ABC News Jason Om 5 December, 2013
Infectious disease specialists are demanding a more rigorous system of testing Australian and imported foods to halt the spread of drug-resistant bacteria.
Currently there are no Australian food standards covering so-called superbugs and while imported food is inspected, it is not tested for antimicrobial-resistant bacteria.
BBC News 2 December 2013
Sheep could hold the key to an effective treatment against a drug-resistant super bug, says a Welsh biotech company.
MicroPharm Limited is looking to extract antibodies from the animal to fight Clostridium difficile (C. diff) infections in humans.
If successful, clinical trials could start in humans in three years.
Science Alert University of Queensland 2 December 2013
Heralded as a “miracle of modern medicine” when they were first discovered, antibiotics have been overused for so long that most have become ineffective. Stories about superbugs (bacteria resistant to antibiotics) now feature regularly in the news.
The Guardian Nick Herbert 2 December 2013
TB has made a terrible comeback. Always a disease of poverty, now linked to HIV-Aids, it is killing 1.3 million people a year worldwide, not just in sub-Saharan Africa and India, but in eastern Europe, too. Two decades ago, the World Health Organisation declared it a global emergency. And, actually, there never has been an effective vaccine. BCG only works for children, for a limited time, and offers negligible protection against the most common forms of TB.
Now this oldest of diseases is producing the newest of threats. In 2006 53 patients in a rural hospital in South Africa were found to have contracted a highly drug-resistant form of TB: 52 of them died. Drug-resistant strains now account for a third of all deaths from the disease.
Science Alert Swinburne University of Technology 27 November 2013
Learning from nature, researchers at Swinburne University of Technology have revealed the bacterial killing potential of black silicon, leading the way for the development of a new generation of nanostructured antibacterial materials.
Black silicon is silicon that has been etched to create long narrow nanoprotrusions on its surface. Surfaces with similar features are common in the natural world.
Earlier this year researchers, led by microbiologist Professor Elena Ivanova and Dean of the Faculty of Life and Social Sciences, Professor Russell Crawford, discovered that the wing of the cicada Psaltoda claripennis can shred certain types of rod-shaped bacteria through a process that arises from its physical structure.
In research in Nature Communications, the researchers compare the two surfaces and their bacteria-killing capacity.
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Science Alert University of Queensland 29 November 2013
An international team of engineers and biologists has developed a new technique that could lead to improved infection diagnosis for cystic fibrosis patients.
The technique to separate bacteria based on small genetic differences was developed by scientists from The University of Queensland, Belgium’s Ghent University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US.
It has been published in the journal PLoS ONE.
BBC News 26 November 2013
The first case of MRSA in poultry in the UK has been found in turkeys and chickens on a farm in East Anglia says the Department of Health (DH).
A spokesman said that two thirds of the turkeys on the farm, which hasn’t been named, were found to be infected.
It is thought that hundreds of turkeys have already been sold to local retail outlets and farm gate sales. The farmer is cooperating.
Experts say the risk to the public is very low.
The Conversation Chelsea Rohrscheib 27 November 2013
Striking new evidence indicates that the gut microbiome, the ecological community of microorganisms that share our body, has a huge effect on brain function – much larger than we thought.
BBC News Tulip Mazumdar 25 November 2013
Around 33,000 children are to be immunised against measles and polio in typhoon-hit Tacloban city.
The World Health Organization, which is supporting the government campaign, fears possible outbreaks of disease.