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Tips from the Journals of the American Society for Microbiology: September 2001

MOSQUITOES NOT LIKELY VECTOR FOR HEPATITIS C

Contrary to previous reports, mosquitoes may not be able to transmit the hepatitis C virus (HCV), say researchers from two universities in Taiwan. They report their findings in the September 2001 issue of the Journal of Clinical Microbiology.

The researchers tested mosquitoes of the species Culex quinquefasciatus that had been fed HCV-infected blood, had been injected with HCV-infected blood, or had been captured at the home of an HCV-positive person. On day 1 all the experimentally infected mosquitoes and 11 percent of the captured mosquitoes tested positive for HCV, but after the first day the detection rate rapidly declined, suggesting that HCV does not replicate within mosquitoes.

"This evidence strongly weighs against mosquitoes being reservoirs of HCV," say the researchers.

(T.-T. Chang, T.-Y. Chang, C.-C. Chen, K.-C. Young, J.-N. Roan, Y.-C. Lee, P.-N. Cheng and, H.-L. Wu. 2001. Existence of hepatitis C virus in Culex quinquefasciatus after ingestion of infected blood: Experimental approach to evaluating transmission by mosquitoes. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 39: 3353-3355.)

PATHOGENIC FUNGI PERSIST ON COMMON ITEMS IN HOSPITALS

Disease-causing fungi can survive for days and even weeks on common hospital fabrics and plastic items, supporting the need for appropriate disinfection and contact control precautions, say researchers from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in the September 2001 issue of the Journal of Clinical Microbiology.

The researchers investigated the ability of 11 different fungi to survive on a variety of items commonly found in hospitals including privacy curtains, towels, scrub suits, splash aprons and keyboard covers. While some fungi only survived a few days on the items, at least five of the species were still viable after 30 days.

"These survival results indicate the potential for various fabrics and
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Contact: Jim Sliwa
jsliwa@asmusa.org
202-942-9297
American Society for Microbiology
21-Sep-2001


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