Looking for a local angle to cover antibiotic resistance?
Reporters can find potential stories by looking at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s newly released antibiotic resistance investment map which provides details on superbug cases in states and CDC efforts to contain their spread. Continue reading
The human mouth is home to a variety of ecological niches, inhabited by hundreds of microbial species.
Scientists are eager to learn more about that world and its dynamic population. They hope their study of the oral microbiome will eventually contribute to a deeper understanding of how oral flora contribute to health and disease.
One new study, recently published in Science, offers an example of the kind of work that is unfolding. Continue reading
This year the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS Now), a database and visualization tool that makes it quicker and easier to see how antibiotic resistance for four bacteria transmitted commonly through food – Campylobacter, E. coli O157, Salmonella, and Shigella – has changed during the past 18 years.
The tool allows users to access antibiotic resistance data by bacteria, antibiotic, year (1996-2013), and geographic region. It displays data on an interactive map or in tables. NARMS Now is designed to provide access to the most up-to-date antibiotic resistance results by uploading data regularly. Continue reading
Photo by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory via Flickr
With falling costs of genetic screening, research into the body’s microbial community has grown tremendously, offering new insights into what constitutes a healthy population of “bugs” and how these organisms are involved in disease, according to a panel discussion on Friday at Health Journalism 2014.
Bacteria account for about three pounds, on average, of our body weight – about the same size as the brain – and communities in various organ systems differ vastly, according to panelist Rob Knight, Ph.D., of the University of Colorado.
Knight’s lab develops technology that helps researchers turn data on these microbes into visual information – it’s been used for the Human Microbiome Project – and one representation shows just how divergent populations can be from one body part to the next. Continue reading
A study published in the April 2010 issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases finds the incidence of Clostridium difficile appears to be increasing in children. Other studies have found the diarrhea-causing bacterium is becoming “more severe and complicating many hospitalizations” among adults but this study found that “between 1997 and 2006, the rates of hospitalization for C. difficile in children nearly doubled.”
Researchers reported a low rate of C. diff. among newborns, which they say supports the concept that the bacteria does not cause disease among newborns.However, the study concludes that “In contrast, the relatively high rate of CDI-related hospitalizations among non-newborn infants indicates an urgent need for studies to determine how often C. difficile causes true disease in this population.”
Clostridium difficile Infection among Hospitalized Children, United States, 1997-2006
M.D. Zilberberg et al.
CDC’s Overview of Clostridium difficile Infections