Editors in Conversation

American Society for Microbiology

Editors in Conversation is the official podcast of the American Society for Microbiology Journals. Editors in Conversation features discussions between ASM Journals Editors, researchers and clinicians working on the most cutting edge issues in the microbial sciences. Topics include laboratory diagnosis and clinical treatment of infectious diseases, antimicrobial resistance, epidemiology of infections, multidrug-resistant organisms, pharmacology of antimicrobial agents, susceptibility testing, and more. The podcast is directed to microbiologists, infectious diseases clinicians, pharmacists and basic, clinical and translational researchers interested in the microbial sciences. A particular emphasis is on basic, epidemiological and pharmacological aspects of infectious diseases, including antimicrobial resistance and therapeutics. read less
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Episodios

Turning the Output of the Microbiology Laboratory Into Gold
28-06-2024
Turning the Output of the Microbiology Laboratory Into Gold
The European alchemists of the 12th century sought to find the philosopher’s stone, a substance that would transmute base metals, such as lead, into precious metals, such as silver and gold. Today, we discuss whether data analysis, including machine learning, can transmute base laboratory data into precious clinical tools. We will use antimicrobial susceptibility testing as a case-study for new applications of data analysis. Some of the questions we will address include: How can relatively simple data analyses be used to build upon current methods of verification of antimicrobial susceptibility testing?How do commercial systems analyze individual susceptibility results and can we improve on this analysis using new methods?Finally, what is the long-term potential for leveraging laboratory data and other clinical data to improve and support clinical decision making? And what needs to happen to realize this goal? Guests: Dr. Sanjat Kanjilal (twitter/𝕏) Related article: The modern alchemy of clinical pathology: turning the output of microbiology laboratory operations into gold Links: Join ASM for up to 50% off the publication fees when you publish in JCM or any of the ASM journals.Watch this episode: youtu.be/rWuQ0nSWL1Y This episode of Editors in Conversation is brought to you by the Journal of Clinical Microbiology and hosted by JCM Editor in Chief, Alex McAdam and Dr. Elli Theel. JCM is available at https://jcm.asm.org and on https://twitter.com/JClinMicro. Visit journals.asm.org/journal/jcm to read articles and/or submit a manuscript.
Training in Antimicrobial Resistance: Gaps and Opportunities
01-06-2024
Training in Antimicrobial Resistance: Gaps and Opportunities
Antimicrobial resistance is a priority public health problem with complex roots and connotations. However, due to a lack of focus on this topic, research training programs, specifically those focused on AMR are limited. Additionally, scientific meetings that particularly highlight the science of antimicrobial resistance are scarce. We recently published a commentary that evaluates the state-of-the-art of the training programs in AMR in the US. We discuss this topic with the leading author and discussed the issue with leaders in the field. Topics discussed: The challenges that training in AMR poses and how to approach them.The current status of training programs in the USASpecific strategies that could improve the access and dissemination of AMR research  Guest: William M Shafer, PhD,  Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology; Director Antimicrobial Resistance and Therapeutic Discovery Training Program.Lee H. Harrison, M.D. Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology, Associate chief of epidemiology and education Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Director University of Pittsburgh Antimicrobial Resistance T32 Program Links: Ensuring a sustained workforce to combat antibiotic resistance in the 21st century: the critical need for training the next-gen of scientists at the pre-doctoral level This episode is brought to you by the Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy journal available at aac.asm.org. If you plan to publish in AAC, ASM Members get up to 50% off publishing fees. Visit asm.org/membership to sign up. Visit journals.asm.org/journal/aac to browse issues and/or submit a manuscript.
10 Years of Rhodococcus: Clinical Trends and Susceptibility Profiles
19-04-2024
10 Years of Rhodococcus: Clinical Trends and Susceptibility Profiles
Rhodococcus infections are uncommon, however they can cause serious disease in certain patients. There are a number of challenges though when dealing with Rhodococcus infections, including the fact that much of what we know around their susceptibility profiles and the clinical management of infected individuals actually comes from a number case series and in some situations, from the veterinary literature.  So today, our two guests are going to tell us about their experiences with Rhodococcus over a 10-year period and bring us up-to-speed on things like:   Which species of Rhodococcus are most commonly isolated and associated with clinical diseaseWhat is the recommended approach to susceptibility testing for Rhodococcus and what sorts of susceptibility trends do we see at both the genus and species levelsAnd also, of course, we’re going to talk about the clinical manifestations and outcomes of clinically significant Rhodococcus infections Guests: Adi S. Shah, M.B.B.S., Mayo ClinicNancy L. Wengenack, Ph.D., Mayo Clinic Related article: Rhodococcus infection: a 10-year retrospective analysis of clinical experience and antimicrobial susceptibility profile | Journal of Clinical Microbiology This episode of Editors in Conversation is brought to you by the Journal of Clinical Microbiology and hosted by JCM Editor in Chief, Alex McAdam and Dr. Elli Theel. JCM is available at https://jcm.asm.org and on https://twitter.com/JClinMicro. Visit journals.asm.org/journal/jcm to read articles and/or submit a manuscript. Follow JCM on Twitter via @JClinMicro
Why Phage Therapy May Fail
05-04-2024
Why Phage Therapy May Fail
Phage therapy has gained a lot of traction but the challenges created by this approach have not been properly assessed at a big scale. We often read about therapy successes on isolated cases but, rarely, we read or hear about failures. AAC recently published a case series of patients who failed phage therapy. Today, we will discuss this topic with the principal investigator on the research. Topics discussed: Phage therapy as an approach for MDR bacteria.The challenges of phage therapies.Issues that can influence the success of phage therapy Guest: Saima Aslam, MBBS. Director, Solid Organ Transplant Infectious Diseases Service, Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Diego. Article: Pseudomonas aeruginosa ventricular assist device infections: findings from ineffective phage therapies in five cases https://journals.asm.org/doi/10.1128/aac.01728-23 Questions Answered: How are we doing with phage therapy at this point?What are the challenges to deploy phage therapy in clinical settings?The 5 cases of failure of phage therapy in patients with LVADs summarizedWhat factors did Dr. Aslam identify that were related with the failure?How do you develop neutralization against phages and how can you prevent it?  Bacterial isolates with varying phage susceptibility, how can this be detected?What did Dr. Aslam learn?Future research This episode is brought to you by the Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy journal available at aac.asm.org. If you plan to publish in AAC, ASM Members get up to 50% off publishing fees. Visit asm.org/membership to sign up. Visit journals.asm.org/journal/aac to browse issues and/or submit a manuscript.
Is Lophomonas a Pathogen?
23-02-2024
Is Lophomonas a Pathogen?
The protozoan Lophomonas has been reported to be a pathogen of humans in a large number of case reports and case series. Most of these case reports describe infections of the respiratory tract. Editors in Conversation is joined by two experts to discuss this possible parasite. Some of the questions addressed include: What are the characteristics of the species in the genus Lophomonas?What are the laboratory and morphological data that suggest that Lophomonas species cause human infections?What are the purported clinical manifestations of Lophomonas?Finally, is Lophomonas truly a pathogen of humans? Guests: Dr. Abhishek Mewara - Additional Professor in the Department of Medical Parasitology at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh, India.Dr. Bobbi Pritt - Chair of the Division of Clinical Microbiology and Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at Mayo Clinic. Related article: “Lophomonas as a respiratory pathogen—jumping the gun,” by Abhishek Mewara, Gillian H. Gile, Blaine Mathison, Huan Zhao, Bobbi Pritt, and Richard S. Bradbury (https://journals.asm.org/doi/10.1128/jcm.00845-23). This episode of Editors in Conversation is brought to you by the Journal of Clinical Microbiology and hosted by JCM Editor in Chief, Alex McAdam and Dr. Elli Theel. JCM is available at https://jcm.asm.org and on https://twitter.com/JClinMicro. Visit journals.asm.org/journal/jcm to read articles and/or submit a manuscript. Follow JCM on Twitter via @JClinMicro
Treatment of Multidrug-resistant Tuberculosis
09-02-2024
Treatment of Multidrug-resistant Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis is one of the most deadly infectious diseases that still causes significant burden of disease, particularly in the developing world.  The emergence of resistance to first line agents severely limits the therapeutic options and threaten the ability to control dissemination of this disease. Fortunately, new drugs and regimens are now emerging as important alternatives against these organisms.  Today, we will discuss this topic with outstanding experts in the field. Welcome to the editors in conversation. Topics discussed: The burden of multidrug-resistant TB.New drugs and regimens for MDR TB.The current and future pipeline for TB Guests: Kelly Dooley, MD Ph.D.  Professor and Addison B. Scoville, Jr., Chair in Medicine, Director, Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Past Editor of AACSean Wasserman, MD Ph.D, Reader in Infectious Diseases at St Georges University of London and Associate Professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases and HIV Medicine at University of Cape Town, SA. Editor of AAC. This episode is brought to you by the Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy journal available at aac.asm.org. If you plan to publish in AAC, ASM Members get up to 50% off publishing fees. Visit asm.org/membership to sign up. Visit journals.asm.org/journal/aac to browse issues and/or submit a manuscript. Subscribe to Editors in Conversation (free) on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Android, Spotify, Email.
New generation B-lactam/B-lactamase inhibitors: Taniborbactam
13-01-2024
New generation B-lactam/B-lactamase inhibitors: Taniborbactam
A new generation of B-lactamase inhibitors is likely to reach the market in the upcoming year. These broad-spectrum inhibitors exhibit activity against the most feared class B metallo-B-lactamases maintaining the inhibition of other enzymes. Recently AAC has published three papers that describe the mechanistic bases of taniborbactam resistance among metallo-enzymes. This knowledge is crucial to understand the limitation of these compounds in clinical practice. Today, we will discuss this topic with some of the authors of the mentioned papers. Welcome to the editors in conversation. Topics discussed: The activity and chemical basis of new generation B-lactamase inhibitors with activity against metallo-B-lactamases.Taniborbactam as an example of novel B-lactam, B-lactam inhibitorsMechanisms of resistance to taniborbactam and other inhibitors Guest: Robert Bonomo, MD.  Director of the VA CARES Center and Distinguished Professor at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) School of Medicine. Past Editor of AACPranita Tamma, MD MPH. Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Editor of AACAlejandro Vila, PhD Professor of Biophysics, Instituto de Biologia Molecular y Celular de Rosario, CONICET - Universidad Nacional de Rosario, Rosario, Argentina This episode of Editors in Conversation is brought to you by the Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy Journal and hosted by AAC Editor in Chief, Cesar Arias.  AAC is available at https://asm.org/aac.  Follow Cesar on twitter at https://twitter.com/SuperBugDoc for AAC updates.  Subscribe to the podcast at https://asm.org/eic
Favorite Clinical Microbiology Papers of 2023 (JCM ed.)
23-12-2023
Favorite Clinical Microbiology Papers of 2023 (JCM ed.)
We managed to make it through 2023 without a major epidemic or pandemic, and as we get into the holiday spirit and look forward to the new year, some of us took a look back and picked out one of our favorite JCM paper published in 2023, which I will tell you, was no easy task as there were many of good ones to choose from! And personally, after looking through all the issues over the last year, it never ceases to amaze me the variety of topics that we publish on in JCM – including unique things like the evaluation of a molecular assay for diagnosis of Buruli ulcers, to development of an EIA for detection of Taenia coproantigen, and then of course we have the more bread and butter things like evaluation of new assays for detection of TB resistance, to multiple studies this year on women’s health diagnostics, and evaluation of new molecular assays for congenital CMV detection, and then I’m also told that there were some awesome AST-focused papers too, which is all just great. The four of us JCM editors have selected the following favorite papers of ours from the past year:   Whole-Genome Subtyping Reveals Population Structure and Host Adaptation of Salmonella Typhimurium from Wild Birds | Journal of Clinical Microbiology (asm.org)Detailed β-(1→3)-D-glucan and mannan antigen kinetics in patients with candidemia | Journal of Clinical Microbiology (asm.org)Interlaboratory comparison of Pseudomonas aeruginosa phage susceptibility testing | Journal of Clinical Microbiology (asm.org)Emergence of Inducible Macrolide Resistance in Mycobacterium chelonae Due to Broad-Host-Range Plasmid and Chromosomal Variants of the Novel 23S rRNA Methylase Gene, erm(55) | Journal of Clinical MicrobiologyCommentary: Plasmid-mediated drug resistance in mycobacteria: the tip of the iceberg? | Journal of Clinical Microbiology Guests: Melissa Miller, Ph.D., D(ABMM), FAAM, University of North Carolina Medical CenterPatricia Simner, Ph.D., D(ABMM), Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine This episode of Editors in Conversation is brought to you by the Journal of Clinical Microbiology and hosted by JCM Editor in Chief, Alex McAdam and Dr. Elli Theel. JCM is available at https://jcm.asm.org and on https://twitter.com/JClinMicro. Visit journals.asm.org/journal/jcm to read articles and/or submit a manuscript.
Antimicrobial Resistance in Neisseria Gonorrhoeae (JCM ed.)
05-12-2023
Antimicrobial Resistance in Neisseria Gonorrhoeae (JCM ed.)
Gonorrhea remains one of the more common sexually transmitted infections. In North America, the number of reported cases has generally risen for over ten years, with interruptions in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, followed by returns to rising rates of infection. Under the selective pressure of antimicrobial treatment, antimicrobial resistance has risen, which has led to limited options for treatment Today, we will be discussing antimicrobial resistance in N. gonorrhoeae, including these questions:     •    How accurate is gradient diffusion susceptibility testing when compared to agar-dilution results?     •    Should we use analysis of whole genome sequencing results or agar dilution phenotypic results as the gold-standard for antibiotic susceptibility testing of N. gonorrhoeae?     •    What is the utility of beta-lactamase testing for predicting penicillin susceptibility results in N. gonorrhoeae?   Guests: Dr. Tanis Dingle, Clinical Microbiologist at Alberta Precision Laboratories and a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Calgary.Dr. Angela Ma., Clinical Microbiologist at Public Health Ontario. Link: Use of genome sequencing to resolve differences in gradient diffusion and agar dilution antimicrobial susceptibility testing performance of Neisseria gonorrhoeae isolates in Alberta, Canada This episode of Editors in Conversation is brought to you by the Journal of Clinical Microbiology and hosted by JCM Editor in Chief, Alex McAdam and Dr. Elli Theel. JCM is available at https://jcm.asm.org and on https://twitter.com/JClinMicro. Visit journals.asm.org/journal/jcm to read articles and/or submit a manuscript. Follow JCM on Twitter via @JClinMicro
A Novel Coccidioides Antibody LFA (JCM ed.)
20-10-2023
A Novel Coccidioides Antibody LFA (JCM ed.)
Despite the many advances in diagnostic testing for infectious diseases, detection of Coccidoides infections continues to rely on serologic assessment for anti-fungal antibodies, and what is perhaps more astonishing is that the serologic methods we use today, such as complement fixation and immunodiffusion, were first developed about a century ago. These assays are technically challenging to maintain and perform, and as a result few labs offer this testing, and even if performed on-site, testing can take up to 3 days complete, so there is definitely room for improvement. So today, we are talking about a study that aimed to modernize and improve our current options and diagnostic approach for Valley Fever, using a simpler and definitely faster lateral flow immunoassay. And as an added bonus, the study was not homo sapien-centric. Guests: Dr. Francisca Grill, Chief Scientific Officer at Cactus BioDr. Tom Grys, Associate Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, and co-Director of the Clinical Microbiology laboratory at Mayo Clinic in Arizona Links: Development of a rapid lateral flow assay for detection of anti-coccidioidal antibodies This episode of Editors in Conversation is brought to you by the Journal of Clinical Microbiology and hosted by JCM Editor in Chief, Alex McAdam and Dr. Elli Theel. JCM is available at https://jcm.asm.org and on https://twitter.com/JClinMicro. Visit journals.asm.org/journal/jcm to read articles and/or submit a manuscript. Follow JCM on Twitter via @JClinMicro
Emerging Antifungal-Resistant Dermatophytes (JCM ed.)
22-09-2023
Emerging Antifungal-Resistant Dermatophytes (JCM ed.)
Fungi that are resistant to antifungal drugs have been very much in the news and even the subject of the hugely popular television program, The Last of Us. We talk with two experts in mycology and fungal susceptibility testing about the recent descriptions of terbinafine-resistant dermatophytes in the United States. Some of the questions we will address include:  • What are the manifestations of infections caused by terbinafine-resistant dermatophytes?  • What species, including novel species, of dermatophytes are more commonly resistant to terbinafine?  • How common is terbinafine resistance in dermatophytes in the U.S.? Guests: - Dr. Shawn Lockhart - Senior Advisor at the Centers for Disease Control - Dr. Nathan Wiederhold - Director of the Fungus Testing Laboratory and a Professor at UT Health San Antonio. This episode of Editors in Conversation is brought to you by the Journal of Clinical Microbiology and hosted by JCM Editor in Chief, Alex McAdam and Dr. Elli Theel. Editors in conversation is supported by the American Society for Microbiology, which publishes JCM. If you are a member of ASM, you can get up to 50% off the publication fees when you publish in JCM or any of the ASM journals. Visit https://journals.asm.org/journal/jcm to read articles and/or submit a manuscript. Follow EIC, Alex McAdam on twitter for JCM updates via https://twitter.com/JClinMicro and co-host, Elli Theel at https://twitter.com/ETheelPhD. Subscribe to the podcast at https://asm.org/eic
AAC Launches a New Section Focused On Antimicrobial Stewardship (AAC ed.)
04-08-2023
AAC Launches a New Section Focused On Antimicrobial Stewardship (AAC ed.)
In response to the global burden of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and the critical role antimicrobial stewardship plays in optimizing antibiotic use and reducing the subsequent emergence of AMR, Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy is excited to add a new section to the journal focused on antimicrobial stewardship studies. Combatting the devastating burden of AMR requires novel, multipronged approaches from clinicians and scientists alike. Launching this new section is an important step in disseminating cutting-edge research that will have notable implications in the global fight against antimicrobial-resistant pathogens. Topics discussed: The role of antimicrobial stewardship in preventing emerging of resistance.The types of high-quality manuscripts that AAC is seeking in this area.Encourage excellence in antimicrobial stewardship research. Guests: Pranita Tamma, MD MPH, Associate Professor of Pediatrics Director, Pediatric Antimicrobial Stewardship Program, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore MA, Editor AAC.Ryan Shields PharmD, MS.  Associate Professor of Medicine, Co-Director, Antibiotic Management Program, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA. Editor AAC. This episode is brought to you by the Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy journal available at aac.asm.org. If you plan to publish in AAC, ASM Members get up to 50% off publishing fees. Visit asm.org/membership to sign up. Visit journals.asm.org/journal/aac to browse issues and/or submit a manuscript.
Susceptibility Testing for Aztreonam with Ceftazidime-Avibactam (JCM ed.)
13-07-2023
Susceptibility Testing for Aztreonam with Ceftazidime-Avibactam (JCM ed.)
The combination of aztreonam with ceftazidime-avibactam is increasingly used for treatment of antimicrobial-resistant Gram-negative bacilli. Clinical laboratories are asked to perform susceptibility testing using this combination, but many laboratory directors have been unsure how to approach this. Today, we’ll discuss a recent paper in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology in which the investigators evaluated a promising method for testing this combination of two antimicrobials and a beta-lactamase inhibitor. We will also discuss the rational for combining these agents, as well as what lab directors should consider before validating and offering this susceptibility testing.   Guests: Dr. Trish Simner - Director of the Medical Bacteriology and Infectious Disease Sequencing Laboratories, Johns Hopkins HospitalDr. Romney Humphries - Director of the Division of Laboratory Medicine and the Medical Director of the Microbiology Laboratory at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Links: Multicenter Evaluation of an MIC-Based Aztreonam and Ceftazidime-Avibactam Broth Disk Elution Test   This episode of Editors in Conversation is brought to you by the Journal of Clinical Microbiology and hosted by JCM Editor in Chief, Alex McAdam and Dr. Elli Theel. JCM is available at https://jcm.asm.org and on https://twitter.com/JClinMicro. Visit journals.asm.org/journal/jcm to read articles and/or submit a manuscript. Follow JCM on Twitter via @JClinMicro
Updates on Testing for Vaginitis/Vaginosis (JCM ed.)
03-06-2023
Updates on Testing for Vaginitis/Vaginosis (JCM ed.)
As many of you are likely aware, May is recognized as Women’s Health Care Month by the National Cervical Cancer Coalition, and this year, the CDC has identified the week of May 14th as National Women’s Health Week. So, what better way to recognize these national events on the podcast than to talk about diagnostics for a number of extremely common and uniquely female issues – of course, I’m talking about infectious causes of vaginitis and vaginosis. Classically, diagnosis of these infections has been done at the point-of-care using wet mount microscopy and assessment for various clinical criteria, all approaches associated with some interpretive subjectivity, and let’s say imperfect performance characteristics. As a result, molecular solutions for detection of the various pathogens associated with vaginitis and vaginosis are now increasingly available for use in clinical laboratories, and also at the point-of-care, and as is the post-COVID trend, a number of these assays, including the one we are going to discuss today, can be performed on both clinician and patient self-collected samples   Guests: Dr. Rebecca Lillis - Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at Louisiana State University Health Science Center and the Medical Director of the LSU-CrescentCare Sexual Health Center in New Orleans.Dr. Barbara Van Der Pol - Professor of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Links: Clinical Evaluation of a New Molecular Test for the Detection of Organisms Causing Vaginitis and Vaginosis   This episode of Editors in Conversation is brought to you by the Journal of Clinical Microbiology and hosted by JCM Editor in Chief, Alex McAdam and Dr. Elli Theel. JCM is available at https://jcm.asm.org and on https://twitter.com/JClinMicro. Visit journals.asm.org/journal/jcm to read articles and/or submit a manuscript. Follow JCM on Twitter via @JClinMicro