Press Releases

Fecal Microbiota Transplant Cures C. diff, Blocks Multi-Drug Resistant Pathogens
Washington, D.C. - 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.


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, D.C. - 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.

 

Could Camel Antibodies Protect Humans from MERS?
WASHINGTON, D.C. - 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. 

 

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.

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.

New Molecular Tool Assesses Vaginal Microbiome Health, Diagnosis Infections—Fast
WASHINGTON, DC - March 18, 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.

New Compound Protects 100 Percent of Ferrets, Mice, from H5N1
WASHINGTON, DC - March 3, 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
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 24, 2014 - 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. 

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 is published ahead of print DATE in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for 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 January 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.

Could Proteins from Frog Skin Be Source of 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

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.

Buffer Zone Guidelines May Be Inadequate to Protect Produce From Feedlot Contamination
WASHINGTON, DC - December 23, 2014 - The pathogen Escherichia coli O157:H7 can spread, likely airborne, more than one tenth mile downwind from a cattle feedlot onto nearby produce, according to a paper published ahead of print in Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Commensal bacteria were critical shapers of early human populations
WASHINGTON, DC—December 16, 2014 - Using mathematical modeling, researchers at New York and Vanderbilt universities have shown that commensal bacteria that cause problems later in life most likely played a key role in stabilizing early human populations.

Seasonal Flu Vaccines Boost Immunity to Many Types of Flu Viruses
WASHINGTON, DC - December 9, 2014 - Seasonal flu vaccines may protect individuals not only against the strains of flu they contain but also against many additional types, according to a study published this week in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Restrooms: Not As Unhealthy As You Might Think
WASHINGTON, DC - December 1, 2014 --Microbial succession in a sterilized restroom begins with bacteria from the gut and the vagina, and is followed shortly by microbes from the skin. Restrooms are dominated by a stable community structure of skin and outdoor associated bacteria, with few pathogenic bacteria making them similar to other built environments such as your home. The research is published ahead of print in Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Sansalone Named ASM Interim Executive Director
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 4, 2014 - Nancy A. Sansalone, MPA has been named Interim Executive Director of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) effective January 1, 2015. She steps in for Michael Goldberg, who is retiring at the end of 2014 after 30 years of stellar leadership.

Some flu viruses potentially more dangerous than others
WASHINGTON, DC - November 18, 2014 - Certain subtypes of avian influenza viruses have the potential to cause more severe disease in humans than other avian influenza subtypes and should be monitored carefully to prevent spread of disease, according to a study published this week in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Enterotoxigenic E. coli worldwide are closely related
WASHINGTON, DC - November 13, 2014 - The strains of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) that infect adults and children in Asia, Africa, and the Americas, have notably similar toxins and virulence factors, according to research published ahead of print in the Journal of Bacteriology. That bodes well for vaccine development, says corresponding author Åsa Sjöling, now of the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. ETEC infects 400 million people annually, or 5.3 percent of the world's population, killing 400,000.

Salivary Mucins Play Active Role to Fight Cavities
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 11, 2014 - Salivary mucins, key components of mucus, actively protect the teeth from the cariogenic bacterium, Streptococcus mutans, according to research published ahead of print in Applied and Environmental Microbiology. The research suggests that bolstering native defenses might be a better way to fight dental caries than relying on exogenous materials, such as sealants and fluoride treatment, says first author Erica Shapiro Frenkel, of Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.

Ebola, Marburg Viruses Edit Genetic Material During Infection
WASHINGTON, DC - November 4, 2014 - Filoviruses like Ebola “edit” genetic material as they invade their hosts, according to a study published this week in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology. The work, by researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, the Galveston National Laboratory, and the J. Craig Venter Institute, could lead to a better understanding of these viruses, paving the way for new treatments down the road.

Engineered for Tolerance, Bacteria Pump Out Higher Quantity of Renewable Gasoline
WASHINGTON, DC—NOVEMBER 4, 2014 -- An international team of bioengineers has boosted the ability of bacteria to produce isopentenol, a compound with desirable gasoline properties. The finding, published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, is a significant step toward developing a bacterial strain that can yield industrial quantities of renewable bio-gasoline.

American Society for Microbiology and UNC Charlotte's Atkins Library Deliver Perpetual Unlimited Access to E-Textbooks for Authorized Users
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 28, 2014 - The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Press and the J. Murrey Atkins Library at UNC Charlotte announced today that they are experimenting with an innovative business model that will deliver affordable e-textbooks to students and faculty. This fall, Atkins Library purchased perpetual access to the ASM Press e-textbook, Scientific Integrity.  With the cooperation of ASM Press, the library arranged to purchase unlimited concurrent user access to the title, which had been adopted for use in a graduate level courses, for its students and faculty.  The price is based on one year of expected student enrollment, but provides permanent access to the book for the library. 

Study Suggests Altering Gut Bacteria Might Mitigate Lupus
WASHINGTON, DC - October 20, 2014 -- Lactobacillus species, commonly seen in yogurt cultures, correlate, in the guts of mouse models, with mitigation of lupus symptoms, while Lachnospiraceae, a type of Clostridia, correlate with worsening, according to research published ahead of print in Applied and Environmental Microbiology

Versatile Antibiotic Found With Self-Immunity Gene On Plasmid In Staph Strain
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 13, 2014 -
A robust, broad spectrum antibiotic, and a gene that confers immunity to that antibiotic are both found in the bacterium Staphylococcus epidermidisStrain 115. The antibiotic, a member of the thiopeptide family of antibiotics, is not in widespread use, partly due to its complex structure, but the investigators, from Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, now report that the mechanism of synthesis is surprisingly simple. “We hope to come up with innovative processes for large-scale production and derivitization so that new, and possibly more potent versions of the antibiotic can become available, says co-corresponding author Joel S. Griffitts. The research is published ahead of print in Journal of Bacteriology

Mineralization of Sand Particles Boosts Microbial Water Filtration
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 10, 2014 - Mineral coatings on sand particles actually encourage microbial activity in the rapid sand filters that are used to treat groundwater for drinking, according to a paper published ahead of print in Applied and Environmental Microbiology. These findings resoundingly refute, for the first time, the conventional wisdom that the mineral deposits interfere with microbial colonization of the sand particles. 

Zoos Exonerated in Baby Elephant Deaths; Data Support New Branch of Herpesvirus Family
WASHINGTON, DC - October 8, 2014 - Elephants are among the most intelligent non-humans, arguably on par with chimps, but both African and Asian elephants—separate species—are endangered. In 1995, 16-month old Kumari, the first Asian elephant born at the National Zoo in Washington, DC, died of a then-mysterious illness. In 1999, Gary Hayward of Johns Hopkins University and collaborators published their results identifying a novel herpesvirus, EEHV1 as the cause of Kumari's sudden death. They now show that severe cases like this one are caused by viruses that normally infect the species, rather than by viruses that have jumped from African elephants, which was their original hypothesis. Hayward's latest research appears ahead of print in two concurrently published papers in the Journal of Virology

Probiotics Protect Children and Pregnant Women Against Heavy Metal Poisoning
WASHINGTON, DC - October 7, 2014 -- Yogurt containing probiotic bacteria successfully protected children and pregnant women against heavy metal exposure in a recent study. Working with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Canadian and Tanzanian researchers created and distributed a special yogurt containing Lactobacillus rhamnosus bacteria and observed the outcomes against a control group. The work is published this week in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology 

Gut Bacteria Promotes Obesity in Mice
WASHINGTON, DC - September 30, 2014 - A species of gut bacteria called Clostridium ramosum, coupled with a high-fat diet, may cause animals to gain weight. The work is published this week in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Critically Ill ICU Patients Lose Almost All of Their Gut Microbes—And The Ones Left Aren't The Good Guys
WASHINGTON, DC—September 23, 2014 — Researchers at the University of Chicago have shown that after a long stay in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) only a handful of pathogenic microbe species remain behind in patients' intestines. The team tested these remaining pathogens and discovered that some can become deadly when provoked by conditions that mimic the body's stress response to illness.

Influenza A Potentiates Pneumococcal Co-Infection: New Details Emerge
WASHINGTON, DC - September 22, 2014 - Influenza infection can enhance the ability of the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae to cause ear and throat infections, according to research published ahead of print in the journal Infection and Immunity.

What's in your Gut? Certain Bacteria May Influence Susceptibility to Infection
WASHINGTON, DC -September 16, 2014 - The specific composition of bacterial species in a person's gut may protect against or increase susceptibility to Campylobacter, the most common cause of human bacterial intestinal inflammation, according research published this week in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology. The study also found that Campylobacter infection can yield lasting changes to one's gut bacteria composition.

Strategic Self-Sabotage? MRSA Inhibits Its Own Growth
WASHINGTON, DC September 15, 2014 -- Scientists at the University of Western Ontario have uncovered a bacterial mystery.  Against all logic, the most predominant strain of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in North American produces an enzyme that degrades skin secretions into compounds that are toxic to itself. The research is published online ahead of print in the Journal of Bacteriology. 

Commensal Bacteria Help Orchestrate Immune Response in Lung
WASHINGTON, DC - September 11, 2014 - Studies in mice demonstrate that signals from the bacteria that harmlessly—and often beneficially—inhabit the human gastrointestinal tract boost the immune system's ability to kill a major respiratory pathogen, Klebsiella pneumoniae, according to a paper published online ahead of print in the journal Infection and Immunity.

Researchers Identify Novel Virus that Could Cause Respiratory Disease in Ball Pythons
WASHINGTON, DC - September 9, 2014 - Researchers have identified a novel virus that could be the source of a severe, sometimes fatal respiratory disease that has been observed in captive ball pythons since the 1990s. The work is published this week in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Polyester Clothes Stink After Exercise; Cotton, Not So Much
WASHINGTON, DC - September 3, 2014 - Polyester clothes smell worse than cotton, following intensive exercise by their wearers, because bacteria that cause odor grow better on polyester, according to research published ahead of print in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

American Society for Microbiology's Journals Score High in Latest Rankings
WASHINGTON, DC - August 28, 2014 - The recently released 2013 Journal Citation Reports® confirm that the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) continues to be the authoritative source of high-impact research in microbiology. ASM publishes over 20% of all articles in the Microbiology category, while accounting for over 33% of all Microbiology citations. Four of the Top 5 most-cited journals in the field of Microbiology are ASM journals. ASM also has 3 titles ranked in the Top 20 by Impact Factor (#2 Clinical Microbiology Reviews®, #3 Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews®, and #12 mBio®).

Common European MRSA Originated in Africa
WASHINGTON, DC - August 26, 2014 - The predominant strain of community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) infecting people in Europe, the Middle East and northern Africa derived from a single sub-Saharan ancestor, a team of international researchers reported this week in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

New Biomarker Highly Promising for Predicting Breast Cancer Outcomes
WASHINGTON, DC - August 25, 2014 - A protein named p66ShcA shows promise as a biomarker to identify breast cancers with poor prognoses, according to research published ahead of print in the journal Molecular and Cellular Biology. 

ASM General Meeting and ICAAC Co-locate to Boston in 2016
WASHINGTON, DC - August 19, 2014 - The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) announces that starting in 2016 the Society will co-locate its two major annual meetings, the General Meeting and the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC).   The first co-located GM /ICAAC will be held June 2016 in Boston.

Single Enzyme Is Necessary for Development of Diabetes
WASHINGTON, DC - August 14, 2014 - An enzyme called 12-LO promotes the obesity-induced oxidative stress in the pancreatic cells that leads to pre-diabetes, and diabetes. 12-LO's enzymatic action is the last step in the production of certain small molecules that harm the cell, according to a team from Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis. The findings will enable the development of drugs that can interfere with this enzyme, preventing or even reversing diabetes. The research is published ahead of print in the journal Molecular and Cellular Biology.

Highly Drug Resistant, Virulent Strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Arises in Ohio
WASHINGTON, DC - August 11, 2014 - A team of clinician researchers has discovered a highly virulent, multidrug resistant form of the pathogen, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, in patient samples in Ohio. Their investigation suggests that the particular genetic element involved, which is still rare in the United States, has been spreading heretofore unnoticed, and that surveillance is urgently needed. The research is published ahead of print in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

C. difficile Vaccine Proves Safe, 100 Percent Effective In Animal Models
WASHINGTON, DC - July 31, 2014 - An experimental vaccine protected 100 percent of animal models against the highly infectious and virulent bacterium, Clostridium difficile, which causes an intestinal disease that kills approximately 30,000 Americans annually. The research is published ahead of print in Infection and Immunity.

New Route to Identify Drugs That Can Fight Bacterial Infections
WASHINGTON, DC — July 29, 2014— About 100 drugs already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for other purposes can also prevent the growth of certain bacterial pathogens inside human cells, including those that cause Legionnaires' disease, brucellosis, and Mediterranean spotted fever. The findings, published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, demonstrate a new way of identifying non-antibiotic drugs that could one day help curb bacterial infections.

The Microbes Make the Sake Brewery
WASHINGTON, DC - July 24, 2014 - A sake brewery has its own microbial terroir, meaning the microbial populations found on surfaces in the facility resemble those found in the product, creating the final flavor according to research published ahead of print in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology. This is the first time investigators have taken a microbial census of a sake brewery.

Report on Viruses Looks Beyond Disease
WASHINGTON, DC - July 22, 2014 - In contrast to their negative reputation as disease causing agents, some viruses can perform crucial biological and evolutionary functions that help to shape the world we live in today, according to a new report by the American Academy of Microbiology.

MERS Coronavirus Detected in the Air of a Saudi Arabian Camel Barn
WASHINGTON, DC - July 22, 2014 - Saudi Arabian researchers have detected genetic fragments of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in the air of a barn holding a camel infected with the virus. The work, published this week in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, indicates that further studies are needed to see if the disease can be transmitted through the air.

Investigators Identify Genes That Contribute to Radiation Resistance
WASHINGTON, DC - July 21, 2014 - A team of researchers from the University of Wisconsin have identified 46 genes in Escherichia coli that are necessary for its survival at exceptionally high levels of radiation. The paper appears ahead of print in the Journal of Bacteriology.

Potential New Flu Drugs Target Immune Response, Not Virus
WASHINGTON, DC - July 21, 2014 -- The seriousness of disease often results from the strength of immune response, rather than with the virus, itself. Turning down that response, rather than attacking the virus, might be a better way to reduce that severity, says Juliet Morrison of the University of Washington, Seattle. She and her collaborators have now taken the first step in doing just that for the H7N9 influenza, and their work has already led to identification of six potential therapeutics for this highly virulent strain. The research is published ahead of print in the Journal of Virology.

Little Too Late: Researchers Identify Disease That May Have Plagued 700-Year-Old Skeleton
WASHINGTON, DC - July 15, 2014 - European researchers have recovered a genome of the bacterium Brucella melitensis from a 700-year-old skeleton found in the ruins of a Medieval Italian village.

Study Reveals Fungus in Yogurt Outbreak Poses a Threat to Consumers
WASHINGTON, DC - July 8, 2014 - The fungus responsible for an outbreak of contaminated Greek yogurt last year is not harmless after all but a strain with the ability to cause disease, according to research published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Novel Intravaginal Ring Shows Promise For HIV Prevention
WASHINGTON, DC - July 2, 2014 - A novel intravaginal ring implanted with anti-retroviral drug tablets, or pods, demonstrated sustained and controlled drug release and safety over 28 days, according to a paper published ahead of print in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. The ring, designed to prevent transmission of HIV, was tested in pig-tailed macaque monkeys, and is engineered to be inexpensive, all the better for use in developing countries, says corresponding author Marc Baum.

Foodborne Bacteria Can Cause Disease in Some Breeds of Chickens After All
WASHINGTON, DC - July 1, 2014 - Contrary to popular belief, the foodborne pathogen Campylobacter jejuni is not a harmless commensal in chickens but can cause disease in some breeds of poultry according to research published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Donohue Becomes President of the American Society for Microbiology
WASHINGTON, DC - July 1, 2014 - As of July 1, 2014, University of Wisconsin-Madison bacteriology professor Timothy J. Donohue will become president of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM).

Bacterial Colonies Evolve Amazing Diversity
WASHINGTON, DC - June 30, 2014 - Like human societies--think New York City--bacterial colonies have immense diversity among their inhabitants, often generated in the absence of specific selection pressures, according to a paper published ahead of print in the Journal of Bacteriology.

Sharpening a Test for Tracing Food-borne Illness to Source
WASHINGTON, DC - June 23, 2014 - Research from the University of Melbourne, Australia, could make it easier for public health investigators to determine if a case of food poisoning is an isolated incident or part of a larger outbreak. The findings are published ahead of print in the Journal of Bacteriology. 

Evolution of Equine Influenza Led to Canine Offshoot Which Could Mix With Human Influenza
WASHINGTON, DC - June 19, 2014 - Equine influenza viruses from the early 2000s can easily infect the respiratory tracts of dogs, while those from the 1960s are only barely able to, according to research published ahead of print in the Journal of Virology. The research also suggests that canine and human influenza viruses can mix, and generate new influenza viruses.

Fecal Transplants Restore Healthy Bacteria and Gut Functions
WASHINGTON, DC - June 17, 2014 - Fecal microbiota transplantation --- the process of delivering stool bacteria from a healthy donor to a patient suffering from intestinal infection with the bacterium Clostridium difficile --- works by restoring healthy bacteria and functioning to the recipient's gut, according to a study published this week in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Good Bacteria Armed With Antibiotic Resistance Protect Gut Microbiome
WASHINGTON, DC - June 12, 2014 - Researchers from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland have discovered that populating the gastrointestinal (GI) tracts of mice with Bacteroides species producing a specific enzyme helps protect the good commensal bacteria from the harmful effects of antibiotics. Their 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.

Fermentation of Cocoa Beans Requires Precise Collaboration Among Two Bacteria, and Yeast
WASHINGTON, DC - June 10, 2014 - Good chocolate is among the world's most beloved foods, which is why scientists are seeking to improve the product, and enhance the world's pleasure. A team of researchers from Germany and Switzerland—the heartland of fine chocolate—have embarked upon a quest to better understand natural cocoa fermentation and have published findings ahead of print in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Bacterium Causing U.S. Catfish Deaths Has Asian Roots
WASHINGTON, DC - June 3, 2014 - A bacterium causing an epidemic among catfish farms in the southeastern United States is closely related to organisms found in diseased grass carp in China, according to researchers at Auburn University in Alabama and three other institutions. The study, published this week in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, suggests that the virulent U.S. fish epidemic emerged from an Asian source.

Improved Identification of War Wound Infections Promises More Successful Treatment
WASHINGTON, DC - May 29, 2014 - War wounds that heal successfully frequently contain different microbial species from those that heal poorly, according to a paper published ahead of print in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology. These and other findings have important implications for improving wound healing, says first author Nicholas Be of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California.

Testing a Paleo Diet Hypothesis in the Test Tube
WASHINGTON, DC — May 20, 2014— By comparing how gut microbes from human vegetarians and grass-grazing baboons digest different diets, researchers have shown that ancestral human diets, so called "paleo" diets, did not necessarily result in better appetite suppression. The study, published in mBio® the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, reveals surprising relationships between diet and the release of hormones that suppress eating.

Studies Find Existing and Experimental Drugs Active against MERS-Coronavirus
WASHINGTON, DC - May 19, 2014 - A series of research articles published ahead of print in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy have identified a number of existing pharmaceutical drugs and compounds under development that may offer effective therapies against Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

Humans and Companion Animals Harbor the Same Types of MRSA Infections
WASHINGTON, DC - May 13, 2014 - A shared population of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria circulates both in humans and companion animals, according to a study published this week in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Potential Cure For Captive Amphibians With Chytrid Fungus
WASHINGTON, DC - May 12, 2014 - Researchers at Vanderbilt University have identified an alternative to a sometimes toxic therapy that protects frogs in zoos from a deadly fungal infection that has been destroying the amphibian populations worldwide.  Their research is published ahead of print in Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

ASM and ISC Announce Joint ICAAC/ICC Meeting in 2015
WASHINGTON, DC - May 10, 2014 - The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) and the International Society of Chemotherapy for Infection and Cancer (ISC) announce an agreement to hold the ASM's Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) and the ISC's International Congress of Chemotherapy (ICC) as a joint meeting in 2015.  The ICAAC/ICC meeting will be held September 18-21, 2015 in San Diego, California.

Distinct Avian Influenza Viruses Found in Antarctic Penguins
WASHINGTON, DC - May 6, 2014 - An international team of researchers has, for the first time, identified an avian influenza virus in a group of Adélie penguins from Antarctica. The virus, found to be unlike any other circulating avian flu, is described in a study published this week in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Tomato Turf Wars: Benign Bug Bests Salmonella. Tomato Eaters Win
WASHINGTON, DC - May 5, 2014 - Scientists from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have identified a benign bacterium that shows promise in blocking Salmonella from colonizing raw tomatoes. Their research is published ahead of print in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Low Cholesterol in Immune Cells Slows HIV Progression
WASHINGTON, DC - April 29, 2014 - Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh have identified why some HIV-infected people experience much slower disease progression, even without medication, and it has to do with cholesterol levels in specific immune cells.  They report their findings in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Cow Manure Harbors Diverse New Antibiotic Resistance Genes
WASHINGTON, DC—April 22, 2014—Manure from dairy cows, which is commonly used as a farm soil fertilizer, contains a surprising number of newly identified antibiotic resistance genes from the cows' gut bacteria. The findings, reported in mBio® the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, hints that cow manure is a potential source of new types of antibiotic resistance genes that transfer to bacteria in the soils where food is grown.

Rethink Education to Fuel Bioeconomy Says Report
WASHINGTON, DC - April 15, 2014 - Microbes can be highly efficient, versatile and sophisticated manufacturing tools, and have the potential to form the basis of a vibrant economic sector.  In order to take full advantage of the opportunity microbial-based industry can offer, though, educators need to rethink how future microbiologists are trained, according to a report by the American Academy of Microbiology.

Long-Term Antibiotic Treatment for Q Fever Causes Weight Gain
WASHINGTON, DC - April 14, 2014 - Scientists have unearthed still more evidence that antibiotics can contribute to obesity.  Research published ahead of print in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy suggests that patients on long-term antibiotic treatment gained weight and had significant changes in their gut microbiota.

Antimicrobial from Soaps Promotes Bacteria Buildup in Human Noses
WASHINGTON, DC - April 8, 2014 - An antimicrobial agent found in common household soaps, shampoos and toothpastes may be finding its way inside human noses where it promotes the colonization of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria and could predispose some people to infection. Researchers at the University of Michigan report their findings this week in a study published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Chikungunya Poised to Invade the Americas
WASHINGTON, DC - April 7, 2014 - A team of French and Brazilian researchers warn that chikungunya virus is poised to invade, and become epidemic in the Americas according to research published ahead of print in the Journal of Virology.

First Look at Breast Microbiota Raises Tantalizing Questions
WASHINGTON, DC - March 24, 2014 - The female breast contains a unique population of microbes relative to the rest of the body, according to the first-ever study of the breast microbiome. That study sought to lay the groundwork for understanding how this bacterial community contributes to health and disease, says first author Camilla Urbaniak, a PhD student at the University of Western Ontario. The research was published ahead of print in Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Studies of Gut Flora in Infants and Toddlers Could Lead to Better Health
WASHINGTON, DC - March 20, 2014 - Breastfeeding until at least nine months of age increases prevalence in the gastrointestinal tract of Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria, species which are known to contribute to development of a healthy immune system, according to a paper describing the establishment of the intestinal microbiota during the first three years of life. The research was published ahead of print in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Study Fingers Chickens, Quail, in Spread of H7N9 Influenza Virus
WASHINGTON, DC - March 18, 2014 - Among the copious species of poultry in China, quail and chickens are the likely sources of infection of H7N9 influenza virus to humans, according to a paper published ahead of print in the Journal of Virology.

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

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

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

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

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

MERS Virus Widespread in Saudi Arabian Camels
WASHINGTON, DC - February 25, 2014 - The coronavirus responsible for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is prevalent in camels throughout Saudi Arabia and has been around for at least 20 years, according to a study to be published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Breast Cancer Drug Fights Fungal Disease
WASHINGTON, DC - February 11, 2014 - Tamoxifen, a drug currently used to treat breast cancer, also kills a fungus that causes a deadly brain infection in immunocompromised patients.  The findings, which could lead to new treatments for a disease that kills more HIV/AIDS patients than tuberculosis, appear in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM.)

Long Distance Signals Protect Brain from Viral Infections
WASHINGTON, DC - February 10, 2014 - The brain contains a defense system that prevents at least two unrelated viruses—and possibly many more—from invading the brain at large. The research is published online ahead of print in the Journal of Virology.

Source of Chlamydia Reinfections May Be GI Tract
WASHINGTON, DC - February 6, 2014 - The current standard of care treatment for chlamydia sometimes fails to eradicate the disease, according to a review published ahead of print in Infection and Immunity, and the culprit may be in the gut.

Science Teaching Goes Viral: Alternative Course Increases Undergraduate Retention
WASHINGTON, DC - February 4, 2014 - An alternative approach to the traditional introductory laboratory course at the undergraduate level significantly increases student retention rates, according to research published in mBio  the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Bacterial Toxin a Potential Trigger for Multiple Sclerosis
WASHINGTON, DC - January 28, 2014 - Researchers from Weill Cornell Medical College have added to the growing body of evidence that multiple sclerosis may be triggered by a toxin produced by common foodborne bacteria. The presented their research at the 2014 ASM Biodefense and Emerging Diseases Research Meeting.

Intranasal Vaccine Protects Mice against West Nile Infection
WASHINGTON, DC - January 28, 2013 - Researchers from Duke University have developed a nasal vaccine formulation that provides protective immunity against West Nile virus (WNV) infection in mice after only 2 doses.  They present their findings at the 2014 American Society for Microbiology Biodefense and Emerging Diseases Research Meeting.

Salmonella Infection Mitigates Asthma: Research Could Lead to Treatments
WASHINGTON, DC - January 23, 2014 - Researchers from Germany have identified the mechanism by which Salmonella infections can reduce the incidence of asthma in mice.  The research,which appears ahead of print in the journal Infection and Immunity, opens up new avenues of research that could lead to treatments.

Pathogenic Plant Virus Jumps to Honeybees
WASHINGTON, DC - January 21, 2014 - A viral pathogen that typically infects plants has been found in honeybees and could help explain their decline. Researchers working in the U.S. and Beijing, China report their findings in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

ASM Statement on the FY 2014 Omnibus Appropriations Bill
WASHINGTON, DC - January 17, 2014 - The American Society for Microbiology (ASM), the largest single life sciences Society with 39,000 members, commends Congress on the passage of the omnibus spending bill funding the federal government through the rest of the fiscal year 2014.  The passage of this bill represents a step in the right direction although funding for life sciences research is far from ideal, given the abundance of scientific opportunities and programs that cannot be funded and pursued.

Special Yeast Reduce Alcohol, Improve Wine
WASHINGTON, DC - January 16, 2014 - A team of Australian researchers has taken a giant step towards controlling a growing problem in the wine community.   They have identified special yeast that produce a lower level of alcohol, helping to preserve the flavor. Their research is published ahead of print in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Food Processors Beware: Salmonella Biofilms Incredibly Resistant to Powerful Disinfectants
WASHINGTON, DC - January 15, 2014 - Once Salmonella bacteria get into a food processing facility and have an opportunity to form a biofilm on surfaces, it is likely to be extraordinarily difficult, if not impossible, to kill it, according to research published ahead of print in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Little But Lethal: Small RNAs Coordinate Bacterial Attack on Epithelial Cells
WASHINGTON, DC - January 14, 2014 -Two small RNAs (sRNAs) working in concert enable the deadly enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) 0157:H7 to attach to and initiate infection in epithelial cells that line the digestive tract, according to a study published in mBioâ, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Cultures: A Small Magazine Tackling Big Issues
WASHINGTON, DC -- January 13, 2014 -- The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) announces a new quarterly publication, Cultures, that explores the intersection of science, policy, and the global challenges we all share by bringing diverse voices to a common platform.

Report Answers Questions about the Human Microbiome and Its Role in Health, Obesity
WASHINGTON, DC - January 9, 2014 - The human microbiome, the collection of trillions of microbes living in and on the human body, is not random, and scientists believe that it plays a role in many basic life processes. As science continues to explore and better understand the role of the human microbiome. A new report from the American Academy of Microbiology addresses some of the most common questions about this growing area of research.

Inappropriate Antibiotic Use in Emergency Rooms Not Decreasing in Adults
WASHINGTON, DC - January 8, 2014 - An analysis of emergency room (ER)visits over a 10-year period finds that while inappropriate antibiotic use is decreasing in pediatric settings, it continues to remain a problem in adults, according to an article published ahead of print in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

Including Women on Convening Committees Increases Women Speakers at Scientific Meetings
WASHINGTON, DC - January 7, 2014 - Women are currently underrepresented among speakers at scientific meetings, both in absolute terms and relative to their representation among attendees, but a new study suggests one way to address this deficit. An analysis of 460 scientific symposia to be published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology reveals that the inclusion of at least one woman on a convening committee increases the proportion of female speakers by as much as 74% and significantly reduces the likelihood the session would have an all-male list of speakers. 

Improper Use of Biocides in Food Production May Endanger Public Health
WASHINGTON, DC - January 6, 2014 - Biocides used in the food industry at sublethal doses may be endangering, rather than protecting, public health by increasing antibiotic resistance in bacteria and enhancing their ability to form harmful biofilms, according to a study published ahead of print in Applied and Environmental Microbiology. This is among the first studies to examine the latter phenomenon.

2013 Press Releases

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