Tag: Microbiology

Mouthwash use could inhibit benefits of exercise

Exercise is known to reduce blood pressure — but the activity of bacteria in our mouths may determine whether we experience this benefit, according to new research. An international team of scientists has shown that the blood pressure-lowering effect of exercise is significantly reduced when people rinse their mouths with antibacterial mouthwash, rather than water

Manuka honey to kill drug-resistant bacteria found in cystic fibrosis infections

Manuka honey could provide the key to a breakthrough treatment for cystic fibrosis patients following preliminary work by experts at Swansea University. Dr Rowena Jenkins and Dr Aled Roberts have found that using Manuka honey could offer an antibiotic alternative to treat antimicrobial resistant respiratory infections, particularly deadly bacteria found in Cystic Fibrosis (CF) infections.

How ‘superbug’ E. coli clones take over human gut

A ‘superbug’ clone of E. coli has evolved to prevent itself from becoming so dominant that it could potentially wipe out the bacteria from existence, scientists led by the University of Birmingham have discovered. The researchers investigated how and why a clone of E. coli called ST131 — dubbed a ‘superbug’ because it is resistant

A gut feeling for mental health

The first population-level study on the link between gut bacteria and mental health identifies specific gut bacteria linked to depression and provides evidence that a wide range of gut bacteria can produce neuroactive compounds. Jeroen Raes (VIB-KU Leuven) and his team published these results today in the scientific journal Nature Microbiology. In their manuscript entitled

Whopping big viruses prey on human gut bacteria: Largest phages ever found in humans target bacteria associated with hunter-gatherer diets

Viruses plague bacteria just as viruses like influenza plague humans. Some of the largest of these so-called bacteriophages have now been found in the human gut, where they periodically devastate bacteria just as seasonal outbreaks of flu lay humans low, according to a new study led by University of California, Berkeley, scientists. These “megaphages” —

Engineers repurpose wasp venom as an antibiotic drug

The venom of insects such as wasps and bees is full of compounds that can kill bacteria. Unfortunately, many of these compounds are also toxic for humans, making it impossible to use them as antibiotic drugs. After performing a systematic study of the antimicrobial properties of a toxin normally found in a South American wasp,

Taking out the (life-threatening) garbage: Bacteria eject trash to survive: ‘Minicell’ pods, used in drug delivery, discard damaged proteins to prolong life

Scientists have known for decades that certain bacteria produce small spherical versions of themselves. Although they lack basic materials to reproduce or function like normal cells, recent interest in such “minicells” has spiked due to their proficiency as nano-sized delivery tools for drugs and vaccines to targeted cells and tissues. Yet the natural role of

Cancer drug and antidepressants provide clues for treating brain-eating amoeba infections

The amoeba Naegleria fowleri is commonly found in warm swimming pools, lakes and rivers. On rare occasions, the amoeba can infect a healthy person and cause severe primary amebic meningoencephalitis, a “brain-eating” disease that is almost always fatal. Other than trial-and-error with general antifungal medications, there are no treatments for the infection. Researchers at Skaggs

How hungry bacteria sense nutrients in their environment

University of Leicester researchers have shed new light on how bacteria sense nutrients in their environment — a finding that could provide important knowledge in the development of drugs and antibiotics to combat a range of diseases including tuberculosis. The research team, led by Dr Helen O’Hare from the University of Leicester’s Department of Infection,

Technology to enable precision antibiotics: Chemically enhanced phage display proves capable of recognizing specific strains of bacterial pathogens

Scientists are searching for ways to develop antibiotics that can accurately target infectious bacteria. Increased specificity could help to combat antibiotic resistance and also spare “good” bacteria from being attacked by broad-spectrum antibiotics. Efforts to develop targeted antibiotics have been constrained by the difficulty of quick diagnosis and the development of targeted killing mechanisms. A

Human MAIT cells sense the metabolic state of enteric bacteria

A little-explored group of immune cells plays an important role in the regulation of intestinal bacteria. Changing metabolic states of the microbes have an effect on defense cells at different stages of alert or rest, as researchers from the Department of Biomedicine at the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the journal Mucosal

Study challenges ‘shock and kill’ approach to eliminating HIV

Researchers have provided new insight into the cellular processes behind the ‘shock and kill’ approach to curing HIV, which they say challenges the effectiveness of the treatment. Their study, published in the journal eLife, suggests the need to explore alternative treatment strategies against HIV — a virus which 36.7 million people globally were living with

Foodborne illness caused by common agricultural practice, casts doubts on biocidal product labeling

Chlorine, commonly used in the agriculture industry to decontaminate fresh produce, can make foodborne pathogens undetectable, according to new research published in mBio, an open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology. The study may help explain outbreaks of Salmonella enterica and Listeria monocytogenes among produce in recent years. “This important work is a major