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.
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.
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.
Fighting fire with fire, scientists are harnessing the adaptability of helpful microbes to challenge the adaptability of deadly microbes. What are we talking about? Hunting with phages — viruses that attack and kill bacteria.
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: 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.
News: Step Aside Penicillin — A Deep Dive into Fungus Genes Reveals Over 1,300 Potential Antibiotics Waiting to Be Discovered
On October 17, 1943, a story in the New York Herald Tribune read "Many laymen — husbands, wives, parents, brothers, sisters, friends — beg Dr. Keefer for penicillin," according to the American Chemical Society. Dr. Chester Keefer of Boston was responsible for rationing the new miracle drug, penicillin.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A terrifying antibiotic-resistant superbug, one thought to only infect hospital patients, has made its debut in the real world. For the first time ever, the superbug carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) infected six people who hadn't been in or around a hospital in at least a year, and researchers aren't sure how they got infected.
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.
Antibiotics are one of our main weapons against infections. The problem is that many bacteria are becoming resistant to most of the antibiotics we use to treat them, and those 'superbugs' have created an urgent threat to our global health. A research group found a new way to hit a well known bacterial target and have developed a drug to hit it.
More prescriptions for antibiotics are written for ear infections than any other type of infection. A new study comparing the incidence and causes of ear infections in children between the ages of six months and three years found that the incidence of ear infections over the last decade has dropped significantly since the 1980s.
New research reveals how E. coli bacteria construct elaborate and effective tunnels to pump unwanted molecules like antibiotics and other toxins out of cells. The discovery could help us better understand how antibiotic resistance occurs and give us a leg-up to beat them at their own game.
News: New Research Shows How Flesh-Eating Leishmania Parasites Hide in Our Bodies to Fight Future Infections
Transmitted by a sandfly one-third the size of a mosquito, parasitic Leishmania protozoa are responsible for a flesh-destroying disease that kills an estimated 20,000 people per year. Two new studies offer understanding of how the parasite provides immunity through persistence and why some people suffer more virulent forms of the disease.