Bacterial identification & colony counting from a mixture of 5 different bacteria

Lesley Robertson l.a.robertson at tnw.tudelft.nl
Mon Sep 16 03:20:07 EST 2002

"JEDilworth" <bactitech at nospamhortonsbay.com> wrote in message
news:3D8204C5.23D77874 at nospamhortonsbay.com...

> Acinetobacter calcoaceticus var. anitratus is another bug that is
> showing up more and more clinically,

This is very scary when you consider that other strains are being considered
for wastewater treatment. Obviously the WWT ones are known non-pathogenic
strains, but the similarity of the names gives a bi-directional problem.
Some folk will take the pathogens for granted on the grounds that "they
wouldn't be using them in WWT if they weren't". The other problem is
convincing some people that there ARE safe bugs... The legal system here
assumes that all unknown bugs are dangerous until proved innocent, and it's
taken me a couple of years to convince them that, for example, labs playing
with extremophiles (in our specific case, growth above pH 10, below pH 3,
above 75C) do not need the same levels of containment as labs playing with
medical material.
I'm beginning to think that pathogenicity should be a criterion in naming
bugs - with  names that are clearly different to avoid confusing the
less-expert, but obviously related to keep taxonomists happy.
> No, you don't want your students to inadvertently be messing with this
> stuff.
The times I really worry are when someone who clearly doesn't have proper
lab facilities or supervision asks how to run experiments and some folk
occaisionally suggest things that will lead to them isolating bugs that our
students aren't allowed to handle! I wouldn't suggest anything one such a
public forum that would involve anything that I wouldn't offer to one of our
first years - GRAS bugs only. I'll even confess to being paranoid enough
that I discuss level 2 and high bugs under email rather than on-group to
avoid giving the less-sensible ideas.

One of the reasons for my paranoia is that half my job description is
University BioSafety Officer - just understanding European and Dutch
BioSafety legislation can do serious damage to your brain, never mind
implementing it!
Lesley Robertson

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