New papers on Microbiology of the Built Environment, August 27, 2016

Microbes found in ambulances Not surprisingly, bacteria could be detected after swabbing surfaces in ambulances. Detection and characterization of surface microbial contamination in emergency ambulances – Aketza Varona-Barquin – American Journal of Infection Control ($35.95) A cross-sectional study was performed in 10 emergency basic life support ambulances operating in Bilbao, Spain, to assess surface bacterial …

Journal Club: Antibiotic Resistance Higher in Airborne Bacteria Around Conventional Cattle Farms

This recently published closed access paper by Sancheza, et al claims that levels of antibiotic resistance genes and antibiotic resistant bacteria are higher in outdoor air samples downwind of conventional cattle farms compared to organic cattle farms as shown with 3 different methods. This comes as little surprise, as it wasn’t until December 2013 that the …

New papers on microbiology of the built environment, July 2, 2016

Microbes in the city Also see this blog post earlier this week: Urban Transit System Microbial Communities Differ by Surface Type and Interaction with Humans and the Environment – Tiffany Hsu – mSystems (OA) Public transit systems are ideal for studying the urban microbiome and interindividual community transfer. In this study, we used 16S amplicon and …

Science Friday on New Superbugs

As posted in this blog last week, an article was published in the ASM Journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy on May 26 that describes the first discovery in the United States of mcr-1 gene, responsible for colistin resistance, in E. coli in a patient with a urinary tract infection. Colistin is considered an antibiotic of last resort because, …

Global Grand Challenges projects on antimicrobial resistance

The winners of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Global Grand Challenges Round 16 were announced recently. Among the challenge topics included in this round of competition was Novel Approaches to Characterizing and Tracking the Global Burden of Antimicrobial Resistance. The Gates Foundation made six awards in this topic area: Christopher Mason of Cornell University (USA) will generate a global …

The CDC’s MicrobeNet now includes MALDI-TOF MS data

microBE.net is an awesome name, so I wasn’t that surprised to find that the CDC has it’s own MicrobeNet that they launched in 2013. MicrobeNet is a free online curated database of emerging bacteria and fungi that aims to improve reference diagnostics and pathogen identification. The database includes genetic sequence data (16S rRNA), biochemical data, morphological characteristics and antibiotic resistance profiles for about 2,400 species, as well …

International conference on the use of antibiotics in animals

The 4th International Conference on Responsible Use of Antibiotics in Animals is scheduled for 26-28 September in the Hague, the Netherlands. This is an important and timely topic with federal regulations changing current agricultural practices. Here is some information from the conference website: Antibiotics are used worldwide both in veterinary and human medicine. The widespread …

Probiotics for Livestock – Reducing Antibiotic Reliance

In the wake of the Obama administration’s plan to decrease antibiotic usage in livestock, farmers are now trying to find alternatives that have fewer ecological and human health impacts. In an effort to reduce reliance on antibiotics, researchers at Iowa State University are testing if Lactobacillus species found in yogurt might have a similar health effect on livestock as …

Tilikum to Shed Light on Superbug Crisis?

You have all heard of Tilikum the killer whale. He’s known for killing 3 of his trainers and is featured in the documentary Blackfish. Regardless of where you stand in all of the controversy, Tilikum has been making the news once again due to an untreatable bacterial infection in his lungs. Here is the statement from SeaWorld: …