The #microbenet and BioBE Center stab at a review of COVID-19 and the Built Environment

(updated 3/20/20 with revised preprint information) So late last week, the folks at the BioBE Center at the University of Oregon contacted us wanting to write a review of built environment considerations related to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.  We worked furiously on it for a couple of days and through the weekend.  Submitted …

Story behind the paper: RtxA type 1 secretion system and other virulence factors in Legionella

So this work is a spinoff of a big project that we were involved in (but almost all of the work was done by Amy Pruden’s lab at Virginia Tech).  In the larger project, they examined the genomes of over 100 clinical isolates of Legionella pneumophila, as well as 10 clinical isolates from patients during …

Legionella sequencing in tap water and clinical isolates from Flint, MI

So this was a very interesting paper to be involved in.  On the one hand all our lab really did was to facilitate some genome sequencing and help with the assemblies, validation of those assemblies, and some genomics work.   Standard fare for the lab.  But… these were over 100 Legionella pneumophila isolates collected from either …

Legionella Report Release Webinar: August 14th, 11AM EDT

  Register Here Please join the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on August 14th from 11:00am-12:30pm EDT for the release of the report, Management of Legionella in Water Systems. The report examines what is known about Legionella occurrence in water systems, and makes recommendations for managing bacterial growth in these environments in order …

Ever wonder what microbes are in your showerhead? Well, looks like maybe you should care …

Completely fascinating, and a wee bit terrifying new paper worth a read:: Ecological Analyses of Mycobacteria in Showerhead Biofilms and Their Relevance to Human Health Abstract: Bacteria within the genus Mycobacterium can be abundant in showerheads, and the inhalation of aerosolized mycobacteria while showering has been implicated as a mode of transmission in nontuberculous mycobacterial …

Evolution happens: Bacteria becoming resistant to hospital disinfectants

Well, if true this is both troubling and not surprising: Bacteria becoming resistant to hospital disinfectants, warn scientists | Society | The Guardian The story reports on a paper in Science Translational Medicine. Some quotes: The results reveal that Enterococcus faecium bacteria have become more tolerant to alcohol over that time. “We found that the new …

How important is hand-washing outside of a hospital environment?

I recently spent a weekend visiting a friend out of state and quickly came to realize that he rarely washed his hands. Before eating? No. After the gym? No. Even after going to the bathroom…and not just urination. No washing! I was disgusted and could not convince him of the same. How could an educated …