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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.

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.

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.

 

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