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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.

Colonization by the human and animal parasite, Giardia, changed the species composition of the mouse microbiome in a way that might be harmful.

Using the Pathogen Box, an open-source drug discovery project, researchers have identified a novel, highly potent antifungal agent with activity against two of the most common fungal pathogens of humans: Cryptococcus neoformans and Candida albicans.

Tigecycline is an antibiotic of last resort—one that is used when all others have failed. Now a team of Spanish investigators has identified the first documented example of tigecycline-resistant bacteria in hospital that are adapted to living on companion animals—in this case, dogs.

The first ever peer-reviewed test of decontamination devices for car interiors has been completed. The quickest device took one and a half hours to remove pathogenic microbes from interior air. The research is published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology

Hepatitis B is notoriously difficult to eradicate with currently available agents..  Now, in a new study, a novel form of “pegylated” interferon-β has reduced hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections in experimental human-derived cells and in mice more effectively than the conventional pegylated interferon-α2a, suggesting that it could lead to improved treatment for hepatitis B infection in humans. The research is published in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

 

A team of researchers in the United States and Uganda has identified a novel coronavirus in a bat from Uganda that is similar to the one causing Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in people, giving further credence to the theory that such viruses originate in bats. The work, part of the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s) Emerging Pandemic Threats PREDICT project, was described this week in mBio®, an online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.  

A new study suggests that coral reefs—already under existential threat from global warming—may be undergoing further damage from invading bacteria and fungi coming from land-based sources, such as outfall from sewage treatment plants and coastal inlets. The study raised the possibility that microbes from these sources are invading reefs off of the southeastern coast of Florida. The research is published this week in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology. 

Antimicrobial resistance is an urgent global threat. Recognizing the significance of antimicrobial resistance across the spectrum of microbiology, the American Society for Microbiology established a new initiative to complement existing efforts, and provide a mechanism for moving research projects forward.

The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) is deeply concerned that the Administration’s proposal to cut funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by $5.8 billion, nearly a 20% reduction below the current level of funding.

In February, the American Academy of Microbiology elected 73 new Fellows. Fellows of the Academy are elected annually through a highly selective, peer-review process, based on their records of scientific achievement and original contributions that have advanced microbiology.

Researchers have demonstrated that the intestinal DNA damage induced by colibactin-producing Escherichia coli strains was exacerbated by the presence of the mycotoxin Deoxynivalenol (DON) in the diet.

A team of Swiss chemists and microbiologists have shown that a species of anaerobic bacterium can inhibit corrosion on archeological artifacts made of iron.

 A team of investigators in China has discovered a new variant on a well-known gene that causes resistance to polymyxins and others. More troubling, the gene containing this mechanism was found in a healthy individual during a routine medical examination, suggesting that other healthy carriers may be spreading this resistance unknowingly.

The rare bacterial species in a microbial community—species that each make up rarely more than one tenth of one percent of the entire population—play a very important role in ecosystem health and stability.

Manuscripts accepted through the newly launched mSphereDirect path in ASM’s open access journal mSphere, that also have an associated preprint posted in bioRxiv are noted as ‘accepted for publication in mSphere’ in bioRxiv, several weeks before the final article is published in the journal, making the peer-reviewed accepted manuscript available to the public in less than a week.

Many recent reports have found multidrug resistant bacteria living in hospital sink drainpipes, putting them in close proximity to vulnerable patients. But how the bacteria find their way out of the drains, and into patients has been unclear. Now a team from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, has charted their pathways.

 

Three new eBook collections of minireviews are now available from the Journal of Bacteriology. These minireviews provide insight into recent advances in research on the bacterial cell, pathogenesis, and bacterial chromosomes and regulation of gene expression.

A new study adds to a growing body of research aimed at understanding how a mother’s body’s response to infection influences a growing fetus. In research published this week in mSphere, researchers at Columbia University report that the sons of pregnant women who tested positive for antibodies against genital herpes (herpes simplex type 2, or HSV-2) at mid-pregnancy are more likely to be diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. The study is the first to connect maternal response to infection with autism risk.  

Researchers have discovered how Listeria monocytogenes, a common foodborne pathogen, travels through the mother’s body to fatally attack the placenta and fetus during early pregnancy in a macaque monkey.

Lecithin, a natural emulsifier commonly used in processed foods, synergistically enhances the antimicrobial properties of the natural essential oil, eugenol, but only when applied in very small quantities. 

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