News: Hospital Floors May Look Clean, but They're Teeming with Deadly Superbugs—Including MRSA, VRE & C. Diff
Hospitals are places we go to get well, and we don't expect to get sick or sicker there. But a study from researchers at the Cleveland Clinic, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and Cleveland VA Medical Center in Ohio found that hospital floors in patient rooms were frequently contaminated with healthcare-associated pathogens—often dangerous multi-drug resistant bacteria.
Despite legends to the contrary, it appears that the saliva of a Komodo dragon is not teeming with pathogenic bacteria that kills their prey. Its reputation to survive while colonized with lots of horrible disease-causing bacteria, true or untrue, has made it the subject of research in pursuit of natural antimicrobial agents and led scientists to some remarkable findings.
For as long as 14,000 years, the First Nations people of the Heitsuk Nation have made their home along the Central Coast of the Canadian province of British Columbia. Among the territory's inlets, islands, rivers, and valleys lie a clay deposit on the north side of Kisameet Bay, near King Island. For as long as most can remember, the tribe has used the clay as medicine. Now science says microbes that live in that clay may have important antibacterial properties.
Humanity is standing on an infection precipice. As antibacterial resistant grows, we're running out of options, and a recent scary case of total antibiotic resistance is a frighting view of our potential future. In the end, it was septic shock that took the life of a 70-year old woman with an incurable infection. One of few such cases in the US, her death could nonetheless be the shape of things to come.
Long admired for their active and cooperative community behavior, some types of ants also wear a gardening hat. Nurturing underground fungus gardens, these ants have a win-win relationship that provides food for both ants and fungi. If we humans understand it better, it may just help us out, too.
Our canine best friends could spread our bacterial worst nightmare, according to a recent study. The problem with drug-resistant bacteria is well known. Overused, poorly used, and naturally adaptive bacteria clearly have us outnumbered. As science drives hard to find alternative drugs, therapies, and options to treat increasingly resistant infections, humans are treading water, hoping our drugs of last resort work until we figure out better strategies.
What do Leo Tolstoy (writer), Beethoven (composer), Paul Gaugin (artist), and Adolf Hitler (politician) have in common? They are all considered to have suffered from the sexually transmitted disease syphilis.
Antibiotics used to prevent diseases in livestock are creating a world of hurt for humans and the soil we depend on for food. Bacterial resistance to antibiotics is a global health issue. The overuse, underuse, and poor use of these life-saving drugs is rapidly removing them as a treatment option for serious infections in humans—plus bacteria are naturally adaptive.
News: New Study Shows that Superbug E. Coli Gets Stronger & More Dangerous When Doctors Use the Wrong Antibiotics
Although their effectiveness is waning, antibiotics remain a front-line defense against many infections. However, new science reveals using the wrong antibiotic for an infection could makes things much worse.
Staphylococcus aureus is a widespread bacteria — about a third of us have it on our body right now — usually in our nose or on our skin. And it probably isn't causing an infection. But, about 1% of people who have Staphylococcus aureus present have a type that is resistant to the antibiotic methicillin.
News: Dangerous Bacterial Films Communicate with Electric Pulses, Which Means We Could Zap Them to Interfere
Lighthouses and signal fires may have been the first social media. Without the ability to share language, a distant light meant "humans here." A new study from the University of California, San Diego, finds that bacteria can also send out a universal sign to attract the attention of their own, and other bacterial species.
Yogurt is more than an excellent source of protein, calcium, and gut-healthy probiotic bacteria. A protein isolated from probiotic lactobacillus bacteria in yogurt is capable of inhibiting drug-resistant bacteria.
News: Scientists Are Using the Special Physics of Dragonfly Wings to Create Surfaces That Shred Bacteria on Contact
As drug-resistant bacteria become more commonplace, researchers are looking for new antibacterial strategies to disrupt disease-causing microbes. Some scientists are working to create new drugs, while others are trying out drug combinations. Another group, however, are ditching pharmaceuticals altogether and experimenting with non-drug alternatives.
If you have encountered bed bugs lately, you are not alone. While the pesticides used to fight these pests are losing effectiveness, a fungus shows promise in knocking the bugs out of beds everywhere.
In the race to outsmart "untreatable" antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea, one of the three new treatments on the track is about to enter Phase 3 clinical trials. Hopefully, it'll be widely accessible sooner rather than later, for the 78 million people who are diagnosed with gonorrhea each year.
Bacteriotherapy sounds a lot more amenable of a term than "fecal transplant," yet they're both treatments that use bacteria itself to cure or treat infections. Fecal transplants, specifically, are an up-and-coming treatment option for a potentially deadly and difficult-to-treat diarrheal infection called Clostridium difficile.
Cholera may be rare in the US, but cases of the disease have increased worldwide since 2005, particularly in Africa, southeast Asia, and Haiti. An estimated 3 to 5 million people are infected, and more than 100,000 die from the disease globally each year, mostly from dehydration.
Usually, the mucus lining of the female genital tract presents a barrier that helps prevent infections. But, somehow, the bacteria that causes gonorrhea gets around and through that barrier to invade the female genital tract.
Joe McKenna died when he was 30 years old. A young married man with his future ahead of him, he was cleaning up the station where he worked as a fireman. Struck by a piece of equipment fallen from a shelf, Joe complained of a sore shoulder. Over the next week, Joe worsened and ended up in the hospital. Chilled, feverish, and delirious, his organs shut down from an infection we'd now call septic shock.
News: Researchers Have Just Discovered How a Hospital Fungus Forms Slime, Becomes Drug Resistant & Kills Patients
It hasn't even been eight years since Candida auris was discovered—cultured and identified from the ear canal of a patient in Japan—and now it's drug-resistant, setting up residence in hospitals, killing patients, and wreaking havoc across the globe.