17 posts · 21,170 views
Typically when we think of flying things and influenza viruses, the first images that come to mind are wild waterfowl. Waterbirds are reservoirs for an enormous diversity of influenza viruses, and are the ultimate origin of all known flu viruses. In birds, the virus replicates in the intestinal tract, and can be spread to other animals (including humans) via fecal material.
However, a new paper expands a chapter on another family of flying animals within the influenza story: bats.
I've writt........ Read more »
Suxiang Tong, Yan Li, Pierre Rivailler, Christina Conrardy, Danilo A. Alvarez Castillo, Li-Mei Chen, Sergio Recuenco, James A. Ellison, Charles T. Davis, Ian A. York.... (2012) A distinct lineage of influenza A virus from bats. PNAS . info:/
I recently gave a talk to a group here in Iowa City, emphasizing just how frequently we share microbes. It was a noontime talk over a nice lunch, and of course I discussed how basically we humans are hosts to all kinds of organisms, and analysis of our "extended microbiome" shows that we share not only with each other, but also with a large number of other species. We certainly do this with my particular organism of interest, Staphylococcus aureus. There are many reports in the literature showi........ Read more »
Lance B. Price, Marc Stegger, Henrik Hasman, Maliha Aziz, Jesper Larsen, Paal Skytt Andersen, Talima Pearson, Andrew E. Waters, Jeffrey T. Foster, James Schupp.... (2012) Staphylococcus aureus CC398: Host Adaptation and Emergence of Methicillin Resistance in Livestock . mBio, 3(1), 305-311. info:/10.1128/mBio.00305-11
Aah, the things one learns when awake at 3AM on a Saturday night. Via a few different Tweeps, I ran across this article from Men's Health magazine, titled "Urgent Warning: Sex with Animals Causes Cancer."
I probably should have just stopped there.
But no, I read the magazine article, which states:
Brazilian researchers polled nearly 500 men from a dozen cities, and found that--we're not joking around here--roughly 35 percent of the men had "made it" with an animal. That's a problem, because ........ Read more »
Zequi SD, Guimarães GC, da Fonseca FP, Ferreira U, de Matheus WE, Reis LO, Aita GA, Glina S, Fanni VS, Perez MD.... (2011) Sex with Animals (SWA): Behavioral Characteristics and Possible Association with Penile Cancer. A Multicenter Study. The journal of sexual medicine. PMID: 22023719
...when it contains a weird gene conferring methicillin resistance that many tests miss.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has become a big issue in the past 15 years or so, as it turned up outside of its old haunts (typically hospitals and other medical facilities) and started causing infections--sometimes very serious--in people who haven't been in a hospital before. Typically MRSA is diagnosed using basic old-school microbiology techniques: growing the bacteria on an agar pl........ Read more »
Laura García-Álvarez, Matthew TG Holden, Heather Lindsay, Cerian R Webb, Derek FJ Brown, Martin D Curran, Enid Walpole, Karen Brooks, Derek J Pickard, Christopher Teale.... (2011) Meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus with a novel mecA homologue in human and bovine populations in the UK and Denmark: a descriptive study. Lancet Infectious Diseases. info:/
Ebola has long been associated with wildlife. From the early days, bats were viewed as a potential reservoir (though it wasn't confirmed that they actually harbored the virus until 2005). Contact with wild animals--particularly primates which were butchered for food--was also long thought to be a risk factor, and now we know that primates can become ill with Ebola and pass the virus to humans.
What hadn't been examined until 2008 were pigs. I mean, it's not exactly the animal you associate wit........ Read more »
Kobinger GP, Leung A, Neufeld J, Richardson JS, Falzarano D, Smith G, Tierney K, Patel A, & Weingartl HM. (2011) Replication, Pathogenicity, Shedding, and Transmission of Zaire ebolavirus in Pigs. The Journal of infectious diseases. PMID: 21571728
It's been not even a month since the last paper looking at MRSA in meat, and up pops another one. So far here in the US, we've seen studies in Rhode Island (no MRSA found); Louisiana (MRSA found in beef and pork, but "human" types: USA100 and USA300); the recent Waters et al study sampling in California, Florida, Illinois, Washington DC, and Arizona, finding similar strains (ST8 and ST5, associated with USA300 and USA100, respectively). Now a new study has collected MRSA samples in Detroit, coll........ Read more »
Bhargava K, Wang X, Donabedian S, Zervos M, da Rocha L, Zhang Y. (2011) Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Retail Meat, Detroit, Michigan, USA. Emerging Infectious Diseases. info:/10.3201/eid1706.101095
An ahead-of-print paper in Emerging Infectious Diseases is generating some buzz in the mainstream media. While the findings are interesting, I'm honestly not sure how they got published, being so preliminary.
Like many areas, Vancouver, British Columbia has seen a jump in the prevalence of bedbugs. After finding impoverished patients infested with the bugs, researchers decided to collect some and test them for pathogens--specifically, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vanc........ Read more »
Lowe CF, Romney MG. (2011) Bedbugs as Vectors for Drug-Resistant Bacteria. Emerging Infectious Diseases. info:/
As Maryn McKenna and others have reported, a paper was released on Friday showing a high percentage of drug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus contaminating raw, retail-available meat products. There has been a lot of media coverage of this finding--so what does the study say, and what are its implications? More after the jump.
Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »
Waters, A., Contente-Cuomo, T., Buchhagen, J., Liu, C., Watson, L., Pearce, K., Foster, J., Bowers, J., Driebe, E., Engelthaler, D.... (2011) Multidrug-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus in US Meat and Poultry. Clinical Infectious Diseases. DOI: 10.1093/cid/cir181
A little over a year ago I put a post up documenting research out of Canada which found methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in Canadian pigs. This had also been seen in Europe (with a lot of research coming out of the Netherlands). What I didn't note at the time was that we were gearing up to start some sampling of our own on area swine farms. Some of you saw that we presented the results of that research last year at ICEID and ASM; now the paper is out describing our pilot pro........ Read more »
Tara C. Smith, Michael J. Male, Abby L. Harper, Jennifer S. Kroeger, Gregory P. Tinkler, Erin D. Moritz, Ana W. Capuano, Loreen A. Herwaldt, & Daniel J. Diekema. (2008) Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Strain ST398 Is Present in Midwestern U.S. Swine and Swine Workers. PLoS ONE, 4(1). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0004258
E DEBOER, J ZWARTKRUISNAHUIS, B WIT, X HUIJSDENS, A DENEELING, T BOSCH, R VANOOSTEROM, A VILA, & A HEUVELINK. (2008) Prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in meat. International Journal of Food Microbiology. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2008.12.007
Few things can take me out of blogging hibernation (especially when the next grant deadline is Monday...) However, one of those things that I'll carve out time to write about is an interesting, hot-off-the-presses Ebola paper, and especially one describing a new strain of the virus--and there just happens to be such a paper in the new edition of PLoS Pathogens. Details after the jump...
Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »
Jonathan S. Towner, Tara K. Sealy, Marina L. Khristova, César G. Albariño, Sean Conlan, Serena A. Reeder, Phenix-Lan Quan, W. Ian Lipkin, Robert Downing, Jordan W. Tappero.... (2008) Newly Discovered Ebola Virus Associated with Hemorrhagic Fever Outbreak in Uganda. PLoS Pathogens, 4(11). DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1000212
Oh, let's go back to the start... --Coldplay, "The Scientist"
A decade ago, a paper by Andrew Wakefield and colleagues was published in The Lancet, detailing the cases of 12 children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Anecdotal reports from parents of several of these children suggested that the onset of their condition followed receipt of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine. Wakefield concluded following this research that the MMR vaccine was unsafe, and could play a causative ........ Read more »
Mady Hornig, Thomas Briese, Timothy Buie, Margaret L. Bauman, Gregory Lauwers, Ulrike Siemetzki, Kimberly Hummel, Paul A. Rota, William J. Bellini, John J. O'Leary.... (2008) Lack of Association between Measles Virus Vaccine and Autism with Enteropathy: A Case-Control Study. PLoS ONE, 3(9). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0003140
An interesting new paper is just out today in PLoS ONE. You recall the announcement a few years back that soft tissue that resembled organic tissue had been isolated from a Tyrannosaurus femur. This started off a huge controversy in the field (and beyond)--researchers disagreeing with each other whether the structures seen were indeed blood cells and vessels; creationists crowing about how this finding represented "proof" that the earth was indeed young and dinosaurs had existed just a few tho........ Read more »
Thomas Kaye, Gary Gaugler, Zbigniew Sawlowicz, & Anna Stepanova. (2008) Dinosaurian Soft Tissues Interpreted as Bacterial Biofilms. PLoS ONE, 3(7). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0002808
I don't understand how some segments of the population believe that "natural" always equates to "better." I certainly get the appeal of being close to nature; the romanticism of living simply and from the earth. I grew up and live currently in a rural area where people are close to animals and the land. But I also know that some of the most deadly poisons in the world are "natural." I know that, while most microbes out there are harmless, and many are eve........ Read more »
M PERKIN, & D STRACHAN. (2006) Which aspects of the farming lifestyle explain the inverse association with childhood allergy?. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 117(6), 1374-1381. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaci.2006.03.008
It's hard to believe that it's been 2 years since Iowa's 2006 mumps outbreak (more background and details on that here, here, here, and here).
By the time the outbreak ended, 8 states had been heavily affected (and 45 reported at least one case), with a total of 6584 cases of mumps and 85 hospitalizations reported by the end of 2006. All told, this was the largest outbreak of the virus in approximately 20 years, after a 1986-1990 outbreak resulted in a change in the rec........ Read more »
G Dayan. (2008) Recent Resurgence of Mumps in the United States. New England Journal of Medicine, 358 (15), 1580-1589. http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/short/358/15/1580
1980 marked a milestone in infectious disease epidemiology: the World Health Organization declared the smallpox virus eradicated in the wild. However, while smallpox currently exists only in frozen stocks, poxviruses as a class certainly haven't disappeared. A related virus, monkeypox, regularly causes illness in Africa, and even spread half a world away in the American midwest.
Additionally, Africa isn't the only area with endemic poxvirus infections. Brazil has been dealing wi........ Read more »
BEE Martina. (2006) Cowpox Virus Transmission from Rats to Monkeys, the Netherlands. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 12(6), 1005-1007. http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/eid/vol12no06/pdfs/05-1513.pdf
I really need more time to fill in a gap in my microbiology education: environmental microbiology. I run across papers all the time that are absolutely fascinating, and wish I had a free year to just take some additional coursework in this area. For instance, a paper in today's Science magazine discusses how atmospheric bacteria result in the formation of snow; more after the jump. Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »
Though there still may be some lingering doubt about the cause of the Black Death and subsequent outbreaks of plague, the pathogen behind the outbreaks that have taken place in the last 150 years or so is much less ambiguous. Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »
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