In this paper, we present regional differences in pond area by focusing on species — pond area relationships between two groups of vertebrates differing in life cycles and ecological requirements: amphibians and birds. The study was conducted in two regions of Romania: the Târnava Basin and the Fizeş Valley. Ponds from Târnava were more vegetated with emergent aquatic plants (
sp.). The amphibian species richness in ponds was higher in Târnava than in Fizeş and, conversely, Fizeş contained a higher number of bird species. The diversity of the amphibian species is not related to pond area, however, there was a positive relationship in both regions between amphibian species richness and the percentage of emergent vegetation cover. Bird’s species richness, on the other hand, was positively related to both pond area and vegetation cover in Târnava whereas only to vegetation cover in Fizeş. The
values of the species-area relationship for amphibians were low in both regions and slightly negative in Târnava. In case of birds, the
value was larger in Târnava than in Fizeş, suggesting that the number of species increased more with pond area in Târnava than in Fizeş.
Rapid detection of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) colonization status facilitates isolation and decolonization and reduces MRSA infections. Liquid but not dry swabs allow fully automated detection methods. However, the accuracy of culture and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using liquid and dry swabs has not been analyzed. We compared different swab collection systems for routine nasal–throat MRSA screening in patients admitted to a tertiary care trauma center in Germany. Over 3 consecutive months, dry swabs (month 1), ESwabs (month 2), or MSwabs (month 3) were processed using Cepheid GeneXpert, Roche cobas and BD-MAX™ MRSA tests compared to chromogenic culture. Among 1680 subjects, the MRSA detection rate using PCR methods did not differ significantly between dry swabs, ESwab, and MSwab (6.0%, 6.2%, and 5.3%, respectively). Detection rates using chromogenic culture were 2.9%, 3.9%, and 1.9%, using dry, ESwab, and MSwab, respectively. Using chromogenic culture as the “gold standard”, negative predictive values for the PCR tests ranged from 99.2–100%, and positive predictive values from 33.3–54.8%. Thus, efficient and accurate MRSA screening can be achieved using dry, as well as liquid E- or MSwab, collection systems. Specimen collection using ESwab or MSwab facilitates efficient processing for chromogenic culture in full laboratory automation while also allowing molecular testing in automated PCR systems.