Bacterium and Fungus Team Up to Cause Virulent Tooth Decay in Toddlers

WASHINGTON, DC – March 12, 2014 – Early childhood caries, a highly aggressive and painful form of tooth decay that frequently occurs in preschool children, especially from backgrounds of poverty, may result from a nefarious partnership between a bacterium and a fungus, according to a paper published ahead of print in the journal Infection and Immunity.

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Seminal Fluid Increases Gonorrhea Infectivity

WASHINGTON, DC – March 4, 2014 – Researchers have come a step closer to understanding how gonorrhea infections are transmitted. When Neisseria gonorrhoeae, the bacteria responsible for gonorrhea, are exposed to seminal plasma, the liquid part of semen containing secretions from the male genital tract, they can more easily move and start to colonize. The research, led by investigators at Northwestern University in Chicago, appears in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

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Harvested Rainwater Harbors Pathogens

WASHINGTON, DC – February 26, 2014 – South Africa has been financing domestic rainwater harvesting tanks in informal low-income settlements and rural areas in five of that nation’s nine provinces. But pathogens inhabit such harvested rainwater, potentially posing a public health hazard, especially for children and immunocompromised individuals, according to a team from the University of Stellenbosch. The research was published ahead of print in Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

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Fossilized Human Feces from 14th Century Contain Antibiotic Resistance Genes

WASHINGTON, DC – February 27, 2014 – A team of French investigators has discovered viruses containing genes for antibiotic resistance in a fossilized fecal sample from 14th century Belgium, long before antibiotics were used in medicine. They publish their findings ahead of print in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

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Vinegar Kills Tuberculosis and Other Mycobacteria

WASHINGTON, DC–February 25, 2014– The active ingredient in vinegar, acetic acid, can effectively kill mycobacteria, even highly drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis, an international team of researchers from Venezuela, France, and the US reports in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

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