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And now for something completely different: optimistic news from the world of antibiotic stewardship

There’s no way to avoid the news of a growing concern for drug-resistant infections. In both life-threatening and relatively superficial infections, the ability to successfully treat microbial infections with antimicrobials is decreasing. Our only recourse is to use the drugs we have carefully w... Read More

Self-Prescribing Antibiotics is a Big Problem

Washington, DC – July 11, 2016 - Five percent of adults from a cohort of 400 people reported using antibiotics without a prescription during the previous 12 months. Twenty-five percent said they would use antibiotics without contacting a medical professional. These findings demonstrate yet anoth... Read More

Zika in Colors

Our work on Zika virus has utilized two different antibodies to detect Zika virus replication within cells. I described one antibody, directed against double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) in a previous article. A second antibody directed against a Zika virus protein has also been useful...

Click "sou... Read More

Progress Towards Protection from Highly Lethal Ebola, Marburg Viruses

Washington, DC – July 12, 2016 – Ebola and Marburg filovirus disease outbreaks have typically occurred as isolated events, confined to central Africa. However, the recent Ebola epidemic spread to several African countries, and caused 11,000 deaths. That epidemic underscored the need to develop v... Read More

NIH-led effort uses implementation science to reduce mother-to-child HIV transmission

An emerging field, known as implementation science, may help reduce the nearly 150,000 instances of mother-to-child HIV transmissions that occur annually around the world, mostly in developing countries. A team of scientists and program managers, led by the National Institutes of Health, has bee... Read More

A quick and easy new method to detect Wolbachia bacteria in intact Aedes mosquitoes

Aedes aegypti mosquitoes transmit dengue, chikungunya, and zika viruses. A study published in PLOS NTDs reports a new technique that could make one approach to mosquito control--using Wolbachia bacteria that reduce the mosquitos' ability to transmit viral pathogens--a whole lot easier and che... Read More

Genes Found in H. pylori that Influence Biofilm Formation

Washington, DC – July 18, 2016 - Most bacteria cannot survive in the acidic environment of the human stomach, but Helicobacter pylori, a major cause of ulcers, thrives under such circumstances. Now research has shown that one of that bacterium’s regulatory proteins that helps it adapt to these s... Read More

Gonorrhea May Soon Be Resistant to all Antibiotics

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that the wily Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria may be developing resistance to the only two antibiotics left that can cure the sexually transmitted disease.
The drugs, azithromycin and ceftriaxone, are used in combination to treat gonorr... Read More

Bill to provide $1.1 billion Zika funding dies in Senate vote

WASHINGTON — The Senate on Tuesday blocked a $1.1 billion bill to combat the Zika virus, giving Congress just two weeks to try to reach a new deal before lawmakers leave for a seven-week recess in the midst of mosquito season and a growing public health crisis. Read More

What are gut bacteria doing in critically ill lungs? New discovery could change ICU care

No one knows for sure how they got there. But the discovery that bacteria that normally live in the gut can be detected in the lungs of critically ill people and animals could mean a lot for intensive care patients.

Today, scientists are reporting that they found gut bacteria in the deepest r... Read More

Glimpse of an Alien World, in Yellowstone National Park

This week's Microbial Science Friday article on the ASM blog is a celebration of the 100-year anniversary of the National Park System. It takes place in the world's first national park, Yellowstone--where some of the most exotic and colorful microbial communities live. #NPS100 Read More

E. coli: The ideal transport for next-gen vaccines?

BUFFALO, N.Y. - Most people recoil at the thought of ingesting E. coli. But what if the headline-grabbing bacteria could be used to fight disease? Read More

Method suitability in microbiology: understanding complex cGMP guidelines

Particularly in the pharmaceutical industry, microbiological method development and, specifically, method suitability is often overlooked or left until the end of a project. However, it is important to give both method suitability and development due consideration as it can be a complicated proc... Read More

Engineers design programmable RNA vaccines

CAMBRIDGE, MA -- MIT engineers have developed a new type of easily customizable vaccine that can be manufactured in one week, allowing it to be rapidly deployed in response to disease outbreaks. So far, they have designed vaccines against Ebola, H1N1 influenza, and Toxoplasma gondii (a relative ... Read More

Colistin-Resistant Gene Detected in the U.S. for the Second Time: Investigators Alert to Its Possible Spread

Washington, DC - July 11, 2016 - For the second time, a clinical isolate of a bacterial pathogen has been detected in humans in the United States which carries the colistin resistance gene, mcr-1. This may also be the first case to show up in the US. That would be concerning because plasmids, g... Read More

Disarming a pathogen's ability to cause disease

The anaerobic, Gram-positive Clostridium difficile is a big problem. It causes rampant diarrhea and tissue necrosis, with more than 150,000 annual cases in the United States alone. Many of the disease manifestations of C. difficile are mediated by two exotoxins that C. difficile produces: TcdA a... Read More

First evidence that GM mosquitoes reduce disease

Releasing genetically modified mosquitoes appears to have helped reduce cases of dengue in a town in Brazil. The news comes as the US is considering whether to approve the use of the same mosquitoes.

The trial involved Aedes mosquitoes that had been modified to kill off wild mosquitoes of the... Read More

Rare fungus product reduces resistance to antibiotics

A team from the Vetmeduni Vienna and the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna succeeded for the first time in extracting the rare compound cPM from a filamentous fungus, applying a special method. Using this substance leads to increased susceptibility of a resistant pathogen... Read More

Mold contaminant on yogurt

Mold culture growing on top of a home made yogurt culture. Yogurt was made using whole milk and incubated for 8 hrs at a ~30 degree's C then refrigerated. This culture had been in the refrigerator for over 2 weeks, well past expiration for home made yogurt. The green mold had spore formation ... Read More

Gut bacteria imbalance increases diabetes risk

Currently, scientists think the major contributors to insulin resistance are excess weight and physical inactivity, yet ground-breaking new research by an EU funded European-Chinese team of investigators called MetaHit have discovered that specific imbalances in the gut bacteria can cause insuli... Read More
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