Tracking Superbug Infections

I just read an interesting article where superbug infections were tracked across Europe. Isolates had their whole genome sequenced and then the resulting visualizations were put online for people to see (you can also upload your own data to the site). Not only is this a really useful tool in terms of observing the spread of superbugs, …

Antibacterial Soaps Still Terrible

This article by Beth Mole is a fairly detailed summary of recent research on the effects of antimicrobial soaps. As we have mentioned before on microBEnet, antimicrobials increase resistance in the environment, wildlife, and people. In addition, the soaps are often not used for long enough to confer a benefit. The article particularly focuses on triclosan and triclocarban, …

From Watersheds to Shower Heads: A Workshop on Legionella Research and Policy

Legionellosis has emerged as a major public health threat related to the built environment, and outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease in New York City and Flint, Michigan in 2015 have drawn increased attention to the problem. Cases reported to CDC have increased more than four-fold since 2000 with over 5000 cases reported in 2015; almost all …

Don’t Cry. Don’t Raise Your Eye. It’s Only Microbe Wasteland

These will almost certainly be of interest to the MoBE community.  There is a new paper in mSystems “Geography and Location Are the Primary Drivers of Office Microbiome Composition” by John Chase, Jennifer Fouquier, Mahnaz Zare, Derek L. Sonderegger, Rob Knight, Scott T. Kelley, Jeffrey Siegel, J. Gregory Caporaso.  I found out about the paper via …

Next Phase of Sloan Plumbing Microbiome Journey! Brain-eating Amoebae and Recycled Water

Sloan has just renewed our funding to build on our foundational research at Virginia Tech that has established general factors broadly shaping the composition of the premise plumbing microbiome!  In this next phase we will focus on shifts in water chemistry and temperature, using brain-eating amoebae as a key exemplar (need to protect those brains!).  …

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 …

A true must read: amazing essay by Tal Addaby “Less Disinfectant, More Rioja”

There is a wonderfully essay by Tal Abbady coming out in tomorrow’s New York Times (and available online now). A few years in Spain, and my mother’s last days, helped me see the futility of a sterilized life. Source: Less Disinfectant, More Rioja  The essay is about many things, including differences between cultures (pun intended …

A microbiology of the built environment April Fools’ joke

Well I am sad I missed this yesterday but there was an April Fools’ joke published in the Western University Gazette that had a microbiology of the built environment angle. “We’re holding Ivey business classes in there to decontaminate the premises,” Chakma said. Source: English Department relocated to broom closets | Spoof | westerngazette.ca “There …