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Current Microbiology News and Events, Microbiology News Articles.
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Can the common cold help protect you from COVID-19?
A new study in mBio provides the first evidence that the seasonal colds you've had in the past could protect you from COVID-19. The study, authored by infectious disease experts at the University of Rochester Medical Center, also suggests that immunity to COVID-19 is likely to last a long time - maybe even a lifetime. (2020-09-29)

Water at the end of the tunnel
We humans need oxygen to breath - for a lot of microbes it is a lethal poison. That is why microorganisms have developed ways to render oxygen molecules harmless. Microbiologists from Bremen, Marburg and Grenoble have now succeeded in decrypting such a mechanism. They show, how methane-generating microbes transform oxygen into water without causing any damage to the cell. These findings are relevant for future bio-inspired processes. (2020-09-28)

The Lancet journals: Papers at Lancet journals' session at ESCMID Conference on Coronavirus Diseases (ECCVID)
The following papers will be presented at a Lancet journals' session at ECCVID 2020, organised by European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. The conference will take place online on Wednesday 23rd to Friday 25th September 2020, the society's first online conference focussing exclusively on COVID-19. (2020-09-23)

Neutralizing antibodies appear to protect humans from coronavirus infection
A Seattle fishing vessel that departed port in May returned 18 days later with an unusual haul: the first human evidence that neutralizing antibodies provide protection from reinfection by SARS-CoV-2. The research is published in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, a publication of the American Society for Microbiology. (2020-08-26)

New analysis shows hydroxychloroquine does not lower mortality in COVID-19 patients, and is associated with increased mortality when combined with the antibiotic azithromycin
A new meta-analysis of published studies into the drug hydroxychloroquine shows that it does not lower mortality in COVID-19 patients, and using it combined with the antibiotic azithromycin is associated with a 27% increased mortality. The study is published in Clinical Microbiology and Infection. (2020-08-26)

Evolution in real-time: How bacteria adapt to their hosts
Bacteria that invade animal cells in order to multiply are widespread in nature. Some of these are pathogens of humans and animals. (2020-08-18)

Cryo-EM study yields new clues to chicken pox infection
Stanford and SLAC scientists studying the varicella zoster virus found that an antibody that blocks infection doesn't work exactly as they'd thought. (2020-08-18)

Ultra-low voltage proven effective at killing bacteria, study finds
Research into the antimicrobial properties of ultra-low voltage electricity demonstrates that the power creates holes in the bacteria's outer membrane allowing two-way leakage and ultimately killing the cell. (2020-08-17)

Virus uses decoy strategy to evade immune system, Otago research reveals
University of Otago researchers have learnt more about how viruses operate and can evade the immune system and are now using their discovery to help learn more about COVID-19. (2020-08-13)

Protein uses two antiviral strategies to ward off infections
To protect humans against infection, a protein called MARCH8 tags the vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) for destruction while it merely holds HIV hostage, a new study in eLife shows. (2020-08-11)

Scientists discover curious clues in the war between cf bacteria
Several different kinds of bacteria can cause lung infections in people with cystic fibrosis. Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which can cause pneumonia, typically infects infants or young children and persists for life, while Burkholderia cepacia complex species only infect teenagers and adults. Although Burkholderia infections are rare, when they do take hold, they are deadly. Now, UNC School of Medicine scientists have discovered a reason for this pathogen's apparent age discrimination. (2020-08-07)

Scientists discover new concept of bacterial gene regulation
Microbiologist Prof. Kai Papenfort and his team at Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Germany) discovered a new mechanism of autoregulation during gene expression that relies on small regulatory ribonucleic acids (sRNAs) and the major endoribonuclease RNase E. (2020-08-06)

Children's National Hospital case report sounds the alarm for antibiotic resistance
A recent meningitis case at Children's National Hospital raises serious concerns about antibiotic resistance in the common bacterium that caused it, researchers from the hospital write in a case report. Their findings, published online August 3 in the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society, could change laboratory and clinical practice across the US and potentially around the globe (2020-08-03)

The six strains of SARS-CoV-2
SARS-CoV-2 mutation rate remains low. Across Europe and Italy, the most widespread is strain G, while the L strain from Wuhan is gradually disappearing. These mutations, however, do not impinge on the process of developing effective vaccines (2020-08-03)

Chlamydia: Greedy for glutamine
If chlamydiae want to multiply in a human cell, the first thing they need is a lot of glutamine. W├╝rzburg researchers have clarified how the pathogenic bacteria obtain this substance. (2020-08-03)

Scientists find new way to kill tuberculosis
Scientists have discovered a new way of killing the bacteria that cause tuberculosis (TB), using a toxin produced by the germ itself. (2020-07-29)

'Good' virus for common infection
Australian researchers have shown how viruses can be used to save lives, developing the potential use of bacteriophages in bandages to treat life-threatening golden staph infections which may not respond to traditional antibiotics. Targeting multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus ('golden staph') in diabetic foot ulcers, Flinders University microbiology researchers have joined infectious diseases and pharmaceutical partners to show the usefulness of a possible 'phage cocktail' therapy on wound infections. (2020-07-29)

Healthy international travelers not likely to acquire Candida auris
Researchers have shown that there is a low risk for healthy people to acquire Candida auris during travel. The research is presented at ASM Microbe Online, the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology. (2020-07-24)

Artificial intelligence can help predict the bacteria responsible for pneumonia in emergency rooms
A team of researchers showed that artificial intelligence (AI) could help predict the type of bacteria that caused the infection in patients with pneumonia. The research is presented at ASM Microbe Online, the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology. (2020-07-24)

How viruses and bacteria balance each other in the gut microbiome
A tiny arms race between bacteria and the viruses that attack them inside the gut could eventually offer a new way to treat out-of-balance microbiomes. (2020-07-21)

A new species of darkling beetle larvae that degrade plastic
POSTECH Professor Hyung Joon Cha's research team confirms biodegradation of polystyrene using darkling beetle larvae found in Korea. (2020-07-20)

Neonatal exposure to antigens of commensal bacteria promotes broader immune repertoire
Researchers have added fresh evidence that early exposure to vaccine-, bacterial- or microbiota-derived antigens has a dramatic effect on the diversity of antibodies an adult mammal will have to fight future infections by pathogens. This antibody diversity is called the clonal repertoire -- basically different single cells with distinct antibody potential that can multiply into a large clone of cells, all producing that distinct antibody. (2020-07-09)

Bad E. coli we know, but good E. coli?
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine say E. coli Nissle may protect human cells against other more pathogenic strains of E. coli such as E. coli 0157:H7, which is commonly associated with contaminated hamburger meat. (2020-07-07)

Researchers identify N95 respirator decontamination method using microwave-generated steam
N95 respirators are recommended by the CDC as the ideal protection method from COVID-19 and, although traditionally single-use, PPE shortages have necessitated the need for reuse. New research published this week in mBio an open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, describes an effective, standardized method of decontamination for hospitals and health care centers facing N95 respirator shortages. (2020-06-25)

COVID-19: Bacteriophage could decrease mortality
Bacteriophage can reduce bacterial growth in the lungs, limiting fluid build-up. This could decrease the mortality of patients affected by COVID-19 (2020-06-24)

Asymptomatic COVID-19 patients also contaminate the environment
Both symptomatic and asymptomatic COVID-19 patients have the capability of contaminating their surroundings, according to a new study published in mSphere, an open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology. The data, which comes from a patient study conducted in China, demonstrates the importance of environmental cleaning in areas occupied by patients with COVID-19. (2020-06-24)

SARS-CoV-2: New insights on antibody testing and RNA testing
Two types of tests are used to track SARS-CoV-2. Reverse transcriptase PCR (rt-PCR) tests for current infection. Antibody tests reveal that an infection has taken place, even long after the fact. Each of 2 papers published in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology (JCM) addresses one of these testing modalities. (2020-06-22)

MMR vaccine could protect against the worst symptoms of COVID-19
Administering the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine could serve as a preventive measure to dampen septic inflammation associated with COVID-19 infection, say a team of experts in this week's mBio, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology. (2020-06-19)

COVID-19 may have consequences for mental health
The COVID-19 pandemic appears to be adversely affecting mental health among hospitalised patients, the healthcare professionals treating them and the general population. This is shown in a new review from the University of Copenhagen that gathers the current knowledge on mental symptoms and mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. (2020-06-18)

Virus co-opts immune protein to avoid antiviral defences
By discovering a trick the hepatitis C virus uses to evade the immune system, scientists have identified a new antiviral defence system that could be used to treat many virus infections, according to new research published today in eLife. (2020-06-16)

Potential high-risk clones identified among S. maltophilia strains in European hospitals
UAB researchers, based on a collection of clinical isolates from several countries, have established a link between the cell-to-cell communication system (the quorum sensing) and the virulence and resistance phenotypes in Stenotrophomonas maltophilia. In addition they have identified potential high-risk clones circulating worldwide. (2020-06-10)

Small study demonstrates sample inactivation may lead to SARS-CoV-2 false negatives
A team of investigators led by Chaofeng Ma of Xi'an Center for Disease Control and Prevention hypothesized that viral inactivation may contribute to false negatives. They have now tested several inactivation methodologies to determine if and to what extent they reduce detectible virus in a clinical sample. The research appears May 29th in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, a publication of the American Society for Microbiology. (2020-06-02)

New gut-brain link: How gut mucus could help treat brain disorders
Gut bacterial imbalance is linked with many neurological disorders. Now researchers have identified a common thread: changes in gut mucus. It's a new gut-brain connection that opens fresh paths for scientists searching for ways to treat brain disorders by targeting our 'second brain' - the gut. (2020-05-29)

Sugar turns brown algae into good carbon stores
Brown algae are important players in the global carbon cycle by fixing large amounts of carbon dioxide and thus extracting this greenhouse gas from the atmosphere. Moreover, because microbial decomposition of dead brown algae is slower than that of other marine plants, carbon dioxide fixed by brown algae remains much longer in the sea. Scientists from Bremen therefore explored why brown algae degrade so slowly. They found that only highly specialized bacteria can carry out the degradation with the help of more than hundred enzymes. (2020-05-26)

USF researchers find human-driven pollution alters the environment even underground
The Monte Conca cave system in Sicily is showing signs of being altered by pollution from above. (2020-05-08)

Two drugs show promise against COVID-19
Korean researchers have screened 48 FDA-approved drugs against SARS-CoV-2, and found that two, that are already FDA-approved for other illnesses, seem promising. The FDA approval for other uses would greatly reduce the time needed to gain FDA approval of use in COVID-19. The research is published in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology. (2020-05-04)

Synthetic antibodies built with bacterial superglue could help fight emerging viruses
Synthetic antibodies constructed using bacterial superglue can neutralise potentially lethal viruses, according to a study published on April 21 in eLife. (2020-04-28)

Researchers develop breakthrough antibody test for COVID-19 virus
A recent article published in Current Protocols in Microbiology details a breakthrough antibody test for COVID-19. (2020-04-24)

New ethane-munching microbes discovered at hot vents
Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen have discovered a microbe that feeds on ethane at deep-sea hot vents. They also succeeded in cultivating this microbe in the laboratory. What is particularly remarkable is that the mechanism by which it breaks down ethane is reversible. In the future, this could allow to use these microbes to produce ethane as an energy source. The study has now been published in the journal mBio. (2020-04-21)

Large population study links blood infection with certain bacteria to increased risk of colorectal cancer
New research due to be presented at this year's European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) shows a link between blood infections with certain anaerobic bacteria and the risk of developing colorectal cancer. The study is by Dr. Ulrik Stenz Justesen, Odense University Hospital, Denmark, and colleagues. (2020-04-20)

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