Maggie Fox – August15, 2018
A new kind of tick is causing an epidemic of Rocky Mountain spotted fever in Mexico, and it’s threatening to spread to the U.S., researchers said Wednesday.
Rocky Mountain spotted fever is already dangerous, and the new carrier is more likely to bite people than the ticks that usually spread it, the team of U.S. and Mexican researchers said.
As ticks in general become more common as the climate warms, they’re a bigger threat, they added.
“Rocky Mountain spotted fever, caused by the bacteria Rickettsia rickettsii, is responsible for more human deaths than any other tick-borne disease in North America,” the team wrote in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Rocky Mountain spotted fever was reported in 4,269 people in the U.S. in 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It can kill up to 10 percent of victims, depending on the outbreak.
It’s usually spread by the American dog tick and the closely related Rocky Mountain wood tick. But in recent years the bacterial infection has also been spread by the brown dog tick — a completely different species.
Sputnik News – May 18, 2018
Dangerous drug-resistant fungi could soon lead to an epidemic that will kill plants, animals and humans, a joint study of researchers from Imperial College London and the University of Exeter, published in the Science journal, has revealed.
“The rapid emergence of multidrug-resistant pathogenic fungi and the better-publicized threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria together pose a considerable threat to disease control across diverse anthropogenic systems,” the study said.
According to the researchers, this tendency is a result of extensive use of antifungal drugs in medicine and agriculture. They argued that drugs destroy only weak cultures of fungi, while strong ones survive and evolve, gaining multi-drug resistance and becoming more dangerous for living organisms than ever before.
The Daily Sheeple – April 17, 2018
House mice are abundant in New York City. From ground level low rent studios to upper-class penthouses, they infiltrate every corner of the city. And now, a new study has confirmed that these mice carry new viruses and potentially deadly superbugs.
According to CNN, a yearlong assessment of the city’s residential mouse population found that what many of these rodents do carry are previously unseen viruses as well as bacteria capable of causing life-threatening human illness. Some of the bacteria carried by these mice were even antibiotic-resistant. New research on the mice that inhabit most New York City domiciles was published Tuesday in mBio, the journal of the American Society for Microbiology.
“Mouse droppings may contain harmful bacteria that are difficult to treat with common antibiotics,” said Dr. W. Ian Lipkin, senior author of the two papers resulting from the study and a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. “Contaminated areas should be thoroughly cleaned, and contaminated food should be discarded.”
Mac Slavo – December 12, 2017
Indonesia is seeing an outbreak of diphtheria which is scaring civilians and government officials alike. The disease continues to spread as officials desperately work to contain the bacteria before it becomes a pandemic.
The bacteria that causes diphtheria ravages the human body. It causes a thick covering in the back of the throat and it has so far, infected hundreds in Indonesia. The disease is spreading quickly and not only to regions with limited health service but also to the country’s capital Jakarta, where health services are much better.
Between January and November 2017, the government has recorded 593 diphtheria cases, spread across 95 regencies in 20 provinces. The death toll has reached 32. The World Health Organization data on diphtheria shows that the number of cases in Indonesia has fluctuated since the 1980s. –Medical Xpress
Diphtheria is a life-threatening communicable disease that spreads through air containing Corynebacterium diphtheriae, which can lead to breathing difficulties, heart failure, paralysis, and even death if left untreated.
AFP – August 29, 2017
Rio de Janeiro (AFP) – Brazilian scientists on Tuesday began to unleash the first of millions of mosquitoes infected with a bacteria meant to prevent the insects from transmitting the dengue virus to humans.
Thousands of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes carrying the bacteria were released in front of journalists by scientists from the Fiocruz institute in Rio de Janeiro.
The hope is that they will then breed and spread the bacteria, denting the insect population’s ability to spread dengue and other viruses including Zika and chikungunya.
Scientists have been preparing the project — developed by Australians who first put the Wolbachia bacteria into mosquitoes — since last year.
Beth Mole – August 5, 2017
After getting a hold of the genetic blueprints for molecular weapons, relatively harmless bacteria transformed into one that can cause anthrax—in places and animals where the original anthrax bacteria doesn’t. And it’s wreaking havoc.
Using data collected over a 26-year period, researchers found that this strange version of anthrax is running rampant in tropical rainforest habitats of Sub-Saharan Africa, killing off broad swaths of mammals. In fact, researchers estimated this week in Nature that this “rainforest anthrax” could wipe out chimpanzee populations in the Côte d’Ivoire’s Taï National Park within the next 150 years. It’s currently associated with nearly 40 percent of all chimp deaths there. And researchers are just getting started on understanding risks to humans, which have so far been thought to be low.
Figuring out the scale and prevalence of this rainforest anthrax will be “critical for mitigating against the detrimental effects” to wildlife and “assessing human infection risk,” the researchers, led by infectious disease expert Fabien Leendertz of the Robert Koch Institute in Germany, conclude.
Meera Senthilingam – February 27, 2017
(CNN)Twelve types of bacteria were deemed “priorities” in urgent need of new antibiotics, according to a list released by the World Health Organization on Monday.
The first list of its kind, it highlights bacteria that global health experts believe pose the greatest threats to human health. The WHO is calling on governments and pharmaceutical companies to prioritize the development of new drugs against them.
Factors used to determine the bacteria posing the most risk included the levels of resistance seen already, the mortality rates of these bacteria today, their prevalence out in communities and the burden they place on health systems.
Topping the list were bacteria classed as “gram negative” bacteria, which have already shown resistance to multiple drugs.
RT – November 19, 2016
As bacteria evolves to fight antibiotics, the most likely to suffer are children with immature immune systems. New evidence that the power of antibiotics is fading fast has been gleaned from a decade-long study of child patients.
Scientists are in a race to develop new medicine to fight antibiotic resistant bacteria as infection rates soar. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that infections from P. aeruginosa – relatively common bacteria that can cause skin rashes and ear infections – have grown increasingly antibiotic resistant.
The bacterium isn’t harmless, as it’s been known to cause severe symptoms leading to death. The alarming findings, which are outlined in the latest issue of the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, come as the result of a decade-long survey involving child patients aged 11-17 from 300 hospitals across the United States.
It was discovered that 15.4 percent of P. aeruginosa bacteria were resistant to at least three types of antibiotics in 1999, but that number exploded to 26 percent by 2012.
Even more worrisome, the number of infections from P. aeruginosa has increased in children.
ETH – July 25, 2016
It appears that Florida isn’t the only state dealing with deadly toxic algae blooms as now a huge toxic algae bloom in Utah has reportedly closed one of the largest freshwater lakes west of the Mississippi River, The report indicates that the bloom has sickened more than 100 people and is leaving farmers scrambling for clean water for days during the hottest part of the year.
This toxic algae bloom bacteria commonly known as blue-green algae has spread rapidly to cover almost all of 150-square-mile Utah Lake, turning the water bright, anti-freeze green with a pea soup texture and leaving scummy foam along the shore. “It smells like something is rotting,” said Jason Garrett, water quality director for the Utah County Health Department.
– May 31, 2016
A top U.S. health official said Tuesday that it’s likely more people will be found to be carrying a newly discovered superbug. The bacteria, found in the urine of a Pennsylvania woman, is resistant to antibiotics of last resort.
Beth Bell, a top expert on antibiotic resistance at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also said officials investigating the Pennsylvania superbug case don’t know how the strain of E. coli wound up in the woman’s body. And they may never find out, she said.