EBM and Clinical Support Librarians@UCHC

A blog for medical students, faculty and librarians about their use of evidence based medicine, clinical literature, Web 2.0, sources and search strategies

News, Public Health, Epidemiology, Tobacco: Great American Smokeout 2009, and another Reason to Quit

Today, Nov 19 2009 is designated by the American Cancer Society as…

The Great American Smokeout

Image credit: Courtesy of American Cancer Society – All rights reserved – Copyright 2009


There are many excellent reasons for quitting smoking.  A new international study announced this week presents a novel (and compelling) reason to stop using tobacco once and for all.

Dr. Amy Sapkota, PhD, MPH, is an assistant professor for the School of Public Health at University of Maryland with a joint appointment at Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health.  She describes her research as  “… utilizing metagenomic methods to understand total bacterial biodiversity in cigarettes, smokeless tobacco products and environmental tobacco smoke“.

In 2007, Dr. Sapkota and two microbial biologists at the Ecole Centrale de Lyon, Sibel Berger and Timothy M. Vogel, sampled tobacco taken from four commercial brands of American cigarettes for evidence of bacterial contamination, using DNA microarray analysis techniques.

Following is an excerpt from a press release about the study results (Courtesy of Eurekalert, Nov 19 2009):

Fifteen different classes of bacteria and a broad range of potentially pathogenic organisms were detected in all cigarette samples.  Most notably, we detected Acinetobacter, Bacillus, Burkholderia, Clostridium, Klebsiella, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Serratia in ≥ 90% of all cigarette samples. Other pathogenic bacteria detected included Campylobacter, Enterococcus, Proteus, and Staphylococcus.   No significant variability in bacterial diversity was observed across the four different cigarette brands “.

Excerpt from press release at Eurekalert (Nov 19 2009) – All rights reserved – Copyright 2009

The title of the paper is “Human Pathogens Abundant in the Bacterial Metagenome of Cigarettes” and will be published in a forthcoming issue of the journal Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP)

It can be read online, at no cost, via this link from EHP.

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