Julie Wolf

Julie Wolf

ASM Communications Social Media Specialist Julie Wolf spent her research career focused on medical mycology and infectious disease. Broadly interested in microbiology and scientific communication, she has taught at Long Island University and the community biolab Genspace and has written for the Scientista Foundation and Scholastic’s Science World magazine. Follow her on Twitter for more ASM and Microbiology highlights at @JulieMarieWolf.

Farmers want their livestock to put on weight quickly so they can increase profits when they sell their animals. A new Applied and Environmental Microbiology study reports a possible link between gut microbiome makeup and feed efficiency, one of the determinants of animal growth rate. This study may lay the groundwork for microbiome manipulation to help farms reduce the use of antibiotics as growth promoters.

Elite controllers are HIV-infected individuals who maintain undetectable virus levels even when not administered antiretroviral drugs. Understanding how the immune system of these elite controllers acts against HIV may help scientists develop effective therapeutics or vaccines. A new Journal of Virology study shows that antibodies from elite controllers activate ADCC-mediated killing of HIV-infected cells. 

Bacteria in attached biofilms have different characteristics than bacteria in planktonic culture, but neighbors can influence behavior too. A new Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy study reports that bacteria in biofilms a single-species biofilm have different drug susceptibilities than bacteria in multispecies biofilms. This research may impact the treatment of mixed biofilms in patients, such as those with cystic fibrosis, who suffer mixed biofilm infections.

Children with Plasmodium falciparum malaria are more susceptible to invasive infection with nontyphoidal Salmonella. A new Clinical and Vaccine Immunology report finds that the immune system of malaria-infected children has lower antibacterial activity. 

Controlling mosquito-borne diseases comes in many formats, including manipulation of the bacterial endosymbiont found in many insects,  Wolbachia. A recent Journal of Virology article reports the ability of different strains of Wolbachia to inhibit Zika virus infection in mosquito cells. Which strain is best at inhibiting infection?

Scientists now know that colistin resistance is much more widespread than previously thought. A new Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy report demonstrates that the same gene, mcr-1, can confer different levels of colistin resistance when expressed in different pathogenic bacterial species. This has important clinical and surveillance implications for resistant infections. 

A new Applied and Environmental Microbiology report demonstrates that farm practices can directly lead to development of novel antibiotic resistance mechanisms in soil microbes. The scientific team used functional metagenomics to identify 34 antibiotic resistance determinants, including a gene conferring a novel macrolide resistance mechanism. This study avoided prophylactic antibiotic use in livestock, a practice now largely banned in Canada and the United States, and therefore highlights the role of additional practices in selecting for the growth of antibiotic-resistant soil bacteria.

The cholera epidemic in Yemen has sickened 100,000 people and threatens to spread further. Researchers are hard at work, studying antibiotic resistance and disease mechanisms in Vibrio cholerae, the bacterium that causes cholera. We provide a short summary and links to recent ASM reports that may help scientists and clinicians fight this terrible disease.

Microbe 2017 co-Chair Dr. Robin Patel sits down to discuss the Microbe program and tips on how attendees should prepare.

SSV1 is an archaeal virus found in the hot, acidic waters where its Sulfolobus bacterial hosts reside. Researchers have found its genome is surprisingly tolerant of mutation, including loss of one of its structural capsid genes, despite these harsh conditions. Read more about the manipulation of the SSV1 genome and how it may lead to discovery of a minimal SSV genome for future studies.

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