Tag Archives: Microbiology (Bacteriology and fungi)

Diagnostic developers target antibiotic resistance

When a patient shows up at the clinic with a cough and sore throat, there is no good way of discovering whether the infection is bacterial or viral. As a result, many clinicians prescribe antibiotics without really knowing if the drugs are necessary — a situation that contributes to the worrying rise of antibiotic resistance. […]

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Drug-resistant E. coli continues to climb in community health settings

Drug-resistant E. coli infections are on the rise in community hospitals, where more than half of U.S. patients receive their health care, according to a new study from Duke Medicine. The study reviewed patient records at 26 hospitals in the Southeast. By examining demographic information, admission dates and tests, the researchers also found increased antibiotic-resistant […]

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The tantalizing links between gut microbes and the brain

Neuroscientists are probing the idea that intestinal microbiota might influence brain development and behaviour. Nearly a year has passed since Rebecca Knickmeyer first met the participants in her latest study on brain development. Knickmeyer, a neuroscientist at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill, expects to see how 30 newborns have […]

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* Global burden of leptospirosis is greater than thought, and growing

The global burden of a tropical disease known as leptospirosis is far greater than previously estimated, resulting in more than 1 million new infections and nearly 59,000 deaths annually, a new international study led by the Yale School of Public Health has found. Professor Albert Ko, M.D., and colleagues conducted a systematic review of published […]

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Superbug study reveals how E. coli strain acquired deadly powers

A strain of E. coli became a potentially fatal infection in the UK around 30 years ago, when it acquired a powerful toxin, a gene study has revealed. The discovery helps to explain outbreaks of severe food poisoning that began in the 1980s. Scientists say their findings show that E. coli O157 is continuing to […]

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Viruses join fight against harmful bacteria

In the hunt for new ways to kill harmful bacteria, scientists have turned to a natural predator: viruses that infect bacteria. By tweaking the genomes of these viruses, known as bacteriophages, researchers hope to customize them to target any type of pathogenic bacteria. To help achieve that goal, MIT biological engineers have devised a new […]

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Whale microbiome shares characteristics with both ruminants, predators

To some, it may not come as a surprise to learn that the great whales are carnivores, feeding on tiny shrimp-like animals such as krill. Moreover, it might not be surprising to find that the microbes that live in whale guts -the so-called microbiome- resemble those of other meat eaters. But scientists now have evidence […]

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Humans carry more antibiotic-resistant bacteria than animals they work with

Low potential health risk posed to workers in close contact with dairy herds and milk consumers through exposure to antibiotic-resistant staphylococci originating from milk. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are a concern for the health and well-being of both humans and farm animals. One of the most common and costly diseases faced by the dairy industry is bovine […]

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* Success combating multi-resistant bacteria in stables

Multi-resistant bacteria represent a major problem not only in hospitals but also in animal husbandry. A study of the University Bonn describes how a farmer successfully eliminated these pathogens entirely from his pig stable. However, the radical hygiene measures taken in this case can only be applied in individual cases. Nevertheless, the work has yielded […]

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‘Clever adaptation’ allows yeast infection fungus to evade immune system attack

Discovery offers clues about why some Candida albicans infections are so deadly Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers say they have discovered a new way that the most prevalent disease-causing fungus can thwart immune system attacks. The findings, published Sept. 7 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, offer new clues […]

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Urgent action needed to protect salamanders from deadly fungus, scientists warn

A deadly fungus identified in 2013 could devastate native salamander populations in North America unless U.S. officials make an immediate effort to halt salamander importation, according to an urgent new report published today in the journal Science. San Francisco State University biologist Vance Vredenburg, his graduate student Tiffany Yap and their colleagues at the University […]

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Bat disease: Yeast byproduct inhibits white-nose syndrome fungus in lab experiments

A microbe found in caves produces a compound that inhibits Pseudogymnoascus destructans, the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome in bats, researchers report in the journal Mycopathologia. The finding could lead to treatments that kill the fungus while minimizing disruption to cave ecosystems, the researchers say. The yeast Candida albicans produces the compound: trans, trans-farnesol. Candida […]

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Treating burn patients: Target gut bacteria?

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A study published in PLOS ONE has found that burn patients experience dramatic changes in the 100 trillion bacteria inside the gastrointestinal tract. Loyola University Chicago Health Sciences Division scientists found that in patients who had suffered severe burns, there was a huge increase in Enterobacteriaceae, a family of potentially harmful bacteria. There was a […]

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New insights into the genetics of drug-resistant fungal infections

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A study offers new insights into how virulent fungi adapt through genetic modifications to fight back against the effects of medication designed to block their spread, and how that battle leaves them temporarily weakened. These insights may provide clues to new ways to treat notoriously difficult-to-cure fungal infections like thrush and vaginitis. A study by […]

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Urban microbes come out of the shadows

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Genomic sequences reveal cities’ teeming masses of bacteria and viruses. Trains are full of more than just people: bacteria stick to seats more effectively than they do to metal poles. Embedded in the filth and chaos of the world’s great metropolises, amid the people, pigeons, cockroaches and rats, there is a teeming world of bacteria, viruses, […]

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Bacteria may help bats to fight deadly fungus

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The bats at Marm Kilpatrick’s two Illinois field sites perished right on schedule. The mines sheltered nearly 30,000 bats before white-nose syndrome, a deadly fungal disease, arrived in late 2012. By March 2015, less than 5% remained. Kilpatrick, a disease ecologist at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), and his colleagues chose the mines […]

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Researchers engineer E. coli to produce new forms of popular antibiotic

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Like a dairy farmer tending to a herd of cows to produce milk, researchers are tending to colonies of the bacteria Escherichia coli (E. coli) to produce new forms of antibiotics — including three that show promise in fighting drug-resistant bacteria. The research, which is published May 29  in the journal Science Advances, was led […]

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* Swine farming a risk factor for drug-resistant staph infections, study finds

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Swine farmers are more likely to carry multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus or “staph”) than people without current swine exposure, according to a study conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Iowa, Kent State University, and the National Cancer Institute. The study, published online in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, is the […]

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* Programming DNA to reverse antibiotic resistance in bacteria

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New research introduces a promising new tool to combat the rapid, extensive spread of antibiotic resistance around the world. It nukes antibiotic resistance in selected bacteria, and renders other bacteria more sensitive to antibiotics. The research, if ultimately applied to pathogens on hospital surfaces or medical personnel’s hands, could turn the tide on untreatable, often […]

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New strategies for stopping the spread of Staph and MRSA

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Staphylococcus aureus — better known as Staph — is a common inhabitant of the human nose, and people who carry it are at increased risk for dangerous Staph infections. However, it may be possible to exclude these unwelcome guests using other more benign bacteria, according to a new study. The study, published in the AAAS […]

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* European rabbits as reservoir for Coxiella burnetii

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We studied the role of European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) as a reservoir for Coxiella burnetii in the Iberian region. High individual and population seroprevalences observed in wild and farmed rabbits, evidence of systemic infections, and vaginal shedding support the reservoir role of the European rabbit for C. burnetii. Wildlife play a major role in the […]

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* New chip makes testing for antibiotic-resistant bacteria faster, easier

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We live in fear of ‘superbugs’: infectious bacteria that don’t respond to treatment by antibiotics, and can turn a routine hospital stay into a nightmare. Now, researchers have designed a diagnostic chip to reduce testing time of antibiotics from days to one hour, allowing doctors to pick the right antibiotic the first time. Schematic of […]

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Vulnerability found in some drug-resistant bacteria

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A new study analyzing the physical dynamics of all currently mapped structures in an important group of antibiotic-destroying enzymes has found a common structural feature: the physical coordination of a set of flexible components. The apparently universal nature of this complex structural dynamic implies that it is critical to the antibiotic destroying properties of the […]

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Panda guts not suited to digesting bamboo

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Bear’s microbiome shows poor evolutionary adaptation to the fibrous food. Pandas make quick work of bamboo, using their powerful jaws to peel back the plant’s tough outer stalk and reach the tender heart. But new research suggests that microorganisms in the bear’s gut are not quite as adept at breaking down the species’ primary food […]

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Horizontal gene transfer in E. coli

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Escherichia coli O104 is an emergent disease-causing bacterium various strains of which are becoming increasingly well known and troublesome. The pathogen causes bloody diarrhea as well as and potentially fatal kidney damage, hemolytic uremic syndrome. Infection is usually through inadvertent ingestion of contaminated and incompletely cooked food or other materials, such as animals feces. Escherichia […]

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Increasing evidence points to inflammation as source of nervous system manifestations of Lyme disease

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About 15% of patients with Lyme disease develop peripheral and central nervous system involvement, often accompanied by debilitating and painful symptoms. New research indicates that inflammation plays a causal role in the array of neurologic changes associated with Lyme disease, according to a study published in The American Journal of Pathology. The investigators at the […]

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Stomach ulcers in cattle: Bacteria play only a minor role

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Scientists at the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna investigated whether stomach ulcers in cattle are related to the presence of certain bacteria. For their study, they analysed bacteria present in healthy and ulcerated cattle stomachs and found very few differences in microbial diversity. Bacteria therefore appear to play a minor role in the development of […]

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Bacterial flora of remote tribespeople carries antibiotic resistance genes

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The research stems from the 2009 discovery of a tribe of Yanomami Amerindians in a remote mountainous area in southern Venezuela. Largely because the tribe had been isolated from other societies for more than 11,000 years, its members were found to have among the most diverse collections of bacteria recorded in humans. Within that plethora […]

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Leading doctors warn that sepsis deaths will not be curbed without radical rethink of research strategy

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Leading doctors warn that medical and public recognition of sepsis — thought to contribute to between a third and a half of all hospital deaths — must improve if the number of deaths from this common and potentially life-threatening condition are to fall. In a new Commission, published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, Professor Jonathan […]

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* Survey of salmonella species in Staten Island Zoo’s snakes

To better understand the variety of Salmonella species harbored by captive reptiles, Staten Island Zoo has teamed up with the microbiology department at Wagner College. Eden Stark, a graduate student on the project, her advisor, Christopher Corbo, and the zoo’s curator and head veterinarian Marc Valitutto want to know how many Salmonella species live among […]

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