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

Syphilis in north Queensland: Govt wants to stop babies dying by December 2017

Brisbane Times Tony Moore May 25 2016

Three Aboriginal children have died from congenital syphilis and there have been 167 new cases in north Queensland since 2015, prompting a $15.7 million plan to fight sexually transmitted diseases in the north of the state.
Congenital syphilis occurs when an infected pregnant woman passes the disease to her baby in the womb and the baby is born infected.

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Protein implicated in Alzheimer’s disease may protect against infection

ABC News Anna Salleh 26 May 2016

The protein that has been implicated as the cause of Alzheimer’s disease, beta amyloid, can fight microbial infection, a new study in animals has found.
The findings, published today in Science Translational Medicine, have renewed debate about the role of beta amyloid in Alzheimer’s, and raised questions about whether finding a drug to clear it from the brain should be the holy grail for researchers.
“Historically beta amyloid has been thought of as junk — something we don’t want,” said Dr Gawain McColl, an expert in the biology of ageing from the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health and a co-author of the study.

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Link to article abstract in Science Translational Medicine:

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A global early warning system for infectious diseases

(Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies 19 May 2016) In the recent issue of EMBO reports, Barbara Han of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies and John Drake of the University of Georgia Odum School of Ecology call for the creation of a global early warning system for infectious diseases. Such a system would use computer models to tap into environmental, epidemiological and molecular data, gathering the intelligence needed to forecast where disease risk is high and what actions could prevent outbreaks or contain epidemics.

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Antibiotic treatment speeds up spread of resistance in the gonorrhea superbug

(PLOS 19 May 2016) Neisseria gonorrhoeae is a sexually transmitted bacterium that has developed broad resistance against antibiotics. A study published on May 19 in PLOS Pathogens suggests that screening and treatment of infected patients might actually spread resistance against the one remaining recommended treatment. Moreover, while intuitively compelling, frequent change of sexual partners does not appear to be a major driver of the spread of antibiotic resistance.

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Christchurch microbiologist may have cracked Crohn’s disease Martin Van Beynen 21 May 2016

Research by Christchurch microbiologist John Aitken has recorded a major advance in the treatment of Crohn’s disease, which affects 20,000 New Zealanders.   His laboratory has not only isolated and grown the Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) thought to have a role in Crohn’s but has also developed a technique to make it visible. Even though the process is difficult, his technique takes only 10 days and has been repeated at a laboratory in Australia.

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New superbug case at St Vincent’s Hospital and St George’s health service in Kew

Brisbane Times Julia Medew May 19 2016

St Vincent’s Hospital is screening patients for a superbug that can kill up to half the people it infects, after the bacteria was discovered in an elderly patient who had surgery there six months ago.
St George’s Health Service in Kew – a St Vincent’s rehabilitation and aged care facility – is also on high alert because the patient, Renee Scott, is now being cared for there in a single room with strict infection control procedures.
Mrs Scott, 81, is carrying the antibiotic resistant bacteria called Carbapenem Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), a relatively new superbug that is fuelling grave concern in Australia about a post-antibiotic era. The bacteria can colonise a person’s bowel or skin without harming them, but if it causes an infection, there are very few antibiotics that can treat it, if at all. Infections with the bacteria carry a death rate of about 50 per cent.

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Superbugs will kill 10 million people a year by 2050

Brisbane Times Nick Miller May 19 2016

Australia is to be invited to join a global, multibillion-dollar fight against superbugs which are predicted to kill more people than cancer if left unchecked.
The call will come from the UK where Britain’s Treasury secretary Jim O’Neill released the results of an 18-month review into antimicrobial resistance, warning that superbugs will kill 10 million people a year by 2050 – more than cancer kills today.

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BBC News report Superbugs will ‘kill every three seconds’

Link to final report & recommendations of Tackling Drug-Resistant Infections Globally released May 19, 2016: