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 […]

Vampire-like Predatory Bacteria Could Become A Living Antibiotic : Discover Magazine

“What’s the news: If bacteria had blood, the predatory microbe Micavibrio aeruginosavorus would essentially be a vampire: it subsists by hunting down other bugs, attaching to them, and sucking their life out. For the first time, researchers have sequenced the genome of this strange microorganism, which was first identified decades ago in sewage water. The […]

Another step forward in the future of anti-microbials

Title: PLoS ONE: Antifungal Activity of Microbial Secondary Metabolites “Secondary metabolites are well known for their ability to impede other microorganisms. Reanalysis of a screen of natural products using the Caenorhabditis elegans-Candida albicans infection model identified twelve microbial secondary metabolites capable of conferring an increase in survival to infected nematodes.” I keep thinking of the […]

Superbugs Predate Wonder Drugs – ScienceNOW

“It’s a “carefully done study,” adds George Church, a geneticist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. “Non-scientists (and even scientists) forget how important it is to confirm ideas that are widely accepted,” he writes in an e-mail. Church’s only gripe is that the samples were 30,000 years old, even though antibiotic resistance genes […]

PLoS Pathogens: Selection of Resistant Bacteria at Very Low Antibiotic Concentrations

“These results add another dimension to the evolution of resistance and suggest that the low antibiotic concentrations found in many natural environments are important for enrichment and maintenance of resistance in bacterial populations.” I get a feeling that antibiotics will soon become as archaic as blood-letting. The sooner we deal with the consequences that any […]

PLoS ONE: The Gut as Reservoir of Antibiotic Resistance: Microbial Diversity of Tetracycline Resistance in Mother and Infant

“These findings reinforce the notion that the human GIT is currently a relevant environment for the spread of antibiotic resistances, even in the case of young infants that solely ingest maternal milk. Further analyses involving more mother-infant pairs will be required in order to establish whether the trends observed in this case study describe the […]

ScienceShot: Toads Keep Their Brains Germ-Free – ScienceNOW

“By performing genetic analyses and mass spectrometry on ground-up toad brains, the researchers found 79 different antimicrobial peptides—the widest variety ever seen in the brain of any animal.” As antibiotics start to lose their efficacy, new sources and mechanisms of antimicrobials will have to be found, such as bacteriocins and these peptides from frogs. Bookmarked […]