Wednesday, 15 November 2017 12:32

ASM Resources During Antibiotic Awareness Week

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Published in mBiosphere

The American Society of Microbiology provides resources for clinical practitioners, researchers, and educators during Antibiotic Awareness Week. Below, some of our recent top stories on antibiotic awareness, education, discovery, and resistance.


Epidemiology and Origins of Antibiotic-Resistant Infections

Drug-Resistant Bacterial Contamination in Consumer Meat and Produce

Drug resistance is a huge clinical problem, but our exposure to drug-resistant bacteria can come from everyday interactions - even in our food! Two reports from Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy describe new bacterial isolates carrying plasmid-borne drug resistance determinants. 

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Agricultural Antibiotic Usage Selects for Antibiotic-Resistant Soil Bacteria

An 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.


Current Antibiotic Applications and Microbial Susceptibilites

An entire series on Antibiotic Susceptibility Testing from Romney Humphries


Little Cross-Resistance Observed in Clinical Colistin-Resistant Isolates

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. An Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy report demonstrates that clinical colistin-resistant isolates remain susceptible to AMPs.

TMI: Deciding Whether to Include MIC Values in Susceptibility Reports

When laboratories provide susceptibility reports to clinicians, they must decide whether to include minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) or to report categorical interpretations (such as susceptible or resistant) alone. In some cases knowing the MIC value can help doctors, but in other cases it may just be… TMI.

ESKAPE Pathogens Expressing mcr-1 Have Varying Colistin Resistance Phenotypes

Scientists now know that colistin resistance is much more widespread than previously thought. An 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. 

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Biofilms Differ in Susceptibility to Antibiotics

Bacteria in attached biofilms have different characteristics than bacteria in planktonic culture, but neighbors can influence behavior too. An 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.

Decreasing MRSA Rates Provide Positive Reinforcement for Antibiotic Stewardship Efforts

The efforts of antibiotic stewardship campaigns are starting to show positive results in the clinic. These trends can serve as motivation to all to continue education campaigns for appropriate use of antibiotics.


Antibiotic Drug Discovery and New Antibiotic Applications

Eucalyptus Compound Inhibits Candida Biofilms

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. An Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy article reports the anti-biofilm activity of a eucalyptus-derived compound, which acts by regulating fungal cell morphology.

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Combating Tuberculosis with Ancient Chinese Malaria Meds

A Nobel-winning antimalarial drug derived from a traditional Chinese herb can also help treat tuberculosis.

Siderophores: A Treatment Target?

Siderophores are essential for bacterial pathogenesis—does that make them a weakness for researchers to exploit?


Antibiotic Awareness and Education

Basing a Curriculum on Discovery-Based Research

If you are currently a microbiologist, chances are your introductory microbiology lab course syllabus hadn’t changed for decades. The course likely culminated in each student receiving an unknown bacterial sample, the identity of which was uncovered by applying techniques learned during the semester. Deducing unknowns may require students to apply their critical thinking skills, but it fails to engage students in the discovery process that is one of the foundations of scientific practice. The Small World Initiative (SWI) aims to change student engagement with science by incorporating discovery-based research into the laboratory classroom. 

Last modified on Wednesday, 15 November 2017 16:53