Mothers' Milk and the Infant Gut Microbiota: An Ancient Symbiosis

Washington, DC – April 15, 2016 – Nursing infants’ gastrointestinal tracts are enriched with specific protective microbes. Mother’s milk, itself, guides the development of neonates’ gut microbiota, nourishing a very specific bacterial population that, in turn, provides nourishment and protects the child. Now a team from the University of California, Davis, has identified the compound in the milk that supplies this nourishment, and has shown that it can be obtained from cow’s milk. This work could result in using cow’s milk to provide that compound as a prebiotic for infants. The research is published ahead of print on April 15th in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Cause of Maryland Food Poisoning Outbreak Traced to Asia

Washington, DC – April 6, 2016 – Vibrio parahaemolyticus caused an outbreak of food poisoning in Maryland in 2010. The pathogen strain sequenced from patients proved to be the same strain as one of those found in raw oysters from local restaurants, strong evidence that the oysters were the source of the illness. That particular strain of V. parahaemolyticus was not local, but was traced to Asia. The research is published March 18 in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Targeting the Gut Microbiome to Fight Heart Disease

Washington, DC – April 5, 2016 – A compound found in red wine, resveratrol, reduces the risk of heart disease by changing the gut microbiome, according to a new study by researchers from China. The study is published in mBio, an open-access journal published by the American Society for Microbiology.

Researchers Discover New Fish Virus that Threatens Global Tilapia Stocks

Washington, D.C.—April 5, 2016—An international team of researchers has identified a new virus that attacks wild and farmed tilipia, an important source of inexpensive protein for the world’s food supply. In work published this week in mBio, an online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, the team clearly shows that the Tilapia Lake Virus (TiLV) was the culprit behind mass tilapia die-offs that occurred in Ecuador and Israel in recent years. The work also provides a foundation for developing a vaccine to protect fish from TiLV.

Investigators Identify New Pneumonia Epidemic in Beijing

Washington, DC – March 31, 2016 –Mycoplasma pneumoniae infections began rising in Beijing last spring, and by December, this pathogen was found in more than half of hospitalized children suffering from pneumonia in that city, according to investigators from the Capital Institute of Pediatrics, Beijing, China. Now these investigators predict that this epidemic will likely continue well into 2016, and possibly longer. Their data may help clinicians slow the epidemic. The research is published February 24th in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, a publication of the American Society for Microbiology.

Nonpathogenic Viruses Transferred During Fecal Transplants

Washington, DC – March 29, 2016 – Communities of viruses can be transferred during fecal transplants, according to a study published this week in mBio, an online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology. Fortunately for patients who use this procedure, the viruses found to be transmitted in this study appear to be harmless to humans.

Botulism in Waterbirds: Mortality Rates and New Insights into How it Spreads

Washington, DC – March 25, 2016 – Outbreaks of botulism killed large percentages of waterbirds inhabiting a wetland in Spain. During one season, more than 80 percent of gadwalls and black-winged stilts died. The botulinum toxin’s spread may have been abetted by an invasive species of water snail which frequently carries the toxin-producing bacterium, Clostridium botulinum, and which is well adapted to wetlands polluted by sewage. Global warming will likely increase outbreaks, said corresponding author Rafael Mateo, PhD. The research was published March 25th in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Contact Lenses Alter Eye Bacteria, Making it More Skin-like

Washington, DC – March 22, 2016 – Contact lenses may alter the natural microbial community of the eyes, according to a study published this week in mBio®, an online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Bacterial Airborne Signal Encourages Fungal Growth Critical in Lung Infections

Washington, D.C.—March 15, 2016—Researchers in France have discovered that volatile compounds released by a bacterial pathogen stimulate the growth of a fungal pathogen found in lung infections in cystic fibrosis (CF). The findings, published this week in mBio, an online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, show for the first time that one pathogen can emit a signal through the air that acts as a direct fuel for another pathogen to grow.

New Research Suggests First-Line Anti-Staph Drug Oxacillin Safer than Nafcillin

Washington, DC – March 14, 2016 – Nafcillin and oxacillin, two antibiotics commonly prescribed in hospitals, have been used without preference for one over the other. Costs and effectiveness are similar for both. But a new study suggests that oxacillin is significantly safer than nafcillin. The research is published ahead of print March 14th in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

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