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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.

Tuesday, 06 September 2016 11:51

Announcing the Election Results: ASM Bylaws

Written by

Dear Members,

We are delighted to announce that the ASM governance reform has been approved by the membership, and that now ASM has new Bylaws in effect! This is a historic moment for our Society and a terrific opportunity to lay the foundations for a new, modern, transparent, and participatory governance that allows the organization to capture opportunities coming from the rapidly changing environment in the world of microbial sciences and professional societies in general.  We could not be more excited by the fact that 98% of ASM members who participated in the vote agreed with the proposed changes; the new Bylaws had previously been unanimously approved by the Council Policy Committee (CPC) and the Council at large.

Tuesday, 06 September 2016 10:06

Fungi Contribute to Delayed Healing of Chronic Wounds

Written by

Washington, DC – September 6, 2016 – Researchers in Pennsylvania and Iowa have discovered that fungal communities found in chronic wounds can form mixed bacterial-fungal biofilms and can be associated with poor outcomes and longer healing times. Their report, the first deep characterization of the fungi found in diabetic foot ulcers, is published this week in mBio®, an online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Washington, DC - September 1, 2016 - An international team of researchers has sequenced a strain of the Zika virus that will be used as a World Health Organization (WHO) reference strain to identify Zika virus infection in the blood, thus making it easier to diagnose the disease. While the reference material will undergo formal WHO review in October, the agency has given the go-ahead for the strain’s use given the urgent need of medical products to diagnose and treat Zika. The sequence is published September 1st in Genome Announcements, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Washington, DC – August 31, 2016 – The microbiome of patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) at a hospital differs dramatically from that of healthy patients, according to a new study published in mSphere. Researchers analyzing microbial taxa in ICU patients' guts, mouth and skin reported finding dysbiosis, or a bacterial imbalance, that worsened during a patient's stay in the hospital. Compared to healthy people, ICU patients had depleted populations of commensal, health-promoting microbes and higher counts of bacterial taxa with pathogenic strains – leaving patients vulnerable to hospital-acquired infections that may lead to sepsis, organ failure and potentially death.

Washington, DC – August 30, 2016 – The American Academy of Microbiology convened a colloquium focused on identifying mechanisms to improve research quality. Participants from various disciplines made six recommendations: (1) design rigorous and comprehensive evaluation criteria to reward high quality research; (2) require universal training in good scientific practices and responsible practice of research; (3) establish open data at the time of publication as the standard procedure; (4) encourage scientific journals to publish negative data that meet methodologic standards of quality; (5) establish common criteria for retraction of published papers; and (6) strengthen research integrity oversight training.

Washington, DC – August 29, 2016 – New Jersey researchers have identified what is believed to be the first strain of Escherichia coli bacteria from a patient in the United States that harbored two mobile genes making it resistant to both broad spectrum carbapenem antibiotics as well as colistin, an older antibiotic increasingly used as a last resort for multidrug-resistant infections. Their report is published this week in mBio®, an online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Washington, DC - August 26, 2016 - Several species of bacteria found in smokeless tobacco products have been associated with opportunistic infections, according to a paper published August 25 in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Washington, DC – August 23, 2016 –Findings from a new study, reported in the journal mBio, may help food companies improve the quality of dairy products. The researchers have discovered that bacteria in raw milk arriving at dairy processing facilities are highly diverse and differ according to season, but still contain a core microbiota.

Washington, DC – August 23, 2016 – Stopping the explosive spread of Zika virus – which can lead to birth defects in babies born to infected mothers – depends on genetic insights gleaned through new tools and models. Researchers at the National Institutes of Health recently cloned an epidemic strain of the virus, creating a model that can help biologists develop and test strategies for stopping the pandemic.

Washington, DC – August 22, 2016 – Antibiotic resistant E. coli has been found in multiple drinking water supplies in France. The resistance counters the critically important cephalosporin antibiotics. The findings highlight the presence of expanding reservoirs of these resistance genes, including reservoirs in the environment. The research is published August 22 in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Washington, DC - August 18, 2016 - A team of researchers from Utah State University, Logan, has characterized the consensus genome sequences of three historically important Zika virus strains. This work is an important step towards developing antiviral therapeutic and preventive strategies against Zika, and related viruses. The research is published August 18 in Genome Announcements, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Washington, DC – August 17, 2016 – The multidrug-resistant yeast Candida auris, which has caused fatal infections in some hospitalized patients, has at least two different growth patterns and some of its strains are as capable of causing disease as the most invasive type of yeast called Candida albicans, according to a study published this week in mSphere, an open access journal from the American Society for Microbiology.

Washington, DC – August 16, 2016 – A trio of researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center, School of Public Health in Houston, have identified the location of the genes that control production of toxins that harm people infected by Clostridium difficile bacteria. The gene locus, agr1, forms part of a signaling communication system that produces a small molecule that, in turn, tells the rest of the population to turn on their toxin genes.

Washington, DC – August 12, 2016 – Gingivitis, a common and mild form of gum disease can progress to periodontitis, a more serious infection that damages the soft tissue of the gums and sometimes even destroys the bone supporting the teeth. An international team of researchers and clinicians has charted the microbial ecology of the mouth at all stages of this progression, in nearly 1,000 women in Malawi. This work is laying a foundation of knowledge that could lead to better oral health. The research is published August 12 in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Washington, DC – August 9, 2016 – For years, researchers have known that the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) can trigger severe, sometimes deadly secondary bacterial pneumonia, in some people who are subsequently infected with influenza A virus, but scientists have not known exactly how this happens. Now, scientists have developed a new model for studying this phenomenon, which could lead to new treatments designed to prevent secondary bacterial infections. The findings were published this week in mBio, an online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Washington, DC – August 8, 2016 – For the first time in Brazil, a particular antibiotic resistance mechanism conferring resistance to the important antibiotic, colistin, has been detected in a human. It was in a strain of Escherichia coli that was isolated from a diabetic patient’s foot infection. The mechanism, called MCR-1, was incorporated into a plasmid, a short piece of DNA that exists independent of the genome, which can jump from one bacterium to another, spreading the resistance. The research is published ahead of print August 8 in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Washington, DC – August 5, 2016 – Current events linked to the Zika virus make aggressive public health actions and funding to combat this emerging infectious disease more crucial than ever.  Newly reported Zika cases in Florida are the first examples of US infection spread by local mosquitos.  On August 1 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned pregnant women and their partners against visiting a specific area with multiple cases in downtown Miami, an unusual federal advisory concerning a US community.  Today Zika is so prevalent in Puerto Rico that only drastic measures will be able to control the epidemic.  The 2016 Summer Olympics begin today in Rio de Janeiro, attracting large numbers of US athletes and spectators to a nation struggling with significant case numbers of Zika infection.

Washington, DC – August 2, 2016 – Adjuvants – ingredients added to vaccinations for influenza and other viruses to help boost their effectiveness – can increase a host’s immune response but not enough to protect the obese against the ill effects of the flu, according to a mouse study published this week in mBio®, an online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Washington, DC – August 1, 2016  – Plasmids are pieces of independent DNA that often carry multiple antibiotic resistance genes. Plasmids can jump from one bacterium to another, spreading that resistance. A team of French investigators now shows that bacteria that acquire plasmids containing resistance genes rarely lose them. The research is published in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Washington, DC – July 29, 2016 - Many deadly diseases that afflict humans were originally acquired through contact with animals. New research published in ASM’s Applied and Environmental Microbiology shows that pathogens can also jump the species barrier to move from humans to animals. The study, that will publish July 29, shows that green monkeys in The Gambia acquired Staphylococcus aureus from humans.

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