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

What makes the plague so deadly?

Radio National Health Report Norman Swan, Soman Abraham 31 August 2015

There’s a lot we could learn about yersinia pestis, the bacteria behind the Black Death and the Justinian Plague.

Research in mice has uncovered eerie similarities between the y. pestis and the AIDS virus in the way it causes havoc to human bodies.

Listen or download audio (Note: Transcript will be available from same link within 2 days)

Borne in the USA

Radio National Health Report Norman Swan, Kelly Padgett 31 August 2015

In the months since April this year, the United States has seen 12 cases of bubonic plague, resulting in four deaths.

These are small numbers, but yersinia pestis – the bacteria that causes the plague – has only ever been one mutation, or natural disaster, away from a potential catastrophe.

Listen or download audio (Note: Transcript will be available at same link within 2 days)

Thousands of microbes in house dust

BBC News Rebecca Morelle 26 August 2015

The dust in our homes contains an average of 9,000 different types of fungi and bacteria, a study suggests.

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‘Complacency’ by hospital staff contributed to meningococcal death

ABC News Isabella HIggins 28 August 2015

A 17-year-old girl suffering from meningococcal septicaemia may still be alive today if medical staff had been less complacent and properly used a health alert system, a Queensland coroner rules.

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Plague Cases in US Are Unusually High This Year

Live Science 25 August 2015

There’s been an unusually high number of plague cases in the United States this year, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

‘Clue’ to cystic fibrosis infection

BBC News 21 August 2015

American scientists have shed light on why a common and often serious lung infection in people who have cystic fibrosis can be so hard to treat.

Researchers at the University of Washington have discovered different survival traits in bacteria, depending on where in the lungs they are lodged.

Scientists say this may have helped some bugs evade antibiotic therapy.

The study appears in Cell Host & Microbe. View the full text

How DNA detectives are helping solve the rise of superbug

The Guardian (UK) 22 August 2015

It is now 12 years since the first set of genetic instructions in a human was sequenced. Many of our hopes for using knowledge about the human genome to better fight the likes of heart disease and cancer still lie years and decades in the future, but DNA sequencing in healthcare is not all about tomorrow. It is already revolutionising clinical microbiology. Most exciting of all, it is giving us an important tool in our battle with drug-resistant strains of bacteria. These strains are one of the major growing threats to human health, and have just prompted new guidelines in the UK on how GPs should prescribe antibiotics.