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A Closer Look at MRSA: How the Minnesota Department of Health is Contending with this Multidrug Resistant Organism

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) continues to be a major health care problem around the world. MRSA bacteria are resistant to all currently available beta-lactam antibiotics such as oxacillin and some are also resistant to non-beta-lactam drugs. Recently, Microbiologics interviewed Jane Harper and Lindsey Lesher, epidemiologists at the Minnesota Department of Health, to find out how MDH is contending with this multidrug resistant organism.

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Microbes Make Chocolates Even Better?

Are you a chocolate lover? If so, you'll be interested to know that researchers hope to make world-renowned Belgian chocolates even better with the help of some microbes.

Chocolate and cocoa are made from cacao beans which are found inside melon-shaped pods hanging from cacao trees in forests near the equator. The beans are removed from the pods and placed in heaps on banana leaves or in boxes, where they are allowed to ferment in the sun. In order to develop a superior starter culture, the researchers have optimized the composition of cocoa pulp simulation media in their laboratory with a mixture of species-specific strains of lactic acid bacteria and acetic acid bacteria. After conducting experiments with the bacteria they found a mixture of L. plantarum 80, L. fermentum 222, and A. pasteurianus 386B can now be considered a mixed-strain starter culture for better controlled and more reliable cacao bean fermentation processes.

The research is published in the December 2010 issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Luc De Vuyst, corresponding author from the Free University of Brussels says, "We hope not only to improve the fermentation process but also to improve the flavor and health benefits of chocolate."


  1. Researchers Select Microbes to Improve Chocolate  Thursday, 16 December 2010
  2. (T. Lefeber, M. Janssens, N. Camu, and L. De Vuyst. Kinetic Analysis of Strains of Lactic Acid Bacteria and Acetic Acid Bacteria in Cocoa Pulp Simulation Media toward Development of a Starter Culture for Cocoa Bean Fermentation . Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 76: 7708-7716.)

Coming Soon – EZ-Accu Shot™ Select

Five compendial strains. One convenient package.

EZ-Accu Shot™ Select boasts all the same features and benefits as the original EZ-Accu Shot™, but will include five compendial microorganism strains for Growth Promotion Testing in one convenient package. Each kit will include the following traceable strains:

  • Aspergillus brasiliensis ATCC® 16404™*
  • Bacillus subtilis subsp. spizizenii ATCC® 6633™*
  • Candida albicans ATCC® 10231™*
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC® 9027™*
  • Staphylococcus aureus subsp. aureus ATCC® 6538™*

For added convenience, the EZ-Accu Shot™ Select kit will contain five vials of hydration fluid and five individual peel-off information labels, one for each strain. Look for EZ-Accu Shot™ Select to become available in mid-February.

EZ-Accu Shot™ Select is not intended for clinical use.

True Story – Exceptional Customer Service: It's What We Do.

Pneumocystis in lung tissue stained with toluidine blue

Recently, our Technical Support Team was contacted by a customer who frequently uses our Pneumocystis carinii Control Slide (catalog # SL70-10). The customer explained how the current design of this slide requires a large amount of expensive color reagent to stain the tissue preparation. As a solution, the customer suggested developing a Pneumocystis carinii Control Slide with individual wells for easier, more efficient staining.

Our team quickly responded by working to develop a new slide design that would better meet our customer's needs. The newly designed Pneumocystis carinii Control Slide features a Teflon coated surface, with two 7 mm wells containing homogeneous suspensions of methanol-fixed rat lung tissue. One well contains normal rat lung tissue; the other contains rat lung heavily infected with Pneumocystis carinii cysts and trophs. We also included a frosted area at one end of the slide for easy labeling.

Our new and improved Pneumocystis carinii Two-Well Control Slides have received excellent reviews and will be added our standard collection of world-class microbiology products. The catalog number for the Pneumocystis carinii Two-Well Control Slide will be SL75-10; look for this product to be available soon.

A special thanks to our Technical Support and Production teams for all the hard-work that went into this project.


Meet Our Team

Microbiologics Clinical Quality Control Laboratory Team – From left to right: Kelly Ehnes, Christine Condon, Megan Murn, Stephanie Craven, Carol Stanoch

The Clinical Quality Control laboratory is a team built of trained microbiologists. They are responsible for testing and identifying all non-enumerated products manufactured at Microbiologics. The laboratory operates under a number of accreditation standards in order to provide the best quality products to our customers.

Special Offer
Like Us On Facebook For A Chance To Win An iPod touch!

One of our lucky fans on Facebook will win an 8GB iPod touch! The prize drawing will held on March 15, 2011 and the winner will be announced on the Microbiologics Facebook Page. ALL Microbiologics Facebook Fans will be entered into the drawing. So, if you already "Like" Microbiologics on Facebook, don't worry – you'll be entered into the prize drawing too!

Disclaimer: Microbiologics employees are not be eligible to win. Any person who wishes not to accept the prize has the right to refuse it and a new winner will be drawn.

What's Buggin' You?

Q. Help! My Aspergillus won't turn black.

A. Aspergillus brasiliensis, ATCC® 16404™*, catalog # 0392, produces a white mycelium which gradually becomes covered with black conidial heads. Like many people, it prefers warm conditions and will produce conidia more quickly at 35° - 37°C than at 22° - 25°C. The conidia will appear sooner if the agar plate on which the Aspergillus is grown is not completely taped shut.

Both agar plates are Aspergillus brasiliensis ATCC® 16404™* (catalog # 0392) grown at 35°C on Sabouraud Dextrose Emmons Agar for four days. The agar plate on the left was un-taped. The agar plate on the right was completely taped shut.

Submit your questions to Microbiologics and we will follow up with you personally. Your question may be featured in a future edition of Microbiologics Magnified.

Technical Reference Updates

Check out our newly updated "Maintenance of Quality Control Strains" Technical Information Bulletin (TIB.246). It features two plans for maintaining quality control microorganisms for up to a month after reconstitution.

Click here to download the "Maintenance of Quality Control Strains" Technical Information Bulletin (TIB.246)

Need a Break?

Click here to play our Matching Challenge game and match the "Mad Scientist" character to the movie.

Visit Us at These Upcoming Events

Food & Beverage Test Expo
February 8-10, 2011
koelnmesse Exhibition & Conference Centre
Cologne, Germany

Fisher HealthCare Sales Meeting
February 15-17, 2010
Omni Hotel at CNN Center
Atlanta, GA

PMF Open Conference on Compendial Change – A Shift in Focus
February 17-18, 2011
Doubletree Hotel Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA

PDA Europe Conference on Pharmaceutical Microbiology/Mycoplasma
March 15-16, 2011
Berlin, Germany

ASM 111th General Meeting
May 21-24, 2011
Ernest M. Morial Convention Center
New Orleans, Louisiana

Stanley's Helpful Hints
StanleyLooking for a Group B Strep Control for your Bacitracin disk test?

We recommend Streptococcus agalactiae ATCC® 12386™*, catalog # 0439. We've included a chart to help you  choose which microorganism to use for your bacitracin disk quality control. It is always best to use the quality control strains recommended by the manufacturer of your test. Microorganisms can be grown in an aerobic atmosphere or in 5-10% CO2. Zones of inhibition are smaller when microorganisms are grown in CO2

Click here for the full article and table.

Microbiologics News & Developments
Microbiologics Becomes an AOAC INTERNATIONAL Organizational Affiliate

New Products Available!

Food Safety Bill Update

President Barak Obama signed the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) into Law on January 4, 2011. In a statement on, Commissioner of Food and Drugs, Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D., paraphrases the new law as "Putting the Focus on Prevention."

Hamburg goes on to explain, "The historic legislation the President has signed directs the Food and Drug Administration, working with a wide range of public and private partners, to build a new system of food safety oversight – one focused on applying, more comprehensively than ever, the best available science and good common sense to prevent the problems that can make people sick."

The FSMA redefines the FDA's approach to food safety, transforming to a pro-active system rather than a re-active system. Under the new law, food processors of all types will be required to establish, implement and monitor a comprehensive prevention-based food safety system, as well as a plan to take correction actions when necessary.

For the first time, FDA will now have a congressional mandate for risk-based inspections of food processing facilities. Another first, this legislation authorizes FDA to enforce mandatory recalls when contaminated foods need to be removed from the market quickly. An additional aspect of the FSMA requires FDA to establish science-based standards for the safe production and harvesting of fruits and vegetables to minimize the risk of serious illnesses or death.


  1. "Food Safety Modernization Act: Putting the Focus on Prevention", January 03, 2011, Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D., Commissioner of Food and Drugs,
  2. "Food Safety Legislation", January 14, 2011,
  3. "Commissioner's Statement on the Food Safety Modernization Act", December 21, 2010, Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D., Commissioner of Food and Drugs, 

NEWSL1 REVISION 2011.FEB.1     ©Copyright, 2011. Microbiologics, Inc. |  | | about us

ATCC Licensed Derivative *The ATCC Licensed Derivative Emblem, the ATCC Licensed Derivative word mark and the ATCC catalog marks are trademarks of ATCC. Microbiologics, Inc. is licensed to use these trademarks and to sell products derived from ATCC® cultures.