Intended for healthcare professionals

Minerva Minerva


BMJ 1999; 319 doi: (Published 11 September 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:718

Cultured cells from human neonatal foreskin combine with bovine collagen to make a promising “off the shelf” alternative to skin grafts (Archives of Dermatology 1999;135:913-8). The tissue engineered product, known as living skin equivalent, had the same healing potential as traditional meshed autograft when tested on standardised wounds (donor sites for split skin grafting). In a comparative trial, wounds treated with living skin equivalent or autograft healed in about seven days; those dressed with a popular occlusive dressing took at least two days longer to heal and were more painful.

Advice from health educators that people should eat more fresh fruit and vegetables has a downside: uncooked fresh produce may be contaminated by bacteria. Research in the United States (Epidemiology and Infection 1999;122:385-93) has linked outbreaks of salmonellosis with the consumption of uncooked fresh tomatoes. Tomatoes placed in a water bath contaminated by bird droppings may absorb water and salmonella organisms into their core tissues through the stem scar In theory, chlorination of washing tanks should eliminate the problem; in practice, few growers monitor chlorine levels.

Consumers in Sicily seem to have their own exclusive species of salmonella Salmonella bongori, a rare species usually found in lizards and other reptiles, has surfaced repeatedly in various Sicilian towns, …

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