mBiosphere

Friday, 18 August 2017 10:09

Eucalyptus compound inhibits Candida biofilms

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Fungal infections, like those caused by Candida albicans, are a serious clinical problem. Systemic candidiasis can result from fungal biofilms growing on plastic indwelling devices. A new Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy article reports the anti-biofilm activity of a eucalyptus-derived compound, which acts by regulating fungal cell morphology.
Foot and mouth disease remains a threat to livestock. A Journal of Virology report describes a new chimeric vaccine scheme that can mix-and-match to protect against different serotypes. The research here demonstrates a vaccine platform that may be able to help responders rapidly provide protective vaccines during disease outbreaks. 
Thursday, 03 August 2017 16:12

C. auris survives on plastic

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The emerging multidrug-resistant fungal pathogen Candida auris has caused outbreaks in several healthcare facilities. New research from the Journal of Clinical Microbiology suggests the fungus can survive for weeks on plastic surfaces, emphasizing the importance of infection control in these facilities. 
Sometimes, it pays to never throw things out. That is the lesson learned from researchers who identified the cause of a mysterious epidemic in horses in Iceland.
Colistin acts by interacting with the bacterial envelope via charge interactions, a very similar mechanism to how host antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) and bacterial membranes interact. A new Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy report demonstrates that clinical colistin-resistant isolates remain susceptible to AMPs.
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. 
In a study published this week in mSphere, researchers describe how one group of salt-loving microbes, Halanaerobium, is most likely using environmental thiosulfate to produce sulfide—a toxic and corrosive chemical that well operators would like to avoid.
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.
Researchers have identified a small protein from the Wolbachia bacterium in psyllids that can “cross-talk,” moving to Candidatus Liberibacter within the insects to silence its prophage genes, thereby helping prevent an insect immune reaction that would likely be detrimental to both bacteria.
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.
At the University of Maryland, Baltimore, researchers are using a practical method, bacterial enzymatic combinatorial chemistry (BECC), to generate functionally diverse molecules that can potentially be used as adjuvants.
The bacteriophage lysin CF-301, already promising for systemic bacterial infection treatment, now has data to support its use in disrupting biofilms. 
 In January, ASM launched a publishing experiment, mSphereDirect, which allows scientists to control the review process and speed up the time-to-publication after submission. To answer questions about its users and user experience, we gathered preliminary data by speaking with the scientists who were the first mSphereDirect users.
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