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Awards, Vaccine News, and Epi-aids

Division of Bacterial Diseases (DBD) News Bulletin

Spring 2013

MPIR Lab Goes Green

The results of the first agency-wide competition geared to help laboratories improve their cold storage practices could save CDC $127,000 a year and aid the agency in its compliance with the presidential mandate that sets sustainability goals for federal agencies and focuses on making improvements in their environmental, energy, and economic performance.

Hanan Dababneh and Conrad Quinn of MVPDB’s MPIR Lab

Hanan Dababneh and Conrad Quinn of MVPDB’s MPIR Lab won the coveted Freezer Challenge Champions title and ice scraper for 2012.

The 2012 Freezer Challenge sought to find ways to reduce energy use, cut operating costs, adopt innovative laboratory sustainability practices, and leverage existing storage capacity in CDC laboratories without the need for new equipment or space. All the competing teams fulfilled the requirements but only one took the coveted Freezer Challenge Champions title and ice scraper—DBD’s Hanan Dababneh and Conrad Quinn of MVPDB’s Microbial Pathogenesis and Immune Response (MPIR) Laboratory took home the title and prize for their work. Conrad and Hanan inventoried 28 units, temperature tuned 28 units, shared 2 units with another lab, emptied and retired 7 units, and cleaned and defrosted 56 units. Not only will the MPIR lab save money through this initiative, but they will also decrease carbon emissions equivalent to taking approximately 108 cars off the road. The MPIR lab now also enjoys the benefits of enhanced operational efficiency.

Fifth PAHO Regional Pneumococcal Symposium

The Fifth Regional Pneumococcal Symposium was held March 5–6, 2013, in San Paulo, Brazil. Jennifer Loo (RDB) presented “Pneumococcal herd immunity in the US—impact of routine use of PCV in children.” Tamara Pilishvilli (RDB) presented “Current recommendations for pneumococcal vaccines in immunocompromised adults.”

Vaccine News

PCV13 Licensed and Recommended for Older Children at High Risk for Pneumococcal Disease

FDA licensed the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) for use in children 6 through 17 years of age in January 2013. At its February 2013 meeting, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted to recommend routine use of a single dose of PCV13 for children 6 through 18 years of age who have an immunocompromising condition and have not previously received the vaccine. Those conditions include anatomic or functional asplenia (including sickle cell disease), HIV infection, chronic renal failure and nephrotic syndrome, cochlear implants or cerebrospinal fluid leaks, diseases associated with immunosuppressive drug treatment, and congenital immunodeficiency. Prior to this licensure, ACIP had said PCV13 may be used off-label for high-risk children in those age groups.

Hib Statement and Hib-MenCY VFC

At its February 2013 meeting, ACIP voted to reaffirm the 1993 recommendations for use of Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) conjugate vaccines. Also at this meeting, ACIP voted to include all available Hib-containing vaccines, including Hib-MenCY, in the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program.

Tdap During Every Pregnancy Recommendation Published

On February 22, 2013, updated recommendations for use of Tdap in pregnant women were published in MMWR. The new guidance recommends administering Tdap during every pregnancy, preferably during weeks 27 through 36. This replaces the original recommendation that pregnant women get the vaccine only if they had not previously received it.

SAGE Recommends 3 Options for Hib Vaccine Schedule

Rana Hajjeh (OD) presented to the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) at their recent meeting in April, which resulted in an update to the previous Hib vaccine recommendation. SAGE is now recommending any of the following schedules may be used: 3 primary doses without a booster, 2 primary doses plus a booster, or 3 primary doses with a booster.

Epi-Aids and Investigations

EISO Aaron Harris with Arizona’s Hózhóogo Hooghan Public Health Division staff

EISO Aaron Harris (3rd from left) with staff from Arizona’s Hózhóogo Hooghan Public Health Division.

Group A Streptococcus outbreak—Chinle, Arizona, August 2012–March 2013. Th e team went to assist the Navajo Epidemiology Center with identifying and characterizing infected persons with invasive disease, and determining appropriate control and prevention measures.

Meningitis outbreak—Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples Region, Ethiopia, March 2013. A microbiologist from the Meningitis Laboratory went to Ethiopia to provide technical assistance with real-time PCR testing to the Ethiopian Health and Nutrition Research Unit.

Legionnaires’ disease outbreak, May 2013—Mazatlán, Mexico. A team went to provide technical assistance to the Mexican Ministry of Health, the Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risk, and Sinaloa Health Department to plan for a complete epidemiologic and environmental investigation of a resort, as well as conduct the investigation in conjunction with state and local health authorities.

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