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Press Releases

Welcome to ASM's Newsroom, a resource for journalists seeking information relating to the microbiological sciences. Members of the media and the general public can access current and archived press releases highlighting the latest research published in ASM's journals or presented at our meetings.

A team of investigators from the University of Pittsburgh has identified compounds that block the reactivation of latent HIV-1 in a human cell line containing the latent virus.

Researchers recently studied the eyes of 11 people with sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD), the most common and well-known prion disorder. This week in mBio, they report finding prion seeds — the infectious proteins that cause the disease — spread throughout the eyes of all the patients. 

During the last decade, a new form of the bacterium known as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has become widespread in the Danish pig population from where it spreads to people, resulting in an increasing number of human infections.

Multidrug-resistant bacterial infections of the cornea are a leading cause of blindness and cannot be effectively managed with current ophthalmic antibiotics. A team of investigators has now devised a combination therapy that largely circumvents resistance, and quickly and effectively eradicated bacterial keratitis in 70 percent of animal models treated.

A team from the University of Minnesota has shown that antibiotic-resistant Escherichia coli bacteria in wild giraffes most likely come from anthropogenic sources, such as local cattle herds and humans.

Researchers from the Julius Kühn Institut, Germany have found that produce is a reservoir for transferable antibiotic resistance genes that often escape traditional molecular detection methods.

Researchers have identified a compound that strongly inhibits botulinum neurotoxin, the most toxic compound known. That inhibiting compound, nitrophenyl psoralen (NPP), could be used as a treatment to reduce paralysis induced by botulism.

Researchers in Belgium have identified an additional inoculation source – the wooden casks or foeders – for producing lambic beers.

By screening a library of off-patent drugs, scientists have identified a compound with promising broad-spectrum antifungal activity. The compound, alexidine dihydrochloride, warrants further development as a pan-fungal, anti-biofilm drug, according to the research reported in the journal mSphere.

Researchers from the University of Colorado, Boulder have now shown that the regions in the United States where pathogenic mycobacteria are most prevalent in showerheads are the same regions where nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) lung infections are most common. The study, published in the journal, mBio, emphasizes the important role of showerheads in the transmission of NTM infections.

Evaluating the gut microbiota of infants may help identify children who are at risk for becoming overweight or obese, according to results from a recent study published in mBio. The research revealed that gut microbiota composition at 2 years of life is associated with body mass index (BMI) at age 12.

Scientists expect climate change influences the geographical distribution of microbes in the soil, but few studies have dug deeply into that relationship. A study published this week in mSystems suggests the connection can drag across decades.

Sepsis is a major cause of preventable death among newborn children in tropical countries. Now the antibiotic ceftriaxone, which has been available only as an injectable, can be administered through rectal delivery. This method could annually save the lives of several hundred thousand newborns with sepsis.

A team of researchers has now engineered a virus nanoparticle vaccine against Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis, tier 1 agents that pose serious threats to national security of the United States.

Four new Governors have been elected to the American Academy of Microbiology’s Board of Governors. Gail Cassell, Lynn Enquist, Mary Estes, and Carey-Ann Burnham will join the Board of Governors for their three-year terms, effective immediately. The ASM and the American Academy of Microbiology (Academy) are excited to welcome this new leadership and look forward to serving the mission of the Academy with them.

A study published this week in mSphere suggests that infants, who are vulnerable to an array of infectious diseases, may have a microbial ally in keeping antibiotic-resistant infections at bay. 

The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) congratulates the House for passing the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act (PAHPIA) which includes the Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (PACCARB) provision.

The United States announced today, during the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in New York, The AMR Challenge—the most ambitious global initiative to date to combat the growing threat of antibiotic resistance (AR or AMR). 

Using an artificial intestine they created, researchers showed that the microbiome could quickly adapt to a switch from the medium resembling a western diet to one composed exclusively of dietary fats.. That adaptation involved an increase in the populations of fatty-acid metabolizing species, and a drop in those of protein and carbohydrate metabolizers.

An international team of researchers has successfully deployed a Zika virus vaccine to target and kill human glioblastoma brain cancer stem cells, which had been transplanted into mice. In a study published this week in mBio®, an open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, the team shows that a live, attenuated version of the Zika virus could form the basis of a new treatment option for this fatal brain cancer. 

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