All news from Microbiology

Dust-Dwelling Bacteria: Letting In the Sunlight Kills them

Allowing sunlight in through windows can kill bacteria that live in dust, according to a study published in the open access journal MicrobiomeResearchers at the University of Oregon found that in dark rooms 12% of bacteria on average were alive and able to reproduce (viable). In comparison only 6.8% of bacteria exposed to daylight and 6.1% of bacteria exposed to UV light were viable.

Photoactive Bacteria Bait May Help in Fight Against MRSA Infections

Researchers are testing whether a light-active version of heme, the molecule responsible for transporting oxygen in blood circulation, may help people infected with MRSA. Photodynamic therapy, or PDT, involves a compound known as a photosensitizer, which can be activated by visible light to kill diseased cells or bacteria. PDT is a clinically proven method for fighting cancer but has not yet been developed for treating MRSA infections

Eradication of Drug-Resistant Bacteria with Probiotic/Antibiotic Combination

In the fight against drug-resistant bacteria, MIT researchers have enlisted the help of beneficial bacterium known as probiotics. In a new study, the researchers showed that by delivering a combination of antibiotic drugs and probiotics, they could eradicate two strains of drug-resistant bacteria that often infect wounds. To achieve this, they encapsulated the probiotic bacterium in a protective shell of alginate, a biocompatible material that prevents the probiotic from being killed by the antibiotic.

Drug-Resistant Infections Cured Without Antibiotics

Biochemists, microbiologists, drug discovery experts, and infectious disease doctors have teamed up in a new study that shows antibiotics are not always necessary to cure sepsis in mice. Instead of killing causative bacteria with antibiotics, researchers treated infected mice with molecules that block toxin formation in bacteria. Every treated mouse survived. The breakthrough study, published in Scientific Reports, suggests infections in humans might be cured the same way.

Eliminating Staphylococcus aureus: Good Bacterium in Probiotic Digestive Supplements Helps

A new study from the National Institutes of Health and its partners shows that a "good" bacterium has been found in probiotic digestive supplements to help eliminate Staphylococcus aureus, a type of bacteria that can cause serious antibiotic-resistant infections.

The researchers, led by scientists at NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), unexpectedly found that  Bacillus bacteria prevented  S. aureus bacteria from growing in the gut and nose of healthy individuals. Then, using a mouse study model, they identified exactly how that happens. Researchers from Mahidol University and Rajamangala University of Technology in Thailand collaborated on the project.

Effectiveness of Microbubble Scrubber against Dangerous Biofilms

Stiff microbial films often coat medical devices, household items and infrastructure such as the inside of water supply pipes, and can lead to dangerous infections. Researchers have developed a system that harnesses the power of bubbles to propel tiny particles through the surfaces of these tough films and deliver an antiseptic deathblow to the microbes living inside.

Genetic Engineering to Create Synthetic Microbiome

What if the bacteria that live in your gut could monitor your health, report disease, and produce beneficial molecules? Researchers have gotten one step closer to creating such a 'synthetic microbiome' by engineering different species of bacteria so they can talk to each other. Given that there are over 1,000 different strains of intestinal interlopers in the human gut, such coordination is crucial for the development of systems that can sense and improve human digestive health.