Infection Control Today - 02/2002: Microbe of the Month


NP,AOM, CAP, URI, HAP, IPD, APD, VAP...whoa! Sounds like a serious outbreak ofpolyacronymuria. How 'bout I let you arrange the alphabet, while I do my mostexcellent colonizing, infecting, resisting thing! In many of the finest circles,I'm considered the baddest diplo-dude your mom and dad never heard of. Bet theyremember the nasty otiti, though. I do about 7 million in AOM gigs a year,mostly on the tyke-types between 12 and 18 months. I'm also on board at mostdaycare centers, qualifying dcc's as preferred pathogenic playpens. AOM is bad,but I can get even badder. In fact, I'm one of the main men in the US deadnessgame, and right up there at the top with all the big guys offshore. Deadly, yes,but I'm not such a heavyweight in the bravery part. I do my best work on littleones, lackammunos, and AARPs. As a crafty commensal, I set up shop in your URfreeway, springing into action at the first sign of a viral infection (crazyabout working with flu-zies). And this is only part of my story. I really make aname for myself in the halls of hospitalia, where I'm a certified nozo-nightmare.Once I lay claim as a HAP (close to 1% of admitees), I'm the deadliest of allthe guys. With up to a 30% mortality success rate, how proud am I? Beat up yourpeople about HW, suctioning techniques, and ventilator management (!), why don't'cha? And if all these credentials aren't enough (as if!), have you seen my MVPstats on resistance to the infective police. 25 - 50% of the time, I giggle nowat penicillin. (Was it only 35 years ago, I couldn't get arrested afterpenicillin?) As DRSP, I'm gaining on other meds as well. Are you hearingfootsteps, yet? I should mention I suffered a recent setback with the updatedNCCLS MIC breakpoints, due Jan 2002. Some ceftomeds may work better than y'allthought. Check it out. Not to mention a 23-skidoo and grossly underused vaccineespecially right-on for the silver circle set. Don't use it, don't lose it, Ialways say. So, keep an eye out for me. I'm a Gram-plus, halo imaging,polysaccharide encapsulated, p-to-p transmitted, droplet loving, earachepartying, brain inflaming, pneumonia causing, diploccoccal fool... and if you'renot initial-challenged, you can win a new Lexus or a nice gift (our choice) bynaming me and a few of my pals, AOM, CAP, HAP, and DRSP. PS... did you reallythink it was gonna be easy?

Roger P. Freeman, DDS, is a dental infection control consultant and presidentof Infectious Awareables, at

E-mail your answers to,including your name, title, and the name of your healthcare facility. Thewinners of the next quarterly drawing for infection control-related prizes willbe published in the April 2002 issue. The answer to last month's mystery microbeis giardia lamblia.

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