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

Senate inquiry into Lyme disease racing to produce report before election

Sydney Morning Herald 1 May 2016

A Senate committee is racing to publish a report about the controversy surrounding Lyme disease, before its inquiry is shut down by the early election.

Committee chairwoman Senator Rachel Siewert said the inquiry had heard evidence from health experts and people who believed they had the disease, even though the bacteria has not been found in Australia.

“The key issue here is people are clearly sick, so being heard is really important so that people don’t feel like they’re being dismissed,” she told Fairfax Media. “There’s clearly something going on.”

Job insecurity is driving the best and brightest out of medical research

Brisbane Times Anna Patty April 29 2016

Darren Saunders was developing a cure for pancreatic cancer when he gave up his medical research job to find one that was more secure.
The constant stress of going from contract to contract each year and spending precious time applying for research grants finally took its toll.

Read more:

MRPSA Report link:

Disease evolution: how new illnesses emerge when we change how we live

The Conversation Simon Reid April 29, 2016

Humans have been “acquiring” infectious diseases from animals (zoonotic diseases) since we first started hunting wild game on the African savannahs. Indeed, nearly 60% of bugs that infect humans originated in animals.
These days, we seem to see more “new” diseases, such as Zika, Ebola and SARS. But there are plenty more lurking. A recent study suggests there are around 300,000 pathogens we don’t even know about and some have the potential to spread from animals to humans.
The world’s scientific community is focused on how to improve detection and responses to emerging diseases such as Zika virus and Ebola. So what can we learn from the most recent large-scale outbreaks?

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Link to mBio article:

Queensland syphilis cases on the rise, especially amongst Indigenous youth and gay men

ABC News Casey Briggs 28 April 2016

The sharp increase in syphilis cases seen in Queensland in 2015 has continued its trend, with Indigenous youth over-represented in infection statistics, Queensland Health says.
There were 238 recorded cases in the first quarter of this year, an increase of more than 20 per cent on the same period last year.
If the current trajectory continued, there would be 952 new infections this year, compared to 855 in 2015.
Queensland Health identified an outbreak among Indigenous youth in the state’s north, with the movement of people through communities contributing to the spike.

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Gym germs: Is your fitness centre making you sick?

ABC Health News 27 April 2016

Have you ever found yourself wondering just how dirty your gym is?

A recent study found the free weights examined had 362 times more germs than the average toilet seat.

Could worms be the answer to fighting superbugs?

ABC News Amanda Hoh 21 April 2016

Could worms hold the answer to combating antibiotic-resistant superbugs?
Researchers at the University of Technology Sydney are on a mission to find a way to beat the increasing prevalence of superbugs around the world.
Research student Jana Soares spends her days treating nematodes with a combination of an antibiotic and antimicrobial peptide commonly used for food preservation.
The nematodes are infected with one of the well-known superbugs, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which is resistant to many antibiotics.
The bacteria commonly infects people who have been hospitalised for more than a week and can be life-threatening.

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Pancreatic cancer risk linked to changes in mouth bacteria

Medical News Today Catharine Paddock 20 April 2016

The presence of certain bacteria in the mouth may indicate a raised risk for pancreatic cancer – a disease that often begins with no symptoms and for which there is no routine screening test.
This was the main conclusion of a study led by NYU Langone in New York, NY, presented at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting in New Orleans, LA, April 16-20, 2016.
The researchers suggest the finding may lead to earlier, more precise treatments for pancreatic cancer, a disease with a pitifully low survival rate as it often escapes early diagnosis.
A history of gum disease and poor oral health have been linked to raised risk of pancreatic cancer, and some studies have also suggested certain types of mouth bacteria may also play a role, but this is the first study to directly evaluate such a link, note the authors.
Fan X, Alekseyenko AV, Wu J, et al. Human oral microbiome and prospective risk for pancreatic cancer: a population based, nested case control study. Oral presentation at: AACR Annual Meeting 2016; April 16-20, 2016; New Orleans, LA.

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Cancer Therapy Advisor article link: