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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.

Plasmodium vivax infection is like an iceberg: It's dangerous, in part, because much of it hides out of view. A new study published this week in mBio shows how researchers are revealing more of this parasite's biology.

A team of Australian and Portuguese investigators has discovered yet another resistance mechanism in the pathogen, Acinetobacter baumannii, in this case, one that blocks the critical antibiotic-of-last-resort, colistin.

Friday, 20 April 2018 12:32

Tampons Can Cause Toxic Shock Syndrome

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The use of intravaginal menstrual pads may be responsible for rare cases of menstrual toxic shock syndrome in women whose vaginas have been colonized by Staphylococcus aureus producing toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 (TSST-1).

Parasites that cause malaria can lurk in plain sight, including in deer in North America. 

Researchers have found that mice living in New York City’s residential buildings harbor multiple bacteria species that can cause human fever and gastrointestinal disease, including Salmonella, Clostridium difficile, Escherichia coli and Leptospira species.


 

A team of Swiss investigators has found a new mechanism that is critical to the ability of certain avian influenza A viruses to infect humans.

To better understand the molecular drivers behind resistance, researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently conducted a whole-genome analysis of an unusual bacterial strain cultured from a patient in the United States.

Fungi found in the gastrointestinal tracts of healthy adults are largely transient and stem from the mouth or foods recently consumed, according to new research published this week in mSphere, an open access journal from the American Society for Microbiology.

New research has connected elevated infant fecal pH levels to a profound change in the infant gut microbiome, including the disappearance of a beneficial bacterium that may be key to short and long-term health. A study published in the journal mSphere connects this rise in pH to a generational loss of Bifidobacterium, a critical gut bacteria during infancy, and an accompanying increase in a number of harmful bacteria.

Researchers have long known that RNA viruses called coronaviruses cause the common cold and pneumonia. In the last two decades or so, though, researchers have found that these viruses can jump between animal and human hosts. In recent years, coronaviruses have caused lethal outbreaks of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) that span multiple continents. To date, no retroviral drug has been approved to treat these infections.

A team of investigators has found that the mcr-1 drug resistance gene, which encodes resistance to a drug that is used as a last resort, has been found for the first time in Shigella flexneriShigella are one of the leading causes of diarrhea worldwide.

Investigators have now identified two new possible contributors to rising resistance to anti-malarial drugs in Southeast Asia. The contributors are a pair of enzymes that digest the malaria parasites’ main food source.

Bathroom hot air hand dryers deposited large quantities of bacteria on agar plates held beneath the nozzles for 30 seconds and grew 15 to 60 bacterial colonies each, according to a new study.

ASM has joined the Initiative for Open Citations I4OC, a collaboration between scholarly publishers, researchers, and others to promote the unrestricted availability of scholarly citation data.

To better understand how antibiotic-resistant organisms spread in hospitals, investigators at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, recently collected samples from pipes beneath the hospital's intensive care unit and from outside manholes draining hospital wastewater. They conducted whole-genome analyses on the samples to study the bacterial plasmids, or rings of DNA, that can confer resistance to antibiotics. 

Phages—viruses that infect bacteria—are abundant in the bacteria that inhabit the female bladder. This is good news, because phage could be used as alternative treatment when antibiotics become resistant to pathogenic bacteria.

To characterize the genes of newly identified bacteria, microbiologists often introduce mutations within the bacteria using mobile DNA segments called transposons to study the impact of these mutations.

In January, the American Academy of Microbiology elected 96 new Fellows. Fellows of the American Academy of Microbiology, an honorific leadership group within the ASM, are elected annually through a highly selective, peer-review process, based on their records of scientific achievement and original contributions that have advanced microbiology.

Bacteria and fungi colonize the rubber seals of dishwashers in biofilms—which are thin, slimy, hard-to-eradicate films of these microbes that adhere to surfaces. Investigators have now shown that the diversity of species in the biofilms correlates most strongly with the age of the dishwasher, its frequency of use, and the hardness of the tap water.

Wednesday, 03 January 2018 09:55

Tuberculosis Drugs Work Better With Vitamin C

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Studies in mice and in tissue cultures suggest that giving vitamin C with tuberculosis drugs could reduce the unusually long time it takes these drugs to eradicate this pathogen.

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