Category Archives: Microbiology

Food and water microbiology | Legionella | Salmonella | Giardia | Cryptosporidium | E coli | Camphlobacter | Cholera | Shigella | Yersinia | plague | enteric pathogens | foodborne illnesses | food spoilage | source of food poisoning outbreaks | population health | communicable diseases | hospital infection | gastrointestinal disease outbreaks | epidemiology | child care centres | aged care homes.
Includes outbreaks in new diseases in veterinary context in relation to potential to transmit to humans.
Dialysis | dialysate.
Meningococcus | Neisseria | gonorrhea | meningitis.
Molecular biology typing | molecular biology sequencing

Common gut bacteria could treat food allergies

ScienceAlert Fiona MacDonald 27 August 2014

New research from the University of Chicago in the US shows that a class of bacteria known as Clostridia can block peanut allergies in mice, and suggests it could be used to treat similar conditions in humans.
Clostridia is one of the types of bacteria killed off by antibiotic use in early childhood, and this research supports the emerging theory that increased antibiotic use is one of the factors that has caused food allergies in kids to rise by 50% since 1997.

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Link to PNAS abstract

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Researchers discover why Listeria bacterium is so hard to fight

EurekAlert 27-Aug-2014

Listeria is a dreaded bacterium that can be found in both unprocessed and processed foods. Over the last few weeks, 28 persons in Denmark have been infected with Listeria from processed food, sold in supermarkets. 13 have died.
The bacterium is notoriously difficult to fight because it has an almost uncanny ability to adapt to changes in its surroundings, says Associate Professor Birgitte Kallipolitis, University of Southern Denmark. Together with colleagues from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, she has published a study, which in details reveals how this extreme ability to adapt takes place.
The researchers tested how Listeria reacts when it is exposed to a number of substances that can normally fight pathogenic bacteria. In the laboratory, Listeria was exposed to antibiotics, bile, salt, acid and ethanol, similar to what it often encounters in food, in the human body and during disinfection.

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Link to journal article

Ritzy Marina Mirage restaurant Saks fined $15,000 for 26 breaches including being caught with live and dead cockroaches in kitchen

Gold Coast Bulletin August 27, 2014 Leah Fineran

A RITZY Gold Coast restaurant been fined $15,000 after being caught with cockroaches, a dirty kitchen and poor food safety standards.

Saks Restaurant and Bar at Marina Mirage pleaded guilty to failing the food standards code with 26 breaches late last year.  Continue reading…

Update 28 August 2014

Researchers identify tests to diagnose invasive aspergillosis with 100 percent accuracy

(Elsevier Health Sciences 13 August 2014) The fungal infection invasive aspergillosis can be life threatening, especially in patients whose immune systems are weakened by chemotherapy or immunosuppressive drugs. Despite the critical need for early detection, IA remains difficult to diagnose. A study in The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics compared three diagnostic tests and found that the combination of nucleic acid sequence-based amplification and real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction detects aspergillosis with 100% accuracy.

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Revolutionary handheld DNA diagnostic unit allows lab-quality analysis in the field

(University of Otago 25 August 2014) A revolutionary handheld and battery-powered DNA diagnostic device invented at New Zealand’s University of Otago is poised to become a commonly used field tool for rapidly detecting suspected viruses or bacteria in samples while also determining the level of infection. It  also has many other potential uses, such as border security, forensics or environmental monitoring.

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Nobel-winning scientist calls for more vaccinations

ABC News |The World Today Rachel Carbonell 26 August 2014

A Nobel Prize-winning scientist has issued a warning to Australian parents who are reluctant to vaccinate their children.  Professor Rolf Zinkernagel said that old diseases could re-emerge without vaccination programs, possibly with worse effects than when they were originally widespread.

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Fears rise of gonorrhoea superbug

Sydney Morning Herald AAP 25 August 2014

Concerns are mounting over a powerful new form of gonorrhoea after a patient was found to have the highest level of drug resistance to the disease ever reported in Australia.  It is understood the patient, a tourist from central Europe, contracted the “sex superbug” in Sydney and was eventually treated in Cairns.

Comment has been sought from state and federal health authorities.

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