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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.  

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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