|UNE Biomist Website
Posted: May 1, 2015
By Michael Das
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What you don't see can hurt you. Here's how to protect
yourself against the nasty bugs and micro-organisms that may
be lurking in the gym.
Germs love the gym. Just take a quick look around next time
you're in one and you'll see why. Notice all the bodies in
close proximity, sweating? That gives germs the moist
environment they need to thrive. Next, check out all the
barbells, weight benches, floor mats and stationary bikes.
They comprise a forest of inanimate objects that scientists
call finites, and they provide ample surfaces for germs to
lurk. Now take a look at your hands.
They spend a lot of time gripping, pushing and pulling those
vomited, and they make for an unwitting and highly effective
transportation system. You're constantly encountering and
carrying germs from station to station, and with one
accidental wipe, you could infect yourself or another
person. ''Most cold and flu viruses are transmitted by
someone touching someone or through fomites,'' says Barbara
Hanson, associate professor of biology at Canisius College
in Buffalo, New York.
''Droplets from someone's nose may fall on the gym
equipment, then the next person may touch it and rub his or
her nose. Then they're infected.'' That's good luck for
germs, and we haven't even taken into account what's lurking
back in the shower stalls, whirlpools, steam rooms, swimming
pools, sinks and toilets. Large quantities of water and the
everyday sanitation problems posed by public toilets offer a
whole other set of germ worries. Locker-room threats include
athlete's foot, jock itch, Giardia and even ringworm. Every
day the microscopic warriors that cause these afflictions
are multiplying, moving and battling to colonize you -
particularly during winter when people tend to congregate in
crowded, closed-off spaces and flu season is at its peak.
Fortunately, it's not as bad as it might seem. If you go to
the gym regularly, you've got a lot of things going for you
in the fight against germs. You're likely to have a stronger
immune system than a person who doesn't work out and, thus,
you can combat germs better than the general population.
You're also likely to have less infectious diseases to pass
The germs commonly found in gyms are generally the same
germs found on the doorknobs, sinks and hand rails you come
in constant contact with outside the gym, and the majority
are quite harmless. A few, like the common cold virus, can
trip you up for days or weeks, and a select few can knock
you out for a longer period. It's unlikely you'll pick up
something so terrible, though.
''Anyone who says there's a great risk of infection
attending a gym is an alarmist,'' states Winkler Weinberg,
MD, chairman of the Georgia Pacific Health Smart Institute
and author of No Germs Allowed. ''But there's no harm in
Know Your Enemy
What should you do first? Get to know your enemy. Four major
types of micro-organisms are common in the gym: Bacteria.
These single-celled organisms colonize people and finites,
including towels and showerheads. Typical strains include
staphylococcus aureus and streptococci. Both can cause bad
skin inferiors. Outbreaks have been known to occur among
sports teams," Weinberg notes. ''Staph is one of the most
common infections known to man." At the extreme, certain
strains of bacteria can cause pneumonia.
Fungi. More complex but still single-celled
organisms, they tend to thrive in places with lots of
moisture. Common types cause noted gym afflictions like
athlete's foot and jock itch. Others can be much worse.
Generally, certain people are more prone to fungal infection
than others. ''Your susceptibility level depends on your
body chemistry explains Hanson. ''It depends on a variety of
things from your chemical makeup and the amount you sweat.
it's slightly different for everybody."
Protozoa. Another single-cell organism, common
protozoa like Giardia can be found in hot tubs, whirlpools
and swimming pools that haven't been properly sanitized,
Protozoa are the rarest of the four major gym-germ threats.
Viruses. They're more complex than the other three
organisms, and they require a host to survive. Cold and
influenza viruses are the most common. They're transmitted
via finites. person-to-person contact and, less often than
you might think, sneezing.
"Sneezes leave the mouth at 200 miles per hour." Weinberg
points out. ''But they don't go more than 3 feet'' Only 25%
of the time are people indexed directly from sneezes in the
face says Hanson. Once viruses infer your body, they tend to
stay In the respiratory tract, infecting other cells to make
more virus particles.
While these types of germs are wildly different from each
other in composition, they do have several things in common.
First, only a very small possibility exists that any of them
can be passed along via sweat, even if the sweat is from a
person who has a cold or the flu ''The actual sweat is
really not a problem," states Herbert DuPont, MD, professor
of medical sciences at The University of Texas Health
Science Center at Houston. ''It's primarily the moisture
from sweat that causes problems by helping germs grow."
Many germs also have a very short lifespan, dissipating
before they can colonise or infer you. The germs that do
remain potent for extended periods - certain common viruses
have been known to linger for several hours and, in some
cases, days - are the ones that pose problems.
Gym owners and public health officials, of course, know
this. Most gyms have to maintain the necessary level of
cleanliness in keeping with the FIA. Typically, hot tubs and
swimming polls are inspired to ensure that proper levels of
germ-fighting chlorine or bromine are maintained Locker
rooms and public toilets are similarly inspected The
sanitation of the weights, machines and other equipment,
however, generally falls under the jurisdiction of the gym.
Most owners do everything in their power to keep their gyms
tidy and germ-free. Milos Sarcev, pro bodybuilder and owner
of the Powerhouse Gym in Fullerton, California for instance,
says he's adamant about keeping his gym up to scratch. A
cleaning crew sanitizes the equipment twice a day, once
after the morning rush and again after the afternoon crunch.
The staff checks up on the bathroom every hour.
Powerhouse also has a mandatory towel policy: Everyone
carries a towel and must wipe down the equipment before
moving on to another station. Every reputable gym has or
should have a similarly thorough sanitation policy. ''If
you're looking for a gym, you should ask questions about
sanitization," Hanson suggests. ''Ask how often they
sanitize equipment. Ask if they have a wipe-down policy. At
minimum, a gym should be sanitized once a day.
" It's a good
idea to have a cleaning regimen at your home gym, too.
Hanson advises wiping down just as you would in a public
gym, and that you thoroughly clean the entire area every week
or two with soap and water or a common disinfectant like
''Germs need a critical mass to colonize you," she explains.
''And if you can keep things clean, it really reduces the
chance of getting an infection."
Even with such a commitment to cleanliness, it's impossible
to completely eliminate germs from a gym environment. At
some point you have to take responsibility for your own
safety. With an understanding of the little buggers, and a
little common sense, you can further reduce your chances of
Germs have several methods of attack and in most cases, they
won't be successful unless you give them an opening. The
first thing you should do is wash your hands and dry them
thoroughly, Germs crave moisture: do everything in your
power to reduce the wet spots around you. That means wiping
down equipment after you use it. Carry a towel with you.
Carry two - one to wipe equipment, and one to wipe yourself
down - if you want to be extra courteous. Use different
coloured towels so you know not to wipe your body with your
equipment towel, and vice versa.
Wiping helps eliminate moisture but it won't eliminate
germs. Yet don't be alarmed about being infected by most
germs through your skin. The risk of infection from bacteria
and viruses through general contact is almost zero. If you
have a scrape, cut or any sort of abrasion, however, you're
asking for it. ''People with skin abrasions or inferiors
should cover up with a Band-Aid to help stop transmission,"
Hanson notes. ''Wearing a shirt is a good idea, too." Gloves
also work to cover up nicks and cuts on the hands.
Understand, though, that wearing them doesn't preclude you
from picking up and spreading germs.
The germs picked up by scrape-free bodies and hands most
likely won't be able to infect you - unless you rub an
exposed infected area on your body with your hands and then
you rub your hands on your eyes, nose or mouth. Picking up a
germ from an indexed surface or person with your hands, then
putting your hands to those vulnerable spots on your face,
is perhaps the most common method of transmission. Celebrity
exhibit A: Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning had
a bout with blurred vision during the preseason caused, it
Is believed, by baking someone's hand, picking up a virus
and rubbing it into shaking someone's hand, picking up a
virus and rubbing it into his right eye.
Wet areas in the gym offer further germ problems. Again,
fight back with common sense. Don't rub your eyes, ears or
nose. If you have fresh scrapes or cuts, skip the tub and
head straight for the showers. Just don't go there without
some sort of shower shoes, particularly if you're vulnerable
to fungal infections like athlete's foot.
After your post-workout shower - which should be taken
immediately to eliminate germs you may have picked up and to
keep your normal germ population at a reasonable level - dry
off thoroughly with a clean towel. In a pinch, use
disposable paper towels. ''When I go to the gym I wash very
carefully, and that's what people should do," says DuPont.
''But in the big scheme, you really shouldn't worry about
germs in a gym setting. Let's put it in perspective: Going
to the gym is a good thing to do and a safe thing to do.
You're not going to lose ground from an overall health
Colds, the Flu and the Gym
Though colds and the flu are more prevalent this time of
year, that doesn't mean you should stay away from the gym.
If you follow proper germ safety practices - wipe down
equipment, wear shower slippers, wash thoroughly, and cover
up cuts and abrasions - your risk of exposure during cold
and flu season is about the same as it is normally.
What if you're the one with the cold? ''If you feel up for
it, there's no reason you can't go to the gym," says Winkler
Weinberg, MD, chairman of the Georgia Pacific Health Smart
Institute and author of No Germs Allowed. ''But you should
be a good citizen and be careful that you wash your hands
and that you don't cough or sneeze on the equipment."
Another good rule of thumb is to stick with your training
schedule if your symptoms are in your head, but stay home if
they're in your chest.
The first defense against germs is
effective sanitation. The Biomist™ Power Sanitizing
System is the first safe method of power spraying an
alcohol-based sanitizer. Biomist™ is non-corrosive and
will not harm any metals - an excellent sanitizing solutions
for gyms and gym equipment.
|UNE Biomist Website
Posted: May 1, 2015
Biomist Power Sanitizing System
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|UNE Biomist Website
Posted: May 1, 2015
Low-level ozone exposure found to be lethal over time
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From the Los Angeles Times
An 18-year study shows an increased annual risk of death
from respiratory illnesses, depending on the pollution
level. It goes beyond studies that linked brief ozone spikes
to short-term effects.
By Thomas H. Maugh II
March 12, 2009
Ozone pollution is a killer, increasing the yearly risk of
death from respiratory diseases by 40% to 50% in heavily
polluted cities like Los Angeles and Riverside and by about
25% throughout the rest of the country, researchers reported
Environmental scientists already knew that increases in
ozone during periods of heavy pollution caused short-term
effects, such as asthma attacks, increased hospitalizations
and deaths from heart attacks.
But the 18-year study of nearly half a million people,
reported today in the New England Journal of Medicine, is
the first to show that long-term, low-level exposure to the
pollutant can also be lethal.
Current standards for ozone pollution cover only eight-hour
averages of the colorless gas, but even with that relatively
relaxed rule, 345 counties with a total population of more
than 100 million people are out of compliance.
The Environmental Protection Agency "has already said that
it will revisit the current ozone standards in the country,"
said Dan Greenbaum, president of the Boston-based Health
Effects Institute, one of the study's sponsors.
"Undoubtedly, when it happens these results are going to be
a very important part of that review," said Greenbaum, who
was not involved in the study.
The EPA may need to implement an annual standard, said
University of Ottawa environmental health scientist Daniel
Krewski, one of the paper's authors.
Coauthor Michael Jerrett of UC Berkeley said the findings
could have profound implications because they show that
ozone worsens conditions that already kill a large number of
Deaths from respiratory diseases, such as chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema and pneumonia,
account for about 8.5% of all U.S. deaths, an estimated
240,000 each year. Worldwide, such conditions account for
7.7 million deaths each year.
Ozone is what is known as a secondary pollutant. It is not
formed directly by the burning of fossil fuels. Rather,
nitrogen oxides produced by such combustion react in the
presence of sunlight to form ozone. It is thus the biggest
problem in areas that are sunny and hot, Jerrett said.
As an oxidizing agent, ozone reacts with virtually anything
it comes into contact with. In particular, it reacts with
cells in the lungs, causing inflammation and a variety of
other effects that lead to premature aging.
Jerrett and his colleagues studied 448,850 people over age
18 in 96 metropolitan regions who enrolled in the American
Cancer Society Cancer Prevention Study II in 1982 and 1983.
The subjects were tracked for an average of 18 years. During
that follow-up period, there were 48,884 deaths, 9,891 of
them from respiratory diseases.
The researchers found that every increase of 10 parts per
billion (ppb) in average ozone concentrations was associated
with about a 4% increase in dying from respiratory causes.
Riverside had the highest ozone average (104 ppb), and the
risk of dying from respiratory causes was 50% greater than
it would have been if there were no ozone.
Los Angeles had the second-highest ozone level and a 43%
increase in risk.
In contrast, San Francisco had the lowest average ozone
level (33 ppb) of the 96 regions studied and only a 14%
increased risk, probably because of the fog and prevailing
winds, which reduce ozone formation. The Pacific Northwest
also had low levels of ozone, again because of rain and cool
Cities in the East like New York and Washington had an
average increased risk of about 25% to 27%.
The researchers found no increase in deaths from
cardiovascular disease associated with ozone levels -- those
deaths are caused primarily by the fine particulates present
in air pollution.
They also found no increase in overall mortality, suggesting
that ozone is causing deaths in people who were probably
going to die in another year or two anyway, according to
epidemiologist Joel Schwartz of the Harvard School of Public
Health, who was not involved in the study.
"We do know that ozone is particularly dangerous for people
living with existing asthma or lung disease," Jerrett said.
And it didn't matter what someone's weight, income or
education was. "It seems to affect a lot of people
|Bacteria race ahead of
Falling behind: Deadly infections increasingly able to
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Sabin Russell, Chronicle Medical Writer, dated January 20, 2008
UNE Biomist Website Posted:
May 1, 2015
At a busy microbiology lab in San Francisco, bad bugs are
brewing inside vials of human blood, or sprouting inside
petri dishes, all in preparation for a battery of tests.
These tests will tell doctors at UCSF Medical Center which
kinds of bacteria are infecting their patients, and which
antibiotics have the best chance to knock those infections
With disturbing regularity, the list of available options is
short, and it is getting shorter.
Dr. Jeff Brooks has been director of the UCSF lab for 29
years, and has watched with a mixture of fascination and
dread how bacteria once tamed by antibiotics evolve rapidly
into forms that practically no drug can treat.
"These organisms are very small," he said, "but they are
still smarter than we are."
Among the most alarming of these is MRSA, or methicillin-resistant
Staphylococcus aureus, a bug that used to be confined to
vulnerable hospital patients, but now is infecting otherwise
healthy people in schools, gymnasiums and the home.
As MRSA continues its natural evolution, even more
drug-resistant strains are emerging. The most aggressive of
these is one called USA300.
Last week, doctors at San Francisco General Hospital
reported that a variant of that strain, resistant to six
important antibiotics normally used to treat staph, may be
transmitted by sexual contact and is spreading among gay men
in San Francisco, Boston, New York and Los Angeles.
Yet the problem goes far beyond one bug and a handful of
drugs. Entire classes of mainstay antibiotics are being
threatened with obsolescence, and bugs far more dangerous
than staph are evolving in ominous ways.
"We are on the verge of losing control of the situation,
particularly in the hospitals," said Dr. Chip Chambers,
chief of infectious disease at San Francisco General
The reasons for increasing drug resistance are well known:
- Overuse of antibiotics, which speeds
the natural evolution of bacteria, promoting new mutant
strains resistant to those drugs.
- Careless prescribing of antibiotics
that aren't effective for the malady in question, such
as a viral infection.
- Patient demand for antibiotics when
they aren't needed.
Heavy use of antibiotics in poultry and
livestock feed, which can breed resistance to similar drugs
Germ strains that interbreed at hospitals, where infection
controls as simple as hand-washing are lax.
All this is happening while the supply of new antibiotics
from drug company laboratories is running dry.
Since commercial production of penicillin began in the
1940s, antibiotics have been the miracle drugs of modern
medicine, suppressing infectious diseases that have
afflicted human beings for thousands of years. But today, as
a generation of Baby Boomers begins to enter a phase of life
marked by the ailments of aging, we are running out of
Top infectious disease doctors are saying that lawmakers and
the public at large do not realize the grave implications of
"Within just a few years, we could be seeing that most of
our microorganisms are resistant to most of our
antibiotics," said Dr. Jack Edwards, chief of infectious
diseases at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.
At Brooks' microbiology laboratory, the evolutionary
struggle of bacteria versus antibiotics is on display every
day. He grabbed a clear plastic dish that grew golden-hued
MRSA germs taken from a patient a few days earlier. Inside
were seven paper dots, each impregnated with a different
drug. If the antibiotic worked, the dot had a clear ring
around it - a zone where no germs could grow. No ring meant
the drug had failed. This test was typical. Three drugs
worked, four had failed.
The strategy for nearly 70 years has been to stay a step
ahead of resistance by developing new antibiotics. In the
past decade, however, major drugmakers have been dropping
out of the field. The number of new antibiotics in
development has plummeted. During the five-year period ended
in 1987, the FDA licensed 16 novel antibiotics. In the most
recent five-year period, only five were approved.
For drugmakers, the economics are simple: An antibiotic can
cure an infection in a matter of days. There is much more
money in finding drugs that must be taken for a lifetime.
Toll of antibiotic resistance
With antibiotic research lagging, the bugs
are catching up, and infections are taking a terrible toll.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
estimates that each year 99,000 Americans die of various
bacterial infections that they pick up while hospitalized -
more than double the number killed every year in automobile
Of the 1.7 million hospital-acquired infections that occur
each year, studies show, 70 percent are resistant to at
least one antibiotic.
Drug-resistant staph is rapidly becoming a major public
health menace. Last fall, the CDC estimated that MRSA alone
has killed 19,000 Americans. Most of these patients picked
up the bug in the hospital, but it is now spreading in urban
and suburban neighborhoods across the nation.
"MRSA is killing people. It almost killed me," said Peg
McQueary, whose life was upended when she nicked her leg
with a razor three years ago.
Within days, her leg was grotesquely swollen, red from foot
to knee. Her husband wheeled her into a Kaiser medical
office, where her doctor took one look and rushed her to an
She was placed on intravenous vancomycin, a drug reserved
for the most serious cases of MRSA. Since that frightening
week, the 42-year-old Roseville woman has spent much of her
life in and out of hospitals, and she's learned just how
difficult these infections can be to treat. McQueary has
burned through drug after drug, but the staph keeps coming
She's been hooked up at her home to bags of vancomycin and
swallowed doses of linezolid, clindamycin and a half a dozen
other antibiotics with barely pronounceable names and
One of the newest antibiotics, intravenous daptomycin -
approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2003 - seems
to work the best, but it has not prevented recurrences.
"It's just a struggle to do everyday things," she said. "I
am ready to scream about it."
Today, she moderates a Web site, MRSA Resources Support
Forum, swapping stories with other sufferers. "Giving them a
place to vent is some sort of healing for me," she said.
McQueary's travails are becoming an all-too-familiar
American experience. As bacteria evolve new ways to sidestep
antibiotics, doctors treating infections find themselves
with a dwindling list of options. Old-line drugs are losing
their punch, while the newer ones are both costly and laden
with side effects.
Drugs' weakening grip
Dr. Joseph Guglielmo, chairman of the
Department of Clinical Pharmacy at UCSF, closely tracks the
effectiveness of dozens of antibiotics against different
infectious bacteria. Laminated color-coded cards called
antibiograms are printed up for hospital physicians each
year. They chart the success rate of each antibiotic against
at least 12 major pathogens. These charts show how
antibiotics, like tires slowly leaking air, are losing
strength year by year.
As head of the hospital pharmacy, Guglielmo oversees a small
warehouse at the medical center that stores millions of
dollars worth of prescription drugs that are used every day
to treat patients there. Strolling down the aisles that
houses bins of antibiotics, he reached for a bottle of
imipenem, and cradled the little vial in the palm of his
"This one is the last line of defense," he said.
Imipenem was approved by the FDA in 1985. A powerful member
of the carbapenem family - the latest in a long line of
penicillin-like drugs - it is frequently used in hospitals
today because it can still defeat a wide variety of germs
that have outwitted the earlier-generation antibiotics.
But at a cost of about $60 a day, and with a safety profile
that includes risk of seizure, it is a "Big Gun" drug that
must be used carefully. As soon as doctors discover that a
lesser antibiotic will work, they will stop prescribing
imipenem, like soldiers conserving their last remaining
stores of ammunition.
Now, there are signs of trouble.
Imipenem has been the antibiotic of choice for doctors
treating Klebsiella, a vigorous microbe that causes
pneumonia in hospitalized patients. But in June 2005, New
York City doctors reported in the journal Archives of
Internal Medicine outbreaks of imipenem-resistant Klebsiella.
Fifty-nine such cases were logged at just two hospitals. The
death rate among those whose infections entered their
bloodstreams was 47 percent.
Last year, Israeli doctors battled an outbreak of carbapenem-resistant
Klebsiella that has killed more than 400 patients.
Cipro's dramatic decline
The antibiotic Cipro, approved by the Food
and Drug Administration in 1987, is familiar to millions of
Americans because it is widely prescribed for pneumonia,
urinary tract infections and sexually transmitted diseases.
It was the drug used to treat victims of the anthrax
mailings that followed the Sept. 11 attacks.
Unlike most antibiotics, which originated from natural
toxins produced by bacteria, Cipro came from tinkering with
a chemical compound used to fight malaria. The German drug
giant Bayer patented Cipro's active ingredient in 1983, and
it subsequently became the most widely sold antibiotic in
At hospitals across the country, however, clinicians have
witnessed a remarkable drop-off in the utility of Cipro
against more commonly encountered germs.
Antibiograms from the UCSF lab highlight the alarming
erosion: As recently as 1999, Cipro was effective against 95
percent of specimens of E. coli - bacteria responsible for
the most common hospital-acquired infections in the United
States. By 2006, Cipro would work against only 60 percent of
The bacterial evolution that has so quickly sapped Cipro has
also reduced the effectiveness of the entire family of
related antibiotics called fluoroquinolones - drugs such as
Levaquin, Floxin, and Noroxin. "If there is ever a group of
drugs that has taken a beating, it is these," said UCSF
pharmacy chief Guglielmo.
Against Acinetobacter - a bug responsible for rising numbers
of bloodstream and lung infections in intensive care units,
as well as among combat casualties in Iraq - Cipro's
effectiveness fell from 80 percent in 1999 to 10 percent
just four years later. Cipro has also lost ground against
Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a common cause of pneumonia in
hospitalized patients. Nearly 80 percent of the bugs tested
were susceptible to Cipro in 1999. That fell to 65 percent
At UCSF, doctors carefully monitor the trends in drug
resistance and modify their prescribing patterns
accordingly. As a result, they have been able to nudge some
of these resistance levels down. Cipro's effectiveness
against Acinetobacter crept up to 40 percent last year, for
example, but the overall trend remains alarming.
Although MRSA infections have been capturing headlines, bugs
such as Acinetobacter, Klebsiella and Pseudomonas are
keeping doctors awake at night. They come from a class of
pathogens called Gram-negative bacteria, which typically
have an extra layer of microbial skin to ward off
antibiotics, and internal pumps that literally drive out
antibiotics that penetrate.
Gram-negative infections have always been difficult to
treat, and few new drugs are in development. Some
researchers believe that the pipeline for new antibiotics is
drying up because it is simply getting more difficult to
outwit the bugs. "It may be that we've already found all the
good antibiotics," warned Chambers, San Francisco General
Hospital's infectious disease chief. "If that is so, then
we've really got to be careful how we use the ones we have."
Bacteria's natural evolution
Terry Hazen, senior scientist at Lawrence
Berkeley National Laboratory and director of its ecology
program, is not at all surprised by the tenacity of our
bacterial foes. "We are talking about 3.5 billion years of
evolution," he said. "They are the dominant life on Earth."
Bacteria have invaded virtually every ecological niche on
the planet. Human explorers of extreme environments such as
deep wells and mines are still finding new bacterial
species. "As you go deeper into the subsurface, thousands
and thousands of feet, you find bacteria that have been
isolated for millions of years - and you find multiple
antibiotic resistance," Hazen said.
In his view, when bacteria develop resistance to modern
antibiotics, they are merely rolling out old tricks they
mastered eons ago in their struggle to live in harsh
environments in competition with similarly resilient
Drug industry economics are also a factor. "It takes a hell
of a lot of effort to find the next really good drug," said
Steven Projan, vice president of New Jersey pharmaceutical
giant Wyeth Inc.
The costs of bringing a new drug to market are hotly
debated. A Tufts University study estimated $802 million;
the consumer group Public Citizen pegs it at $110 million.
Either way, the investment is huge.
By 1990, according to the Infectious Diseases Society of
America, half the major drugmakers in Japan and the United
States had cut back or halted antibiotic research. Since
2000, some of the biggest names in pharmaceutical
development - Roche, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Abbott
Laboratories, Eli Lilly, Aventis and Procter & Gamble - had
joined the exodus.
By common measures used to gauge the profit potential of new
drugs, antibiotics fall way behind, Projan explained. For
every $100 million that a new antibiotic might yield, after
projected revenue and expenses are tallied, a new cancer
drug will generate $300 million. A new drug for arthritis,
by this same analysis, brings in $1.1 billion. Investors
have been placing their bets accordingly.
In 2002, Wyeth had sharply curtailed its own antibiotic drug
discovery programs. "We tried to get out of the field, but
one of the reasons we did not get out altogether is we feel
we have a public responsibility to fund more research," said
Wyeth's decision to keep some antibiotic research alive
eventually paid off. In June 2005, the FDA licensed Tygacil,
an intravenous antibiotic for complicated skin diseases such
as drug-resistant staph infection. Only one new antibiotic
for oral or intravenous use has won FDA approval since.
Pointing a finger at doctors
The waning of antibiotics in the arsenal
of modern medicine has been going on for so long that some
doctors fear a kind of complacency has set in. Increasingly,
the medical profession is pointing a finger at itself.
"We have behaved very badly," said Dr. Louis Rice, a
Harvard-educated, Columbia-trained specialist in infectious
diseases. "We have made a lot of stupid choices."
His words brought a nervous silence to thousands of his
colleagues, as he delivered a keynote speech in 2006 for the
American Society for Microbiology's annual conference in San
Rice, a professor at Cleveland's Case Western Reserve
University, said doctors and drug companies alike are
responsible for breeding resistance by "the indiscriminate
dumping of antibiotics into our human patients."
Drug-resistant germs contaminate the bedrails, the catheter
lines, the blood pressure cuffs and even the unwashed hands
of doctors, nurses and orderlies. The germs keep evolving,
swapping drug-resistance traits with other microbes. He
likened American intensive-care units - the high-tech
enclaves where the most seriously ill patients are treated -
to "toxic waste dumps."
Drug companies, he said, have a responsibility to refill the
nation's depleted medicine chest. He suggested that a tax -
similar to a Superfund tax placed on polluters to clean up
toxic waste sites - be imposed on companies that have
dropped antibiotic research. It would support drugmakers
that are still in the game. "Your products that you've made
billions and billions and billions and billions of dollars
on have created this problem, and you can't just walk away,"
Rice has stressed that the existing arsenal of antibiotics
should be used wisely, and that often means sparingly.
During a half century of antibiotic use, he said, there is
scant research on how short a course of drugs is actually
needed to cure a patient. Instead, doctors routinely
prescribe a week to 10-day course of drugs recommended by
manufacturers. If patients are taking antibiotics after
their infections are truly gone, they are creating
conditions that breed resistance. Indeed, a Dutch study
showed that one kind of pneumonia can be treated just as
successfully with three days of amoxicillin as with the
Since drug companies cannot be expected to spend money on
research that could trim sales of their products, federally
funded agencies such as the National Institutes of Health
should do the job, Rice said in a recent interview.
He also took his own specialty to task for failing to
protect the most important weapons its arsenal. Infectious
disease experts at hospitals must find the "backbone" to
stop other doctors from prescribing antibiotics
unnecessarily, Rice said. He argued they should assert their
authority to control antibiotic usage, just as cancer
specialists have a say in which chemotherapy drugs are
prescribed by surgeons.
And all health care professionals, he added, "have to wash
|UNE Biomist Website
Posted: May 1, 2015
For Immediate Release
[Print This Article]
January 5, 2009
Health Officials Discover New Technology to Kill MRSA
The recent surge in Methicillin-resistant
Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) cases have thrust the infection
into the spotlight. Most commonly traced to health
care environments (HA-MRSA), the new community acquired (CA-MRSA)
strains are now being found in schools, universities and
athletic settings. Hospitals concerned about the
growing incidence of 'superbugs' such as MRSA are turning to
a new technology that converts alcohol into a nonflammable
vapor, making it possible to sanitize surfaces that cannot
be quickly sanitized by other methods.
This new system utilizes liquid carbon dioxide as a
propellant to spray a fine alcohol mist. Using this process,
oxygen is temporarily displaced by an envelope of rapidly
expanding CO2 gas, rendering the vapor nonflammable. The
technology, known as NAV-CO2, has recently stepped into the
spotlight following the diagnosis of MRSA in previously
healthy teens and young adults. CA-MRSA is becoming more
prevalent in school, university and athletics environments.
'What makes NAV-CO2 technology unique is that it is
non-corrosive, self-drying, and safe on almost all
materials' says Robert Cook, of Biomist Inc. 'The ease of
use allows one person to effectively sanitize over 4000
square feet in under two hours. The vapor penetrates into
cracks and crevices where pathogens hide, and disinfects
areas beyond physical reach. For example, you can sanitize
between the keys on a laptop and kill pathogens without
corrosion. This is not possible with a spray bottle of
bleach and a rag.'
'Veterans Administration hospitals are
leading the way in U.S. MRSA prevention' says Charles
Carman, a management consultant working with hospitals on
infection prevention. 'The difference is the leadership. VA
Hospitals have made combating MRSA a priority, and have made
investments in NAV-CO2 systems. Ultimately, VA Hospitals
will recover the investment many times over in labor savings
and achieve a hygienic environment for patients, visitors
For more information call 727-502-0079 or
log on to
|UNE Biomist Website
Posted: May 1, 2015
For Immediate Release
September 12, 2008
Can we 'wipe out' MRSA?
Three basic principles is all it could take to reduce the
incidence of MRSA in hospitals according to a new research
by Cardiff University. Disinfectants are routinely used on
hard surfaces in hospitals to kill bacteria, with
antimicrobial containing wipes increasingly being employed
for this purpose. Antimicrobial wipes were first introduced
in 2005 in hospitals in Wales.
A study by the University's Welsh School of Pharmacy looked
into the ability of antimicrobial-surface wipes to remove,
kill and prevent the spread of such infections as MRSA. They
found that current protocols utilized by hospital staff have
the potential to spread pathogens after only the first use
of a wipe, particularly due to the ineffectiveness of wipes
to actually kill bacteria. The team, led by microbiologist
Dr Jean-Yves Maillard is now calling for a 'one wipe – one
application – per surface' approach to infection control in
The research involved a surveillance program observing
hospital staff using surface wipes to decontaminate surfaces
near patients, such as bed rails, and other surfaces
commonly touched by staff and patients, such as monitors,
tables and key pads. It was found that the wipes were being
applied to the same surface several times and used on
consecutive surfaces before being discarded.
These actions were then replicated in the lab alongside a
three-step system, developed by the research team to test
the ability of several commercially available wipes to
disinfect surfaces contaminated with strains Staphylococcus
aureus, including MRSA and MSSA. The system tested the
removal of pathogens, the transmission of them, and the
anti-microbial properties of wipes.
The study revealed that although some wipes can remove
higher numbers of bacteria from surfaces than others, the
wipes tested were unable to kill the bacteria removed. As a
result, high numbers of bacteria were transferred to other
surfaces when reused.
Dr Gareth Williams, microbiologist at the Welsh School of
Pharmacy, said: "Claims of effectiveness, such as 'kills
MRSA', are ubiquitous on the packaging of
antimicrobial-containing wipes. Methods currently available
to test the performance of these products may be
inappropriate since they do not assess the ability of wipes
to actually disinfect surfaces. We have developed a simple,
rapid, robust and reproducible method which will help
identify best practice in the use of the wipes.
"Our surveillance study in its own right has been highly
revealing in that it has highlighted the risks associated
with the way decontamination products are currently being
deployed in Welsh hospitals and the need for routine
observation as well as proper training in the use of these
wipes in reducing risks of infection to patients.
It is anticipated the research will promote a UK and
worldwide routine surveillance program examining the
effectiveness of disinfectants used in hospitals, and if
applied will help assure the public that control measures
are being carefully scrutinized would undoubtedly be
ANSWER: Yes, we can 'wipe out' MRSA. Current
sanitizing practices are costly, time-consuming, often
ineffective, and sometimes dangerous. The best
The Biomist Power Sanitizing System.
|UNE Biomist Website
Posted: May 1, 2015
For Immediate Release
September 1, 2008
Business to Business
United Networking Enterprises, Inc., a nationwide
Environmental Care Management Company with higher standard
introduces Biomist™ Power Sanitizing Services. For the
fist time in North America: A way to quickly sanitize
equipment and facilities! The Biomist™ System safely power
sprays a sanitizing solution of concentrated alcohols.
The need for a superior method of sanitizing facilities
and equipment is clear. Uncontrolled pathogens cost America
billions of dollars and tens of thousands of human lives per
Current sanitizing practices are costly, time-consuming,
often ineffective and sometimes dangerous. The best
solution? Biomist™ Power Sanitizing Services.
The Biomist™ system has been used and proven in
independent laboratory testing. Biomist™ has the power to
kill and protect against MRSA, Norovirus, E.coli,
Salmonella, Listeria, Hepatitis B, HIV, TB and the vast
majority of all other viruses and bacteria.
Get the whole story!
Watch presentation video
Through the technology of the Biomist™ Power Sanitizing
System, Business to Business we are together in the pursuit
of preventing deaths and saving lives.
Excellence in sanitizing always,
United Networking Enterprises, Inc. / Biomist™
|UNE Biomist Website
Posted: May 1, 2015
For Immediate Release
November 2, 2005
Biomist™ Power Disinfecting System Kills Norovirus
[Park Ridge, IL] Biomist, Inc. announced today that its
Formula D2 Surface Disinfectant created by Best Sanitizers,
Inc. is the first ready-to-use disinfectant to receive an
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) efficacy claim against
Norovirus. The claim against Norovirus is based on testing
done with the surrogate feline calisivirus. Hospitals,
nursing homes, hotels, cruise lines, schools, food service
facilities and other industries now have access to a
ready-to-use EPA registered product that is strong enough to
kill Norovirus but safe enough to use on babies’ toys.
The Biomist Power Disinfecting System sprays a power mist
of Formula D2 in a stream of carbon dioxide (CO2)
propellant. The system eliminates flammability by enveloping
the mist, which contains a significant amount of alcohol, in
a stream of CO2 gas, displacing any oxygen that might lead
to combustion. It atomizes Formula D2 into micro-particles
that swirl and adhere to all the nooks and crevices that
would be impossible to reach with other disinfecting
When a Norovirus outbreak occurs, it is critical that
proper disinfection be implemented rapidly to contain the
spread of the illness. Formula D2 is a ready-to-use,
broad-spectrum disinfectant formulated with isopropyl
alcohol and a four-chain quaternary compound. It has a
surface-contact time of five minutes to disinfect. Formula
D2 is approved for use on food contact surfaces without a
rinse, so it is one product that can be used in every area
of a facility, including food service areas. The product is
Norovirus gained notoriety with media coverage of several
cruise line outbreaks. Norovirus outbreaks are also common
in hospitals, nursing homes, hotels, schools – anywhere
people are in close proximity to each other. It is estimated
that Norovirus accounts for two-thirds of all acute
gastroenteritis (AGE) cases in the United States.
The virus can be extremely contagious. It is spread
through person to person contact or by contaminated food or
water. Airborne transmission of Norovirus is also possible.
Until now, the only alternatives to disinfecting
Norovirus outbreak areas were products that had limitations
and safety issues. Other products have also tended to be
corrosive to materials such as brass, copper, aluminum and
textiles. But Formula D2 is non-corrosive, safe and ready to
use in the most effective delivery system ever devised.
For more information, please contact Gloria Killens-Hadley
at 727-502-0079 or log on to