Press Releases

33 ASM Members Named AAAS Fellows

Washington, DC - December 15, 2016 - This year, 33 members of the American Society for Microbiology were named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Election as a AAAS Fellow is a prestigious honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers. This year, 391 members of AAAS were awarded this honor for their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.

ASM Director of Education Amy Chang named AAAS Fellow

Washington D.C.—  November 21, 2016 — Amy L. Chang of the American Society for Microbiology has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Election as an AAAS Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers.

Pre-cut Salad May Encourage Growth of Salmonella

Washington, DC – November 18, 2016 – A new study from the University of Leicester shows that small amounts of damage to salad leaves in bagged salads encourage the presence of Salmonella enterica. Juices released from damaged leaves also enhance the pathogen’s ability to attach to the salad’s plastic container. The research is published November 18th in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Microbes Found on New York City ATM Keypads Mostly from Human Skin, Food

WASHINGTON, DC – November 16, 2016 – Automated teller machine keypads in New York City have plenty of microbes but they’re mostly from normal human skin, household surfaces or traces of food, according to a study published this week in mSphere, an open access journal from the American Society for Microbiology.

Pesticide Exposures Can Cause Changes in Oral Microbiome

Washington, DC – November 11, 2016 – Pesticide exposure in farmworkers from agricultural communities is associated with changes in the oral microbiome. This is the first study to demonstrate such a correlation in humans. The research is published November 11th in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

University of Texas at Dallas Founders Building Named “Milestones in Microbiology” Site

Washington, DC – November 10, 2016 – The American Society for Microbiology designates the University of Texas at Dallas as a Milestones in Microbiology site for achievements in molecular biology, advancing medical science and providing fundamental insights into bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms.

ASM on the U.S. Presidential Election Outcome

Washington, DC – November 9, 2016 – Advancing science research, technology and education are important investments in the future of the United States to ensure innovation and economic vitality to sustain the nation’s global competitiveness. The nation must continue to seize opportunities within the vast scope of scientific disciplines and areas of research funded by the federal government.

Predatory Bacteria Offer Potential Solution to Drug Resistance Problem

Washington, DC – November 8, 2016 – For the first time ever, scientists have used predatory bacteria to kill pneumonia in a rat animal model. The research, published online in mBio, provides evidence that predatory bacteria can be used as a therapeutic, offering a possible solution to the rise of multidrug-resistant bacterial infections.

Multidrug-Resistant Bacteria from Chickens Pose Risk to Human Health

Washington, DC – November 4, 2016 – Isolates of a common poultry pathogen collected from animals in Indian bird markets were mostly resistant to multiple classes of antibiotics. The study provides the first data on prevalence and isolation of Helicobacter pullorum in India. The research is published November 4 in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

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.

Call for Submissions: Kavli Microbiome Ideas Challenge

Washington, DC – October 24, 2016 – The Kavli Microbiome Ideas Challenge invites the broad scientific community to submit their ideas for groundbreaking experimental tools and methods for understanding microbial function. The Kavli Foundation has committed $1 million to a Kavli Microbiome Ideas Challenge supporting development of next generation scientific tools for investigating life on a microbial scale. The Kavli Ideas Challenge is led by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), and carried out in partnership with the American Chemical Society (ACS) and American Physical Society (APS).

Announcing the 2017 ASM Award Winners

Washington, DC - October 24, 2016 - The 2017 ASM awards in basic research, applied research, clinical research, education, and service have now been announced. The ASM award laureates will be recognized for excellence in their fields at ASM Microbe 2017 in June. The ASM would like to congratulate all award winners for their achievements.

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.

American Society for Microbiology designates Merck Research Laboratories as a Milestones in Microbiology Site

Washington, DC – October 17, 2016 – The American Society for Microbiology designates Merck Research Laboratories at Rahway, NJ and West Point, PA as Milestones in Microbiology sites for their contributions to anti-infectives and vaccines, respectively.

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.

ASM Member, Yoshinori Ohsumi, Awarded Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

Washington, DC - October 3, 2016  - Yoshinori Ohsumi, a Japanese cell biologist and ASM member, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine on Monday for his discoveries on how cells recycle and degrade their content, a process known as autophagy.

Media Advisory: Congress Passes Resolution Allowing for Zika Funding

Washington, DC - September 29, 2016 - Congress  today passed and President Obama signed a 10-week continuing resolution allowing for funding to keep the government operating through December 9 and including $1.1 billion for Zika virus research. After months of delays , money specifically designated for funding  crucial research on the virus is now available. Further details on the continuing resolution and specific funding for research is available through the ASM Public Policy page.

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.

Study by 2016 MacArthur Genius Grant Winner Advances the Direct Study of Microbial Communities in Diverse Environments, Including Those in Mammalian Systems

Washington, DC – September 27, 2016 – For researchers to effectively identify novel therapeutic approaches to chronic bacterial infections, an understanding of how microbes survive in vivo is needed. A study published in ASM’s open-access journal, mBio, looks at The tissue-clearing technique, MiPACT, designed to retain and visualize bacteria, can be coupled with hybridization chain reaction (HCR) to detect rRNA in the sputum samples from cystic fibrosis. The researchers, led by Dianne Newman, a MacArthur ”Genius” Grant Winner, have demonstrated MiPACT’s ability to survey thousands of bacteria (or bacterial aggregates) over millimeter scales and quantify aggregation of individual species in polymicrobial communities.

Researchers Sequence Genome from 1979 Russian Anthrax Outbreak

Washington, DC – September 27, 2016 – Analyzing small pieces of tissue from nearly 40-year-old human autopsies, Arizona researchers have sequenced the genome of the strain of Bacillus anthracis that caused a deadly anthrax outbreak in Russia in 1979. The work is published this week in mBio®, an online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Potentially Life-Threatening Fungus Found In Water Distribution Systems of Five French Hospitals

Washington, DC – September 23, 2016 - A specific strain of the fungus, Fusarium oxysporum, circulates in the water distribution systems of five French hospitals, in two widely separated cities. This microbe is potentially a life-threatening risk to immunocompromised patients. The research is published September 23, 2016 in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

The United Nations General Assembly Focuses on Antimicrobial Resistance, A Key ASM Initiative

Washington, DC – September 22, 2016 – ASM President, Susan Sharp, attended the historical United Nations General Assembly on antimicrobial resistance (AMR), which convened at the UN headquarters in New York this Wednesday, September 21. Heads of State addressed the gravity and causes of AMR, and drafted a resolution of collaborative, cross-cutting approaches to improving the current state of AMR.

ASM Attends UN General Assembly on Antimicrobial Resistance

Washington, DC - September 21, 2016 - ASM President, Susan Sharp, Ph.D., joined global leaders at the United Nations General Assembly in New York today in a historical meeting that will focus on the commitment to fight antimicrobial resistance (AMR). This is the fourth time in the history of the UN that a health topic is discussed at the General Assembly. Previous topics included HIV, non-communicable diseases and Ebola. Heads of State and Heads of Delegations are expected to address the seriousness of the situation and to agree on manageable, cross-cutting approaches to addressing AMR.

Introducing ASM's Journals Ethics Portal: A Tool for the Ethical Conduct of Research

Washington, DC – September 19, 2016 – The American Society for Microbiology is pleased to announce the launch of the new Ethics Portal that provides guidelines and resources to assist authors publishing in ASM journals. ASM has a long history of involvement with ethical issues in research and the reporting of scientific results, and the society has undertaken numerous activities to provide tools for the ethical conduct of research. The ethics portal is a further step in defining ethical issues of research misconduct, and providing resources to help authors conduct and report their studies in an ethical manner. For more information on ASM’s involvement in research and publishing ethics, visit the portal, and read a recent report from the American Academy of Microbiology on the reproducibility of microbiological research.

β-lactamase Antimicrobial Resistance Gene Found In Marine Pathogen

Washington, DC – September 19, 2016 – A team of Chinese investigators has discovered a gene for resistance to β-lactamase antibiotics, in the pathogenic marine bacterium, Vibrio parahaemolyticus. The β-lactamase gene, blaVEB-2, has never before been found in V. parahaemolyticus, and in fact, has been found almost exclusively in non-marine pathogens. The research is published Monday, September 19, 2016 in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Protein Synthesis, ATP Unnecessary for Bacterial Spore Germination

Washington, DC - September 19, 2016 - Spores of Bacillus bacteria can survive for years in a dormant state, and then germinate in minutes. But it has long been unclear whether germination required protein synthesis, or cellular energy packets, which are known as ATP. Now, a team from UConn Health, Farmington, CT, has shown that neither is necessary. The research is published online September 19 in the Journal of Bacteriology, published by the American Society for Microbiology.

Microbes Corrode Steel in Ships, Marine Infrastructure

Washington, DC - September 16, 2016 - Rust is the bane of steel, whether on cars, on ships and boats, or as part of marine infrastructure. Now, contrary to previous thinking, it turns out that the ocean-dwelling, steel-corroding species, Mariprofundus sp. DIS-1, can thrive under aerobic conditions, rather than being limited to “micro-aerobic” or anaerobic conditions. That means steel in marine environments is more vulnerable to bacterial depredations than previously thought. The research is published on Friday, September 16th in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Molecules Released by Klebsiella pneumoniae Bacterium Pave the Way for Invasive Infection

Washington, DC – September 13, 2016 – It’s been known that the bacterium Klebsiella pneumoniae secretes small molecules called siderophores that enable it to acquire iron from a host and fuel its spread. Now, Michigan researchers have found that these molecules play additional roles in helping the organism invade. Their report is published this week in mBio®, an online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Media Advisory: Longer Contact Times Increase Cross-Contamination of Enterobacter aerogenes from Surfaces to Food; Is the Five Second Rule Real?

Washington, DC – September 6, 2016 – Bacterial cross-contamination from surfaces to food can contribute to foodborne disease. Researchers from Rutgers University evaluated the cross-contamination rate of Enterobacter aerogenes using scenarios including four different surface types, (stainless steel, tile, wood, and carpet) four food types, (watermelon, bread, bread with butter, and gummy candy) four contact times, (<1, 5, 30 and 300 seconds), and two bacterial preparation methods. The researchers found that more bacterial transfer occurred during the longer contact times, but the type of food and surface type also significantly impacted cross-contamination from surface to food, with some transfers taking place instantaneously.

Chinese Investigators Characterize the World of Resistance Gene Exchange Among Bacteria

Washington, DC – September 9, 2016 – Certain antibiotic resistance genes are easily transferred from one bacterial species to another, and can move between farm animals and the human gut. A team led by Chinese researchers has characterized this “mobile resistome,” which they say is largely to blame for the spread of antibiotic resistance. They found that many antibiotic resistance genes that are shared between the human and animal gut microbiome are also present in multiple human pathogens. These findings are published September 9 in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Announcing the Election Results: ASM Bylaws

Dear Members,

We are delighted to announce that the ASM governance reform has been approved by the membership, and that now ASM has new Bylaws in effect! This is a historic moment for our Society and a terrific opportunity to lay the foundations for a new, modern, transparent, and participatory governance that allows the organization to capture opportunities coming from the rapidly changing environment in the world of microbial sciences and professional societies in general.  We could not be more excited by the fact that 98% of ASM members who participated in the vote agreed with the proposed changes; the new Bylaws had previously been unanimously approved by the Council Policy Committee (CPC) and the Council at large.

Fungi Contribute to Delayed Healing of Chronic Wounds

Washington, DC – September 6, 2016 – Researchers in Pennsylvania and Iowa have discovered that fungal communities found in chronic wounds can form mixed bacterial-fungal biofilms and can be associated with poor outcomes and longer healing times. Their report, the first deep characterization of the fungi found in diabetic foot ulcers, is published this week in mBio®, an online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Zika Reference Strain Sequenced--Will Aid in Diagnosis, Screening

Washington, DC - September 1, 2016 - An international team of researchers has sequenced a strain of the Zika virus that will be used as a World Health Organization (WHO) reference strain to identify Zika virus infection in the blood, thus making it easier to diagnose the disease. While the reference material will undergo formal WHO review in October, the agency has given the go-ahead for the strain’s use given the urgent need of medical products to diagnose and treat Zika. The sequence is published September 1st in Genome Announcements, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

ICU Patients Lose Helpful Gut Bacteria within Days of Hospital Admission

Washington, DC – August 31, 2016 – The microbiome of patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) at a hospital differs dramatically from that of healthy patients, according to a new study published in mSphere. Researchers analyzing microbial taxa in ICU patients' guts, mouth and skin reported finding dysbiosis, or a bacterial imbalance, that worsened during a patient's stay in the hospital. Compared to healthy people, ICU patients had depleted populations of commensal, health-promoting microbes and higher counts of bacterial taxa with pathogenic strains – leaving patients vulnerable to hospital-acquired infections that may lead to sepsis, organ failure and potentially death.

Media Advisory: A Framework for Improving the Quality of Research in the Biological Sciences

Washington, DC – August 30, 2016 – The American Academy of Microbiology convened a colloquium focused on identifying mechanisms to improve research quality. Participants from various disciplines made six recommendations: (1) design rigorous and comprehensive evaluation criteria to reward high quality research; (2) require universal training in good scientific practices and responsible practice of research; (3) establish open data at the time of publication as the standard procedure; (4) encourage scientific journals to publish negative data that meet methodologic standards of quality; (5) establish common criteria for retraction of published papers; and (6) strengthen research integrity oversight training.

Researchers Identify Multidrug-resistant E. coli Bacteria from New Jersey Patient

Washington, DC – August 29, 2016 – New Jersey researchers have identified what is believed to be the first strain of Escherichia coli bacteria from a patient in the United States that harbored two mobile genes making it resistant to both broad spectrum carbapenem antibiotics as well as colistin, an older antibiotic increasingly used as a last resort for multidrug-resistant infections. Their report is published this week in mBio®, an online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Bacteria in Smokeless Tobacco Products May be a Health Concern

Washington, DC - August 26, 2016 - Several species of bacteria found in smokeless tobacco products have been associated with opportunistic infections, according to a paper published August 25 in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Improving Food Quality by Studying the Microbial Composition of Raw Milk

Washington, DC – August 23, 2016 –Findings from a new study, reported in the journal mBio, may help food companies improve the quality of dairy products. The researchers have discovered that bacteria in raw milk arriving at dairy processing facilities are highly diverse and differ according to season, but still contain a core microbiota.

New Zika Clone Could be New Model for Developing Vaccine

Washington, DC – August 23, 2016 – Stopping the explosive spread of Zika virus – which can lead to birth defects in babies born to infected mothers – depends on genetic insights gleaned through new tools and models. Researchers at the National Institutes of Health recently cloned an epidemic strain of the virus, creating a model that can help biologists develop and test strategies for stopping the pandemic.

Antibiotic Resistant E. coli Found In Drinking Water

Washington, DC – August 22, 2016 – Antibiotic resistant E. coli has been found in multiple drinking water supplies in France. The resistance counters the critically important cephalosporin antibiotics. The findings highlight the presence of expanding reservoirs of these resistance genes, including reservoirs in the environment. The research is published August 22 in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Investigators Map Genomes of Three Historically Important Zika Strains

Washington, DC - August 18, 2016 - A team of researchers from Utah State University, Logan, has characterized the consensus genome sequences of three historically important Zika virus strains. This work is an important step towards developing antiviral therapeutic and preventive strategies against Zika, and related viruses. The research is published August 18 in Genome Announcements, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Fungus Causing Fatal Infections in Hospitalized Patients Has Unique Growth Patterns

Washington, DC – August 17, 2016 – The multidrug-resistant yeast Candida auris, which has caused fatal infections in some hospitalized patients, has at least two different growth patterns and some of its strains are as capable of causing disease as the most invasive type of yeast called Candida albicans, according to a study published this week in mSphere, an open access journal from the American Society for Microbiology.

For the First Time, Researchers Identify the Secret Genetic Weapon of Clostridium difficile

Washington, DC – August 16, 2016 – A trio of researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center, School of Public Health in Houston, have identified the location of the genes that control production of toxins that harm people infected by Clostridium difficile bacteria. The gene locus, agr1, forms part of a signaling communication system that produces a small molecule that, in turn, tells the rest of the population to turn on their toxin genes.

Investigators Chart Microbial Ecology of Gingivitis, Periodontitis

Washington, DC – August 12, 2016 – Gingivitis, a common and mild form of gum disease can progress to periodontitis, a more serious infection that damages the soft tissue of the gums and sometimes even destroys the bone supporting the teeth. An international team of researchers and clinicians has charted the microbial ecology of the mouth at all stages of this progression, in nearly 1,000 women in Malawi. This work is laying a foundation of knowledge that could lead to better oral health. The research is published August 12 in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

New Model Sheds Light on Secondary Bacterial Pneumonia

Washington, DC – August 9, 2016 – For years, researchers have known that the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) can trigger severe, sometimes deadly secondary bacterial pneumonia, in some people who are subsequently infected with influenza A virus, but scientists have not known exactly how this happens. Now, scientists have developed a new model for studying this phenomenon, which could lead to new treatments designed to prevent secondary bacterial infections. The findings were published this week in mBio, an online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Mcr-1 Gene Isolated from Human for the First Time in Brazil

Washington, DC – August 8, 2016 – For the first time in Brazil, a particular antibiotic resistance mechanism conferring resistance to the important antibiotic, colistin, has been detected in a human. It was in a strain of Escherichia coli that was isolated from a diabetic patient’s foot infection. The mechanism, called MCR-1, was incorporated into a plasmid, a short piece of DNA that exists independent of the genome, which can jump from one bacterium to another, spreading the resistance. The research is published ahead of print August 8 in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

ASM Urges Public Health Actions and Funding to Combat Zika Emergency

Washington, DC – August 5, 2016 – Current events linked to the Zika virus make aggressive public health actions and funding to combat this emerging infectious disease more crucial than ever.  Newly reported Zika cases in Florida are the first examples of US infection spread by local mosquitos.  On August 1 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned pregnant women and their partners against visiting a specific area with multiple cases in downtown Miami, an unusual federal advisory concerning a US community.  Today Zika is so prevalent in Puerto Rico that only drastic measures will be able to control the epidemic.  The 2016 Summer Olympics begin today in Rio de Janeiro, attracting large numbers of US athletes and spectators to a nation struggling with significant case numbers of Zika infection.

Additives to Boost Vaccine Responses Not Sufficient to Protect Obese Mice From Influenza

Washington, DC – August 2, 2016 – Adjuvants – ingredients added to vaccinations for influenza and other viruses to help boost their effectiveness – can increase a host’s immune response but not enough to protect the obese against the ill effects of the flu, according to a mouse study published this week in mBio®, an online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Antibiotic Resistance Appears to Persist in Bacteria, Even Absent Selection Pressure From Antibiotics

Washington, DC – August 1, 2016  – Plasmids are pieces of independent DNA that often carry multiple antibiotic resistance genes. Plasmids can jump from one bacterium to another, spreading that resistance. A team of French investigators now shows that bacteria that acquire plasmids containing resistance genes rarely lose them. The research is published in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Green Monkeys Acquired Staphylococcus aureus From Humans

Washington, DC – July 29, 2016 - Many deadly diseases that afflict humans were originally acquired through contact with animals. New research published in ASM’s Applied and Environmental Microbiology shows that pathogens can also jump the species barrier to move from humans to animals. The study, that will publish July 29, shows that green monkeys in The Gambia acquired Staphylococcus aureus from humans.

Genes Found in H. pylori that Influence Biofilm Formation

Washington, DC – July 18, 2016 - Most bacteria cannot survive in the acidic environment of the human stomach, but Helicobacter pylori, a major cause of ulcers, thrives under such circumstances. Now research has shown that one of that bacterium’s regulatory proteins that helps it adapt to these stressful conditions also regulates the formation of biofilms. Biofilms, a group of bacteria that adhere together on a surface,  are often much harder to kill than bacteria in their normal, disaggregated state, and can cause major medical problems. The research is published in the Journal of Bacteriology, a publication of the American Society for Microbiology.

Progress Towards Protection from Highly Lethal Ebola, Marburg Viruses

Washington, DC – July 12, 2016 – Ebola and Marburg filovirus disease outbreaks have typically occurred as isolated events, confined to central Africa. However, the recent Ebola epidemic spread to several African countries, and caused 11,000 deaths. That epidemic underscored the need to develop vaccines and therapeutics that could be used to fight future disease outbreaks. Now new research suggests that antibodies to filoviruses from individuals who have survived these diseases may offer protection—not only against the particular filovirus that infected an individual, but against other filoviruses, as well. The research is published in Clinical and Vaccine Immunology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Self-Prescribing Antibiotics is a Big Problem

Washington, DC – July 11, 2016 - Five percent of adults from a cohort of 400 people reported using antibiotics without a prescription during the previous 12 months. Twenty-five percent said they would use antibiotics without contacting a medical professional. These findings demonstrate yet another factor abetting the spread of antibiotic resistance. The research is published ahead of print July 11 in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

New Resistance Gene Found in "High Risk" Multidrug-Resistant Pathogen

Washington, DC – July 11, 2016 – A team of Italian investigators has discovered a new variant of an emerging antibiotic resistance mechanism. The new variant, dubbed mcr-1.2, confers resistance to colistin, a last-resort antibiotic against multidrug-resistant Gram-negative pathogens. The research is published July 11, in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

ASM Media Advisory: ASM No Longer Supports Impact Factors for its Journals

Washington, DC – July 11, 2016 - The editors-in-chief of ASM journals and ASM leadership have decided to no longer advertise the impact factors of ASM journals on the journals’ websites. This decision was made in order to avoid contributing to a distorted value system that inappropriately emphasizes high IFs. High-IF journals limit the number of accepted articles to create a perception of exclusivity, and individuals receive disproportionate rewards for articles in high IF journals, while science as a whole suffers from a distorted values system and delayed communication of research.

Colistin-Resistant Gene Detected in the U.S. for the Second Time: Investigators Alert to Its Possible Spread

Washington, DC - July 11, 2016 - For the second time, a clinical isolate of a bacterial pathogen has been detected in humans in the United States which carries the colistin resistance gene, mcr-1.  This may also be the first case to show up in the US. That would be concerning because plasmids, genetic elements that are independent of the host genome, often jump between different bacterial species, spreading any resistance genes they carry. The research, the most comprehensive and contemporary surveillance data for mcr-1 to date, is published July 11 in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Media Advisory: ASM Announces New President and Officers

Washington, DC - July 1, 2016 - The American Society for Microbiology is excited to announce the new officers whose terms will begin July 1st, 2016.

Boston Subway System Covered in Microbes, But They're Not Harmful

Washington, DC – June 28, 2016 – Boston’s subway system, known as the T, might be just as bacteria-laden as you’d expect but organisms found there are largely from normal human skin and incapable of causing disease, according to a study published June 28 in mSystems, an open access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Researchers Identify New Strategy for Decreasing Neonatal Mortality

Washington, DC - June 28, 2016 - Researchers have discovered how the bacteria Group B streptococcus (GBS) avoids detection by the immune system during pregnancy. The findings, reported in the journal mBio, could lead to the development of new drugs and strategies for treating GBS infection, which is a leading cause of neonatal morbidity and mortality.

Cross-respiration Between Oral Bacteria Leads to Worse Infections

Washington, D.C.—June 28, 2016—Researchers determined that two bacterial species commonly found in the human mouth and in abscesses, cooperate to make the pathogenic bacterium, Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, more infectious. Key to the cooperation is that the harmless partner provides the pathogen with an oxygen-rich environment that helps it flourish. The findings, published this week in mBio, an online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, could lead to better ways to fight the majority of bacterial infections that play out within complex communities of bacteria.

Michigan Researchers Investigate What Causes Cattle to Shed STEC: Food Safety Could Benefit

Washington, DC - June 24, 2016 - Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) are foodborne pathogens spread largely by cattle, that can cause hemorrhagic colitis and kidney failure. In an effort to find ways of reducing this problem, Michigan State University investigators show that stress, and the negative energy balance associated with lactation appear to encourage the shedding of STEC, especially in summer. The research is published ahead of print June 24 in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Beneficial Bacteria May Protect Breasts From Cancer

Washington, DC - June 24, 2016 - Bacteria that have the potential to abet breast cancer are present in the breasts of cancer patients, while beneficial bacteria are more abundant in healthy breasts, where they may actually be protecting women from cancer, according to Gregor Reid, PhD, and his collaborators. These findings may lead ultimately to the use of probiotics to protect women against breast cancer. The research is published in the ahead of print June 24 in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Weekly Injections Could be used as a Standalone Treatment for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Patients

Boston, MA – Monday, June 20, 2016, 9:00 am EST – Research being presented at the ASM Microbe meeting looks at a humanized monoclonal antibody, PRO 140, as a standalone treatment for patients with an HIV infection. Data from a phase 2b trial of PRO 140 will be presented that suggests an alternative to the current standard of care, which is antiretroviral therapy or ART.

A Novel Therapy for Genital Herpes Engages Immune Cells to Provide Significant Patient Benefits for at Least a Year

Boston, MA – 12:30 pm, Monday, June 20, 2016 – A phase II clinical trial demonstrated that a new type of treatment for genital herpes, an immunotherapy called GEN-003, may reduce the activity of the virus and the number of days with recurrent herpes. This effect of treatment, given by a series of three injections, appears to last for up to at least one year.  The research is presented at the ASM Microbe research meeting in Boston.

Stealth Nanocapsules Kill Chagas Parasites in Mouse Models

Washington, DC - June 20, 2016 - Lychnopholide, a substance isolated from a Brazilian plant, and formulated as part of “nanocapsules” cured more than half of a group of mice that had been infected experimentally with Chagas disease parasites. “Chagas disease affects millions of people, mainly in poor rural areas of 21 Latin American countries,” said Marta de Lana, PhD. The research is published in online ahead of print June 20 in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Solar Exposure Energizes Muddy Microbes

Boston, MA – 12:30 pm, Sunday, June 19, 2016 – Research at the ASM Microbe research meeting in Boston presents a sediment Microbial Fuel Cell (sMFC) system for remotely investigating the physiology and ecology of electrically active microbes in submerged field sites. Depending on the depth at which device components were submerged, scientists observed variation in start-up time and electricity generation.

Contaminated Gloves Increase Risks of Cross-Transmission of Healthcare-Associated Pathogens

Boston, MA – 5:00 pm, Sunday, June 19, 2016 – Research being presented at the ASM Microbe research meeting provides clear evidence that the gloves of healthcare workers contaminate hospital surfaces with bacteria. The researchers’ data also suggest that types of bacteria may affect cross-transmission rates among contaminated gloves and the hospital surfaces.

Research Shows New Mechanism That Can Cause Eye Inflammation

Boston, MA – 12:30 pm EST, Sunday, June 19, 2016 – Research presented at the ASM Microbe research meeting demonstrates a new way bacteria can cause dramatic morphological changes in human cells. Specifically, the researchers discovered that a common bacterial contaminant of contact lenses and cases can cause the formation of large bubble-like membrane structures on human ocular cells, which can contribute to contact lens wear complications and inflammation.

Sharing of a Bacterium Related to Tooth Decay Among Children and Their Families

Boston, MA – 12:30 pm, Friday, June 17, 2016 – Research presented at the ASM Microbe research meeting provides compelling evidence that children acquire Streptococcus mutans, the bacterium most frequently associated with dental caries, from intra- and extra-familial sources besides their mother.

Ongoing monitoring of Legionella in Flint in the wake of the drinking water crisis

Boston, MA – 12:30 pm, Friday, June 17, 2016 – Research presented at the ASM Microbe meeting suggests that microbial water quality issues of Flint drinking water are improving, based on recent testing in March 2016, but that continued vigilance is in order.  The research, performed by the Flint Water Study team at Virginia Tech, found that levels of DNA markers for Legionella have decreased throughout Flint since October 2015 before the water change, but did confirm that pathogenic forms of the bacteria, including L. pneumophila, were culturable at some sampling points.

Microbes in Pressed Grapes Before Fermentation May Predict Flavor Metabolites in the Finished Wine

Washington, DC - June 14, 2016 - The microbial mix found in grape juice during the winemaking process may help shape the terroir of a finished wine, report food scientists at the University of California, Davis. In a study published in the May/June issue of mBio, an online open-access journal from the American Society of Microbiology, the researchers found that the microorganisms found in must – freshly-pressed grape juice, before fermentation – can be used as biomarkers to predict which metabolites will be found in the finished wine. Metabolites are chemical compounds that help shape the flavor and texture of a wine.

Fusing Design and Science, ASM’s Agar Art Contest is Back for Round Two

Washington, DC – June 8, 2016 – Following the success of the American Society for Microbiology’s vastly popular Agar Art contest last year, the winners of ASM’s second Agar Art contest have been announced. The contest drew widespread public interest last fall for its stunning and innovative submissions of artwork created using only microbes on agar plates.  This year’s contest, enticing more entrants with the theme “plate a little culture,” has attracted even more inventive works of both art and science.

New Compound Shows Promise Against Malaria

Washington, DC - June 6, 2016 - Malaria parasites cause hundreds of millions of infections, and kills hundreds of thousands of people annually, mostly in Africa. And in recent years the most dangerous malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, has become increasingly resistant to the main anti-malarial drugs. Now, an international team of researchers shows that some members of a class of compounds called oxaboroles, which contain the element, boron, have potent activity against malaria parasites. The research is published ahead of print June 6 in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Crowds of Crows Spread C. jejuni: Are Humans Vulnerable?

Washington, DC - June 3, 2016 - Crows are smart, highly social animals that congregate in flocks of tens of thousands. Such large, highly concentrated populations can easily spread disease—not only amongst their own species, but quite possibly to humans, either via livestock, or directly. On the campus of the University of California, Davis, during winter, approximately half of the 6,000 American crows that congregated at the study site carried Campylobacter jejuni, which is the leading cause of gastroenteritis in humans in industrialized countries, which could contribute to the spread of disease.  The research is published ahead of print June 3 in Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Study Shows How Bacteria Evolve in the Lungs of Cystic Fibrosis Patients

Washington, DC – May 24, 2016 – The bacterium Burkholderia multivorans evolves and adapts in bursts to survive in the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients, according to a study published this week in mSystems, an open access journal from the American Society for Microbiology. The work, believed to be the first retrospective look at the evolution of this microorganism, indicates that B. multivorans directly or indirectly targets adherence, metabolism and changes to the cell ‘envelope’ to stick around and evade antibiotics.

Temperature Influences Gene Expression, Life Cycle in Vibrio cholerae

Washington, DC – May 20, 2016 – Vibrio cholerae infects roughly four million people annually, worldwide, causing severe diarrheal disease, and killing an estimated 140,000 people. Its success as a pathogen belies the challenges this bacterium faces. The waters this bacterium inhabits when it’s not infecting H. sapiens can be 40 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than our normal body temperature. Now a team of investigators from the University of California, Santa Cruz provides new insights into how different temperatures in the bacterium’s environment control expression of genes required for life at those temperatures. The research is published ahead of print May 20 in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Probiotic Bacteria Could Provide Some Protection Against Cadmium Poisoning

Washington, DC - May 20, 2015 - Oral administration of certain probiotics reduced uptake of the heavy metal, cadmium, in the intestines of mice, and in a laboratory experiment using human intestinal cells. The research, which might ultimately be applied to improving public health in areas of heavy metal contamination, is published ahead of print May 20 in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Antimicrobial in Common Toothpaste Doesn't Impact Gut, Oral Microbiome

Washington, DC - May 18, 2016 - Personal hygiene products such as soaps and toothpastes that contain the antibiotic triclosan do not have a major influence on microbial communities or endocrine function, according to a small, randomized trial. The study findings were published online May 18th in mSphere, an open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

mBio Editorial Urges an Interdisciplinary Effort to Understand and Utilize Microbiomes, Solve Earth's Modern Challenges

Washington, DC – 6:00 am, May 13, 2016 – A guest editorial in mBio on Friday May 13th discusses the importance of a cross-disciplinary approach to studying earth’s microbiomes and calls for solutions to the challenges that lie ahead in microbiome research. The article titled ‘Toward a Predictive Understanding of Earth’s Microbiomes to Address 21st Century Challenges,’ urges scientists to harness the power of microorganisms collaboratively to address pressing, global 21st century challenges which threaten water, energy and food, ecosystems and the environment, as well as human health. This article highlights the issues being addressed by the National Microbiome Initiative launched by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

American Society for Microbiology Launches the Kavli Microbiome Ideas Challenge In Partnership with Two Leading Scientific Societies

Washington, D.C. – 6:00 am, May 13, 2016 - In support of the National Microbiome Initiative launched by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to accelerate discovery in the field of microbiome research, The Kavli Foundation has committed $1 million to a Kavli Microbiome Ideas Challenge supporting development of next generation scientific tools for investigating life on a microbial scale. The Kavli Ideas Challenge will be led by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), and carried out in partnership with the American Chemical Society (ACS) and American Physical Society (APS).

Scientists Identify New Route of TB Transmission

Washington, DC - May 10, 2016 - Scientists have discovered a new species of bacteria, Mycobacterium mungi, that causes tuberculosis (TB) and is transmitted through the skin and nose of banded mongoose in Northern Botswana. The findings, published May 10 in the journal mBio, have radically changed scientists understanding of how tuberculosis can be transmitted.

Narrow Spectrum Antibiotic Kills Pathogens Without Killing Good Bacteria

Washington, DC - May 9, 2016 - The problem with broad spectrum antibiotics is that they kill good bacteria along with the bad. But a new antibiotic, Debio 1452, which is narrowly targeted at Staphilococcal pathogens, caused almost no harm to the gut microbiome of mouse models, while conventional broad spectrum antibiotics caused major damage. The research is published ahead of print May 9th in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Probiotics Mitigate Stress in Medical Students at Exam Time

Washington, DC - May 6, 2016 - A probiotic given to medical students during the run-up to nationwide medical school examinations reduced stress among the students. “The probiotic strain, Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota can relieve many aspects of the stress response, especially gastrointestinal dysfunction,” said corresponding author Kouji Miyazaki, PhD, director of the Food Research Department of Yakult Central Institute, Tokyo, Japan. The research is published ahead of print May 6th, in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Media Advisory: ASM Hosts Press Conference on Zika Virus Research

Prior to the Zika Conference on June 1st, ASM Communications will host a panel of Zika virus experts who will speak about the latest developments on Zika virus research and a wide range of fields that touch on flaviviruses.  Join us for a premier glance of the Zika conference and for a chance to ask questions to the panel members.

HPV Infection Can Be Identified in Self-Collected Vaginal Swabs - Boon for Screening in Developing Countries

Washington, DC - April 29, 2016 - High risk, potentially cancer causing human papillomavirus infections are common among women in Papua New Guinea. But self sampling with vaginal swabs may provide materials that screen as accurately as the more labor-intensive approach using cervical samples obtained by clinicians. This finding is critical to developing same day screening and treatment, which is key to ensuring that women with precancerous lesions are treated in this largely unconnected (electronically) country, and in others like it. The research appeared online April 13th in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, which is published by the American Society for Microbiology.

Proteomics Method Measures Carbon Uptake of Marine Microbes

Washington, DC – April 26, 2016 – In a paper published April 26th in mSystems, a team of researchers led by microbiologists at Oregon State University, in Corvallis, describe a successful trial of a new method of identifying the carbon uptake of specific marine bacterioplankton taxa. The technique uses proteomics – the large-scale study of proteins – to observe directly the metabolic processes of communities of microorganisms.

Fusing Design and Science, ASM's Agar Art Contest is Back for a Second Time

Washington, DC – April 26, 2016 – Building upon the success of The American Society for Microbiology's vastly popular agar art contest last year, round two of the competition is currently underway with expectations for even more inventive artwork. The contest drew widespread public interest last fall for its stunning and innovative submissions of artwork created using only microbes on agar plates. This year's contest, enticing more entrants with the theme "plate a little culture," will close on May 6th, and winners will be announced at a special art gallery at ASM's yearly meeting this June in Boston.

Danish Investigators Reduce Sugar Content of Yogurt without Reducing Sweetness

Washington, DC – April 22, 2016 –  A team from a Danish food ingredients company has manipulated the metabolic properties of yogurt-producing bacteria to sweeten the yogurt naturally, while reducing sugar in the final product. Similar manipulations have also all but eliminated lactose, so that those with lactose intolerance can enjoy the yogurt. They have accomplished all of this using microbiological methods that predate the era of genetic technologies. The research appears April 22nd in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Study: Cities have Individual Microbial Signatures

Washington, DC – April 19, 2016 – Cities have their own distinct microbial communities but these communities don’t vary much between offices located in the same city, according to a new study. The work, published this week in mSystems, an open access journal from the American Society for Microbiology, offers insight into what drives the composition of microbes in built environments.

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.

Now Available: Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education’s Scientific Citizenship Issue, Vol. 17, Issue 1

Washington, D.C. —  March 21, 2016 — The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) is pleased to announce the arrival of an inaugural standalone issue devoted to the theme of Scientific Citizenship. Volume 17, issue 1 of the scholarly, peer-reviewed Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education (JMBE) was curated by Guest Editors Jack A. Gilbert of Argonne National Laboratory, Karen K. Klyczek of University of Wisconsin-River Falls, and Samantha L. Elliott of St. Mary’s College of Maryland over the course of 2015. Readers can expect essays on the current state of citizen science, lessons on how to engage and train citizen scientists, how-to articles on authentic research experiences and public outreach activities, curricular and nontraditional approaches to engaging citizens in science, detailed outcomes of popular citizen science activities, and reviews of citizen science resources.

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.

Investigators Trace Emergence and Spread of Virulent Salmonella Strain

Washington, DC - March 4, 2016 - Since it first emerged more than half a century ago, a particular strain of multidrug-resistant Salmonella has spread all over the world. Now researchers have figured out why this strain, Salmonella Typhimuriam DT104, has been so successful. This new knowledge could prove valuable in combating other successful pathogens, according to the authors. The study is published ahead of print March 4th in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

78 Fellows Elected to the American Academy of Microbiology

Washington, DC – March 2, 2016 – In January, the American Academy of Microbiology elected 78 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.

Study Calls into Question Current MERS Vaccine Strategy

Washington, DC - March 1, 2016 - A new study suggests that the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) develops mutations that make the virus less virulent during an outbreak rather than more virulent. The study, published this week in mBio, an online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, has implications for vaccine development.

Researchers Develop Realistic System to Study Impact of Residential Mold on Health

Washington, DC – February 26, 2016 – Residential mold has increased in recent years, due to water damage from a rising frequency of flooding. But there is scant information on the impact of residential mold on human health. But now a team of Danish investigators has developed a modeling system that actually mimics indoor fungal aerosols. The research is published ahead of print February 26th in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Novel Herpes Virus Isolated from Bat Cells

Washington, DC – February 17, 2016 – Researchers from Maryland and New York have identified a novel herpes virus in cells taken from a bat. The work, published this week in mSphere, the American Society for Microbiology’s new open access journal, could lead to better understanding of the biology of these viruses and why bats serve as hosts for a number of viruses that can potentially transfer to humans.

Hypothermia Mediated by "Magnetotactic Bacteria" Could Kill S. aureus

Washington, DC - February 12, 2016 - As Staphylococcus aureus becomes increasingly resistant to antibiotics, new methods of killing these pathogens are urgently needed. Now a team of investigators has demonstrated in laboratory rodents that a form of hyperthermia using magnetic nanocrystals, and targeted to the pathogens, can kill S. aureus. The research is published ahead of print February 12 in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Early Diet of Infants, Not Maternal Obesity, Influences Development of Gut Microbiome

Washington, DC - February 10, 2016 - After the age of nine months, the development of the infant gut microbiota is driven by the transition to family foods, not maternal obesity, according to results from a new study. The study was published online this week in mSphere, an open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Real-time Ebola Fusion System Yields Clues to Stopping Infection

Washington, D.C.—February 9, 2016—Researchers have developed the first real-time system to watch directly through the microscope as Ebola-like virus particles fuse with human cells to infect them. Their findings, published this week in mBio, an online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, reveal key host cell and viral proteins that direct fusion and Ebola infection. Such knowledge is crucial for designing future drugs or vaccines to prevent this deadly disease.

New Research Identifies Drug Target for Dengue Virus

Washington, DC – February 8, 2016 – No vaccine or drug has yet become available against the Dengue virus. A flavivirus like the newly prominent Zika virus, Dengue has become a leading cause of serious illness and death in some Asian and Latin American countries. Now a team of Dutch investigators has data suggesting that a protein in dengue virus that goes by the scientific name, NS4B, would make a promising target for antiviral drug development. The research is published in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Improving quality recommendations for UTI management: American Society for Microbiology and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's review of UTI diagnosis and management leads to improved practices, but indicates need for further evidence

Washington, DC – January 28, 2016 - Urinary tract infections (UTI) in the United States are the most common bacterial infection, and urine cultures often make up the largest portion of workload for hospital-based microbiology laboratories. Managing the factors that affect diagnosis and treatment of UTIs in patients, including selection, collection and transport of urine specimens, contributes to generating meaningful culture results. To determine how these factors impact the management of UTIs, the American Society for Microbiology and the Centers for Disease Control have together developed a an Evidence-Based Laboratory Medicine Practice Guideline (EBLMPG) to determine if optimizing the collection, preservation and transport of urine for microbiological culture improves the diagnosis and management of UTIs.

Improved methods for detecting bloodstream infections: American Society for Microbiology and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's new guidelines could lead to better outcomes for patients

Washington, DC – January 28, 2016 - Bloodstream infections (BSI) are a major cause of morbidity and mortality throughout the world. Quick identification of bloodstream pathogens would allow for timely administration of targeted therapy to patients, which could significantly help improve clinical outcomes. To address these issues, the American Society for Microbiology and the Centers for Disease Control have developed an Evidence-Based Laboratory Medicine Practice Guideline (EBLMPG) to provide information that could be used for timely and effective patient care.

ASM’s Commitment to Interdisciplinary Microbiome Research

Washington, D.C—January 27, 2016— The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy has issued a national call to action for new commitments to microbiome research from interdisciplinary research teams.  ASM’s mission is to promote and advance the microbial sciences and it provides a platform to promote cross-cutting research.

New American Academy of Microbiology Report Provides Recommendations for Implementing Next-Generation Sequencing to Clinical Microbiology Settings

Washington, D.C. — January 27, 2015 — Next-generation sequencing (NGS) has the capacity to provide crucial clinical benefits in patient care, patient outcomes, and public health, however, clinical laboratories must find ways to overcome operational, technical, regulatory, and strategic challenges in order to effectively employ NGS-based diagnostic tests, says a new report from the American Academy of Microbiology.

Natural Clay Deposit May Hold Keys to Defeating Hospital Infections

Washington, D.C.—January 26, 2016— Researchers have uncovered potent antimicrobial activity in a natural clay deposit found on the central coast of British Columbia, Canada. The research, published this week in mBio, an online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, shows that the clay can kill members of the ESKAPE group of bacterial pathogens, the culprits behind some of the deadliest and most antibiotic-resistant hospital-acquired infections.

S. aureus Can Spread from Blood to Eye, Endangering Vision

Washington, DC - January 25, 2016 - Nearly ten percent of cases of Staphylococcus aureus infections of the blood spread to the eyeball, according to a team of Korean clinical investigators. That spread can severely impair vision, and even cause blindness. The research was published January 11 in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Recombinant Bacterium Boosts Production of Compound that Can Relieve Menopause Symptoms

Washington, DC - January 22, 2016 - A soy isoflavone derivative that goes by the scientific moniker, (S)-equol, has proven potent for mitigating menopausal symptoms. However, it has been impossible to produce in quantities sufficient for widespread commercial nutraceutical production. But now, a team of Korean researchers reports having constructed a recombinant bacterium which they say can boost production. The research is published January 22nd in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Azithromycin During Delivery: Weighing Benefits and Costs

Washington, DC – January 13, 2016 - Some infants of lactating mothers given the antibiotic and antimalarial, azithromycin, during delivery may be protected from disease, or harmed by the drug. These findings are the results of the most comprehensive evaluation of the transfer of azithromycin into breast milk to date. “Young infants cannot metabolize medicines as well as older children or adults and so even relatively small amounts absorbed from breast milk may produce effects, both therapeutic and adverse, in some suckling infants,” explained corresponding author Timothy Davis, MB, D. Phil. The research is published in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Antibiotics Pave Way for C. difficile Infections by Killing Beneficial Bile Acid-Altering Bacteria

Washington DC – January 6, 2016 – New research from North Carolina State University and the University of Michigan finds that bile acids which are altered by bacteria normally living in the large intestine inhibit the growth of Clostridium difficile, or C. diff. C. diff is a harmful bacterium that can cause painful and sometimes fatal infections. The work sheds light on the ways in which some commonly used antibiotics can promote C. diff infections by killing off the bile acid-altering microbes. The researchers’ findings appear January 6th  in mSphere, the American Society for Microbiology’s new open access journal. The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health (grant K01GM109236).

Bacterium Carrying a Cloned Bt-Gene Could Help Millions Infected with Roundworms

Washington, DC - December 18, 2015 - Intestinal nematodes and roundworms infect more than one billion people worldwide. These parasites lead to malnutrition and developmental problems, especially in children.  Unfortunately, resistance to the existing drug treatment is increasing. Now a team of researchers has successfully inserted the gene for a naturally-occurring, insecticidal protein called Bt into a harmless bacterium. This could then be incorporated into dairy products, or used as a probiotic to deliver the protein to the intestines of people afflicted with roundworms. The research is published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Research Ushers in New Era of Boutique Chocolate

Washington, DC – November 20, 2015 - A team of Belgian researchers has shown that the yeasts used to ferment cocoa during chocolate production can modify the aroma of the resulting chocolate. “This makes it possible to create a whole range of boutique chocolates to match everyone’s favorite flavor, similar to wines, tea, and coffee,” says Jan Steensels, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Leuven, and the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology, Belgium. The research is published November 20 in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a publication of the American Society for Microbiology.

Coconut Oil Shows Promise in the Prevention of Deadly Bloodstream Infection

Washington, DC – November 18, 2015 – Coconut oil may be effective at combating infection with Candida albicans, according to a study published November 18th in the American Society for Microbiology’s new open access journal mSphere. The study found that coconut oil consumption reduced gastrointestinal colonization by C. albicans in mice.

Fungus Causes Emerging Snake Disease Found in Eastern U.S.

Washington, D.C.—November 17, 2015—Researchers working for the U.S. Geological Survey have identified the fungal culprit behind an often deadly skin infection in snakes in the eastern U.S. Published this week in mBio, an online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, the research shows that Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola is the definitive cause of snake fungal disease (SFD), which will help researchers pinpoint why it is emerging as a threat to snake populations and how its impacts can be mitigated.

Irradiated Anthrax Can Be Sequenced – Fast!

Washington, DC – November 13, 2015 - These days, mail addressed to selected government offices gets irradiated, in order to kill any biological agents, notably anthrax spores. The downside of this is that viable spores have been needed to identify the anthrax strain, which can be critical to treating those infected. But now Henry S. Gibbons, PhD, has shown that full sequences can quickly be determined from irradiated spores. The research is published November 13 in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

One Course of Antibiotics Can Affect Diversity of Microorganisms in the Gut

Washington, DC – November 10, 2015 – A single course of antibiotics has enough strength to disrupt the normal makeup of microorganisms in the gut for as long as a year, potentially leading to antibiotic resistance, European researchers reported this week in mBio®, an online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

New Technique Could Prevent Biofilms on Catheters and Medical Implants

Washington, DC – October 30, 2015 –  Biofilms—mats of bacteria similar to the plaque that grows on teeth—frequently coat the surfaces of catheters, and of various medical implants and prostheses, where they can threaten lives or lead to failure of the implants. Antibiotics are impotent against biofilms. Now Jakub Kwiecinski, PhD, Tao Jin, MD, PhD, and collaborators show that coating implants with “tissue plasminogen activator” can prevent Staphylococcus aureus, the leading cause of hospital-acquired infections, from forming biofilms. The research is published 30 October in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

American Society for Microbiology Members Propose Initiative to Harness Earth’s Microbiomes

Washington, DC - October 28, 2015 - An article published in Science on October 28th steered by key ASM members highlights the need for an interdisciplinary initiative that would focus on better understanding microbial interactions that could allow for progress in the fields of agriculture, health and energy, to name a few. Led by corresponding author Jeffery F. Miller, Ph.D., Past President, ASM, the article proposes the launch of a Unified Microbiome Initiative (UMI).

Multi-tasking Flu Vaccine Could Provide Better Protection against Outbreaks

Washington, D.C.—October 27, 2015—Australian researchers have found a way to boost the effectiveness and cross-protective capabilities of an influenza A vaccine by adding a simple component. Published this week in mBio, an online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, the research in mice could lead to better seasonal flu vaccines for humans, and also vaccines that could provide community protection in the early stages of an outbreak of a novel flu virus strain.

American Society for Microbiology designates Ocean Station ALOHA as a Milestones in Microbiology site

Washington, DC – October 27, 2015 – Ocean Station Aloha, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UHM) has been designated a Milestones in Microbiology site by the American Society for Microbiology. 

Bacteriophage Treatment Decontaminates Infant Formula

Washington, DC – October 23, 2015 - A phage showed strong anti-microbial activity against a type of food-borne bacterium that often kills infants after infecting them via infant formula. Phages are viruses that infect only bacteria. The research is published October 23 online in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Likely Drug Interactions In Placenta Could Harm Fetus

Washington, DC - October 13, 2015 - To date, studies in pregnant women examining transport of drugs across the placenta are rare and inadequate, said Tomo Nabekura, PhD. Such knowledge could be vital to preserving fetal health. In a new laboratory study, Nabekura and colleagues have illuminated a piece of this puzzle, and the results hint that mothers taking new anti-hepatitis C and/or anti-HIV drugs along with anti-hypertensives or non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) could be raising the risk of birth defects or stunting fetal growth, respectively. The research was published ahead of print in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

The American Society for Microbiology Designates the University of Michigan Department of Microbiology and Immunology as a “Milestones in Microbiology” Site

Washington, DC – October 13, 2015 – The Department of Microbiology and Immunology of the University of Michigan Medical School has been named a Milestones in Microbiology site by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM). 

Listeria Can Grow on Unrefrigerated Caramel Apples

Washington, DC – October 13, 2015 – Caramel apples punctured with dipping sticks and left unrefrigerated over the course of a couple of weeks may harbor a bacterium called Listeria monocytogenes, according to a study published this week in mBio®, an online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

The American Society for Microbiology Designates the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as a “Milestones in Microbiology” Site

Washington, DC –October 8, 2015 – The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has been named a Milestones in Microbiology site by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM).  A dedication ceremony is scheduled for Friday, October 16, 2015, at 3 pm at the Charles Miller Auditorium, B102 Chemical and Life Sciences Laboratory, 601 South Goodwin Avenue in Urbana, Illinois.

Vaginal Microbes Influence Whether Mucus Can Trap HIV Virus

Washington, DC —October 6, 2015— HIV particles are effectively trapped by the cervicovaginal mucus from women who harbor a particular vaginal bacteria species, Lactobacillus crispatus. The findings, published this week in mBio, an online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, could lead to new ways to reduce or block vaginal transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Pathogen-Carrying Neotropical Ticks Ride Migratory Birds into US

Washington, DC - October 2, 2015 - Tick species not normally present in the United States are arriving here on migratory birds. Some of these ticks carry disease-causing Ricksettia species, and some of those species are exotic to the US. The research is published on October 2nd in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

The American Society for Microbiology Announces Winners of the Agar Art Challenge

Washington, D.C., September 29, 2015 – The American Society for Microbiology recently announced the winners of the 2015 Agar Art Contest, which included designs of neurons, a map of New York City and the harvest season.

New Diversity for Lager Beers

Washington, DC – September 25, 2015 - Unlike ales, lager beers differ little in flavor. But now, by creating new crosses among the relevant yeasts, Kevin Verstrepen, PhD, Stijn Mertens, and their collaborators have opened up new horizons of taste. The research is published in the September 25 Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

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.

Bordetella parapertussis Outbreak in Southeastern Minnesota in 2014

San Diego, California - September 20, 2015 – Study reports that an outbreak of Bordetella parapertussis occurred in 2014 in Southeastern Minnesota, in the months of October through December.  This research is presented at ASM’s 55th Interscience Conference of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC/ICC).

Finafloxacin for the Treatment of Urinary Tract Infections: Results of a Phase 2 Clinical Study

San Diego, California - September 20, 2015 – Results from a double-blind phase 2 clinical study show that finafloxacin was a more effective and safe option than ciprofloxacin for the treatment of complicated urinary tract infections and acute pyelonephritis. This research is being presented at ASM’s 55th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC/ICC).

Monitoring the Microbiome in Leukemia Patients Could Reduce Infections during Chemotherapy

San Diego, California - September 20, 2015 – Researchers report that a patient’s microbial diversity, even before they start cancer treatment, can be linked to risk of infection during induction chemotherapy. This research is presented at ASM’s Interscience Conference of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC/ICC).

Stribild Demonstrates Improved Safety and Efficacy Among Women Who Switched from a Multi-Pill Antiretroviral Drug Regimen

San Diego, California - September 19, 2015 – Results from the first phase 3 HIV study to enroll only women show improved safety and efficacy of the drug Stribild over multi-pill antiretroviral drug regimens. The research was presented at ASM’s 55th Interscience Conference of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC/ICC).

Co-contribution of rotavirus vaccines (RVs) and pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs) in reduction of pediatric hospital burden

San Diego, California - September 19, 2015 – Researchers show that the introduction of both pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs)  and rotavirus vaccines (RVs) led to the rapid and dramatic reduction in hospital burden of both winter diarrhea and respiratory infections within <5 years post introduction of the vaccines. This research is presented at ASM’s 55th  Interscience Conference of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC/ICC).

A cost-effective alternative to the current standard of therapy for treating staphylococcal bloodstream infections

San Diego, California - September 19, 2015 –  Research comparing clinical outcomes between patients receiving nafcillin and cefazolin for treatment of methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) bacteremia shows that overall treatment failure rate among patients receiving cefazolin was no worse than nafcillin, and significantly fewer adverse effects were documented for those receiving cefazolin. These findings are presented at ASM’s 55th Interscience Conference of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC/ICC).

Silicone Vaginal Rings to Deliver Antiviral Drugs, Protect Women against HIV

San Diego, California - September 19, 2015 – Researchers at University Jean Monnet of Saint-Etienne, France have succeeded in developing a vaginal silicone ring that delivers molecules that act on both HIV and herpes virus. This research is presented at the 55th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC/ICC).

β-Glucan-Enriched Pasta Boosts Good Gut Bacteria, Reduces Bad Cholesterol

Washington, DC – September 18, 2015 - People fed β-glucan-enriched pasta for two months showed increased populations of beneficial bacteria in their intestinal tracts, and reduced populations of non-beneficial bacteria. They also showed reduced LDL (bad) cholesterol. This work is part of a broad effort to identify potential prebiotics—foods that could encourage the growth of health-promoting bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. The research is published September 18, in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.  

Microbiosensor: A Device for Monitoring Bacterial Contamination in Contact Lens Cases

San Diego, California - September 18, 2015 –  New research has developed a novel sensor device (microbiosensor) that alerts contact lens wearers when it is unsafe to put contact lenses in their eyes. This new device could reduce the incidence of severe eye infections which occur when dirty contact lenses are worn. These findings are presented at ASM’s 55th Interscience Conference of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC/ICC).

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.

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.

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.

Stefano Bertuzzi Named Executive Director/CEO of the American Society for Microbiology

Washington, D.C., September 9, 2015 – Stefano Bertuzzi, Ph.D., MPH, has been named Executive Director/CEO of the American Society for Microbiology, effective January 4, 2016, the society announced today.

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.

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.

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.

Leptospirosis in New York City: A Risk from Rats to Dogs and People

Atlanta, GA – August 26, 2015 -  In New York City, leptospirosis, a bacterial disease that affects humans and animals, is most often spread to both people and dogs from rats, according to a study presented at the 2015 International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Chronic Chikungunya Symptoms Have Large Public Health Impact

Atlanta, GA – August 26, 2015 -  Prolonged and chronic symptoms of chikungunya fever, persisting up to six months after the acute infection period, were found to have substantial impact on individuals’ daily routines and ability to work, and required additional medical resources to manage, according to research presented at the 2015 International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases.

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.

Personal Clothing May Spread Respiratory Infections within the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Atlanta, GA – August 24, 2015 - Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which is the leading cause of childhood respiratory hospitalizations among premature babies, can be detected from the clothes worn by caregivers/visitors who are visiting infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), according to research being presented at the International Conference on Emerging and Infectious Diseases in Atlanta, Georgia.

Influenza Vaccines Provide Moderate Protection throughout the Entire Flu Season

Atlanta, GA – August 24, 2015 - Individuals who received the flu vaccine were protected for up to 6 months post-vaccination, the duration of most flu seasons, according to a study presented at the 2015 International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Is MERS another SARS: The Facts Behind Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

Atlanta, GA – August 24, 2015 - Experts show that while Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV), a viral respiratory illness, is infecting less people, it has a higher mortality rate and affects a specific target population when compared to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).  This research is being presented at the International Conference on Emerging and Infectious Diseases in Atlanta, Georgia.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.  

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Just Published: The Manual of Clinical Microbiology 45th Anniversary Edition

Washington, DC – July 13, 2015–  Revised by a collaborative, international, interdisciplinary team of editors and authors, the Manual of Clinical Microbiology, 11th Edition, includes the latest applications of genomics and proteomics. Regarded as a seminal microbiology reference, the two-volume set is filled with current findings regarding infectious agents, leading-edge diagnostic methods, laboratory practices, and safety guidelines.

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, 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.

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, 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.

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, 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 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.

ASM Participates in White House Antibiotic Stewardship Forum

Washington, DC - 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, DC – 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, DC - 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, DC - 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.

Can Humans Get Norovirus From Their Dogs?

Washington, D.C. - April 10, 2015 - Human norovirus may infect our canine companions, according to research published online April 1 in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, a publication of the American Society for Microbiology. That raises the possibility of dog-to-human transmission, said first author Sarah Caddy, VetMB, PhD, MRCVS, a veterinarian and PhD student at the University of Cambridge, and Imperial College, London, UK. Norovirus is the leading cause of food-borne illness in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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, DC - 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, DC - 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.

MRSA Can Linger in Homes, Spreading Among its Inhabitants

Washington, DC – March 10, 2015 – Households can serve as a reservoir for transmitting methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), according to a study published this week in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology. Once the bacteria enters a home, it can linger for years, spreading from person to person and evolving genetically to become unique to that household.

Novel Fungus Accumulates Critical Element for Green Energy from Mine Drainage, Industrial Waste

Washington, DC - February 20, 2015 - Japanese investigators have demonstrated that a novel fungus can bioaccumulate the industrially important “rare earth” element, dysprosium, used in the magnets of generators and motors, as well as in smart phones and other electronics, and high technology, generally from mine drainage and industrial liquid waste. This discovery could lead to recycling dysprosium from these wastes, said first author, Takumi Horiike, researcher in the Rare Metal Bioresearch Center at Shibaura Institute of Technology, Saitama, Japan. The research was published ahead of print on February 20 in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

New Compound Protects 100 Percent of Ferrets, Mice, from H5N1

Washington, DC - March 4, 2015 - Since 2003, the H5N1 influenza virus, more commonly known as the bird flu, has been responsible for the deaths of millions of chickens and ducks and has infected more than 650 people, leading to a 60 percent mortality rate for the latter. Luckily, this virus has yet to achieve human-to-human transmission, but a small number of mutations could change that, resulting in a pandemic. Now a team of investigators from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Stanford University Medical Center, and MacroGenics have developed an antibody which has proven 100 percent protective against the virus in two species of animal models. The research is published ahead of print February 11, in the Journal of Virology, a publication 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.

What We Know and Don’t Know About Ebola Virus Transmission in Humans

MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL - February 19, 2015 – A new comprehensive analysis from the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota, involving leading International Ebola researchers, examines what is known about transmission of the Ebola virus and cautions that the public health community should not rule out the possibility of respiratory transmission. Prior to the current Ebola epidemic in West Africa there have been only 24 reported Ebola outbreaks with approximately 2,400 cases reported over the previous 39 years. Evidence suggests that direct patient contact and contact with infectious body fluids are the primary modes for Ebola virus transmission, however, this evidence is based on a limited number of studies.

Mutant Bacteria That Keep On Growing

WASHINGTON, DC – February 17, 2015 - The typical Escherichia coli, the laboratory rat of microbiology, is a tiny 1-2 thousandths of a millimeter long. Now, by blocking cell division, two researchers at Concordia University in Montreal have grown E. coli that stretch three quarters of a millimeter. That’s up to 750 times their normal length. The research has potential applications in nanoscale industry, and may lead to a better understanding of how pathogens work. The study is published ahead of print on February 17 in the Journal of Bacteriology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

HPV Vaccine Highly Effective Against Multiple Cancer-Causing Strains

Washington, DC - February 13, 2015 - According to a multinational clinical trial involving nearly 20,000 young women, the human papilloma virus vaccine, Cervarix, not only has the potential to prevent cervical cancer, but was effective against other common cancer-causing human papillomaviruses, aside from just the two HPV types, 16 and 18, which are responsible for about 70 percent of all cases. That effectiveness endured for the study’s entire follow-up, of up to four years. The research was published February 4 in Clinical and Vaccine Immunology, a journal of the American Society for 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.

Could Proteins From Frog Skin Be a Source Of A New Class of Antibiotics?

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 11, 2015 -- With minor tinkering, a peptide—a tiny protein—from the skin of a frog could be fashioned into a novel antibiotic that would lack the toxic byproducts of some more conventional drugs. More importantly, such peptides would represent a new class of antibiotics, at a time when new classes are sorely needed as resistance rises among existing classes. The research was published online, 26 January 2015, in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

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.

Bacteria Help Explain Why Stress, Fear Trigger Heart Attacks

WASHINGTON, DC – June 10, 2014 - Scientists believe they have an explanation for the axiom that stress, emotional shock, or overexertion may trigger heart attacks in vulnerable people.  Hormones released during these events appear to cause bacterial biofilms on arterial walls to disperse, allowing plaque deposits to rupture into the bloodstream, according to research published in published today in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

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