Friday, May 18, 2012

Researcher Dies Studying Pathogen in the US.

This actually happens more often than you would think. Especially with lower level pathogens.

Researcher death highlights dangers of pathogen work

Richard Din was working on Neisseria meningitidis at the Veterans Health Research Institute in San Francisco. The bacteria live harmlessly in the noses of 10 per cent of people, especially teenagers. Yet some strains cause meningitis or blood infection – sepsis – in 1.2 million people a year worldwide when inhaled.

Din had a fever, headache and chills on the evening of 27 April, and went to hospital the next morning after developing a rash. He died just 17 hours after symptoms started. He had been infected by the same strain of meningococcus as the one he worked with – serogroup B.


Identification and Characterization of Neisseria meningitidis

Biosafety Level 2 (BSL-2) practices are required for work involving isolates of N. meningitidis, as this organism presents a potential hazard to laboratory personnel and the surrounding working environment. Please refer to Chapter 4: Biosafety in order to follow the guidelines that have been established for laboratorians working in BSL-2 facilities as many of the tests described in this chapter require opening plates with live cultures and are often performed outside of a biosafety cabinet (BSC). molecular tools are described in Chapter 10: PCR Methods and Chapter 12: Molecular Methods.

Figure 1 is a picture showing N. meningitidis colonies on blood agar plate (BAP).
Figure 1. N. meningitidis colonies on a BAP

Figure 2 is a picture showing N. meningitidis colonies on chocolate agar plate (CAP).
Figure 2. N. meningitidis colonies on a CAP

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