Scholarly Work - Center for Biofilm Engineering

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    Simulated aging of draught beer line tubing increases biofilm contamination
    (Elsevier, 2024-04) Miller, Lindsey A.; Buckingham-Meyer, Kelli; Goeres, Darla M.
    Craft brewing is continually gaining popularity in the United States. Craft brewers are committed to producing a wide variety of products and have a vested interest in product quality. Therefore, these brewers have the expectation that the beer poured at the tap will match the quality product that left the brewery. The presence of biofilm in draught lines is hypothesized as a contributing factor when this expectation is not achieved. Clean in place strategies based on the Sinner's Circle of Cleaning are used to remediate organic and inorganic accumulation in beer draught lines, including controlling biofilm accumulation. A study was conducted to determine if repeated exposure to chemical cleaning of vinyl beer tubing impacted biofilm growth, kill/removal, and subsequent regrowth of a mixed species biofilm. The tubing was conditioned to simulate one, two, and five years of use. The data collected demonstrates a clear trend between simulated age of the tubing and biofilm accumulation on the surface. Bacterial log densities ranged from 5.6 Log10(CFU/cm2) for the new tubing to 6.6 Log10(CFU/cm2) for tubing aged to simulate five years of use. The counts for the yeast were similar. Caustic cleaning of the tubing, regardless of starting biofilm coverage, left less than 2.75 Log10(CFU/cm2) viable bacteria and yeast cells remaining on the tubing surface. This demonstrated the effectiveness of the caustic at controlling biofilm accumulation in the simulated beer draught line. The biofilm that accumulated in the five-year aged tubing was able to recover more quickly, reaching 3.6 Log10(CFU/cm2) within 24 h indicating the treatment did not fully eradicate the biofilm, suggesting that the strong chemistry used in this study would cease to be as effective over time.
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    Comparison of quantification methods for an endoscope lumen biofilm model
    (Elsevier BV, 2023-12) Haas, Bruno; James, Sarah; Parker, Albert E.; Gagnon, Marie-Claude; Goulet, Noémie; Labrie, Philippe
    Biofilm has been implicated in multi-drug resistant organism outbreaks following endoscopic procedures. Automated Endoscope Reprocessors (AER) are devices validated to clean and disinfect endoscopes per applicable standards. The ISO 15883 part 4 standard guides performance testing validation of AERs, including cleaning performance using a biofilm test soil. The standard recommends assessment of biofilm reduction using protein or carbohydrate quantification methods. The aim of this study was to assess the suitability of various quantification methods using the ISO biofilm model. The ISO 15883 part 5 biofilm test soil method was used to grow biofilm within lumens representative of endoscopes channels. The biofilm was then quantified using five methods: Crystal Violet (CV), Colony Forming Units (CFU), Total Organic Carbon (TOC), protein assay with Orthophtalaldehyde (OPA), and protein assay by micro bicinchoninic acid (μBCA). The five methods were statistically analyzed for their ability to assess biofilm reduction on samples accurately and precisely. In addition, the quantification methods were compared to demonstrate statistical equivalency, and thus their suitability for assessing biofilm cleaning performance testing of AERs.
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    Biofilm and human spaceflight
    (Elsevier BV, 2023-08) Goeres, Darla M.; Velez-Justiniano, Yo-Ann; Kjellerup, Birthe Veno; McLean, Robert JC.
    On Earth, biofilms are ubiquitous and represent the predominant mode of growth by microorganisms in their natural environments including those of biomedical and industrial importance [1,2]. While microbial contamination has been reported on the Mir (1986–2001) and earlier spacecraft, notably Skylab (1973–1979) [3], the first experimental evidence of biofilm formation during spaceflight was reported with Burkholderia cepacia flown on STS-81 in 1997 [4] and Pseudomonas aeruginosa during a 1998 experiment on STS-95 [5]. Biofilm formation has since been confirmed in a number of other spaceflight and microgravity analog studies (reviewed in Ref. [6]). Due to the potential risk of damage to key spacecraft materials and instrumentation, biofilms represent a risk that must be addressed for future human space missions beyond low Earth orbit [7]. In this special issue of Biofilm, several notable publications are presented that all enhance the understanding and the importance of biofilms in space.
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    Comparison of quantification methods for an endoscope lumen biofilm model
    (Elsevier BV, 2023-12) Haas, Bruno; James, Sarah; Parker, Albert E.; Gagnon, Marie-Claude; Goulet, Noémie; Labrie, Philippe
    Biofilm has been implicated in multi-drug resistant organism outbreaks following endoscopic procedures. Automated Endoscope Reprocessors (AER) are devices validated to clean and disinfect endoscopes per applicable standards. The ISO 15883 part 4 standard guides performance testing validation of AERs, including cleaning performance using a biofilm test soil. The standard recommends assessment of biofilm reduction using protein or carbohydrate quantification methods. The aim of this study was to assess the suitability of various quantification methods using the ISO biofilm model. The ISO 15883 part 5 biofilm test soil method was used to grow biofilm within lumens representative of endoscopes channels. The biofilm was then quantified using five methods: Crystal Violet (CV), Colony Forming Units (CFU), Total Organic Carbon (TOC), protein assay with Orthophtalaldehyde (OPA), and protein assay by micro bicinchoninic acid (μBCA). The five methods were statistically analyzed for their ability to assess biofilm reduction on samples accurately and precisely. In addition, the quantification methods were compared to demonstrate statistical equivalency, and thus their suitability for assessing biofilm cleaning performance testing of AERs.
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    Seven genome sequences of bacterial, environmental isolates from Pony Lake, Antarctica
    (American Society for Microbiology, 2023-12) Foreman, Christine M.; Smith, Heidi J.; Dieser, Markus
    Dissolved organic matter (DOM) in Antarctic inland waters is unique in that its precursor molecules are microbially derived and lack the chemical signature of higher plants. Here, we report the genomic sequences of seven environmental, bacterial isolates from Pony Lake, Antarctica, to explore the genetic potential linked to DOM processing.
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    Detection of Microbes in Ice Using Microfabricated Impedance Spectroscopy Sensors
    (The Electrochemical Society, 2023-12) Kaiser-Jackson, Lauren B.; Dieser, Markus; McGlennen, Matthew; Parker, Albert E.; Foreman, Christine M.; Warnat, Stephan
    During the growth of a polycrystalline ice lattice, microorganisms partition into veins, forming an ice vein network highly concentrated in salts and microbial cells. We used microfabricated electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) sensors to determine the effect of microorganisms on the electrochemical properties of ice. Solutions analyzed consisted of a 176 μS cm−1 conductivity solution, fluorescent beads, and Escherichia coli HB101-GFP to model biotic organisms. Impedance spectroscopy data were collected at −10 °C, −20 °C, and −25 °C within either ice veins or ice grains (i.e., no veins) spanning the sensors. After freezing, the fluorescent beads and E. coli were partitioned into the ice veins. The corresponding impedance data were discernibly different in the presence of ice veins and microbial impurities. The presence of microbial cells in ice veins was evident by decreased electrical characteristics (electrode polarization between electrode and ice matrix) relative to solid ice grains. Further, this electrochemical behavior was reversed in all bead-doped solutions, indicating that microbial processes influence sensor response. Linear mixed-effects models empirically corroborated the differences in polarization associated with the presence and absence of microbial cells in ice. We show that EIS has the potential to detect microbes in ice and differentiate between veins and solid grains.
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    Sample sizes for estimating the sensitivity of a monitoring system that generates repeated binary outcomes with autocorrelation
    (Sage Publications, 2023-11) Parker, Albert E.; Arbogast, James W.
    Sample size formulas are provided to determine how many events and how many patient care units are needed to estimate the sensitivity of a monitoring system. The monitoring systems we consider generate time series binary data that are autocorrelated and clustered by patient care units. Our application of interest is an automated hand hygiene monitoring system that assesses whether healthcare workers perform hand hygiene when they should. We apply an autoregressive order 1 mixed effects logistic regression model to determine sample sizes that allow the sensitivity of the monitoring system to be estimated at a specified confidence level and margin of error. This model overcomes a major limitation of simpler approaches that fail to provide confidence intervals with the specified levels of confidence when the sensitivity of the monitoring system is above 90%.
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    Development of Martian saline seep models and their implications for planetary protection
    (Elsevier BV, 2023-12) Mettler, Madelyn K.; Goemann, Hannah M.; Mueller, Rebecca C.; Vanegas, Oscar A.; Lopez, Gabriela; Singh, Nitin; Venkateswaran, Kasthuri; Peyton, Brent M.
    While life on Mars has not been found, Earth-based microorganisms may contaminate the Red Planet during rover expeditions and human exploration. Due to the survival advantages conferred by the biofilm morphology to microorganisms, such as resistance to UV and osmotic stress, biofilms are particularly concerning from a planetary protection perspective. Modeling and data from the NASA Phoenix mission indicate that temporary liquid water might exist on Mars in the form of high salinity brines. These brines could provide colonization opportunities for terrestrial microorganisms brought by spacecraft or humans. To begin testing for potential establishment of microbes, results are presented from a simplified laboratory model of a Martian saline seep inoculated with sediment from Hailstone Basin, a terrestrial saline seep in Montana (USA). The seep was modeled as a sand-packed drip flow reactor at room temperature fed media with either 1 M MgSO4 or 1 M NaCl. Biofilms were established within the first sampling point of each experiment. Endpoint 16S rRNA gene community analysis showed significant selection of halophilic microorganisms by the media. Additionally, we detected 16S rRNA gene sequences highly similar to microorganisms previously detected in two spacecraft assembly cleanrooms. These experimental models provide an important foundation for identifying microbes that could hitch-hike on spacecraft and may be able to colonize Martian saline seeps. Future model optimization will be vital to informing cleanroom sterilization procedures.
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    Α,α-disubstituted β-amino amides eliminate Staphylococcus aureus biofilms by membrane disruption and biomass removal
    (Elsevier BV, 2023-12) Ausbacher, Dominik; Miller, Lindsey A.; Goeres, Darla M.; Stewart, Philip S.; Strøm, Morten B.; Fallarero, Adyary
    Bacterial biofilms account for up to 80% of all infections and complicate successful therapies due to their intrinsic tolerance to antibiotics. Biofilms also cause serious problems in the industrial sectors, for instance due to the deterioration of metals or microbial contamination of products. Efforts are put in finding novel strategies in both avoiding and fighting biofilms. Biofilm control is achieved by killing and/or removing biofilm or preventing transition to the biofilm lifestyle. Previous research reported on the anti-biofilm potency of α,α-disubstituted β-amino amides A1, A2 and A3, which are small antimicrobial peptidomimetics with a molecular weight below 500 Da. In the current study it was investigated if these derivatives cause a fast disintegration of biofilm bacteria and removal of Staphylococcus aureus biofilms. One hour incubation of biofilms with all three derivatives resulted in reduced metabolic activity and membrane permeabilization in S. aureus (ATCC 25923) biofilms. Bactericidal properties of these derivatives were attributed to a direct effect on membranes of biofilm bacteria. The green fluorescence protein expressing Staphylococcus aureus strain AH2547 was cultivated in a CDC biofilm reactor and utilized for disinfectant efficacy testing of A3, following the single tube method (American Society for Testing and Materials designation number E2871). A3 at a concentration of 90 μM acted as fast as 100 μM chlorhexidine and was equally effective. Confocal laser scanning microscopy studies showed that chlorhexidine treatment lead to fluorescence fading indicating membrane permeabilization but did not cause biomass removal. In contrast, A3 treatment caused a simultaneous biofilm fluorescence loss and biomass removal. These dual anti-biofilm properties make α,α-disubstituted β-amino amides promising scaffolds in finding new control strategies against recalcitrant biofilms.
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    Monitoring biofilm growth and dispersal in real-time with impedance biosensors
    (Oxford University Press, 2023-02) McGlennen, Matthew; Dieser, Markus; Foreman, Christine M; Warnat, Stephan
    Microbial biofilm contamination is a widespread problem that requires precise and prompt detection techniques to effectively control its growth. Microfabricated electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) biosensors offer promise as a tool for early biofilm detection and monitoring of elimination. This study utilized a custom flow cell system with integrated sensors to make real-time impedance measurements of biofilm growth under flow conditions, which were correlated with confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) imaging. Biofilm growth on EIS biosensors in basic aqueous growth media (tryptic soy broth, TSB) and an oil–water emulsion (metalworking fluid, MWF) attenuated in a sigmoidal decay pattern, which lead to an ∼22–25% decrease in impedance after 24 Hrs. Subsequent treatment of established biofilms increased the impedance by ∼14% and ∼41% in TSB and MWF, respectively. In the presence of furanone C-30, a quorum-sensing inhibitor (QSI), impedance remained unchanged from the initial time point for 18 Hrs in TSB and 72 Hrs in MWF. Biofilm changes enumerated from CLSM imaging corroborated impedance measurements, with treatment significantly reducing biofilm. Overall, these results support the application of microfabricated EIS biosensors for evaluating the growth and dispersal of biofilm in situ and demonstrate potential for use in industrial settings.
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    Open-source pneumatic pressure pump for drop-based microfluidic flow controls
    (IOP Publishing, 2023-07) Sanchez, Humberto S; Chang, Connie B
    An open-source pneumatic pressure pump is engineered for driving fluid flow in a microfluidic device. It is designed to be a cost-effective and customizable alternative to commercial systems. The pneumatic pressure pump utilizes a single open-source microcontroller to control four dual-valve pressure regulators. The control scheme is written in the Arduino development environment and the user interface is written in Python. The pump was used to pressurize water and a fluorinated oil that have similar viscosities. The pump can accurately control pressures to a resolution of less than 0.02 psig with rapid response times of less than one second, overshoot of desired pressures by less than 30%, and setting response times of less than two seconds. The pump was also validated in its ability to produce water-in-oil drops using a drop-making microfluidic device. The resultant drop size scaled as expected with the pressures applied to the emulsion phases. The pump is the first custom-made dual-valve regulator that is used to precisely control fluid flow in a microfluidic device. The presented design is an advancement towards making more fully open-source pneumatic pressure pumps for controlling flow in microfluidic devices.
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    Harvesting and Disaggregation: An Overlooked Step in Biofilm Methods Research
    (MyJove Corporation, 2022-04) Buckingham-Meyer, Kelli; Miller, Lindsey A.; Parker, Albert E.; Walker, Diane K.; Sturman, Paul; Novak, Ian; Goeres, Darla M.
    Biofilm methods consist of four distinct steps: growing the biofilm in a relevant model, treating the mature biofilm, harvesting the biofilm from the surface and disaggregating the clumps, and analyzing the sample. Of the four steps, harvesting and disaggregation are the least studied but nonetheless critical when considering the potential for test bias. This article demonstrates commonly used harvesting and disaggregation techniques for biofilm grown on three different surfaces. The three biofilm harvesting and disaggregation techniques, gleaned from an extensive literature review, include vortexing and sonication, scraping and homogenization, and scraping, vortexing and sonication. Two surface types are considered: hard non-porous (polycarbonate and borosilicate glass) and porous (silicone). Additionally, we provide recommendations for the minimum information that should be included when reporting the harvesting technique followed and an accompanying method to check for bias.
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    Bacterial transfer and biofilm formation in needleless connectors in a clinically simulated in vitro catheter model
    (Cambridge University Press, 2023-04) Ryder, Marcia; deLancey-Pulcini, Elinor; Parker, Albert E.; James, Garth A.
    Objective: Although needleless connectors (NCs) are widely used in clinical practice, they carry significant risk of bloodstream infection (BSI). In this study, we quantified differences in bacterial transfer and biofilm formation between various NCs. Design: Prospective, clinically simulated in vitro experimental study. Methods: We tested 20 NCs in a 5-day clinical simulation of Staphylococcus aureus inoculations onto NC septum surfaces, which were then flushed with saline and cultured for bacterial transfer. Biofilm formation was measured through destructive sampling of the connector-catheter system. Moreover, 8 NC design factors were evaluated for their influence on bacterial transfer and biofilm formation. This study was designed without a disinfection protocol to ascertain the intrinsic risk of each NC. Results: Clave Neutron and MicroClave had the lowest overall mean log density of bacteria in the flush compared to other NCs (P < .05), except there were no statistically significant differences between Clave Neutron, Microclave, SafeTouch, and SafeAccess (P ≥ .05). The amount of biofilm in the NC was positively associated with bacteria in the flush (P < .0005). Among 8 design factors, flow path was most important, with the internal cannula associated with a statistically significant 1 log reduction (LR) in bacteria in the flush (R2 = 49%) and 0.5–2 LR in the connector (R2 = 34%). All factors together best explained bacteria in the flush (R2 = 65%) and biofilm in the connector (R2 = 48%). Conclusions: Bacterial transfer and biofilm formation in the connector-catheter system varied statistically significantly between the 20 NCs, suggesting that NC choice can lower the risk of developing catheter-related BSIs.
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    Culexarchaeia, a novel archaeal class of anaerobic generalists inhabiting geothermal environments
    (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2022-09) Kohtz, Anthony J.; Jay, Zackary J.; Lynes, Mackenzie M.; Krukenberg, Viola; Hatzenpichler, Roland
    Geothermal environments, including terrestrial hot springs and deep-sea hydrothermal sediments, often contain many poorly understood lineages of archaea. Here, we recovered ten metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) from geothermal sediments and propose that they constitute a new archaeal class within the TACK superphylum, “Candidatus Culexarchaeia”, named after the Culex Basin in Yellowstone National Park. Culexarchaeia harbor distinct sets of proteins involved in key cellular processes that are either phylogenetically divergent or are absent from other closely related TACK lineages, with a particular divergence in cell division and cytoskeletal proteins. Metabolic reconstruction revealed that Culexarchaeia have the capacity to metabolize a wide variety of organic and inorganic substrates. Notably, Culexarchaeia encode a unique modular, membrane associated, and energy conserving [NiFe]-hydrogenase complex that potentially interacts with heterodisulfide reductase (Hdr) subunits. Comparison of this [NiFe]-hydrogenase complex with similar complexes from other archaea suggests that interactions between membrane associated [NiFe]-hydrogenases and Hdr may be more widespread than previously appreciated in both methanogenic and non-methanogenic lifestyles. The analysis of Culexarchaeia further expands our understanding of the phylogenetic and functional diversity of lineages within the TACK superphylum and the ecology, physiology, and evolution of these organisms in extreme environments.
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    Harvesting and Disaggregation: An Overlooked Step in Biofilm Methods Research
    (MyJove Corporation, 2022-04) Buckingham-Meyer, Kelli; Miller, Lindsey A.; Parker, Albert E.; Walker, Diane K.; Sturman, Paul; Novak, Ian; Goeres, Darla M.
    Biofilm methods consist of four distinct steps: growing the biofilm in a relevant model, treating the mature biofilm, harvesting the biofilm from the surface and disaggregating the clumps, and analyzing the sample. Of the four steps, harvesting and disaggregation are the least studied but nonetheless critical when considering the potential for test bias. This article demonstrates commonly used harvesting and disaggregation techniques for biofilm grown on three different surfaces. The three biofilm harvesting and disaggregation techniques, gleaned from an extensive literature review, include vortexing and sonication, scraping and homogenization, and scraping, vortexing and sonication. Two surface types are considered: hard non-porous (polycarbonate and borosilicate glass) and porous (silicone). Additionally, we provide recommendations for the minimum information that should be included when reporting the harvesting technique followed and an accompanying method to check for bias.
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    Symmetry-Breaking Bifurcations of the Information Bottleneck and Related Problems
    (MDPI AG, 2022-09) Parker, Albert E.; Dimitrov, Alexander G.
    In this paper, we investigate the bifurcations of solutions to a class of degenerate constrained optimization problems. This study was motivated by the Information Bottleneck and Information Distortion problems, which have been used to successfully cluster data in many different applications. In the problems we discuss in this paper, the distortion function is not a linear function of the quantizer. This leads to a challenging annealing optimization problem, which we recast as a fixed-point dynamics problem of a gradient flow of a related dynamical system. The gradient system possesses an 𝑆𝑁 symmetry due to its invariance in relabeling representative classes. Its flow hence passes through a series of bifurcations with specific symmetry breaks. Here, we show that the dynamical system related to the Information Bottleneck problem has an additional spurious symmetry that requires more-challenging analysis of the symmetry-breaking bifurcation. For the Information Bottleneck, we determine that when bifurcations occur, they are only of pitchfork type, and we give conditions that determine the stability of the bifurcating branches. We relate the existence of subcritical bifurcations to the existence of first-order phase transitions in the corresponding distortion function as a function of the annealing parameter, and provide criteria with which to detect such transitions
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    The Effect of a Prospective Intervention Program with Automated Monitoring on Hand Hygiene Performance in Long-term and Acute Care Units at a Veteran Affairs Medical Center
    (Oxford University Press, 2022-12) Starrett, W. Grant; Arbogast, James W.; Parker, Albert E.; Wagner, Pamela T.; Mahrer, Susan E.; Christian, Vanessa; Lane, Barbara L.; Cheek, V. Lorraine; Robbins, Gregory A.; Boyce, John M.; Polenakovik, Hari
    Background. There is emerging evidence that implementation of an automated hand hygiene monitoring system (AHHMS) must be part of a multimodal hand hygiene (HH) program that includes complementary strategies. There are few published studies describing in detail the intervention strategies used with an AHHMS. Methods. An AHHMS that provides group HH performance rates (100 x HH product dispenses divided by the number of room entries plus exits) was implemented on two Acute Care (AC) units and six long-term care (LTC) units at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center from March 2021 through April 2022. After a 4-week baseline period and 2.5-week washout period, the 52-week intervention period included many components, such as weekly huddles, unit nurse manager engagement, vendor provided clinician-based training and feedback, leadership support, unit recognition, signage and development of a new slogan to remind colleagues to perform HH. Statistical analysis was performed with a Poisson general additive mixed model. Results. During the 4-week baseline period, the median HH performance rate was 18.6 (95% CI: [16.5, 21.0]) for all 8 units. During the intervention period, the median HH rate increased to 21.6 [19.1, 24.4], and during the last 4 weeks of the intervention period (exactly 1 year after baseline), the 8 units exhibited a median HH rate of 25.1 [22.2, 28.4], (p < 0.0001) [Figure 1]. The median HH rate increased from 17.5 to 20.0 (p < 0.0001) in LTC units and from 22.9 to 27.2 (p < 0.0001) in AC units. The intervention increased the use of hand sanitizer from 57.5% during baseline to 65.1% (p < 0.0001). The increase in HH rates was due to HH events increasing from 88,758 dispenses during the baseline to 123,722 dispenses during the last 4 weeks of the intervention. Direct observation results during the same periods showed HH compliance ranging from 61-86%. Figure 1- Monthly Hand Hygiene Performance Rates for all Units The green curve shows the change in the median HH rate during the intervention period compared to the baseline and washout periods, with vertical bars showing 95% confidence intervals for the monthly HH rate. Conclusion. The intervention increased hand sanitizer usage and HH performance rates for all units. AC units were consistently better than LTC units, which have more visitors and more mobile veterans. Further HH improvement will rely on continued implementation of complementary strategies and long-term monitoring.
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    Chickensplash! Exploring the health concerns of washing raw chicken
    (AIP Publishing, 2022-03) Carmody, Caitlin D.; Mueller, Rebecca C.; Grodner, Benjamin Michael; Chlumsky, Ondrej; Wilking, James N.; McCalla, Scott G.
    The Food and Drug Administration recommends against washing raw chicken due to the risk of transferring dangerous food-borne pathogens through splashed drops of water. Many cooks continue to wash raw chicken despite this warning, however, and there is a lack of scientific research assessing the extent of microbial transmission in splashed droplets. Here, we use large agar plates to confirm that bacteria can be transferred from the surface of raw chicken through splashing. We also identify and create a phylogenetic tree of the bacteria present on the chicken and the bacteria transferred during splashing. While no food-borne pathogens were identified, we note that organisms in the same genera as pathogens were transferred from the chicken surface through these droplets. Additionally, we show that faucet height, flow type, and surface stiffness play a role in splash height and distance. Using high-speed imaging to explore splashing causes, we find that increasing faucet height leads to a flow instability that can increase splashing. Furthermore, splashing from soft materials such as chicken can create a divot in the surface, leading to splashing under flow conditions that would not splash on a curved, hard surface. Thus, we conclude that washing raw chicken does risk pathogen transfer and cross-contamination through droplet ejection, and that changing washing conditions can increase or decrease the risk of splashing.
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    Anti-Biofilm Efficacy of Commonly Used Wound Care Products in In Vitro Settings
    (MDPI AG, 2023-03) Regulski, Matthew; Myntti, Matthew F.; James, Garth A.
    Considering the prevalence and pathogenicity of biofilms in wounds, this study was designed to evaluate the anti-biofilm capabilities of eight commercially available wound care products using established in vitro assays for biofilms. The products evaluated included dressings with multiple delivery formats for ionic silver including nanocrystalline, gelling fibers, polyurethane (PU) foam, and polymer matrix. Additionally, non-silver-based products including an extracellular polymeric substance (EPS)-dissolving antimicrobial wound gel (BDWG), a collagenase-based debriding ointment and a fish skin-based skin substitute were also evaluated. The products were evaluated on Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa mixed-species biofilms grown using colony drip flow reactor (CDFR) and standard drip flow reactor (DFR) methodologies. Anti-biofilm efficacy was measured by viable plate counts and confocal scanning laser microscopy (CSLM). Four of the eight wound care products tested were efficacious in inhibiting growth of new biofilm when compared with untreated controls. These four products were further evaluated against mature biofilms. BDWG was the only product that achieved greater than 2-log growth reduction (5.88 and 6.58 for S. aureus and P. aeruginosa, respectively) of a mature biofilm. Evaluating both biofilm prevention and mature biofilm disruption capacity is important to a comprehensive understanding of the anti-biofilm efficacy of wound care products.
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    Calculating the limit of detection for a dilution series
    (Elsevier BV, 2023-05) Sharp, Julia L.; Parker, Albert E.; Hamilton, Martin A.
    Aims. Microbial samples are often serially diluted to estimate the number of microbes in a sample, whether as colony-forming units of bacteria or algae, plaque forming units of viruses, or cells under a microscope. There are at least three possible definitions for the limit of detection (LOD) for dilution series counts in microbiology. The statistical definition that we explore is that the LOD is the number of microbes in a sample that can be detected with high probability (commonly 0.95). Methods and results. Our approach extends results from the field of chemistry using the negative binomial distribution that overcomes the simplistic assumption that counts are Poisson. The LOD is a function of statistical power (one minus the rate of false negatives), the amount of overdispersion compared to Poisson counts, the lowest countable dilution, the volume plated, and the number of independent samples. We illustrate our methods using a data set from Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms. Conclusions. The techniques presented here can be applied to determine the LOD for any counting process in any field of science whenever only zero counts are observed. Significance and impact of study. We define the LOD when counting microbes from dilution experiments. The practical and accessible calculation of the LOD will allow for a more confident accounting of how many microbes can be detected in a sample.
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