First Study to Link Antibiotic Resistance with Exposure to the Disinfectant Chlorhexidine

Washington, DC – October 31, 2016 -Klebsiella pneumoniae bacteria exposed to chlorhexidine-containing disinfectants can become resistant to colistin, a last resort antibiotic often used against multidrug resistant pathogens. This is the first study to link exposure to chlorhexidine with resistance to colistin in this clinically important pathogen. The research is published this week in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

What Happens to a Pathogenic Fungus Grown In Space?

Washington, DC - October 26, 2016 - A new study, published this week in mSphere, provides evidence that Aspergillus fumigatus, a significant opportunistic fungal threat to human health, grows and behaves similarly on the International Space Station compared with earth. The study provides important information that can help with space exploration. As the durations of manned space missions increase, it is vitally important to understand the long-term consequences of microbial exposure on human health in closed human habitats.

Migraine Sufferers Have Higher Levels of Nitrate-reducing Microbes in their Mouths

Washington, DC – October 18, 2016 – Researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine (UC San Diego) have found an association between migraines and microbes that reduce nitrates. Analyzing data from the American Gut Project, they found that migraine sufferers harbored significantly more microbes in their mouths and guts with the ability to modify nitrates compared to people who do not get migraine headaches. Their report, which is published this week in mSystems®, an open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, will spur more research to find out which oral microorganisms are related to migraines and how they affect health.

Researchers Obtain First Zika Sequence Isolated from Semen

Washington, DC – October 13, 2016 – A team of researchers from the United Kingdom has obtained the first complete genome sequence of Zika virus that was isolated from a semen sample. The research is published this week in Genome Announcements, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Commensal Protection of Staphylococcus aureus against Antimicrobials by Candida albicans Biofilm Matrix

Washington, DC – October 11, 2016 – New research led by scientists from the University of Maryland, Baltimore demonstrated that when grown together, the fungus Candida albicans provides the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus with enhanced tolerance to antimicrobial drugs. These two pathogens are responsible for the majority of most of the infections in hospitalized patients and are often coisolated from a host. This research could have therapeutic implications, as understanding the interactions between these two diverse microbial species will aid in overcoming the limitations of current therapies and in defining new targets for treating complex polymicrobial infections. The research was published this week in mBio, an open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Media Advisory: Commentary: FDA’s Ban on Triclosan Will Improve the State of Antimicrobial Resistance

Washington, DC – October 10, 2016 – The FDA recently released a final rule to ban triclosan and 18 other antimicrobials from household soaps. It is unfortunate that these chemicals have become common household products and have ended up as environmental contaminants. The ban is a move to correct that damage that has already been done, resulting from years of ticlosan and triclocarban usage, which will likely exert negative effects for years to come. Dr. Stuart Levy, a physician and researcher at Tufts University, and President of the Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics, says in a commentary that he applauds the rule because of the risks that triclosan poses to the spread of antibiotic resistance throughout the environment.  The commentary is published October 10, 2016 in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Scientific Methods Identify Potential Antivirals Against Chikungunya

Washington, DC – October 10, 2016 - Chikungunya virus has caused two recent massive outbreaks sickening millions of people. Now a team of researchers has shown that several existing compounds have potent activity against the critical CHIKV protease enzyme. The research is published October 10 in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, published by the American Society for Microbiology.

Metagenomic Study Links Microbes to Flavors in Kefir

Washington, DC - October 4, 2016 - A team of food scientists and microbiologists in Ireland have used high-throughput sequencing to analyze how microbial populations change as kefir ferments. It's a new frontier in food analysis: Using the data, collected over a 24-hour fermentation period, the researchers were able to connect the presence of individual microbial species and their associated pathways to flavor compounds in the fermented milk beverage. They reported their findings in mSystems, an open access journal of the ASM.

Global Warming Collapses Symbiotic Gut Bacteria, Killing Host Insects

Washington, DC – October 4, 2016 – A new study shows that when heat-susceptible bacteria living symbiotically in the guts of insects are exposed to increased temperatures, both the bacteria and the insect are negatively impacted and can die. The study, reported online this week in the journal mBio®, illustrates another way global warming will wreak havoc on life as we know it, setting off deleterious chain reactions among organisms living in symbiosis.

Media Advisory: Rescue of the 1947 Zika Virus Prototype Strain with a CMV Promoter-Driven cDNA Clone

Washington, DC – September 28, 2016 – Researchers have created a model system of Zika virus to study how the genetics of zika virus impact viral replication and pathogenesis. A new study in the American Society for Microbiology’s open-access journal mSphere describes this new model. Researchers created a plasmid encoding the prototype 1947 Uganda MR766 Zika virus genome that could produce high levels of infectious virus in mammalian cells through direct delivery of this DNA. The study of Zika virus has become increasingly important, and would benefit from an efficient strategy to genetically manipulate the virus. The model provides a simple and effective means to study the pathogenesis of Zika virus and offers an efficient strategy to manipulate the virus.

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