A disease called "citrus greening" has devastated and permanently altered citrus production in the United States, but a vaccine that could protect orange trees may be part of a winning strategy to beat the bacteria that is killing the trees.
Most people know atopic dermatitis by its common name, eczema—that dry, flaky skin that itches incessantly. Along with the scratching comes frequent skin infections, often with Staphylococcus aureus.
News: 14 Types of Bacteria & 10 Strains of Fungus Are Responsible for All the Delicious Flavors of Cheese
If you want to appreciate the value of microbes, look no further than a chunk of cheese. Because cheese roughly traces back to the Neolithic Era, we might say the earliest cheesemakers were the first humans to manipulate microbes—without even knowing it. Now, thanks to microbiologists and the long tradition of cheesemaking, we know a lot more about the microbes that make our favorite types of cheese possible.
Gonorrhea infections reached a peak in 1975, then decreased until 2009, when infection rate started rising and has increased each year since. With the rise of antibiotic resistance, those numbers are only going to get worse — unless we find new treatments against the bacteria.
We know that healthcare-related facilities can be fertile ground for antibiotic-resistant bacteria, but recent research suggests your produce aisle might be too.
You may not have heard of visceral leishmaniasis, onchocerciasis, or lymphatic filariasis, and there is a reason for that. These diseases, part of a group of infections called neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), impact more than a billion people on the planet in countries other than ours. Despite the consolation that these often grotesque illnesses are "out of sight, out of mind," some of these infections are quietly taking their toll in some southern communities of the US.
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: 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.
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.
All fields of study have their own language. For people interested in learning about microbes, the language can sometimes be downright difficult — but it doesn't need to be. From antibiotics to xerophiles, we have you covered in an easy-to-understand glossary.
Andre was enjoying the carefree life of a 12-year-old with his friends, riding his bike and playing sports, like all kids that age. Schoolwork wasn't hard for him, and his grades showed that.
For the first time, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved medication to treat children with a serious infection called Chagas disease, which stealthily infects and damages the hearts of millions of victims a year.
Plants all around us capture sunlight every day and convert it to energy, making them a model of solar energy production. And while the energy they make may serve the needs of a plant, the process isn't efficient enough to generate power on a larger scale. So, scientists from the University of California found a way to treat bacteria with chemicals that turned them into photosynthesis machines, capable of generating products we can convert into food, fuels, and plastics.
People infected with HIV take many different types of pills every day to decrease the amount of virus in their body, live a longer and healthier life, and to help prevent them from infecting others. That could all be in the past as new clinical trials testing the safety and effectiveness of a new type of treatment — injections given every four or eight weeks — look to be equally effective at keeping the virus at bay.
On June 11, 2016, an Arizona woman died from what appeared to be several infections, including pneumonia. She likely caught at least one of these from her dog.
Whether or not a microbe is successful at establishing an infection depends both on the microbe and the host. Scientists from Duke found that a single DNA change can allow Salmonella typhi, the bacteria that causes typhoid fever, to invade cells. That single genetic variation increased the amount of cholesterol on cell membranes that Salmonella and other bacteria use as a docking station to attach to a cell to invade it. They also found that common cholesterol-lowering drugs protected zebrafi...
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.
Prime Directive: How NASA's Planetary Protection Officer Keeps Our Germs from Contaminating Other Planets (& Vice Versa)
On July 20, 1969, humans set foot on the moon for the first time. But some say our microbes beat us there. With the Space Age came new questions about microscopic invaders from outer space and concern about where we are leaving our microbial footprints. The questions are even more relevant today.
We might think of Zika as a mosquito-borne virus that effects developing fetuses, but, it also can be passed through sex by either a man or a woman, just like herpes and other STD viruses. New research has shown that vaginal bacteria can inhibit sexually transmitted Zika virus and Herpes Simplex Virus-2 in women.
During the millions of years they've been on earth horseshoe crabs have developed a trick that can save our lives even now — and may be especially useful in the fight against healthcare-associated infections.
For younger children, a day at the playground is not complete without some sandbox time. Long a favorite of children and parents, sandboxes could also be sheltering dangerous pathogens.
Even though HIV rates declined 18% between 2008 and 2014, 1.1 million people in the US are living with the infection. Part of that is because HIV is treatable, but not curable.
Type 1 diabetes is an attack on the body by the immune system — the body produces antibodies that attack insulin-secreting cells in the pancreas. Doctors often diagnose this type of diabetes in childhood and early adulthood. The trigger that causes the body to attack itself has been elusive; but many research studies have suggested viruses could be the root. The latest links that viruses that live in our intestines may yield clues as to which children might develop type 1 diabetes.
Deadly rat lungworm parasites have found their way into Florida. The parasitic worm relies on snails and rats to complete its life cycle, but don't let this nematode's name fool you. This worm can cause meningitis and death in humans who inadvertently consume snails, frogs, or crustaceans harboring the infective parasite.
A promising new antibiotic has been discovered in, of all things, another bacteria. Burkholderia bacteria live in diverse habitats, including soil, plants, and humans where they thrive by knocking out other microbes that compete with them for resources or threaten their existence. Scientists have discovered they accomplish this by producing a very effective antibiotic.
The evidence is mounting and is becoming indisputable: Gut bacteria play a role in strokes and heart attacks. The link may seem a little far-fetched, but cardiovascular disease may have less to do with what we eat and more to do with what chemicals gut bacteria make from the food we eat.
The search is on to find antibiotics that will work against superbugs — bacteria that are rapidly becoming resistant to many drugs in our antibiotic arsenal.
Streptococcus and staphylococcus bacteria produce toxins that can cause toxic shock syndrome.
While Lyme disease can be disabling, the wrong treatment for the infection can be fatal.
Bioluminescence — the ability of an organism to produce and emit light — is nature's light show. Plants, insects, fish, and bacteria do it, and scientists understand how. Until now, though, we didn't know how fungi glow.
Devastating and deadly, land mines are a persistent threat in many areas of the world. Funding to clear regions of land mines has been decreasing, but new research may offer a less dangerous method of locating hidden, underground explosives by using glowing bacteria.
This just in! Some of Frito-Lay's chips might be bad for your health for reasons other than the fact that they're deep fried potatoes.
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.
Growing populations and higher temperatures put pressure on world food supplies. Naturally occurring soil bacteria may save crops in drought-stressed areas, put more land into crop production, and produce more food.
Having a Clostridium difficile infection means stomach pains, diarrhea, fever, and loss of appetite, and if the symptoms weren't bad enough, the disease often reoccurs. Now, new research has found an increased risk of recurrence in people who take medication to treat their stomach acid, gastroesophageal reflux disease, peptic ulcer disease, or stomach discomfort.
Most females have had at least one urinary tract infection in their lifetimes. Recurrent UTIs are particularly problematic in young, sexually active women, where about 80% of the infections are caused by the bacteria Escherichia coli, better known as E. coli.
There has been an outbreak of syphilis in Oklahoma County with 75 confirmed cases connected by a social network driven by drug use and sex.
A new study has found that up to half of people who think they have a penicillin "allergy" can still receive the drug, and other antibiotics with similar structures, without any negative reactions to the meds. Why? Because they're not really allergic, doctors say.
News: Microbes Are Everywhere—But Those on Your Cell Phone Can Be Dangerous, Especially During Cold & Flu Season
It won't come as a surprise to hear that your cell phone, tablet, and laptop are loaded with bacteria and other organic material. While most of these bacteria are harmless, there are good reasons to reduce the capability of your mobile devices to infect you—or other people.
Have the sniffles? Yes. Does your head hurt? Yes. Coughing? Yes. Could you have influenza? Yes. How do you know the difference? With these symptoms, you could also have a cold.