a microbiology newsletter - november, 2021
A newsletter of, by, and for microbiologists. Copyright 2021, rights reserved
Beware of Canine Campy!
In the United States, Campylobacter is the most common bacterial cause of diarrhea, affecting 1.5 million U.S. residents every year.(1) Approximately 30% of Campylobacter strains have decreased susceptibility to fluoroquinolones (e.g., ciprofloxacin) or macrolides (e.g., azithromycin), the antibiotics commonly used to treat infections, which poses a serious threat to public health.(2)

In August 2017, the Florida Department of Health reported six patients diagnosed with Campylobacter jejuni infections, who had exposure to puppies sold by a nationwide pet retailer, primarily based in Ohio. Using PulseNet, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) compared the DNA fingerprints of Campylobacter from the Florida puppies to an infected patient in Ohio, who was a recent customer of the implicated pet retailer. Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) data revealed that the isolates produced by the samples were substantially linked.(3)

In response, the CDC, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS), and several state agencies, investigated a multistate outbreak of multidrug-resistant Campylobacter infections linked to pet store puppies. For this multistate investigation, fecal specimens from puppies were collected at associated pet stores in Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin for culture and Whole-genome sequencing, to determine isolate relatedness. Also, the genomes were sequenced for resistance determinants in order to predict antibiotic resistance. Additionally, patients were interviewed regarding demographic characteristics (age, sex, race, ethnicity, and state of residence), health outcomes, and dog exposure during seven days before illness onset (contact with dog or puppy, type of exposure, pet store, or breeder affiliation).(3)

113 people with laboratory-confirmed infections or symptoms consistent with Campylobacter infection were linked to this outbreak. Illnesses were reported from 18 states. 99% of people reported contact with a puppy in the week before the illness started. 29 of the infected persons worked at the pet store chain in question. Outbreak isolates were resistant by antibiotic susceptibility testing to all antibiotics commonly used to treat Campylobacter infections, including macrolides and quinolones. Store records revealed that among 149 investigated puppies, 142 (95%) received one or more courses of antibiotics, raising concern that antibiotic use might have led to the development of resistance in the Campylobacter isolates. 

No deaths were reported, although 26 patients were hospitalized. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) showed that isolates from people infected with Campylobacter were closely related genetically. This close genetic relationship means that people in this outbreak were more likely to share a common source of infection. It was concluded that the puppies became infected at the breeders, rather than at the pet stores.

Traceback investigations did not implicate any particular retailer, distributor, transporter, or breeder. Nevertheless, Campylobacter can be part of the normal gut microbiota of many dogs and has zoonotic potential to create illness in humans, while most dogs will be asymptomatic. The two usual culprits are C. jejuni and C. upsaliensis. (5) It's estimated that 78 million dogs are owned in the United States. Approximately 44% of all households in the United States have a dog.(6) To help prevent the spread of Campylobacter infections, the CDC advises to maintain good hygiene and handling practices after touching a puppy or dog, after handling their food, and after cleaning up after them.(7)

References: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

By Yesenia Morales
Technical Support Microbiologist,
Hardy Diagnostics
Did you know that Hardy Diagnostics was the first to introduce Chromogenic Media to America in 1996?

Chromogenic media allows the microbiologist to make identifications based on colony color. The principle involves a carbohydrate molecule in the media that is bound to a colorless chromogen. When a specific bacterial enzyme cleaves the bond, the chromogen turns color, thus creating color throughout the bacterial colony.

Want to see the complete list? Just type "HardyCHROM" in the search bar here.

Interested in trying out any of our HardyCHROM plates? Contact your account rep here for evaluation samples.

HardyCHROM Plates

chromo plate
HC MRSA 48 hours
The last Petri Dish Rack
you will ever have to buy!
Hardy's new DuraRack is constructed to last a life-time. Stop using brittle acrylic racks that must often be replaced. DuraRack is made of tough steel with a durable epoxy coating.

"Dire Straits"
Besides being a famous British rock band from the 1970s to the 1990s, the term "dire straits" has been used throughout history. A strait is a narrow body of water positioned between two land masses, which can create a dangerous situation for seafarers.

The oldest reference is from Lamentations 1:3 in the Bible: "Judah has gone into captivity...She finds no rest; All her persecutors overtake her in dire straits." NKJV

There is also another mention of the term in Sun Tzu’s Art of War from the 5th century BC:
And if we are able thus to attack an inferior force with a superior one, our opponents will be in dire straits.”
How much is in our processed food?

INULIN - Do the many benefits outweigh the discomfort?
Do food labels tell the full story of what consumers are eating? In the U.S., many citizens may be unaware of how much inulin they may be consuming on a daily basis.

As a result, individuals who consume inulin may suffer from digestive discomfort without knowing the true cause.(1) On many food labels, there is helpful and descriptive information that allows the consumer to be aware of what they are going to eat. However, one piece of information may be missing: how much inulin is in the product.

Inulin is a starchy, soluble fiber found in approximately 36,000 species of plants with the highest content from chicory root and Jerusalem artichoke. Inulin is also fructan. Like other fructans, it is a prebiotic, meaning that it feeds the good bacteria in the gut. Fructans are chains of fructose molecules. The molecules link together in a way that the small intestine cannot break down. Instead, they travel to the lower gut, where they feed beneficial gut bacteria. The gut bacteria convert inulin and other prebiotics into short-chain fatty acids, which nourish colon cells and provide various other health benefits.

Inulin tends to be added to many types of foods, including protein bars, dairy, baked goods, and certain drinks.(9) Moreover, inulin can alter the texture of foods and may make certain foods healthier to consume.(2) Consequently, by adding inulin (usually from chicory root as pictured above), the prebiotic content of foods can be boosted and may replace less healthy ingredients like fats or sugars.

As a whole, inulin has several major health benefits, but there are also a few negative outcomes that may occur. Among the known positive side effects are improved digestive health, constipation relief, weight loss promotion, promotion of mineral absorption, and diabetes prevention. Other possible, but less documented benefits are the prevention of colon cancer, heart disease, and irritable bowel disease (IBD) (2,3,8) Additionally, inulin has been found to stimulate beneficial digestive bacteria and help support a balanced gut microbiota.(1) As a result, consuming inulin is expected to boost the overall health of an individual. After inulin supplementation in humans, the most consistent change was an increase in Bifidobacterium. Other results included an increase in relative abundance of Anaerostipes, Faecalibacterium, and Lactobacillus, and a decrease in the relative abundance of Bacteroides.(7)

Because of its high fiber content, which cannot be digested by stomach acid or pancreatic enzymes, one of the negative aspects of consuming inulin is that individuals who consume inulin may experience bloating, gas, diarrhea, and digestive discomfort. Doctors suggest gradually increasing the amount of inulin consumed over a long period of time to reduce these negative symptoms.(1,8)

Throughout the world, inulin is slowly being accepted as a beneficial dietary fiber. Some countries have included the substance on food labels, while others are slow to do the same.(4) If inulin is not labeled in the dietary fiber section of foods, it may be listed in the ingredients as chicory root or extract.

As inulin is slowly added to nutrition labels, more consumers may be able to correlate increased consumption with gastrointestinal discomfort and adjust their intake accordingly. Being armed with this information will allow consumers to better control any negative experiences and reap the potential health benefits of choosing a diet higher in inulin.

References: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

By Anna Klavins and Emily Edds
R&D Microbiologists, Hardy Diagnostics
Covid Supplies and Test Kits
Rapid Covid/Flu Antigen Test Kit
Now you can test simultaneously for Covid and Flu A+B with one rapid test. Results in only 15 minutes. No equipment needed! NP Collection swabs and controls included.
Rapid Covid Antibody Test Kit
Hardy announces a rapid test kit for the detection of Covid antibodies (both IgM for current infection and IgG for long term immunity) from any blood specimen. Read out in only 10 minutes. No equipment required.
AloeSafe, a better way

Hardy's hand sanitizing gel guards against drying of your skin with Vitamin E, soothes with Aloe Vera, and has a pleasant scent with lavender oil. No harmful ingredients as with the cheap drug store variety! Don't your hands deserve the very best?
DisCide Wipes

With Hardy's DisCide Ultra you get 160 towelettes that are soaked with two powerful killing agents, isopropyl alcohol and quaternary ammonium. Effective against bacteria and viruses.
Viral Transport Medium
Hardy's viral specimen transport is ideal for COVID-19 antigen testing. The shelf life has been increased to 365 days at room temperature. Swabs are sold separately.
N95 Masks
NIOSH Certified, with silicone seal
Now available for immediate shipping!
Face Masks
With adjustable metal nose band.
Now available for immediate shipping!
Double Action Sanitizer

Hardy's custom produced sanitizer pump bottle gives you double protection...both isopropyl alcohol and hydrogen peroxide. Bugs don't stand a chance!
Comfy Lab Coats

For added protection on the job, Hardy offers disposable lab coats, featuring three pockets, and comfortable knit cuffs and collars.
flocked swab
Specimen Collection Swabs
Hardy offers swabs in the flocked, foam, and spun polyester formats.
Choose from nasopharyngeal, oropharyngeal, standard, or urethral.

Available for immediate shipping!



I’m reading a book about anti-gravity. It’s impossible to put down.

Why couldn’t the bicycle stand up on its own? It was Two Tired.
It was an emotional wedding. Even the cake was in tiers.
To some, marriage is a word. To others, a sentence.
Two florists got married. It was an arranged marriage.
How do trees access the internet? They log on. 
What is a ghost’s favorite fruit? Booberries
Did you hear the joke about the German sausage? It was the wurst.

Clinical Microbiology
HardyCHROM Strep A

Are you ready for Strep Season? Hardy's chromogenic medium detects Group A Strep. Colored colonies are easy to see on a white background.

HardyCHROM Candida+auris

Hardy's new chromogenic plate for the detection of Candida spp, now includes C. auris! It creates both a colored and fluorescent colony. Vivid colors stand out against a white background.
PYR Test
Rapid Test Methods

Check out our mini catalog on rapid test kits that includes reagents and test cards. You'll see many "hard to find" products that will save you time and money!
Loops of all kinds!

When it comes to loops, Hardy has it all. Nichrome, platinum, disposable, calibrated, needles, or spreaders. Click below to see our complete mini-catalog on inoculating loops.
MBL organisms
QC Organisms

Hundreds of species are available from Hardy Diagnostics, your MBL distributor. Available in the pellet or stick format. Quantitative or qualitative.
Carba 5 for CRE Detection

With Carba 5 you can test for the 5 major enzymes of carbapenem resistance. Test for gene expression. Read out in only 15 minutes. No equipment needed!
Free Gram Stain Tutorial

Hardy has prepared the best ever Gram stain technique tutorial that you can use for training new Techs....and it's FREE! Check it out below...
HC Candida
Candida ID Made Easy!

The HardyCHROM plate can help identify Candida species by colony color.

Pre-reduced anaerobic culture media, ready-to-use for your set-ups. Pouches are gassed out with nitrogen for superior growth. See our complete anaerobic catalog below...
Dehydrated Media

Hardy manufactures a complete line of powdered media. It is conveniently packaged in five different configurations ready for export.

Seeing is Believing?
Do you see profiles or seated figures?
"Believe nothing of what you hear, and only half of what you see"
~ Edgar Allen Poe
Pharmaceutical Microbiology
HardyVAL Media Fill Test Kits

Hardy offers a complete line of products to help pharmacists with USP <797> <800> and more!

Impact Air Samplers

Hardy offers a complete line of air samplers for your clean room monitoring program. Check out our complete catalog!


The Autof ms 1000
With the most extensive database of microorganisms

Hardy's new MALDI-TOF is now available for research use.

  • Database of approximately 5,000 species created with over 15,000 strains!
  • Learn more about MALDI Technology
  • Find out more about Hardy's new MALDI instrument
  • View a short introductory video
  • Contact us for pricing and details

Can you make
shoes out of fungi?
How about T shirts? Packaging materials? Handbags, Furniture?

Fungal mycelia is now being used for all that and more.

It's renewable, biodegradable, and sustainable!

Food Microbiology
The Wizard Colony Counter

Hardy's Wizard will count your colonies in seconds. Use with our Compact Dry mini plates. See how it's done in a short video below...

Compact Dry for Colony Counts - a better way!

Space saving miniplates for performing your colony counts.
Watch a short video to learn why the Compact Dry has many advantages over Petri Film! Don't forget to check out our automated colony counter!

Wisdom to Ponder...
Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

A Dutch draper who became interested in microscopy using a simple single lens device that he invented and built. Noted and the "Father of Microbiology" he was the first to observe and describe microorganisms.

"Whenever I found something remarkable, I have thought it my duty to put down my discovery on paper, so that all ingenious people be informed thereof."

"Man has always to be busy with his thoughts if anything is to be accomplished."

"I've spent more time than many will believe [making microscopic observations], but I've done them with joy, and I've taken no notice those who have said why take so much trouble and what good is it?"

"I observed certain animalcules, within whole bodies I saw so quick a motion as to exceed belief; they were about the size of a large grain of sand, and their bodies being transparent, that the internal motion could plainly be seen."

"My work, which I've done for a long time, was not pursued in order to gain the praise I now enjoy, but chiefly from a craving after knowledge, which I notice resides in me more than in most other men."

"I have divers times endeavoured to see and to know, what parts the Blood consists of; and at length I have observ'd, taking some Blood out of my own hand, that it consists of small round globuls driven through a Crystalline humidity or water."
"I was the best man at the wedding...

If I was the best man, then why did she marry him?

Jerry Seinfeld
My wife promised me that when I die,
she would go the extra mile to give me the burial I deserve...

Time for your monthly
cranial workout!

Increasing your protection...

How Zinc Ionophores can effectively fight COVID-19

References for utilizing Vitamin D and Zinc supplementation for the adjunct therapy
and prevention of COVID-19.

During our 41 years of serving the microbiology community, we have continually aimed to provide the utmost in "a culture of service" for our valued customers. As a 100% employee owned company, we have even more incentive to please our customers as best we possibly can every day. Do you have a suggestion, comment, or question? Please contact me here.

Jay Hardy, CLS, SM (NRCM)
CEO of Hardy Diagnostics