International Human Microbe Program Looks Ahead – ScienceInsider

Indeed, Sharp said at the meeting, patients who come to Cleveland Clinic for treatment of inflammatory bowel disease express their own concerns about such approaches, which could include the use of probiotics, the consumption of live microorganisms, to treat intestinal and other maladies. “Many patients are worried about manipulating their gut microbiota,” Sharp said, adding […]

Microbiome sequencing offers hope for diagnostics : Nature News & Comment

“Jonathan Eisen [@phylogenomics], a microbiologist at University of California, Davis, is worried that microbiome research will eventually encounter the same backlash. “Without a doubt we are running into some of the same problems as the Human Genome Project,” he says. “There are many people who have oversold the human microbiome as the cause or cure […]

Dangerous C. difficile infections soar in US, but Massachusetts hospitals have cut germ’s spead – The Boston Globe

“A life-threatening germ that causes diarrhea and spreads easily from doctors’ offices to hospitals and nursing homes has climbed to historic highs nationally, federal disease trackers warned Tuesday, as they pointed to efforts in Massachusetts that have helped slow the rate of infections here.” More on this nasty bug. It’s now getting headlines. Read this […]

A human gut microbial gene catalogue established by metagenomic sequencing : Nature

“Beyond providing the global view of the human gut microbiome, the extensive gene catalogue we have established enables future studies of association of the microbial genes with human phenotypes and, even more broadly, human living habits, taking into account the environment, including diet, from birth to old age. We anticipate that these studies will lead […]

Genome Sequence of E. coli O104:H4 Leads to Rapid Development of a Targeted Antimicrobial Agent against This Emerging Pathogen – PLoS ONE

“A recent widespread outbreak of Escherichia coli O104:H4 in Germany demonstrates the dynamic nature of emerging and re-emerging food-borne pathogens, particularly STECs and related pathogenic E. coli. Rapid genome sequencing and public availability of these data from the German outbreak strain allowed us to identify an O-antigen-specific bacteriophage tail spike protein encoded in the genome. […]

Bacterial genomics: A new source of antimicrobial targets : Nature Reviews Microbiology

“Bacterial clone-based genome sequencing frequently results in gaps, which harbour hypothetical genes of unknown function. Sorek and colleagues show that these gaps contain a vast array of genes encoding proteins that are toxic to the sequencing host (Escherichia coli), including previously uncharacterized restriction enzymes, toxin–antitoxin systems and non-coding RNAs.” Of course, to me, this is […]

A Method for Generation Phage Cocktail with Great Therapeutic Potential – PLoS ONE

“Bacteriophage could be an alternative to conventional antibiotic therapy against multidrug-resistant bacteria. However, the emergence of resistant variants after phage treatment limited its therapeutic application. Our data showed that the phage cocktail was more effective in reducing bacterial mutation frequency and in the rescue of murine bacteremia than monophage suggesting that phage cocktail established by […]

Macro and Micro Diversity of Clostridium difficile Isolates from Diverse Sources and Geographical Locations – PLoS ONE

“Clostridium difficile has emerged rapidly as the leading cause of antibiotic-associated diarrheal disease, with the temporal and geographical appearance of dominant PCR ribotypes. We have undertaken a breadth genotyping study using multilocus sequence typing (MLST) analysis of 385 C. difficile strains from diverse sources by host (human, animal and food), geographical locations (North America, Europe […]

Broad Institute Gets $32.5 Million to Map Cell Circuits – ScienceInsider

“The Broad isn’t alone: Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle, the Salk Institute in San Diego, and University of California, San Diego, are also launching major efforts to study cell circuitry, says UCSD computational biologist Trey Ideker. He suggests that eventually these groups should […]

Two-Drug Antimicrobial Chemotherapy: A Mathematical Model and Experiments with Mycobacterium marinum – PLoS Pathogens

This paper is trying to measure and model the effectiveness of multi-drug antimicrobial chemotherapy. Antibiotics are notorious for losing effectiveness as the target microbe gains resistance to that single antibiotic. Being able to treat microorganism with multiple drugs is sometimes the only way to manage the disease – as in HIV or TB. But to […]