Press Releases

C. difficile Needs Iron, But Too Much Is Hazardous: New Insights Into Maintaining It “Just Right”

Washington, D.C. - July 6, 2015 - Those bacteria that require iron walk a tightrope. Iron is essential for their growth, but too much iron can damage DNA and enzymes through oxidation. Therefore, bacteria have machinery to maintain their intracellular iron within the “Goldilocks zone.” Now Theresa D. Ho, PhD, and Craig D. Ellermeier, PhD shed new light on how the pathogen, Clostridium difficile, which is the most common cause of hospital-acquired infectious diarrhea, regulates iron. The research is published online ahead of print July 6 in the Journal of Bacteriology, a publication of the American Society for Microbiology.

Infection With Wolbachia Bacteria Curbs Fighting Among Fruit Flies

Washington, D.C. - July 2, 2015 - Male fruit flies infected with the bacterium, Wolbachia, are less aggressive than those not infected, according to research published in the July Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology. This is the first time bacteria have been shown to influence aggression, said corresponding author Jeremy C. Brownlie, PhD, Deputy Head, School of Natural Sciences, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia.

Enquist Becomes President of the American Society for Microbiology

Washington, D.C. - July 1, 2015 - As of July 1, 2015, Henry L. Hillman professor of molecular biology and professor in the Princeton Neuroscience Institute at Princeton University Lynn Enquist, will become president of the American Society for Microbiology.

Hantaviruses Are Highly Dependent on Cell Membrane Cholesterol to Gain Entry, Infect Humans

Washington, D.C. – June 30, 2015 – Hantaviruses use cholesterol in cell walls to gain access into cells and infect humans, according to laboratory research published this week in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Human Urine Helps Prevent Bacteria from Sticking to Bladder Cells

Washington, D.C. —June 30, 2015—Human urine contains factors that prevent a common culprit in urinary tract infections (UTIs), uropathogenic Escherichia coli bacteria, from properly attaching to bladder cells, a necessary step for infection. The research, published this week in mBio, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, reveals a weakness that could be exploited to develop more effective, non-antibiotic treatments for UTIs.

In ERs, Urinary Tract and Sexually Transmitted Infections In Women Misdiagnosed, Even Mixed Up Nearly Half the Time

Washington, D.C. - June 24, 2015 - Urinary tract and sexually transmitted infections in women are misdiagnosed by emergency departments nearly half the time, according to a paper in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, a publication of the American Society for Microbiology. These misdiagnoses result in overuse of antibiotics, and increased antibiotic resistance, according to Michelle Hecker, MD, an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, MetroHealth Medical Center, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, and her collaborators.

Generic Heart Disease Medications Offer Promise for Ebola Treatment

Washington, D.C. – June 23, 2015Generic medications used frequently in the management of heart disease patients also have the potential to bolster the immune systems of patients with Ebola virus and some other life-threatening illnesses, researchers report this week in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Researchers Identify New Class of Antifungal Agents

Washington, D.C. - June 23, 2015 - Researchers have identified a new class of antifungals to treat the more than 300 million people worldwide who develop serious fungal infections. The research is described in the current issue of mBio, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Why Lyme Disease Becomes Chronic: New Insight Could Lead to Better Treatments

Washington, D.C. - June 19, 2015 - While most cases of Lyme disease in the U.S. are caught early and resolve successfully with antibiotic treatment, substantial numbers of cases that are initially missed become chronic, with patients suffering from Lyme arthritis. Now, Kim Lewis, PhD, and collaborators have shown the likely cause of this phenomenon. The bacterium that causes Lyme disease form dormant, or non-growing bacterial cells known as persisters, that are highly resistant to all antibiotics. The research is published in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Copper Destroys Human Norovirus—Fast!

Washington, D.C. – June 5, 2015 - Metal alloys containing copper can destroy* human norovirus, according to a paper published online ahead of print on May 15, in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

OpenStax College, ASM Press Partner on Microbiology Textbook

Houston - June 2, 2015 - Rice University-based publisher OpenStax College and the American Society for Microbiology Press today announced they are teaming up to produce Microbiology, a new introductory-level textbook due for release in spring 2016 that will be free online and low-cost in print.

American Society for Microbiology to Launch mSystems™, New Open Access Journal

New Orleans – June 3, 2015 -- The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) today announced plans to launch mSystems™, a new open access journal, in early 2016.   mSystems™ will publish preeminent work that stems from applying technologies for high-throughput analyses to achieve insights into the metabolic and regulatory systems at the scale of  both the single cell and microbial communities. The scope of mSystems™ encompasses all important biological and biochemical findings drawn from analyses of large datasets, as well as new computational approaches for deriving these insights.  mSystems™ will welcome submissions from researchers who apply “omics” technologies to microbial systems—including the microbiome, genomics, metagenomics, transcriptomics, metabolomics, proteomics, glycomics, bioinformatics and computational microbiology.

American Society for Microbiology to Launch mSphere™, New Open-Access Journal

New Orleans – June 3, 2015 -- The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) today announced plans to launch mSphere™, a new pan-microbiology open-access journal in early 2016.   mSphere™ will create new opportunities for researchers in microbial sciences to share findings that are transforming our understanding of human health and disease, ecosystems, neuroscience, agriculture,  energy production, climate change, evolution, biogeochemical cycling, and food and drug production.

ASM Participates in White House Antibiotic Stewardship Forum

Washington, D.C. - June 2, 2015 - The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) welcomes the opportunity to discuss ways the public and private sectors can collaborate to address the worldwide crisis of antimicrobial resistance at the White House Forum on Antibiotic Stewardship which is being held in Washington DC today. This high level meeting of experts is a significant opportunity to move forward with comprehensive policies to improve antibiotic stewardship and slow the emergence of resistant bacteria.

Publons and the American Society for Microbiology announce pilot partnership

London - June 1st, 2015 - Publons, the world’s largest peer review platform, and the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), the oldest and largest life science membership organization, have entered into a pilot partnership, which  will allow verified peer review recognition to peer reviewers of 12 participating ASM journals via the Publons platform. As of 1 June 2015, ASM and Publons are working together as part of a pilot program to improve the peer review process of journals published by ASM.The content of this page is restricted to ASM Members only.The content of this page is restricted to ASM Members only.

General Meeting 2015 Featured Press Release: Human Papillomavirus Vaccination: What Are College Students Thinking?

New Orleans, Louisiana – May 31, 2015 - Preliminary results from a survey of 192 Oakland University undergraduate female students in Auburn Hills, Michigan, revealed that although a vast majority of them are aware of the human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV), about 54% are not vaccinated.  This research is being presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.

Toothbrush Contamination in Communal Bathrooms

New Orleans, Louisiana – June 2, 2015  Data confirms that there is transmission of fecal coliforms in communal bathrooms at Quinnipiac University and that toothbrushes can serve as a vector for transmission of potentially pathogenic organisms. This research is presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.

Researchers Identify New Target for Ebola Drugs

Washington, D.C. - May 26, 2015 - A new study has demonstrated that a protein called Niemann-Pick C1 (NPC1) is critical for the Ebola virus to infect a host. The study, published in the May/June issue of mBio, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, suggests that drugs that block NPC1 could be used to treat this deadly disease.

Researchers ID Novel Virus in U.S. Piglets Affected by Diarrhea Epidemic

Washington, D.C. – May 19, 2015 – A novel virus affecting young piglets and swine blood meal, an ingredient in pig feed, has been isolated and identified by researchers at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va. 

Giant Panda Gut Bacteria Can’t Efficiently Digest Bamboo

WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 19, 2015 – It’s no wonder that giant pandas are always chewing and eating, say Chinese researchers: their gut bacteria are not the type for efficiently digesting bamboo.

Phage Spread Antibiotic Resistance

WASHINGTON D.C. - Friday, May 15, 2015 - Investigators found that nearly half of  the 50 chicken meat samples purchased from supermarkets, street markets, and butchers in Austria contained viruses that are capable of transferring antibiotic resistance genes from one bacterium to another—or from one species to another. “Our work suggests that such transfer could spread antibiotic resistance in environments such as food production units and hospitals and clinics,” said corresponding author Friederike Hilbert, DVM. The research is published ahead of print May 1, in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.The content of this page is restricted to ASM Members only.

Bacterial communities can act as precise biosensors of environmental damage

WASHINGTON, DC — May 12, 2015— A multidisciplinary group of US-based researchers has shown that the mixture of species found within natural bacterial communities in the environment can accurately predict the presence of contaminants such as uranium, nitrate, and oil. The findings, published this week in mBio, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, show that the rapid sequencing of microbiomes in place at environmental sites can be used to monitor damage caused by human activity.

New Light On Bacterial Microcompartments: Ultimate Applications May Include Renewable Chemicals, Drug Delivery, Novel Antimicrobials

Washington, D.C.- May 11, 2015- Bacteria contain “microcompartments,” which are poorly understood organelles that play critical roles in metabolism. Understanding how they work may ultimately enable engineering them for useful applications. In salmonella, which possess two microcompartment types, coexpression is prevented by gene regulation. Concurrent expression rendered them nonfunctional, and resulted in release of toxic metabolic intermediates into the cell cytoplasm, damaging the cell. But by engineering a regulatory override, Thomas Bobik, PhD, and collaborators shed new light on how microcompartments work. The research is published in the Journal of Bacteriology, a publication of the American Society for Microbiology.

Is Our First Line of Defense Sleeping on the Job? Metabolic Activity of the Skin Microbiome

New Orleans, Louisiana – June 1, 2015 –The skin microbiome is considered our first line of defense against pathogens. Across our bodies, we are covered with a diverse assemblage of bacteria. However, the skin can be a harsh environment for beneficial bacteria to live on due to UV exposure, high salinity, and desiccation stress. Research being presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology found that these suboptimal conditions may cause some bacteria to enter a dormant state, while other bacteria may simply die.

Does Agion silver technology work as an antimicrobial?

New Orleans, Louisiana – May 31, 2015 - The antibacterial effectiveness of Agion silver zeolite technology was tested on door handles across the Penn State Erie campus and after four years of sampling, a significant difference was observed between the bacterial populations isolated from silver versus control-coated door handles. This research is presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.

Oral bacterium possibly associated with systemic disease found in Alabama schoolchildren

New Orleans, Louisiana – June 1, 2015 – Prevalence of a recently discovered serotype of oral bacterium, with a possible link to a number of systemic diseases, was found for the first time in a small cohort of African-American schoolchildren in a southwest Alabama town, according to research being presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.

Soil microbes ally with plants to fight disease and tolerate stress

New Orleans, Louisiana – June 1, 2015 - Much like the microbes in our gut, the plant microbiome also elicits a low-level immune response in the host plant, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology. Researchers found that when microbe-free plants were exposed to the pathogen responsible for speck disease in tomato, Pseudomonas syringae, disease was significantly less in plants with a microbiome.

Human Papillomavirus Vaccination: What Are College Students Thinking?

New Orleans, Louisiana – May 31, 2015 - Preliminary results from a survey of 192 Oakland University undergraduate female students in Auburn Hills, Michigan, revealed that although a vast majority of them are aware of the human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV), about 54% are not vaccinated.  This research is being presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.

Good Craft Beer Can Be Spoiled by Bacteria

New Orleans, Louisiana – June 1, 2015 -  Beer spoilage bacteria was found in 10 of 50 final product beer samples from four of the nine breweries tested in Houston, Texas, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology. 

Fecal Microbiota Transplant Cures C. diff, Blocks Multi-Drug Resistant Pathogens

Washington, D.C. - May 6, 2015 - A fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) not only cured a case of Clostridium difficile (C. diff) infection in a 66 year old man; it eliminated populations of multi-drug resistant organisms both in the patient's gastrointestinal tract, and at several other body sites. This case report is published ahead of print April 15 in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, a publication of the American Society for Microbiology.

Viruses: You’ve Heard the Bad. Here’s the Good

Washington, D.C. - April 30, 2015 - “The word, virus, connotes morbidity and mortality, but that bad reputation is not universally deserved,” said Marilyn Roossinck, PhD, Professor of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology and Biology at the Pennsylvania State University, University Park. “Viruses, like bacteria, can be important beneficial microbes in human health and in agriculture,” she said. Her review of the current literature on beneficial viruses appeared ahead of print April 24 in the Journal of Virology, which is published by the American Society for Microbiology.

First case of rabies in over a decade: Lessons for healthcare personnel

Washington, D.C. - April 22, 2015 - A team of French clinicians has diagnosed the first case of rabies in France since 2003. Only 20 cases of human rabies had been diagnosed in France between 1970 and 2003. The patient was unaware of having been bitten, so the diagnosis was not suggested until day 12 post admission to the intensive care unit. The case report appeared April 8 in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, a publication of the American Society for Microbiology.

New Research Sheds Light on Popular Probiotic's Benefits for the Gut

Washington, D.C. - April 14, 2015 - In recent years, research into the benefits of gut bacteria has exploded. Scientists across the globe are examining how these microbes can help improve health and prevent disease.

Genetically Engineered Salmonella Promising as Anti-cancer Therapy

Washington, D.C. - April 14, 2015 - A new study has demonstrated that genetically modified Salmonella can be used to kill cancer cells. The study is published in this week’s issue of mBio, an American Society for Microbiology online-only, open access journal.

The Rockefeller University designated a “Milestones in Microbiology” site by the American Society for Microbiology

Washington, D.C. - April 6, 2015 - The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) will name The Rockefeller University a “Milestones in Microbiology” site, recognizing the institution and its scientists for their significant contributions toward advancing the science of microbiology. The announcement will be made at a formal dedication ceremony on Wednesday, April 8, 2015, at Noon at Rockefeller’s New York City campus.The content of this page is restricted to ASM Members only.

Compound from Soil Microbe Inhibits Biofilm Formation

Washington, D.C. - March 30, 2015 - Researchers have shown that a known antibiotic and antifungal compound produced by a soil microbe can inhibit another species of microbe from forming biofilms—microbial mats that frequently are medically harmful—without killing that microbe. The findings may apply to other microbial species, and can herald a plethora of scientific and societal benefits. The research is published online ahead of print on March 30, 2015, in the Journal of Bacteriology, a publication of the American Society for Microbiology. The study will be printed in a special section of the journal that will comprise of papers from the 5th ASM Conference on Cell-Cell Communication in Bacteria.

The American Academy of Microbiology releases new report titled “Harnessing the Power of Microbes as Therapeutics: Bugs as Drugs”

WASHINGTON, D.C. - March 27, 2015 - A new report recently released by the American Academy of Microbiology discusses how specific microbes can be modified to enhance their therapeutic potential for treating human diseases such as cancer and antibiotic resistant bacterial infections. Bacteria and viruses are not always categorized as harmful microorganisms. In fact, these groups of microbes can be beneficial and can actively participate in many biological processes. With the perception of microorganisms being our partners, research is now being conducted to use microbes to treat disease and enhance human health. Some viruses and species of bacteria can be targeted to kill cancer cells while others can be deployed to replicate in and kill tumors.The content of this page is restricted to ASM Members only.

Could Camel Antibodies Protect Humans from MERS?

WASHINGTON, D.C. - March 27, 2015 -Antibodies from dromedary camels protected uninfected mice from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), and helped infected mice expunge the disease, according to a study published online March 18th in the Journal of Virology, a journal published by the American Society for Microbiology. MERS, which emerged in humans last year in the Saudi Arabian peninsula, causes severe respiratory disease, with a high mortality rate of 35-40 percent. No specific therapy is currently available.The content of this page is restricted to ASM Members only.

A vineyard’s soil microbes shape the grapes’ microbial community

WASHINGTON, DC - March 24, 2015 - In the first study of an entire wine grapevine’s microbiome, researchers have found that the microbes associated with the grapes, leaves and flowers are largely derived from the soil microbes found around the plant’s roots. The findings, published in mBio the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, could help dissect how microbes affect a wine’s properties and pave the way for biotechnological advances for producing hardier crops.The content of this page is restricted to ASM Members only.

Malaria-Infected Cells Produce Odors Attractive to Mosquitoes

WASHINGTON, DC – March 24, 2015 – The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum produces chemical compounds called terpenes that give off odors that attract mosquitoes, according to new research. The study, published this week in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, might explain why the insects are more likely to bite humans or animals infected with the organism.The content of this page is restricted to ASM Members only.

New Molecular Tool Assesses Vaginal Microbiome Health, Diagnosis Infections—Fast

Washington, DC - March 19, 2015 -  A new microarray-based tool, called VaginArray, offers the potential to provide a fast, reliable and low-cost assessment of vaginal health and diagnoses of infections. The research is published ahead of print March 2, in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

American Society for Microbiology Receives Grant to Support the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy

WASHINGTON, DC - March 3, 2015 - The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) has received a $161,460 multi-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help support the research being presented at ASM’s Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC). Through their Global Health Division, the foundation will not only partner with ASM to host joint sessions during the conference, they are also providing a travel award for scientists through The Gates Travel Award program.

79 Fellows Elected to the American Academy of Microbiology

In January of 2015, the American Academy of Microbiology elected 79 new Fellows.

Fellows of the Academy are elected annually through a highly selective, peer-review process, based on their records of scientific achievement and original contributions that have advanced microbiology.

Genetic Changes in Ebola Virus in West African Outbreak Could Hinder Potential Treatments

WASHINGTON, DC--January 20, 2015--Researchers have tracked the genetic mutations that have occurred in the Ebola virus during the last four decades. Their findings, published inmBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, identified changes in the current West African outbreak strain that could potentially interfere with experimental, sequence-based therapeutics.

Cold plasma treatment cuts norovirus germs

WASHINGTON, DC - January 13, 2015 - Treating surfaces with cold atmospheric pressure plasma (CAPP) may reduce the risk of transmitting norovirus, a contagious virus leading to stomach pain, nausea and diarrhea, according to a new study.

Drug targeting ebola virus protein VP24 shows promise in monkeys

WASHINGTON, DC - February 10, 2015 - An experimental medication that targets a protein in Ebola virus called VP24 protected 75% of a group of monkeys that were studied from Ebola virus infection, according to new research conducted by the U.S. Army, in collaboration with Sarepta Therapeutics, Inc. The study was published this week in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology

Birth Method, Gestation Duration May Alter Infants’ Gut Microbiota and Influence Later Health

WASHINGTON, DC – February 3, 2015 – Environmental factors like mode of delivery and duration of gestation may affect how infants’ gut bacteria mature, and that rate could help predict later body fat, international researchers from the EpiGen consortium have found in collaboration with scientists at Nestlé Research Center in Switzerland. The work is published this week in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology. 

Experimental Approach to Flu Prevention Could Block Multiple Strains

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20, 2015 - A new biologic drug prevented death when administered to mice a week in advance of lethal challenge with influenza H7N9, a disease that has shown a  roughly 30 percent mortality rate in humans. The biologic had previously proven protective in mice against the pandemic 2009 H1N1 and the highly pathogenic H5N1 influenza viruses. “This suggests that our approach could work for any strain of the influenza virus,” says corresponding author Elena Govorkova, of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee. The research is published ahead of print in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

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