Chinese surveillance study finds multidrug-resistant E coli in foodA surveillance study by Chinese scientists has found multidrug-resistant Escherichia coli strains in food products carrying the MCR-1 and blaNDM-1 resistance genes, and mobile genetic elements similar to those found in human strains, according to a paper yesterday in Eurosurveillance.Among the 1,166 non-repeated cephalosporin-resistant E coli isolates recovered from 2,137 samples of pork, beef, chicken, and shrimp bought at markets in Shenzen, China, from 2015 through 2017, the scientists identified 390 and 42, respectively, that were resistant to colistin and meropenem, and 5 isolates that were resistant to both antibiotics.Among the 390 colistin-resistant E coli isolates, the rate of resistance to colistin rose from 26% in 2015 to 46% in 2017, while rates of meropenem resistance in the 42 meropenem-resistant isolates increased from 0.3% in 2015 to 17% in 2017.Further screening found that all of the colistin-resistant isolates carried the MCR-1 gene and 36 of the 42 meropenem-resistant isolates carried the blaNDM-1 gene, with six harboring the blaNDM-5 gene; the five isolates that were resistant to both colistin and meropenem were carrying both MCR-1 and blaNDM genes. Notably, the scientists identified plasmids—in particular the ca 46kb IncX3 plasmid—that have been commonly reported in colistin- and carbapenem-resistant clinical isolates but not in isolates from animals and food. Conjugation experiments revealed that the colistin and meropenem resistance phenotypes of the 5 MCR-1 and blaNDM-bearing strains were transferable to other E coli strains of food origin.The authors of the study say the isolation of E coli strains harboring blaNDM-1 and MCR-1 that structurally resemble clinical strains has not previously been reported, and warn that the rising prevalence of these strains could mean an increase in severe, multidrug-resistant foodborne infections.”The increasing prevalence of Enterobacteriaceae strains carrying bla NDM and mcr-1 in food products will lead to increased colonisation of the human gastrointestinal tract with these Enterobacteriaceae strains, a phenomenon that has been associated with the high prevalence of drug-resistant infections in clinical settings,” they write. “Further surveillance of bla NDM-1 and mcr-1 in other food products is warranted.” Mar 28 Eurosurveill study Study in Georgia finds poor long-term outcomes for XDR-TB treatmentA study today in Open Forum Infectious Diseases reports high mortality among patients with extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) in the former Soviet republic of Georgia, with most deaths occurring post-treatment.In the retrospective population-based cohort study, researchers from Emory University and Georgia’s National Center for Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases assessed end-of-treatment and long-term outcomes in patients with XDR-TB. They also evaluated risk factors for poor outcomes. Patients were treated by directly observed therapy in accordance with 2011 World Health Organization (WHO) treatment guidelines for drug-resistant TB; the drug regimen did not include the newer agents bedaquiline and delamanid, which are now recommended under current WHO guidelines.From 2011 through 2013, 111 patients initiated treatment for XDR-TB; end-of-treatment outcomes were available for 106. Of those patients, 35 (33%) had a favorable outcome from initial XDR-TB treatment and 71 (67%) had an unfavorable outcome, with 16 (15.1%) dying. After cessation of initial XDR-TB treatment, an additional 20 of 90 (22.2%) patients who were alive at the end of treatment died, increasing the overall mortality rate to 34% (36 of 106). In multivariable analysis, the main factor for post-treatment mortality was unfavorable initial end-of-treatment outcome (adjusted odds ratio, 14.41; 95% confidence interval, 1.78 to 117.3).”The results of our study highlight the need for better surveillance during and after treatment for highly drug resistant TB,” the authors of the study write. “After treatment cessation, public health resources should focus on continual monitoring of patients given a significant risk of mortality and relapse.”Mar 29 Open Forum Infect Dis abstract Darden commits to buying chicken raised without antibiotics Multi-brand restaurant operator Darden Restaurants yesterday announced it will phase out the routine use of medically important antibiotics in its chicken supply chain by 2023.The commitment to buying chicken raised without medically important antibiotics is part of a wider animal welfare policy that the company, whose brands include Olive Garden and The Capital Grille, is adopting. The policy aims to increase mobility, lower injury and mortality rates, and reduce stress and fear among the farm animals in its supply chain.In addition to responsible use of antibiotics, Darden has identified humane housing, avoidance of pain, slaughter practices, and farm animal transportation as priority areas for improvement.Darden operates more than 1,700 restaurants in North America.Mar 28 Darden Restaurants press release
Pacific Shipping Group was established in 1999 under name of Pacific Shipping Agency. Since then all companies in the group has been growing steadily and becoming actively involved in all fields of shipping business.Today, Pacific Shipping is active in ship management, shipbroking, ship repair, marine advice and logistics, handling all kinds of dry, bulk and project cargoes, offering logistics services via all modes .Further information can be seen here: www.pacificshippinggroup.com
The Ministry of Justice has blamed ‘rustic’ forecasting techniques for projected overspending last year, but insists it is getting better at controlling its finances.Giving evidence to the Commons justice select committee yesterday on the ministry’s 2015/16 accounts, permanent secretary Richard Heaton (pictured) said the department is working hard to improve its forecasting capabilities.Heaton said: ‘When we put up civil fees, we projected a future volume which did not materialise. Something was unsatisfactory. We’ve had independent analytical consultants in to do a report on our modelling to see what went wrong.’The report highlighted two ‘great uncertainties’, Heaton said. The first was human behaviour, which ‘is not very predictable on the back of things like fee increases. As opposed to price increases in the supermarkets, there just aren’t many comparators’.The second was the quality of the data from cases going through the courts, which Heaton admitted had not been good.In March 2015 the MoJ imposed court fee hikes of up to 660% for money claims, which statistics have suggested could be pricing small businesses out of the courts.MoJ chief financial officer Mike Driver told the committee it was ‘fair to say the techniques we were using within the ministry to do some aspects of our forecasting were slightly rustic’.He added: ‘We have put in place some systems to help improve the forecasting that we have – we are doing a lot more range forecasting, looking at uncertainty far more, doing simulation modelling around our financial forecasts far more than was the case previously.’Last year the ministry requested an additional £427m of funding through a ‘supplementary estimate’. However, the final outturn was a £93m underspend against the estimate, the National Audit Office states in a departmental overview published today.The 2015 spending review requires the department to achieve savings of 15% and halve its administrative budget by 2020.The ministry is proposing to set forecasting targets for each of its budget-holders, with the aim of being able to forecast within 1% of its budget.Driver said there had previously been ‘too little ownership’ of forecasting across the department, since it was ‘seen as something that finance was responsible for. We’re trying to change the culture’.Heaton refused to apologise for introducing emergency spending controls last year, which caused a rift between the ministry and prison inspectors.He said: ‘When I came in as permanent secretary 14 months ago and when it became clear just how far away from balancing our books we were, we reached for spending controls not because they’re a state-of-the-art measure for bearing down on discretionary spend, but because we had to do something very quickly and send a signal to the organisation that there was no money.’Heaton acknowledged that the emergency spending controls were ‘necessarily a bit rough and a bit brutal’, with budget-holders required to submit, on a weekly basis, areas of discretionary spend for approval.Heaton said: ‘There was quite a lot of bureaucracy, monitoring from the centre. It was probably felt by arms-length bodies that there was a breakdown of trust. I hope those relationships have been rebuilt.’Budget-holders are still required not to use discretionary spend on, for instance, expensive conferences – but authority has been delegated ‘to a more appropriate level’.Heaton said: ‘The controls are there but the process we hope we’ve lifted. I don’t make any apology for putting them in place a year ago because we had to do something.’Highlighting efforts to improve the ministry’s commercial function and contract management, Heaton described the electronic-tagging ‘episode’ with G4S and Serco as a ‘pretty low moment’.A specialist commercial team has been set up in Leeds, ‘instead of relying on expensive contractors down in London’, Heaton said.He added: ‘If you asked me to score us on a maturity matrix, we are 2.5 out of 5. I’d like to be 4.5 out of 5. As in finances, we have some way to go, but it’s not an area anywhere close to where we were when we had the tagging fiasco.’
ADELAIDE, Australia (CMC):Jamaican star shooter Jhaniele Fowler-Reid produced a sublime performance before injury put her out of the contest as her West Coast Fever slipped to a narrow defeat to Adelaide Thunderbirds in the opening exchanges of the new season last weekend.Playing at the Priceline Stadium, the 29-year-old shot a perfect 51 from as many attempts but limped out at the start of the fourth quarter with an ankle injury. Hampered by a her absence, Fever lost 60-61 to Thunderbirds, who broke an extended 27-game losing streak.For the hosts, goal shooter Sasha Glasgow scored 37 from 47 attempts while goal attack Maria Folau chipped in with 24 from 31 attempts.Fever were down 14-16 at the first quarter with Fowler-Reid the lone scorer for the visitors, but they rebounded to level at 33-33 at the half. With Fowler-Reid netting 15 times in the third quarter, Fever led 50-47 at the start of the final stanza before things went wrong when it mattered most.At the Melbourne Arena, another Jamaican international, Romelda Aiken, found herself on the losing end as her Queensland Firebirds slumped to a 61-73 defeat to Melbourne Vixens.Aiken scored 36 goals from 42 attempts to keep Firebirds in the contest with scores locked at 35-all at half-time. However, Vixens had the better of the exchanges in the second half, outscoring their opponents 38-26.Goal attack Gretel Tippett supported Aiken with 23 from 24 attempts while for the winners, goal shooter Caitlin Thwaites netted 50 from 51 and goal attack Tegan Philip, 23 from 24 attempts.Also at Melbourne Arena, Shimona Nelson was the only Sunshine Girl to end up in winners row after her 46-from-54 performance helped fire Magpies Netball to a 57-43 victory over Sunshine Coast Lightning.Nelson shot 12 from 16 in the first quarter and a perfect nine-from-nine in the second as Magpies coasted to a 27-23 lead at the half. She sustained her accuracy with 25 from 29 in the second half to ensure that there would be no coming back for Lightning.For the losers, Cara Koenen scored 18 from 21 while Steph Wood netted 15 from 22.