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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.

The American Academy of Microbiology has released a new report on point-of-care (POC) and near-patient testing and changing diagnostic paradigms in microbiology. Technology for diagnosing infectious diseases in patients is rapidly advancing, and new diagnostic tests have the potential to meaningfully improve patient care.

Scientists have discovered a dietary strategy that may address obesity by reducing endotoxemia, a major contributor to chronic, low-grade inflammation (CLGI). The researchers uncovered an interaction between dietary capsaicin (CAP), the major pungent component in red chili, and gut microbiota. This novel mechanism for the anti-obesity effect of CAP acts through prevention of microbial dysbiosis and the subsequent gut barrier dysfunction that can lead to CLGI. The research is published May 23rd in mBio, an open access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

A team of investigators from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Guelph, Ontario, has discovered a gene that confers resistance to the important broad-spectrum antibiotic, fosfomycin. The researchers found the gene in isolates of the pathogen, Salmonella enterica, from broiler chickens. The research is published in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology. 

The American Society for Microbiology has announced winners for their 3rd annual Agar Art contest

Houston Methodist Research Institute scientists used genome sequencing to discover that an otherwise rare strain of a superbug was found in more than one-third of the Houston patients studied. 

A team of researchers from the United Kingdom has developed a novel method for assessing human/pathogen interactions in the natural environment, using citizen scientists wearing boot socks over their shoes during walks in the countryside.

A study published this week in mBio demonstrates that a novel technique can be used to build better vaccines for infectious diseases. The study shows that a practical method, bacterial enzymatic combinatorial chemistry (BECC), can be used to generate functionally diverse molecules that can potentially be used as adjuvants

Three teams of researchers will be the recipients of the Kavli Microbiome Ideas Challenge that supports novel, cross-cutting tools and methods in the field of microbiome research. 

The cells of vertebrates have evolved pathways that act like an internal defense, inhibiting viral infections by preventing replication of the pathogens. Drugs that activate those existing systems suggest a promising novel approach to treating dangerous infections by Zika and other viruses, say researchers from the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU), in Portland.

Friday, 28 April 2017 11:28

Plague Bacteria Take Refuge In Amoebae

Written by

Yersinia pestis, the bacterium that causes bubonic plague, can survive within the ubiquitous soil protozoan, the amoeba, by producing proteins that protect against the latter microbe’s digestion.

A team of international researchers has found that a strain of anthrax-causing bacterium thought to have been viable 80 years after a thwarted World War I espionage attack, was, in reality, a much younger standard laboratory strain. The team speculates that the mix-up was due to commonplace laboratory contamination.

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.

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