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

Mater Private Hospital legionella testing finds signs of bacteria

Brisbane Times Jorge Branco February 5, 2016

Staff at a Brisbane hospital have been told not to let at-risk patients use showers or sinks after signs of legionella were detected in the water system.|
The warning to Mater Private Hospital workers comes a week and a half after a patient tested positive to the potentially deadly bacteria, sparking a rigorous testing regime.
Queensland’s chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young on Thursday said the hospital had run more than 200 tests throughout its water system but was still awaiting results.

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Legionella testing to be required at all Queensland hospitals, aged care homes

ABC News Stephanie Smail 3 Feb. 2016

All Queensland hospitals and aged care homes will be forced to regularly test for the potentially deadly legionella bacteria and publicly report results under proposed state laws.
A string of hospitals have recently returned positive results for legionella bacteria, including the Mater Private Hospital and the Wesley Hospital, where a man also died from the bacteria in 2013.
Since the death, public hospitals have been regularly testing, but not publicly reporting. Aged care facilities and private hospitals however were not required to notify the Health Department of a positive result.

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New tool puts accurate DNA analysis in fast lane

(Rice University 19 January 2016) Rice University scientists have developed a tool to analyze the thermal behavior of DNA and RNA strands. It could speed the design of molecular diagnostics that positively identify disease subtypes to inform optimal treatment.

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Chemists uncover how key agent allows diseases to reproduce

(University of Iowa 28 January 2016) University of Iowa chemists have revealed the chemistry behind how certain diseases, from anthrax to tuberculosis, replicate. The key lies in the function of a gene absent in humans, called thyX, and its ability to catalyze the DNA building block thymine. The finding could help drug companies target the chemical reaction, rather than testing millions of compounds, to stop these diseases. Results published in the journal Science.

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Plague may have persisted in Europe during 300-year period, including ‘Black Death’

(PLOS 13 January 2016) The bacteria that causes plague, Y. pestis, may have persisted long-term in Europe from the 14th to 17th century in an unknown reservoir, according to a study published Jan. 13, 2016 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Lisa Seifert from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany, and colleagues.

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New insights into animal-borne disease outbreaks

(American Institute of Biological Sciences 13 January 2016) To better understand the dynamics of zoonotic diseases, researchers have examined the epidemiology of plague among black-tailed prairie dogs. Their work points to biases that may threaten efforts to better characterize the vectors and transmission of diseases such as Ebola, Middle East respiratory syndrome, and others.

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Theranos Lab May Pose Threat to Patient Safety, Regulator Says

New York Times Reed Abelson 27 January 2016

Billionaire, Elizabeth Holmes – the woman who invented a way to run 30 lab tests on only one drop of blood – has run foul of the federal regulator which has found her Theranos laboratory has violated several clinical standards.

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