Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 17

Search results for: Sabine C. Langer

17 Coupling Concept of Two Parallel Research Codes for Two and Three Dimensional Fluid Structure Interaction Analysis

Authors: Luciano Garelli, Marco Schauer, Jorge D’Elia, Mario A. Storti, Sabine C. Langer

Abstract:

This paper discuss a coupling strategy of two different software packages to provide fluid structure interaction (FSI) analysis. The basic idea is to combine the advantages of the two codes to create a powerful FSI solver for two and three dimensional analysis. The fluid part is computed by a program called PETSc-FEM, a software developed at Centro de Investigación de Métodos Computacionales (CIMEC). The structural part of the coupled process is computed by the research code elementary Parallel Solver (elPaSo) of the Technische Universität Braunschweig, Institut für Konstruktionstechnik (IK).

Keywords: computational fluid dynamics (CFD), fluid structure interaction (FSI), finite element method (FEM), software

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16 A Model for Reverse-Mentoring in Education

Authors: Sabine A. Zauchner-Studnicka

Abstract:

As the term indicates, reverse-mentoring flips the classical roles of mentoring: In school, students take over the role of mentors for adults, i.e. teachers or parents. Originally reverse-mentoring stems from US enterprises, which implemented this innovative method in order to benefit from the resources of skilled younger employees for the enhancement of IT competences of senior colleagues. However, reverse-mentoring in schools worldwide is rare. Based on empirical studies and theoretical approaches, in this article an implementation model for reverse-mentoring is developed in order to bring the significant potential reverse-mentoring has for education into practice.

Keywords: reverse-mentoring, innovation in education, implementation model, school education

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15 Solid Particle Erosion of Heat Treated TNB-V4 at Ambient and Elevated Temperatures

Authors: Muhammad Naveed, Richard Stechow, Sebastian Bolz, Katharina Hobusch, Sabine Weiß

Abstract:

Solid particle erosion has been identified as a critical wear phenomenon which takes place during operation of aeroengines in dusty environment. The present work discusses the erosion behavior of Ti-44.5Al-6.25Nb-0.8Mo-0.1B alloy (TNB-V4) which finds its application in low pressure gas turbines and can be used for high pressure compressors too. Prior to the erosion tests, the alloy was heat treated to improve the mechanical properties. Afterwards, specimens were eroded at impact angles of 30° and 90° at room and high temperatures (100 °C-400 °C). Volume loss and erosion behavior are studied through gravimetric analysis, whereas erosion mechanisms are characterized through scanning electron microscopy. The results indicate a clear difference in the erosion mechanism for different impact angles. The influence of the test temperature on the erosion behavior of the alloy is also discussed in the present contribution.

Keywords: solid particle erosion, gamma TiAl, TNB-V4, high temperature erosion

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14 Age and Population Structure of the Goby Parapocryptes Serperaster in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam, Based on Length-Frequency and Otolith Analyses

Authors: Quang Minh Dinh, Jian Guang Qin, Sabine Dittmann, Dinh Dac Tran

Abstract:

The age and population structure the dermal gopy Parapocryptes serperaster were studied using length distributions, otolith and von Bertalanffy model in the Mekong Delta over a whole year through monthly sampling. The sex ratio of P. serperaster was near 1:1, and von Bertalanffy growth parameters were L∞= 25.2 cm, K = 0.74 yr-1, and t0 = -0.22 yr-1. Fish size at first entry to fishery was 14.6 cm, and fishing mortality (1.57 yr-1) and natural mortality (1.51 yr-1) accounted for 51% and 49% of the total mortality (3.07 yr-1), respectively. Relative yield-per-recruit and biomass-per-recruit analyses revealed the levels of maximum exploitation yield (Emax = 0.83), maximum economic yield (E0.1 = 0.71) and the yield at 50% reduction of exploitation (E0.5 = 0.37). Otoliths from 164 female and 196 male gobies were readable, and the otolith morphometry data were used for age identification. The mean age estimated by reading otolith annual rings and by analysing length frequency distribution was consistent. This study shows that the otolith morphometry is a reliable method for aging this goby and possibly also applicable for other tropical gobies. The fishery analysis indicates that this goby stock has not been overexploited in the Mekong Delta.

Keywords: Parapcryptes serperaster, otolith, age, pulation structure, Vietnam

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13 Work in the Industry of the Future-Investigations of Human-Machine Interactions

Authors: S. Schröder, P. Ennen, T. Langer, S. Müller, M. Shehadeh, M. Haberstroh, F. Hees

Abstract:

Since a bit over a year ago, Festo AG and Co. KG, Festo Didactic SE, robomotion GmbH, the researchers of the Cybernetics-Lab IMA/ZLW and IfU, as well as the Human-Computer Interaction Center at the RWTH Aachen University, have been working together in the focal point of assembly competences to realize different scenarios in the field of human-machine interaction (HMI). In the framework of project ARIZ, questions concerning the future of production within the fourth industrial revolution are dealt with. There are many perspectives of human-robot collaboration that consist Industry 4.0 on an individual, organization and enterprise level, and these will be addressed in ARIZ. The aim of the ARIZ projects is to link AI-Approaches to assembly problems and to implement them as prototypes in demonstrators. To do so, island and flow based production scenarios will be simulated and realized as prototypes. These prototypes will serve as applications of flexible robotics as well as AI-based planning and control of production process. Using the demonstrators, human interaction strategies will be examined with an information system on one hand, and a robotic system on the other. During the tests, prototypes of workspaces that illustrate prospective production work forms will be represented. The human being will remain a central element in future productions and will increasingly be in charge of managerial tasks. Questions thus arise within the overall perspective, primarily concerning the role of humans within these technological revolutions, as well as their ability to act and design respectively to the acceptance of such systems. Roles, such as the 'Trainer' of intelligent systems may become a possibility in such assembly scenarios.

Keywords: human-machine interaction, information technology, island based production, assembly competences

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12 Structural, Magnetic and Thermodynamic Investigation of Iridium Double Perovskites with Ir⁵⁺

Authors: Mihai I. Sturza, Laura T. Corredor, Kaustuv Manna, Gizem A. Cansever, Tushar Dey, Andrey Maljuk, Olga Kataeva, Sabine Wurmehl, Anja Wolter, Bernd Buchner

Abstract:

Recently, the iridate double perovskite Sr₂YIrO₆ has attracted considerable attention due to the report of unexpected magnetism in this Ir⁵⁺ material, in which according to the Jeff model, a non-magnetic ground state is expected. Structural, magnetic and thermodynamic investigations of Sr₂YIrO₆ and Ba2YIrO6 single crystals, with emphasis on the temperature and magnetic field dependence of the specific heat will be presented. The single crystals were grown by using SrCl₂ and BaCl₂ as flux. Single-crystal X-ray diffraction measurements performed on several crystals from different preparation batches showed a high quality of the crystals, proven by the good internal consistency of the data collected using the full-sphere mode and an extremely low R factor. In agreement with the expected non-magnetic ground state of Ir⁵⁺ (5d4) in these iridates, no magnetic transition is observed down to 430 mK. Moreover, our results suggest that the low-temperature anomaly observed in the specific heat is not related to the onset of long-range magnetic order. Instead, it is identified as a Schottky anomaly caused by paramagnetic impurities present in the sample, of the order of

Keywords: double perovskites, iridates, self-flux grown synthesis, spin-orbit coupling

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11 Protein Stabilized Foam Structures as Protective Carrier Systems during Microwave Drying of Probiotics

Authors: Jannika Dombrowski, Sabine Ambros, Ulrich Kulozik

Abstract:

Due to the increasing popularity of healthy products, probiotics are still of rising importance in food manufacturing. With the aim to amplify the field of probiotic application to non-chilled products, the cultures have to be preserved by drying. Microwave drying has proved to be a suitable technique to achieve relatively high survival rates, resulting from drying at gentle temperatures, among others. However, diffusion limitation due to compaction of cell suspension during drying can prolong drying times as well as deteriorate product properties (grindability, rehydration performance). Therefore, we aimed to embed probiotics in an aerated matrix of whey proteins (surfactants) and di-/polysaccharides (foam stabilization, probiotic protection) during drying. As a result of the manifold increased inner surface of the cell suspension, drying performance was enhanced significantly as compared to non-foamed suspensions. This work comprises investigations on suitable foam matrices, being stable under vacuum (variation of protein concentration, type and concentration of di-/polysaccharide) as well as development of an applicable microwave drying process in terms of microwave power, chamber pressure and maximum product temperatures. Performed analyses included foam characteristics (overrun, drainage, firmness, bubble sizes), and properties of the dried cultures (survival, activity). In addition, efficiency of the drying process was evaluated.

Keywords: foam structure, microwave drying, polysaccharides, probiotics

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10 Classification System for Soft Tissue Injuries of Face: Bringing Objectiveness to Injury Severity

Authors: Garg Ramneesh, Uppal Sanjeev, Mittal Rajinder, Shah Sheerin, Jain Vikas, Singla Bhupinder

Abstract:

Introduction: Despite advances in trauma care, a classification system for soft tissue injuries of the face still needs to be objectively defined. Aim: To develop a classification system for soft tissue injuries of the face; that is objective, easy to remember, reproducible, universally applicable, aids in surgical management and helps to develop a structured data that can be used for future use. Material and Methods: This classification system includes those patients that need surgical management of facial injuries. Associated underlying bony fractures have been intentionally excluded. Depending upon the severity of soft tissue injury, these can be graded from 0 to IV (O-Abrasions, I-lacerations, II-Avulsion injuries with no skin loss, III-Avulsion injuries with skin loss that would need graft or flap cover, and IV-complex injuries). Anatomically, the face has been divided into three zones (Zone 1/2/3), as per aesthetic subunits. Zone 1e stands for injury of eyebrows; Zones 2 a/b/c stand for nose, upper eyelid and lower eyelid respectively; Zones 3 a/b/c stand for upper lip, lower lip and cheek respectively. Suffices R and L stand for right or left involved side, B for presence of foreign body like glass or pellets, C for extensive contamination and D for depth which can be graded as D 1/2/3 if depth is still fat, muscle or bone respectively. I is for damage to facial nerve or parotid duct. Results and conclusions: This classification system is easy to remember, clinically applicable and would help in standardization of surgical management of soft tissue injuries of face. Certain inherent limitations of this classification system are inability to classify sutured wounds, hematomas and injuries along or against Langer’s lines.

Keywords: soft tissue injuries, face, avulsion, classification

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9 Reorientation of Anisotropic Particles in Free Liquid Microjets

Authors: Mathias Schlenk, Susanne Seibt, Sabine Rosenfeldt, Josef Breu, Stephan Foerster

Abstract:

Thin liquid jets on micrometer scale play an important role in processing such as in fiber fabrication, inkjet printing, but also for sample delivery in modern synchrotron X-ray devices. In all these cases the liquid jets contain solvents and dissolved materials such as polymers, nanoparticles, fibers pigments or proteins. As liquid flow in liquid jets differs significantly from flow in capillaries and microchannels, particle localization and orientation will also be different. This is of critical importance for applications, which depend on well-defined homogeneous particle and fiber distribution and orientation in liquid jets. Investigations of particle orientation in liquid microjets of diluted solutions have been rare, despite their importance. With the arise of micro-focused X-ray beams it has become possible to scan across samples with micrometer resolution to locally analyse structure and orientation of the samples. In the present work, we used this method to scan across liquid microjets to determine the local distribution and orientation of anisotropic particles. The compromise wormlike block copolymer micelles as an example of long flexible fibrous structures, hectorite materials as a model of extended nanosheet structures, and gold nanorods as an illustration of short stiff cylinders to comprise all relevant anisotropic geometries. We find that due to the different velocity profile in the liquid jet, which resembles plug flow, the orientation of the particles which was generated in the capillary is lost or changed into non-oriented or bi-axially orientations depending on the geometrical shape of the particle.

Keywords: anisotropic particles, liquid microjets, reorientation, SAXS

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8 Preservation of Sensitive Biological Products: An Insight into Conventional and Upcoming Drying Techniques

Authors: Jannika Dombrowski, Sabine Ambros, Ulrich Kulozik

Abstract:

Several drying techniques are used to preserve sensitive substances such as probiotic lactic acid bacteria. With the aim to better understand differences between these processes, this work gives new insights into structural variations resulting from different preservation methods and their impact on product quality and storage stability. Industrially established methods (freeze drying, spray drying) were compared to upcoming vacuum, microwave-freeze, and microwave-vacuum drying. For freeze and microwave-freeze dried samples, survival and activity maintained 100%, whereas vacuum and microwave-vacuum dried cultures achieved 30-40% survival. Spray drying yielded in lowest viability. The results are directly related to temperature and oxygen content during drying. Interestingly, most storage stable products resulted from vacuum and microwave-vacuum drying due to denser product structures as determined by helium pycnometry and SEM images. Further, lower water adsorption velocities were responsible for lower inactivation rates. Concluding, resulting product structures as well as survival rates and storage stability mainly depend on the type of water removal instead of energy input. Microwave energy compared to conductive heating did not lead to significant differences regarding the examined factors. Correlations could be proven for three investigated microbial strains. The presentation will be completed by an overview on the energy efficiency of the presented methods.

Keywords: drying techniques, energy efficiency, lactic acid bacteria, probiotics, survival rates, structure characterization

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7 The Role of Leukocyte-Derived IL-10 on Postoperative ileus and Intestinal Macrophage Differentiation in Mice

Authors: Kathy Stein, Mariola Lysson, Anja Schmidt, Beatrix Schumak, Sabine Specht, Hicham Bouabe, Jürgen Heesemann, Axel Roers, Joerg C. Kalff, Sven Wehner

Abstract:

Objective: Postoperative ileus (POI) is a common complication of abdominal surgery. Monocyte infiltration is a hallmark of POI. The polarization of macrophages/monocytes in this process is not well understood. We aimed to investigate if and how M2 macrophage/monocyte differentiation is involved in POI pathogenesis. Design: POI was induced by intestinal manipulation (IM). C57Bl/6, CCR2-/-, IL-10 reporter (ITIB), IL-10-/- and LysMcre/IL-10fl/fl mice underwent IM. At various points in time leukocyte influx, gene and protein expression of cytokines, chemokines and M2 differentiation markers and intestinal motility were analyzed. Results: IM induced the postoperative expression of the M2 markers Arginase-1 and YM-1, predominantly in F4/80+Ly6C+ monocytes. Gene expression analyses indicated an IL-10-dependent, IL-4-independent M2 polarization of these monocytes. IL-10 dependency of M2 differentiation was confirmed in IL-10 deficient mice. Leukocytes, in the order of infiltrating monocytes, neutrophils, and resident macrophages were the main IL-10 producers during POI. IL-10 producing monocytes as well as M2 marker expression were almost absent in CCR2-deficient mice. However, postoperative IL-10 expression was not altered in CCR2-/- mice. The loss of M2 polarized monocytes neither protected CCR2-/- mice from nor affected resolution of POI. In contrast, IL-10 deficiency reduced postoperative neutrophil numbers and ameliorated POI. IL-10Ra expression was strongly induced in neutrophils but not in monocytes. Conclusion: We conclude that IL-10 counteracts POI resolution by activating IL-10Ra-expressing neutrophils in the late phase of disease while IL-10-dependent M2 differentiation is not pivotal to POI manifestation and resolution.

Keywords: interleukin-10, macrophages, neutrophils, postoperative ileus

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6 Correlation between Fetal Umbilical Cord pH and the Day, the Time and the Team Hand over Times: An Analysis of 6929 Deliveries of the Ulm University Hospital

Authors: Sabine Pau, Sophia Volz, Emanuel Bauer, Amelie De Gregorio, Frank Reister, Wolfgang Janni, Florian Ebner

Abstract:

Purpose: The umbilical cord pH is a well evaluated contributor for prediction of neonatal outcome. This study correlates nenonatal umbilical cord pH with the weekday of delivery, the time of birth as well as the staff hand over times (midwifes and doctors). Material and Methods: This retrospective study included all deliveries of a 20 year period (1994-2014) at our primary obstetric center. All deliveries with a newborn cord pH under 7,20 were included in this analysis (6929 of 48974 deliveries (14,4%)). Further subgroups were formed according to the pH (< 7,05; 7,05 – 7,09; 7,10 – 7,14; 7,15 – 7,19). The data were then separated in day- and night time (8am-8pm/8pm-8am) for a first analysis. Finally, handover times were defined at 6 am – 6.30 am, 2 pm -2.30 pm, 10 pm- 10.30 pm (midwives) and for the doctors 8-8.30 am, 4 – 4.30 pm (Monday- Thursday); 2 pm -2.30 pm (Friday) and 9 am – 9.30 am (weekend). Routinely a shift consists of at least three doctors as well as three midwives. Results: During the last 20 years, 6929 neonates were born with an umbilical cord ph < 7,20 ( < 7,05 : 7,1%; 7,05 – 7,09 : 10,9%; 7,10 – 7,14 : 30,2%; 7,15 – 7,19:51,8%). There was no significant difference between either night/day delivery (p = 0.408), delivery on different weekdays (p = 0.253), delivery between Monday to Thursday, Friday and the weekend (p = 0.496 ) or delivery during the handover times of the doctors as well as the midwives (p = 0.221). Even the standard deviation showed no differences between the groups. Conclusion: Despite an increased workload over the last 20 years, the standard of care remains high even during the handover times and night shifts. This applies for midwives and doctors. As the neonatal outcome depends on various factors, further studies are necessary to take more factors influencing the fetal outcome into consideration. In order to maintain this high standard of care, an adaption of work-load and changing conditions is necessary.

Keywords: delivery, fetal umbilical cord pH, day time, hand over times

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5 Microwave Freeze Drying of Fruit Foams for the Production of Healthy Snacks

Authors: Sabine Ambros, Mine Oezcelik, Evelyn Dachmann, Ulrich Kulozik

Abstract:

Nutritional quality and taste of dried fruit products is still often unsatisfactory and does not meet anymore the current consumer trends. Dried foams from fruit puree could be an attractive alternative. Due to their open-porous structure, a new sensory perception with a sudden and very intense aroma release could be generated. To make such high quality fruit snacks affordable for the consumer, a gentle but at the same time fast drying process has to be applied. Therefore, microwave-assisted freeze drying of raspberry foams was investigated in this work and compared with the conventional freeze drying technique in terms of nutritional parameters such as antioxidative capacity, anthocyanin content and vitamin C and the physical parameters colour and wettability. The following process settings were applied: 0.01 kPa chamber pressure and a maximum temperature of 30 °C for both freeze and microwave freeze drying. The influence of microwave power levels on the dried foams was investigated between 1 and 5 W/g. Intermediate microwave power settings led to the highest nutritional values, a colour appearance comparable to the undried foam and a proper wettability. A proper process stability could also be guaranteed for these power levels. By the volumetric energy input of the microwaves drying time could be reduced from 24 h in conventional freeze drying to about 6 h. The short drying times further resulted in an equally high maintenance of the above mentioned parameters in both drying techniques. Hence, microwave assisted freeze drying could lead to a process acceleration in comparison to freeze drying and be therefore an interesting alternative drying technique which on industrial scale enables higher efficiency and higher product throughput.

Keywords: foam drying, freeze drying, fruit puree, microwave freeze drying, raspberry

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4 Preservation of High Quality Fruit Products: Microwave Freeze Drying as a Substitute for the Conventional Freeze Drying Process

Authors: Sabine Ambros, Ulrich Kulozik

Abstract:

Berries such as blue- and raspberries belong to the most valuable fruits. To preserve the characteristic flavor and the high contents of vitamins and anthocyanins, the very sensitive berries are usually dried by lyophilization. As this method is very time- and energy-consuming, the dried fruit is extremely expensive. However, healthy snack foods are growing in popularity. Especially dried fruit free of any additives or additional sugar are more and more asked for. To make these products affordable, the fruits have to be dried by a method that is more energy-efficient than freeze drying but reveals the same high product quality. The additional insertion of microwaves to a freeze drying process was examined in this work to overcome the inconveniences of freeze drying. As microwaves penetrate the product volumetrically, sublimation takes place simultaneously all over the product and leads to a many times shorter process duration. A range of microwave and pressure settings was applied to find the optimum drying condition. The influence of the process parameters microwave power and chamber pressure on drying kinetics, product temperature and product quality was investigated to find the best condition for an energy-efficient process with high product quality. The product quality was evaluated by rehydration capacitiy, crispiness, shrinkage, color, vitamin C content and antioxidative capacity. The conclusion could be drawn that microwave freeze dried berries were almost equal to freeze dried fruit in all measured quality parameters or even could overcome it. Additionally, sensory evaluations could confirm the analytical studies. Drying time could be reduced by more than 75% at much lower energy consumption rates. Thus, an energy-efficient and cost saving method compared to the conventional freeze drying technique for the gentle production of tasty fruit or vegetable snacks has been found. This technique will make dried high-quality snacks available for many of consumers.

Keywords: blueberries, freeze drying, microwave freeze drying, process parameters, product quality

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3 Is HR in a State of Transition? An International Comparative Study on the Development of HR Competencies

Authors: Barbara Covarrubias Venegas, Sabine Groblschegg, Bernhard Klaus, Julia Domnanovich

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Research Objectives: The roles and activities of human resource management (HRM) have changed a lot in the past years. Driven by a changing environment and therefore, new business requirements, the scope of human resource (HR) activities has widened. The extent to which these activities should focus on strategic issues to support the long-term success of a company has been discussed in science for many years. As many economies of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) experienced a phase of transition after the socialist era and are now recovering from the 2008 global crisis it is needed to examine the current state of HR positioning. Furthermore, a trend in HR work developing from rather administrative units to being strategic partners of management can be noticed. This leads to the question of better understanding the underlying competencies which are necessary to support organisations. This topic was addressed by the international study “HR Competencies in international comparison”. The quantitative survey was conducted by the Institute for Human Resources & Organisation of FHWien University of Applied Science of WKW (A) in cooperation with partner universities in the countries Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia. Methodology: Using the questionnaire developed by Dave Ulrich we tested whether the HR Competency model can be used for Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia. After performing confirmatory and exploratory factor analysis for the whole data set containing all five countries we could clearly distinguish between four competencies. In a further step, our analysis focused on median and average comparisons between the HR competency dimensions. Conclusion: Our literature review, in alignment with other studies, shows a relatively rapid pace of development of HR Roles and HR Competencies in BCSS in the past decades. Comparing data from BCSS and Austria we still can notice that regards strategic orientation there is a lack in BCSS countries, thus competencies are not as developed as in Austria. This leads us to the tentative conclusion that HR has undergone a rapid change but is still in a State of Transition from being a rather administrative unit to performing the role of a strategic partner.

Keywords: comparative study, HR competencies, HRM, HR roles

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2 Big Data for Local Decision-Making: Indicators Identified at International Conference on Urban Health 2017

Authors: Dana R. Thomson, Catherine Linard, Sabine Vanhuysse, Jessica E. Steele, Michal Shimoni, Jose Siri, Waleska Caiaffa, Megumi Rosenberg, Eleonore Wolff, Tais Grippa, Stefanos Georganos, Helen Elsey

Abstract:

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Urban Health Equity Assessment and Response Tool (Urban HEART) identify dozens of key indicators to help local decision-makers prioritize and track inequalities in health outcomes. However, presentations and discussions at the International Conference on Urban Health (ICUH) 2017 suggested that additional indicators are needed to make decisions and policies. A local decision-maker may realize that malaria or road accidents are a top priority. However, s/he needs additional health determinant indicators, for example about standing water or traffic, to address the priority and reduce inequalities. Health determinants reflect the physical and social environments that influence health outcomes often at community- and societal-levels and include such indicators as access to quality health facilities, access to safe parks, traffic density, location of slum areas, air pollution, social exclusion, and social networks. Indicator identification and disaggregation are necessarily constrained by available datasets – typically collected about households and individuals in surveys, censuses, and administrative records. Continued advancements in earth observation, data storage, computing and mobile technologies mean that new sources of health determinants indicators derived from 'big data' are becoming available at fine geographic scale. Big data includes high-resolution satellite imagery and aggregated, anonymized mobile phone data. While big data are themselves not representative of the population (e.g., satellite images depict the physical environment), they can provide information about population density, wealth, mobility, and social environments with tremendous detail and accuracy when combined with population-representative survey, census, administrative and health system data. The aim of this paper is to (1) flag to data scientists important indicators needed by health decision-makers at the city and sub-city scale - ideally free and publicly available, and (2) summarize for local decision-makers new datasets that can be generated from big data, with layperson descriptions of difficulties in generating them. We include SDGs and Urban HEART indicators, as well as indicators mentioned by decision-makers attending ICUH 2017.

Keywords: health determinant, health outcome, mobile phone, remote sensing, satellite imagery, SDG, urban HEART

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1 Preliminary Results on a Study of Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing of Bacillus anthracis Strains Isolated during Anthrax Outbreaks in Italy from 2001 to 2017

Authors: Viviana Manzulli, Luigina Serrecchia, Adelia Donatiello, Valeria Rondinone, Sabine Zange, Alina Tscherne, Antonio Parisi, Antonio Fasanella

Abstract:

Anthrax is a zoonotic disease that affects a wide range of animal species (primarily ruminant herbivores), and can be transmitted to humans through consumption or handling of contaminated animal products. The etiological agent B.anthracis is able to survive in unfavorable environmental conditions by forming endospore which remain viable in the soil for many decades. Furthermore, B.anthracis is considered as one of the most feared agents to be potentially misused as a biological weapon and the importance of the disease and its treatment in humans has been underscored before the bioterrorism events in the United States in 2001. Due to the often fatal outcome of human cases, antimicrobial susceptibility testing plays especially in the management of anthrax infections an important role. In Italy, animal anthrax is endemic (predominantly found in the southern regions and on islands) and is characterized by sporadic outbreaks occurring mainly during summer. Between 2012 and 2017 single human cases of cutaneous anthrax occurred. In this study, 90 diverse strains of B.anthracis, isolated in Italy from 2001 to 2017, were screened to their susceptibility to sixteen clinically relevant antimicrobial agents by using the broth microdilution method. B.anthracis strains selected for this study belong to the strain collection stored at the Anthrax Reference Institute of Italy located inside the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale of Puglia and Basilicata. The strains were isolated at different time points and places from various matrices (human, animal and environmental). All strains are a representative of over fifty distinct MLVA 31 genotypes. The following antibiotics were used for testing: gentamicin, ceftriaxone, streptomycin, penicillin G, clindamycin, chloramphenicol, vancomycin, linezolid, cefotaxime, tetracycline, erythromycin, rifampin, amoxicillin, ciprofloxacin, doxycycline and trimethoprim. A standard concentration of each antibiotic was prepared in a specific diluent, which were then twofold serial diluted. Therefore, each wells contained: bacterial suspension of 1–5x104 CFU/mL in Mueller-Hinton Broth (MHB), the antibiotic to be tested at known concentration and resazurin, an indicator of cell growth. After incubation overnight at 37°C, the wells were screened for color changes caused by the resazurin: a change from purple to pink/colorless indicated cell growth. The lowest concentration of antibiotic that prevented growth represented the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC). This study suggests that B.anthracis remains susceptible in vitro to many antibiotics, in addition to doxycycline (MICs ≤ 0,03 µg/ml), ciprofloxacin (MICs ≤ 0,03 µg/ml) and penicillin G (MICs ≤ 0,06 µg/ml), recommend by CDC for the treatment of human cases and for prophylactic use after exposure to the spores. In fact, the good activity of gentamicin (MICs ≤ 0,25 µg/ml), streptomycin (MICs ≤ 1 µg/ml), clindamycin (MICs ≤ 0,125 µg/ml), chloramphenicol(MICs ≤ 4 µg/ml), vancomycin (MICs ≤ 2 µg/ml), linezolid (MICs ≤ 2 µg/ml), tetracycline (MICs ≤ 0,125 µg/ml), erythromycin (MICs ≤ 0,25 µg/ml), rifampin (MICs ≤ 0,25 µg/ml), amoxicillin (MICs ≤ 0,06 µg/ml), towards all tested B.anthracis strains demonstrates an appropriate alternative choice for prophylaxis and/or treatment. All tested B.anthracis strains showed intermediate susceptibility to the cephalosporins (MICs ≥ 16 µg/ml) and resistance to trimethoprim (MICs ≥ 128 µg/ml).

Keywords: Bacillus anthracis, antibiotic susceptibility, treatment, minimum inhibitory concentration

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