Part of Thermo Fisher Scientific
23 November 2007
New Pharmaceutical Microbiology Prize Awarded
We are pleased to acknowledge the excellent work of a young microbiologist at the University of Brighton. The inaugural Oxoid Prize for the Best Project in Microbiology, at the University of Brighton School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, was awarded to Sandra Clark for her study on the survival of hospital-acquired pathogens in a desiccated state.
In her project, Sandra assessed the survival of Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Acinetobacter W6492 (chosen for their significance as opportunistic hospital-acquired pathogens), suspensions of which had been dried onto different surfaces representative of those found in the hospital environment. Variables in the study included suspension media (water or bovine calf serum), temperature (25ºC and 37ºC to represent room and body temperatures respectively) and time (up to 4 weeks).
Sandra’s study demonstrated that Pseudomonas aeruginosa was susceptible to desiccation and was not recovered in significant numbers from any of the incubated samples. However, both Staphylococcus aureus and Acinetobacter W6492 were detected at significant levels after prolonged incubations, demonstrating their persistence in stressful conditions and their potential to cause contamination and subsequent infection in a hospital environment.
“I am really pleased to have won the Oxoid Prize” said Sandra, “It is particularly special to me as it is was awarded in recognition of a project that was entirely my own work; and the fact that this is the first time the Oxoid Prize has been awarded makes it doubly special!”
Sandra recently received the Oxoid Prize which was presented prior to the graduation ceremonies in Brighton. Alison Smith, pharmaceutical marketing manager, Oxoid, presented her with a framed certificate and a cheque for £150.
Alison Smith commented, “Sandra’s project is significant and timely, since hospital-acquired infections continue to be an enormous challenge to health care services. As a leading supplier of microbiological culture media and diagnostic tests, we are pleased to recognise such projects and to encourage further understanding of these micro-organisms."