from Canada for TWiM!
Suzanne MD PhD writes:
TWIM is an amazing podcast. I am a Pediatrician from the route of PhD in Molecular Genetics transformed into a MD and now working in the world of primary care pediatrics. Microbiology is 99% of my life. Your podcasts are joyful. Basic observations, research, molecular mechanisms, insights, perspectives, bridging the basic science to the possibilities in medicine and patient care and health care policy. You have filled a nitch. Gut flora hit home. Probiotics were added to infant formulae in Europe long before here in the US. Yogurt and probiotics have been shown to lessen antibiotic associated diarrhea. The ideal age to introduce solids is 6 to 7 months. Why??? Gut flora. Simple and beautiful. I choose to become a Pediatrician, after PhD training and a 5 year postdoc, to bring basic science to children to hopefully improve their lives. Your podcast satisfies my basic science core and provides me with evidence based insights into health care. Thanks!
My ideas for future topics are 1) What is the epidemiology that has so dramatically changed the virulence of Strep and what's up with a vaccine??? 2) UTI's help whats one to do with multi-drug resistance; and 3) If all disease has a microbial relationship, fill me in on Autism and Mental Illness.
From the trenches...
Dr Tom writes:
Long time TWIVVER/TWIPPER, soon to be long time TWIMMER. Love the information. Thought that a podcast on probiotics would be timely. Seems like I (as a pediatrician) am suggesting them more for a multitude of ailments from recurrent abdominal pain to acute gastroenteritis to antibiotic side effect amelioration. Also, it is getting harder to purchase infant formulas without some form of prebiotic or probiotic.
Keep up the great work.
From snowy and cold madison, wi Dr Tom
I am interested to know if it is generally true that pathogenic microbes produce biofilms, also in a polymicrobial infection what are the ecological interactions between the bacteria? Do the biofilms produced by one species protect or inhibit other species?
Could a normally non pathogenic bacteria become harmful if combined in a biofilm with another organism.
I am asking this out of interest, I am a photographer and not involved in any medical research. I do have a long standing interest in science and find your podcasts to be fascinating.
I was intrigued by the comments on the antimicrobial effects of Cu, having used silver sutures in contaminated cases in the 60s. It struck me that an easy and cheap test would be to copper plate [which uses very little ] the door .faucet and toilet handles in an ICU and see if the Hospital acquired infections changed. This is fairly low tech requiring a screwdriver, a auto battery and some CuSO4 [root killer.] or could be done by many firms who do it commercially. Thanks for the really good podcast
Hi, I am a big fan of your great education/entertaining programs. I would like to suggest Vincent to invite experts in antimicrobial resistant bacteria in his newly launched TWiM program. This problem is very serious and thus the WHO themed their day with the antibiotic resistance issue. Likewise the CDC chose a week on September last year to address the devastating health related issue. Inviting Experts and pioneers in this field will highlight and explain queries.
I recall hearing about a bacterial contamination of cantaloupe years ago, which is when I started to wash them in soapy water before slicing.
Of course, I try to follow the rules. We actually cut meat products on the counter between the stove and sink, and the rest on the kitchen island to prevent cross contamination. Often I will prep for cooking by cutting the veggies on a dishwasher proof cutting board on the island, put them in bowls and set aside. Then move the cutting board to the counter, cut the meat and either put it in the bowl or the pan. Then put the cutting board in the dishwasher, set the knife to be hand washed next o the sink. Then cooking is quicker because I have everything ready, using a food safe mise a place.
The other day I was watching an old cooking show with Julia Child. I just about gagged when I saw the other chef she was working with put an herb stuffing between the breast and skin, and then reach over to pick up salt from a bowl with his fingers without washing his hands or using a spoon!
I have a TWiM idea from watching cooking shows, especially one that showed all of the varieties of salt: pink salt, which gets its color from an extremophile bacteria (a tidbit I want to share at the local upscale kitchen store when I get a chance!). Oh, cool, just checking the halophile wiki, I learned they are essential for some fermented foods like soy sauce, sauerkraut, anchovies, etc: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halophile
First: Thanks for making a career of TWI-Podcasts! A great service and an entertaining and educational format.
In TWIM #1 you reviewed the antibacterial properties of copper and it’s potential for control of MRSA compared to other methods being pursued. While the science of antibiotic mechanisms is fascinating, we may be blinded by the technology instead of understanding the logic of the problem. The references below are a few of the many showing (not surprisingly) that the people who spend their days around hospitals are the reservoirs for MRSA. Anywhere from 6% to 21% of healthcare workers (in this case anyone working in a hospital) have been shown to carry MRSA in their nares. This is higher than the rate in incoming patients. Remove the reservoirs and control is much easier!
While we are great at technical solutions, we are close to powerless at social, particularly politically social solutions. It would seem that a major reduction could be achieved through regular testing of healthcare workers (<$10 & <24hrs) to identify carriers, their removal from patient care, treatment with mupirocin (I believe topically) and return to patient care. Hospitals object to the cost of testing although as carriage rates decrease so would costs. Unions object to the potential unpaid removal from work during treatment as well as the treatment cost.
Doctors generally refuse to be tested, even for hepatitis or HIV. Despite the enormous monetary cost of MRSA to hospitals and to our overall healthcare system, plus the unnecessary deaths, our society insists that “magic bullet” pharmaceuticals and antibacterial hardware are the only way to solve this problem. Pogo had it right about “the enemy”.
Thanks again for the education and entertainment. Vincent and your TWIV, TWIP, TWIM teams are an exceptionally bright spot in scientific education!
Prevalence and Characteristics of Staphylococcus aureus Colonization among Healthcare Professionals in an Urban Teaching Hospital infection control and hospital epidemiology june 2010, vol. 31, no. 6
Prevalence of Staphylococcus aureus Nasal Colonization in Emergency Department Personnel Annals of Emergency Medicine, Volume 52, No. 5: November 2008, p.525 – 531
Incidence and Prevalence of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Nasal Carriage Among Healthcare Workers in Geriatric Departments: Relevance to Preventive Measures INFECTION CONTROL AND HOSPITAL EPIDEMIOLOGY Vol. 24 No. 6, p.456-458
How Often Do Asymptomatic Healthcare Workers Cause Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Outbreaks? A Systematic Evaluation infection control and hospital epidemiology october 2006, vol. 27, no. 10
Successful Control of Widespread Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Colonization and Infection in a Large Teaching Hospital in The Netherlands infection control and hospital epidemiology august 2007, vol. 28, no. 8
Great HAI work! I'm not through it yet. I want to question, though, whether fomites are really important in influenza transmission. I don't think so.
Wink Weinberg (ID)
[flu can transmit by fomites in guinea pigs: http://jid.oxfordjournals.org/content/199/6/858.full ]
I'm a second year microbiology undergraduate and I very much enjoy all of your podcasts; they are a great pleasure to listen and I wait for the new ones every week.
Since the last episode was all about copper I would thought it would be appropriate to point out this paper published in Nature in 1984- "Why whip egg whites in copper bowls?".
Who would have thought that a paper about copper bowls and cooking could've been published in Nature :)
I also think that this paper could be shortly discussed one one of the podcast: traditional mutational study but seems quite perspective- what do you think?
"Identification of Salmonella Pathogenicity Island-2 Type III Secretion System Effectors Involved in Intramacrophage Replication of S. enterica Serovar Typhimurium: Implications for Rational Vaccine Design"
Thanks again for your podcasts and keep them coming!
I formerly developed a oxygen radical (not ozone) surgical instrument sterilizer so have dealt with the difficulties of disinfection and HSAs. Successfully sold to Stryker Instruments.
You mention the problem of economically obtaining copper hardware due to the pervasive use of plastic. If you think about our common household plumbing fixtures, it is clear that plastic can be plated with many metals and shipped around the world by air.
Plastic plumbing fixtures are typically plated with electroless copper followed by nickel then chromium. Air shipment is not an issue so your former plating vendor simply did not have the technique/knowledge to give you a sturdy uncontaminated injection molded part. I was involved on the development of many of these processes in the 70s. Rhom & Haas is still a major supplier of plating solutions and methods.
Similarly, any metal part can be easily plated in whole or in part with copper or copper alloys by the OEM. A quick swipe with ammonia will remove finger oils which could allow bacterial film growth and will expose fresh copper surface.
Despite all this antimicrobial furor, I look forward to the "omic" studies identifying how many HSAs are from the environment vs. the patient. Microbiome studies seem to be showing that microbial diversity balance rather than eradication is often the key mechanism of maintaining health.
Thanks to all you TWIV, TWIP & TWIMmers for creating and maintaining one of the most educational, accessible and plain old FUN scientific forums ever!
I was amazed to see note 13 in the caption for this article out of Apr/May 2013 AARP magazine about use of copper alloys on frequently touched surfaces. Copy of that page attached as a PDF.
I love your show, especially the recent episode about the use of copper in hospitals.
I am a nursing student at University of Nevada, Las Vegas and I am always cleaning patient bed rails and call lights. Patient hands are not the only thing that comes in contact with bed rails. The rail is also frequently used by nurses to temporarily hang pieces of tape while inserting an IV or changing a dressing. The tape, with all its germs attached, is removed from the bed rail and taped onto the patient's skin in close proximity to an open wound.
A future study might include the pathogens transmitted by stethescopes. People are pretty good about washing their hands, but I never see anyone cleaning their stethescope. It is my very unscientific, empiric observation that the stethescope is one of the biggest fomites in any hospital. I have seen copper writing pens for sale, but I am not aware of anyone who makes a copper coated stethescope.
Another possible fomite is employee badges, they come in contact with our patients when we lean over them (I stuff mine in my pocket so it does not contact the patient.)
Hello TWIM friends!
Jennie here - a long time fan of TWIV, then TWIP and of course happily learning from your great TWIM podcasts.
Thanks to Michael Schmidt's fascinating discussions - including those regarding copper and microbes - which have really got me thinking. (Copper's natural anti-microbial activity can lower nosocomial infections by decreasing pathogens on hospital surfaces. To plagiarize Mr. Schmidt's own site at the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Medical University of South Carolina: "The 4th leading cause of death in the United States, behind heart disease, cancer and stroke, is Hospital Acquired Infections (HAI) where approximately five percent of the patients admitted to US hospitals will acquire an infection. Very little is known of what fraction of these infections result from a microbial contribution obtained from objects present in the built environment."
It appears that copper does have a contribution to make - and I can imagine that there will be some formidable costs in changing surfaces from plastic & alloy & steel to copper.
To decrease costs of switching to copper surfaces for commonly touched fomites (microbe carrying objects) like IV poles and steel hospital infant bassinet units - you're talking to an OB nurse here - I began to think about a 6th or 7th grade experiment we did in school when I was a youngster with copper plating.
With that in mind - I did a quick search for a video on copper plating on Youtube and found this video - which just gives you a peek at how easy it can be to copper plate existing metal surfaces. I'm wondering if this could potentially be a cost saving application for some institutions. Will it be necessary for institutions to re-purchase when perhaps they could resurface?
Of course, I hope that you realize how very much your team has done and is doing to increase our understanding of the tiny denizens without and within us. What an adventure!
Special thanks to you Vincent for sparking greater excitement and transparency in science. Thanks to Jo Handelsman - soil microbes are so vital and so unknown - thanks for the recent apple orchard soil discussion and for her deeply appreciated advocacy for women - Yay! Of course Elio Schecter and Stanley Maloy - fantastic!
Yours with warmest regards
Jennie BSN RN
“In the world through which I travel, I am endlessly creating myself.”Frantz Fanon
Saw this media release from the Australian Institute of Marine Science about researchers isolating a combination of probiotic bacteria to assist in the prevention of Vibrio infections of spiny lobsters in aquaculture and thought of TWiM.
Keep up the good work,
12 December 2012
Winning combination of bacteria found to combat deadly marine pathogen
Research conducted at the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) has delivered promising results in combating Vibrio owensii - a bacterium that is responsible for mass mortalities of cultured ornate spiny lobster larvae.
The high commercial value of the ornate spiny lobster (Panulirus ornatus) means it has the potential to be an important product of the Australian aquaculture industry. However, nutritional deficits and bacterial disease during the long larval phase of the species makes captive rearing difficult.
Scientists from AIMS and the University of New England (UNE) have been able to isolate a large number of bacterial cultures – or probiotic candidates – from wild lobster larvae and their natural prey items, and from the lobster aquaculture system at AIMS in Townsville. After successive tests, they found that a combination of two probiotic bacteria, referred to as PP05 and PP107, provided the most effective protection against the pathogen Vibrio owensii, enhancing survival of the larvae by as much as 80 per cent.
AIMS Research Scientist, Dr Lone Høj, who led the project, said “Our work has uncovered a winning combination of “good” bacteria that appear to dramatically improve larval survival. In a further study we looked at how and why these two bacteria were so effective when working together against Vibrio owensii.”
UNE PhD student Evan Goulden said “This research highlights the value of identifying biocontrol agents that are able to intercept the infection cycle of a serious aquaculture pathogen, as such the study represents a milestone in proving the value of using probiotic mixes to prevent microbial diseases.”
“Disease management is critical in food production systems and this is particularly true for seafood produced in aquaculture systems. The development of alternatives to the antibiotics currently used in such systems is becoming a national priority in countries around the world” says AIMS Principal Research Scientist, Dr Mike Hall.
‘Identification of an Antagonistic Probiotic Combination Protecting Ornate Spiny Lobster (Panulirus ornatus) Larvae against Vibrio owensii Infection’ is published in PLOS One: http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0039667
‘Probiont niche specialization contributes to additive protection against Vibrio owensii in spiny lobster larvae’ is published in Environmental Microbiology Reports:http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1758-2229.12007/abstract
The authors are Evan Goulden (AIMS/UNE), Mike Hall (AIMS), Lily Pereg (UNE), Brett Baillie (AIMS), and Lone Høj (AIMS).
Dear TWiM team,
Since the topic of patent law came up on episode 48 I wanted to add my two cents. Six months ago, I switched to a career in patent law after 12 years as a bench Virologist. I have found this job to be very challenging and rewarding, and I'm currently experiencing a rather steep learning curve. However, the reason I'm writing is because I did want to mention that one does not have to be a lawyer, or even plan to go to law school to practice patent law. Many firms are willing to hire PhDs with no prior experience in patent law as science advisors or patent agents and train them on the job. The reason they're willing to do that, is because of their extensive background in science, which is imperative in this particular legal field. In our firm, all of our six science advisors have PhDs, and three of our five attorneys do as well. Although learning the law is pretty difficult, in my opinion, it is much easier to learn the law on the job than it would be to learn the science, and I have tremendous respect for the two attorneys in our firm who do not have PhDs, because they seem to be so well versed in the science as well. I recently asked one of our partners (who has a PhD) how much of what he learned in law school he has actually applied to this particular job, and he said “zero”! On the other hand, attorneys do make a lot more money, and there are certain things that they can do that a patent agent can't do, but my point is that a PhD is more than enough to have a rewarding career in patent law. Personally, I have absolutely no desire to go to law school!
Thanks again for continuing to provide so many different stimulating and thought-provoking topics.
Post-Sandy seems an appropriate time for a TWIM devoted to mold since the storm generated many opportunities to deal with it? I'm also battling it in my ventilation ducts to the extent that we replaced all the supply lines beneath the house and some of the returns in the attic, and installed an electrostatic filter upstream from a HEPA-type filter, plus a UV light by the heating/cooling coils. Over the years I've inspected the ductwork for integrity and cleanliness and just didn't think we had conditions that allowed mold growth until we found 7 of 23 supply lines each of which that looked inside like they were spray-painted with black primer over a good many feet. Meanwhile outside we've been unable to prevent black mildew from growing in playing-card patches on treated wood coated with mildewicide-infused stain and exposed to sunlight about eight hours a day.
I bought five mold collection kits containing petri dishes and growth medium just before detecting the seven register lines. At first they seemed a good idea to apply now and perhaps in the spring or summer, but then I found this site with considerable mold information that seems reputable. My interpretation of what the site says is that conditions and materials contributing to mold must be removed to fix problem. While removing bad ductwork helps I don't think it corrects the condition problem(s). The site says sprays and chemicals don't work! And sampling with my kits followed by lab work to identify mold types won't tell if harmful mold is at levels requiring action. In addition, unless you use laboratory grade filtration, it won't reduce the presence of mold to livable levels, and UV radiation is only good directly under the light, not particulates flying by. Electrostatic filters apparently only remove a small amount of mold-related material as do good filters, but not all and probably not enough for sensitive people, plus they work best if the ventilation fan runs continuously. Much harmful mold material is too heavy to get sucked into any ventilation system, anyway, and is only removed by vacuuming often, mopping and washing fabrics. Finally, only an expensive, trained environmental specialist can do a good evaluation, prescribe corrective action and determine if that action has been effective. This site shows we have just one such specialist in my state,Virginia, about 300 miles away.
Do you folks agree our best approach would be to napalm the house and replace it with a stainless steel cube, or wear environmental protection suits, or move to who-knows-where....? Of course the guys doing all the ventilation work used no respiration protection, but then they were all in their 20's and 30's versus our 70's.
So what's going on with mold nowadays, anyway? Is there more of it? I've no problem understanding why you need to remove wet and moldy plasterboard and carpeting, but have seen home shows where mildew-stained woodwork behind the wallboard is sprayed with something which they implied would fix the problem. You're the only really reliable source of complete and competent knowledge on the topic, so many of your listeners should appreciate your comments.
When do we get to hear the results of Michael's experiments and interventions with copper and microbes?. The suspense is killing me, or did I miss it? Please continue your marvelous podcasts.
Vincent, TWIV, TWIP amd TWIM are wonderful for a retired person like myself. I worked in IT, but started out with a biology undergrad that instilled my interest in biology many years ago. I always look forward to the next podcast. I have discovered that dinner conversation about TWIP is not as well received as a discussion about my latest project from the course I am taking at the College of Craft and Design. You will enjoy this
Hello, I am a big fan of all your podcasts. Copper is used as an anti- parasite agent in marine aquariums. It is toxic to all invertebrates and is deadly to them so it is used in fish only quarantines. This is perhaps why there is a concern about copper in the marine environments as it will not only kill microbes but snails, crabs, squid ect.
Hey guys, love your show so far. I have a few thoughts on the last episode concerning B. anthracis, particularly the lack of variance in anthracis. I found it very interesting to learn that spore-forming species have characteristically more genetic variance than non-spore formers. Does the lack of genetic variance have something to do with the fact that anthracis forms endospores, and not spores in a fungal sense? Fungal spores are easily released into the air for dissemination, while anthracis endospores seem fit to persist in the soil and dead bodies of infected animals. Do fungal spores show more genetic variation in a strategy to survive in a more diverse environment? Maybe Bacillus anthracis spores are less inclined to disseminate throughout the environment because the cattle and sheep they typically infect die within a few days and are generally confined to the field of the farmer who owns them.
Thanks, keep up the great work!
Hello Professors and Expert,
I am hoping for an upcoming episode on resistant bacteria or upcoming antibiotic drugs in the pipeline?
Your fellow cytogenetics friend,
Northwestern Memorial Hospital
I love this new podcast, and I especially enjoyed this episode. This is a nice example of both the strength and weaknesses of scientific forensic evidence, I think--you can get useful information out of it (the anthrax strains in Ivins' lab are very likely the source of the anthrax used in the attacks), but not the critical questions you care about (was it Ivins who made the spores and mailed them, or was it someone else; if it was Ivins, did he have any help?) I suppose we will never really know for sure, since Ivins is dead and the FBI's investigation is over.
Assuming Ivins was the attacker, this raises an interesting point with respect to the threat of bioterrorism: Ivins was a US government biological weapons researcher, working on defending against a potential attack. He had expertise, equipment, training, supplies, and access to information at a level that it's hard to imagine any other terrorist having. And yet, his total body count was quite small, as these things go. Some nut with a gun in a crowded mall might manage to kill about that many people! The attacks were quite effective at spreading terror, especially among people at the top of government and media, but they weren't actually all that deadly.
My question is, does this suggest that bioterrorism is overblown as a threat? Or is it just that this attack wasn't targeted at killing large numbers of people, or that we got lucky and things might have ended up far worse? My understanding is that anthrax isn't really much of a risk to spread after it has been used, and once you know people have been exposed you can give them antibiotics that will save them, so the attacks were probably self-limiting. Maybe the situation would have been different, had the attacker had access to a different agent?
This link, http://www.thermus.org/e_index.htm , is a good source of information about Japanese activities, has links to seminars, abstracts, software information that's being used, project background, 3D visualizations and progress reports, all in English. Might be of interest to listeners who wish to see what is going on in East.
There is an effort underway to ban Triclosan and I would like to hear TWIM discuss the risk / benefit to using anti-bacterial agents, particularly their widespread use in consumer products. Any info on how useful Triclosan is whether we'd miss it if was banned would be appreciated.
Kerry (Loyal laymen listener toTWIV, TWIP and now TWIM)
I just wanted to comment on your short discussion of nomenclature for Salmonella. Panama is not a serovar of enteriditis. Salmonella is currently recognized as having two distinct species, Salmonella enterica and Salmonella bongori. Salmonella enterica has 6 subspecies, of which subspecies enterica is the most clinically relevant. Within Salmonella enterica subspecies enterica, there are many serovars, of which Panama is a representative. Enteriditis is also a serovar of Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica. Therefore the proper name for this outbreak strain would be Salmonella enterica subspecies enterica serovar Panama. Whenever Salmonella Panama is used, or Salmonella Enteriditis, it implies that the serovar is a member of the enterica subspecies enterica family.
Vincent and everyone else on TWiM, I have throughly enjoyed these podcasts, they are perfect entertainment while I am stuck spinning down large culture volumes. I especially enjoy the format, focusing on just a few papers/topics really allows for in depth discussion.
Please continue your coverage on all the human microbiome work, it is a fascinating topic. As a undergrad at Cornell I was lucky enough to take the first offering of a course devoted solely to our microbiota, especially its positive impact. The course sold me on the importance of this field and its potential to change the way we look at some of the most important diseases that afflict us today.
Also, I am looking forward to your coverage of bacteriophages and phage related therapy, especially the future of its use in medicine.