Houston superbug problem has been lurking for years, say researchers

May 18, 2017 by  
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Houston has a superbug problem, and it’s been lurking for years. A particularly virulent strain of Klebsiella pneumoniae , a bacteria that’s resistant to a broad spectrum of antibiotics, has a firm foothold on the Texan city, according to new research published in mBio , an online journal published by the American Society for Microbiology . Using genome sequencing, scientists from the Houston Methodist Research Institute found clone type 307 was responsible for more than one-third of resistant K. pneumoniae infections in their system. “Finding the otherwise uncommon strain in our city was a very surprising discovery,” James M. Musser, senior author of the study and chair of the Department of Pathology and Genomic Medicine at the Houston Methodist Research Institute and Houston Methodist Hospital, said in a statement. “Because K. pneumoniae is a common and important cause of human infections, we urgently need to identify potential vaccine targets or other new treatments, and develop new and rapid diagnostic techniques.” K. pneumoniae usually resides in the human intestines, where it doesn’t cause disease. When it migrates to other parts of the body, however, the bacteria can trigger infections such as pneumonia, meningitis, or blood septicity. Related: Student discovers a way to destroy superbug bacteria without antibiotics Musser’s team worked with researchers at Argonne National Laboratory and University of Chicago to analyze the genomes of 1,777 K. pneumoniae strains that caused infections in patients at Houston Methodist between September 2011 and May 2015. Clone type 307 emerged as the most abundant strain. But although the organism has been documented in regions of Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America, the study marks the first time it’s been singled out for causing such a broad number of infections in one city. Why this strain is so common in Houston is still a mystery, Musser said. “The faster we can successfully identify which antibiotics this strain is sensitive to, the faster a treating physician can target the appropriate therapy to these ill patients,” said S. Wesley Long, primary author of the study and associate director of the Clinical Microbiology Laboratory at Houston Methodist Hospital. “Our discoveries also give us the tools to begin to understand how the germ is spreading throughout the Houston area.” Earlier this year, an elderly woman in Nevada died from a K. pneumoniae infection after failing to respond to all 26 antibiotics used in the United States. There’s no approved vaccine for the superbug, but scientists are working on it. “Fortunately, the strain 307 identified in our study remains susceptible to certain antibiotics that can be used to successfully treat infected patients,” said Long. + American Society for Microbiology Via CBS News Photos by Unsplash

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Houston superbug problem has been lurking for years, say researchers

Stanford students take on dangerous superbugs

August 10, 2016 by  
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Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, or “ superbugs ,” are one of the biggest challenges of the medical community. They are popping up at faster rates as antibiotic use increases, causing serious alarm among professionals familiar with their power. A few undergraduate students from Stanford University believe they may be on to a revolutionary idea that could kill off some of the most dangerous superbugs out there. Last fall, students Zach Rosenthal, Christian Choe and Maria Filsinger Interrante entered a Stanford University competition to provide solutions for major healthcare problems. Their idea of developing a set of proteins to annihilate antibiotic-resistant bacteria won them a $10,000 grant to test their hypotheses. “As soon as I started to read literature about multidrug-resistant bacteria, I decided it was a huge need area and interestingly neglected by the pharmaceutical industry,” said now-graduated Filsinger Interrante. She says that a smaller market size, lower profitability, and seeming inevitability of drug resistance lowers manufacturers’ enthusiasm about producing new antibiotics . Related: Dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria found in food products for the first time The specifics of their project are being kept secret, yet Rosenthal explains the mechanism of their attack, “We target something that’s essential to bacterial survival.” Preliminary reports of their tests are successful and the team hopes to continue working toward finding the Achilles heel for Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Acinetobacter baumannii , two of the most drug-resistant and fatal superbugs existing today. Via NPR , Stanford News Images via Pexels, Stanford University

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Stanford students take on dangerous superbugs

Researchers find new way to beat antibiotic-resistant infections

January 2, 2015 by  
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Researchers have discovered a way to test bacteria for drug resistance more rapidly. It’s a potentially life-saving method that will enable doctors to find and attack bacterial infections quickly, instead of waiting for a day or more to find out to which drugs a patient might be resistant. More than 2 million people develop drug-resistant infections every year, according to Scientific American,  and 23,000 people die from those infections, due in part to an inability to diagnose and treat the infections quickly and effectively. The current method for testing bacteria for resistance is to “take a sample from the wound, blood, or urine” and expose it to a variety of drugs. It typically takes 16 to 20 hours to grow the bacteria and test it. Read the rest of Researchers find new way to beat antibiotic-resistant infections Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: antibiotic resistance , antibiotics , bacteria , bacteria diagnostic test , bacteria illness , bacteria resistance , CDC , Korean diagnostic test , seoul national university , single cell , single cell bacteria test , sunghoon kwon , superbugs , Tufts University

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Antibiotic-Resistant Super-Germs Found in Chinese Parks Irrigated With Recycled Water

August 5, 2014 by  
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Scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing have made an alarming discovery: After surveying parks across seven Chinese cities, they found that those watered with recycled waste water had higher counts of microbe genes for antibiotic-resistance than parks watered with fresh water. In fact, the antibiotic-resistance gene (ARG) levels were up to 8,655 times higher . Read the rest of Antibiotic-Resistant Super-Germs Found in Chinese Parks Irrigated With Recycled Water Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: antibiotic resistance , china , Chinese Academy of Sciences , genetics , germs , irrigation , microbes , parks , public health , reclaimed water , recycled waste water , recycled water , sewerage , superbugs , unsafe water , water issues

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Nearly 50 Percent of All US Meat is Contaminated with Superbugs

April 19, 2013 by  
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Photo via Shutterstock A new analysis by the Environmental Working Group has found that close to 50 percent of supermarket meat products in the US are tainted with so-called superbugs—strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. These bacteria are not only responsible for food-borne illnesses (such as E. coli), and other infections but are also tied to the spread of resistance to antibiotics in humans. The reason for this incredibly high presence of antibiotic resistant bacteria in meat? It has something to do with the 30 million pounds of antibiotics sold for use in US livestock in 2011 alone. Read the rest of Nearly 50 Percent of All US Meat is Contaminated with Superbugs Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: animal cruelty , Animals , antibiotics , antibiotics animals , e.coli , Environmental Working Group , ewg , farming drugs , food health , livestock , meat industry , MRSA , pharmaceuticals , salmonella , superbugs. food poisoning        

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Nearly 50 Percent of All US Meat is Contaminated with Superbugs

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