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Category Press Release
Publish Date 10/6/2016
Author Paul Cochrane
Title Environmental Testing for Superbugs to Prevent Community and Healthcare-Acquired Infections
Introduction EMSL Analytical, Inc. offers environmental testing services to identify microbial pathogens to help prevent infections and outbreaks.

Cinnaminson, NJ, October 6th, 2016

Earlier this year, The Washington Post published an article discussing how researchers in the United States had for the first time discovered a person in the country carrying a strain of E. coli resistant to the antibiotic known as colistin. The significance of this finding is due to the fact that colistin is considered to be an antibiotic of last resort for many drug-resistant types of bacteria, commonly referred to as superbugs.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines antibiotic/antimicrobial resistance as the ability of microbes to resist the effects of drugs – that is, the germs are not killed and their growth is not stopped. The agency reports that although some people are at greater risk than others, no one can completely avoid the risk of antibiotic-resistant infections. Infections caused by resistant organisms are difficult to treat, requiring costly and sometimes toxic alternative treatment options. People can be exposed to superbugs and other microbial pathogens in their communities and in healthcare settings. These infections are collectively known as community-acquired infections and healthcare-acquired infections.  

Back in 2013, the CDC published a report outlining the top 18 drug-resistant threats to the United States. Even though the list is only three years old, it did not identify the strain of E. coli recently found to be resistant to colistin. The microorganisms listed on the CDC’s list of threats were categorized based on the level of concern and included the following:

Urgent Threats
Clostridium difficile (C. diff)
Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE)
Drug-Resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae

Serious Threats
Multidrug-Resistant Acinetobacter
Drug-Resistant Campylobacter
Fluconazole-Resistant Candida
Extended Spectrum Beta-Lactamase (ESBL) – Producing Enterobacteriaceae
Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci (VRE)
Multidrug-Resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Drug-Resistant Non-Typhoidal Salmonella
Multidrug-Resistant Salmonella enterica Serotype Typhi
Drug-Resistant Shigella
Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
Drug-Resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae
Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis

Concerning Threats
Vancomycin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus
Erythromycin-Resistant Group A Streptococcus
Clindamycin-Resistant Group B Streptococcus

“Identifying microbial pathogens and superbugs from environmental samples, contaminated surfaces and medical instruments can go a long way in helping to prevent infections and outbreaks,” said Jason Dobranic, Ph.D., Vice President of Microbiology and Life Sciences at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “At EMSL, we offer comprehensive microbial testing services and all of the sampling supplies necessary to identify a wide range of bacteria to help in these efforts.”

EMSL recently sponsored an educational video highlighting the CDC’s 2013 list of the biggest drug-resistant threats that can be seen at:

To learn more about microbial pathogen testing services or other environmental services, please visit, email or call (800) 220-3675.

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical, Inc. is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, indoor air quality and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.

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