The concentration of enterococci, bacteria that thrive in feces, has long been the federal standard for determining water quality. Researchers have now shown that the greatest influences on that concentration are the quantity of mammalian feces in the water, and the numbers of enterococci that glom onto floating particulate matter.
Knowledge that the gastrointestinal flora affects both healthy physiological processes and various disease mechanisms has increased in recent years. A study conducted at Lund University is now published in one of the leading hematology journals, Blood Advances, and reveals a previously unknown link between the bacteria in the gut and acute lung injury after blood transfusions.
Researchers at Nationwide Children's Hospital have developed Lactobacillus reuteri biofilm formulations that protect against experimental necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC).
Osaka University-led researchers clarified how pathogenic E. coli bacteria attached to the host intestinal epithelium. They revealed that type IV pili on the surface of the bacteria were not sufficient for adherence to intestinal epithelial cells and that proteins secreted by E.coli were also necessary. It was found that this attachment mechanism might be a common feature in many enteropathogens such as Vibrio cholera and constitutes a novel therapeutic target against such bacterial pathogens.
The bacteria that cause the devastating disease tuberculosis have the ability to escape destruction and grow after they are engulfed by lung macrophages, the immune cells that are supposed to destroy pathogens. Now researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham have described key biochemical steps between the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis and the macrophage responsible for that ability.
MSU-based biologists advanced in understanding of fungal drug resistance mechanisms. To study them the scientists used baker's yeast expressing fluorescent proteins fused with the membrane transporters. Fungi activate the protection mechanisms in response to accumulation of toxic compounds in their cells. The study showed that the resistance of yeast (and possibly pathogenic fungi) to antimycotic agents is more complex than it was previously thought. Its results were published in the Scientific Reports journal.
New research shows how two biological control agents have been effective in reducing the numbers of feral rabbits in Australia. Using data from the largest wild rabbit study in the world, scientists have examined the long-term interaction of myxoma and rabbit haemorrhagic disease viruses.
Treatments using antibiotics should stop as soon as possible to prevent patients passing the 'tipping point' of becoming resistant to their effects, new research has shown.
In 2015, a New Delhi-metallo-beta-lactamase (NDM) Escherichia coli bacteria was discovered in two Finnish dogs. An article recently published in the journal Eurosurveillance reveals that the dogs' owner did also carry the bacterium. This is presumably the first time in the world that the transmission of NDM-bacteria between a dog and a human has been reported.
Candida albicans is a fungal species causing infection in humans. A team of scientists decided to sequence and analyze the genomes of 182 strains of C. albicans from around the world. They confirmed the clonal reproduction of this human pathogen but also showed that parasexual reproduction, previously only observed in a laboratory setting, contributes to the genetic diversity of C. albicans and therefore also to its ability to adapt to new environments and rid itself of deleterious mutations.