New Virus Identified in Blood Supply

Washington, DC – September 22, 2015 - Scientists have discovered a new virus that can be transmitted through the blood supply. Currently, it is unclear whether the virus is harmful or not, but it is related to hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human pegivirus (HPgV), the latter of which was formerly known as hepatitis G virus. The new virus, which researchers have named human hepegivirus-1 (HHpgV-1), is described in the September 22 issue of mBio, an online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Researchers Find Novel Signature in the Brains of Children with Cerebral Malaria: Disease exacerbated by HIV

Washington, DC - September 22, 2015 - Cells associated with inflammation and blood clotting accumulate in the brain blood vessels of children affected by a potentially fatal form of malaria called cerebral malaria (CM), potentially contributing to the disease process, an international team of researchers has found, and HIV can exacerbate this development. The work was published this week in mBio®, an online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

New Insights into Biofilm Formation Could Lead to Better Therapies, but Mysteries Remain

Washington, DC – July 20, 2015 - Biofilms are tough, opportunistic, highly antibiotic resistant bacterial coatings that form on catheters and on medical devices implanted within the body. University of Maryland investigators have now shown that a “messenger molecule” produced by the opportunistic human pathogen, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, encourages bacteria to colonize catheters in the bladders of laboratory mice, where they form biofilms. The research appears July 20th in the Journal of Bacteriology, a publication of the American Society for Microbiology.

Skin Microbiome Influences Common Sexually Transmitted Disease

Washington, DC – September 15, 2015 - For years, researchers have known that the human skin is home to a diverse community of microorganisms, collectively known as the skin microbiome. Now a new study has shown that individuals with a particular skin microbiome can effectively clear bacteria that cause chancroid, a sexually transmitted disease common in the developing world that has been linked to enhanced HIV transmission. The study, published in the September 15th issue of mBio, is the first prospective study to show that the skin microbiome can influence the outcomes of a bacterial infection.

Dairy Products Boost Effectiveness of Probiotics

Washington, DC - July 17, 2015 - The success of probiotics for boosting human health may depend partly upon the food, beverage, or other material carrying the probiotics, according to research published on July 10th in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

American Society for Microbiology Announces Calls for Papers for New Open-Access Journals, mSphere and mSystems

Washington, DCSeptember 14, 2015— Founding Editors in Chief Michael Imperiale and Jack Gilbert have issued calls for papers for the American Society for Microbiology’s new open-access journals, mSphere™and mSystems™, respectively. Both journals will provide streamlined decisions and newly accepted manuscripts will be copyedited, composed, and published weekly. The online journals will launch in early 2016.

Better Chocolate with Microbes

Washington, DC - July 15, 2015 - For decades, researchers have worked to improve cacao fermentation by controlling the microbes involved. Now, to their surprise, a team of Belgian researchers has discovered that the same species of yeast used in production of beer, bread, and wine works particularly well in chocolate fermentation. The research was published ahead of print July 6th in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a publication of the American Society for Microbiology.

Periodontitis and Heart Disease: Researchers Connect the Molecular Dots

Washington, DC – September 11, 2015 - Periodontitis is a risk factor for heart disease. Now a team of researchers has shown that a periodontal pathogen causes changes in gene expression that boost inflammation and atherosclerosis in aortic smooth muscle cells. The research is published ahead of print in Infection and Immunity, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Multiple, Co-existing Groups of Gut Bacteria Keep Clostridium difficile Infections at Bay

Washington, DC —July 14, 2015—Multiple species of bacteria working together in healthy guts are responsible for keeping out nasty bacterial invader, Clostridium difficile, a hospital-acquired culprit responsible for 15,000 deaths each year. The study, published this week in mBio, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, could lead to tests to predict which hospital patients are at highest risk of infection and better management of infections.

Decontamination Exterminates Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria from Pig Farm

Washington, DC – September 4, 2015 - Decontamination protocols eradicated both methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and antibiotic resistant, pathogenic intestinal bacteria, the Enterobacteriaceae, from a pig farm. The research appears online September 4th in ASM’s journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

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.

Why do Certain Hormonal Contraceptives Increase the Risk of HIV?

Washington, DC – September 1, 2015 - In recent years, evidence has been building that injectable contraceptive depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (Depo-Provera or DMPA) is associated with an increased risk of HIV infection. Now a study published in the September 1st issue of mBio, an online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, provides a biological explanation for the phenomenon. The findings will help women make more informed choices about birth control.

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.

Oysters Harbor, Transmit Human Norovirus: Avoid Raw Ones

Washington, DC - August 28, 2015 - Oysters not only transmit human norovirus; they also serve as a major reservoir for these pathogens, according to research published August 28 in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology. “More than 80 percent of human norovirus genotypes were detected in oyster samples or oyster-related outbreaks,” said corresponding author Yongjie Wang, PhD.

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.

Hepatitis A-Like Virus Identified in Seals

Washington, DC – August 25, 2015 - Scientists in the Center for Infection and Immunity at the Mailman School of Public Health have discovered a new virus in seals that is the closest known relative of the human hepatitis A virus. The finding provides new clues on the emergence of hepatitis A. The research appears in the July/August issue of mBio, an 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.

Long Distance Travelers Likely Contributing to Antibiotic Resistance's Spread

Washington, DC – August 20, 2015 - Swedish exchange students who studied in India and in central Africa returned from their sojourns with an increased diversity of antibiotic resistance genes in their gut microbiomes. The research is published 10 August in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

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.

Following Maternal Transmission, Group B Strep Mutates to Sicken Infants

Washington, DC - August 18, 2015 - Group B streptococcus, a mostly benign inhabitant of healthy adults, is one of the world’s leading causes of neonatal sepsis and meningitis. A team of French investigators has now shown that such cases might occur when the microbe mutates within the infant following transmission from the mother. The research appeared August 17 in the Journal of Bacteriology, a publication of the American Society for Microbiology.

Generic Heart Disease Medications Offer Promise for Ebola Treatment

Washington, DC - June 23, 2015 - Generic 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.

Unlikely Element Turns up in Enzyme; Commercial Renewable Fuels Might Ultimately Result

Washington, DC – August 14, 2015 - Tungsten is exceptionally rare in biological systems. Thus, it came as a huge surprise to Michael Adams, PhD., and his collaborators when they discovered it in what appeared to be a novel enzyme in the hot spring-inhabiting bacterium, Caldicellulosiruptor bescii. The researchers hypothesized that this new tungstoenzyme plays a key role in C. bescii’s primary metabolism, and its ability to convert plant biomass to simple fermentable sugars. This discovery could ultimately lead to commercially viable conversion of cellulosic (woody) biomass to fuels and chemical feedstocks, which could substantially reduce greenhouse emissions. The research is published 14 August in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a 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.

Pathogen Grows on Cold Smoked Salmon by Using Alternative Metabolic Pathways

Washington, DC - August 4, 2015 - The pathogen, Listeria monocytogenes grows on refrigerated smoked salmon by way of different metabolic pathways from those it uses when growing on laboratory media. The research could lead to reduced incidences of food-borne illness and death, said principal investigator Teresa Bergholz, PhD. The research appears July 24 in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

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

Washington, DC - 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.

Research Could Lead to Protective Probiotics for Frogs

Washington, DC - July 30, 2015 - In research that could lead to protective probiotics to fight the “chytrid” fungus that has been decimating amphibian populations worldwide, Jenifer Walke, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher at Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, and her collaborators have grown bacterial species from the skin microbiome of four species of amphibians. The research appears July 10 in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 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.

American Society for Microbiology Announces Appointments of mSphere Senior Editors

Washington, DC— July 30, 2015 - ASM is pleased to announce the appointments of nine outstanding scientists as Senior Editors for the new pan-microbiology open-access journal, mSphere™, which will launch early in 2016.   The new journal will publish high-quality scientific studies in all areas of the microbial sciences, including work by scientists who work with microbes but may not consider themselves "microbiologists."   Under the leadership of Founding Editor in Chief Michael Imperiale, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Michigan, the Senior Editors will play a key role in ensuring that mSphere provides streamlined decisions and thoughtful reviews.  Papers will be continuously published so that important findings will be made available to the scientific community as rapidly as possible.

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

New Orleans, Louisiana - 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 Announces Appointments of mSystems Senior Editors

Washington, DC— July 30, 2015 - ASM is pleased to announce the appointments of ten outstanding scientists as Senior Editors for mSystems™, a new open-access journal in systems microbiology led by Founding Editor in Chief Jack Gilbert, Associate Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution and the Department of Surgery at the University of Chicago and Microbial Ecologist and Group Leader at Argonne National Laboratory.   mSystems will launch in early 2016 and will publish cutting-edge advances in systems microbiology with a focus on research that achieves insights into the metabolic and regulatory systems on the scale of both a single cell and of entire microbial communities.  

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

New Orleans, Louisiana - 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.

Cystic Fibrosis Microorganisms Survive on Little to No Oxygen

Washington, DC – July 28, 2015 – Microbes contributing to cystic fibrosis (CF) are able to survive in saliva and mucus that is chemically heterogeneous, including significant portions that are largely devoid of oxygen, according to a study published this week in mBio®, the online open-access journal 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.

Universal Flu Vaccine in the Works

Washington, DC – July 21, 2015 - Each year, scientists create an influenza (flu) vaccine that protects against a few specific influenza strains that researchers predict are going to be the most common during that year. Now, a new study shows that scientists may be able to create a ‘universal’ vaccine that can provide broad protection against numerous influenza strains, including those that could cause future pandemics. The study appears in mBio, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

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