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Posts Tagged ‘bacteria’

Nightmare superbug killing half of those who are infected says CDC

March 7, 2013 Comments off

examiner.com

A nightmare gut bacteria that can kill up to 50 percent of those infected, the extremely drug-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC)–producing K. pneumoniae sequence type 258 (KpnST258) has emerged as an important pathogen worldwide. Hospitals are scrambling to get rid of this bacteria. Check out the video, “Hospitals scramble to kill ‘superbug’”on NBCNews.com.

A deadly class of superbugs nearly impossible to treat with a fatality rate approaching 50 percent need to be stopped. But how do scientists stop the CRE outbreaks from reaching the general public? The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has identified deadly ‘nightmare’ bacteria that’s resistant to antibiotics and spreading through the nation’s hospitals. There’s the potential for CRE bacteria to spread to patients with common ailments such as diarrhea or more severe infections such as pneumonia. The doctors don’t have any drug to treat CRE outbreaks because the bacteria is resistant to Read more…

Animal diseases increasingly plague the oceans

February 21, 2012 Comments off

rawstory.com

whale.afp

VANCOUVER — When dead sea mammals started washing ashore on Canada’s west coast in greater numbers, marine biologist Andrew Trites was distressed to find that domestic animal diseases were killing them.

Around the world, seals, otters and other species are increasingly infected by parasites and other diseases long common in goats, cows, cats and dogs, marine mammal experts told a major science conference.

The diseases also increasingly threaten people who use the oceans for recreation, work or a source of seafood, scientists told reporters at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, held this year in this western Canadian city.

The symposium “Swimming in Sick Seas” was one of many sessions at the meeting that drew a bleak picture of the state of

Read more…

DNA Hackers: Synthetic biology weaponized virus, zero-day exploit to infect your brain?

January 26, 2012 Comments off

computerworld.com

From the let’s get futuristically freaky department, future hacking crimes could take a decidedly sinister twist; not hacking to breach systems but brains, bodies and behaviors. This DNA hacking goes way beyond potentially using police bees to bust biohackers, or even storing unhackable data in box of bio-encrypted bacteria. It’s not science fiction to hack insulin pumps or to use jamming signals to stop hackers from lethal pacemaker attacks, but now bioengineers and security futurists are warning that the day is coming when criminals and bioterrorists hunt for vulnerabilities that will give a new meaning to zero-day exploits. In the future, a weaponized virus will aim to infect you, your brain and body biology, and not just your computer or mobile device.

While some people resist the idea of needing antivirus or other security software defenses for their smartphones, in the world of synthetic biology, a world where bits, bytes, atoms and biology mix dreams with nightmare realities, it could be lethal to lag behind in patching potential vulnerabilities. Some day, when you hear about something going ‘viral,’ it Read more…

World-wide cholera pandemic traced to Bangladesh

August 29, 2011 1 comment

rawstory

A cholera pandemic that has swept poor countries in three waves over nearly four decades has been traced to a bacterial strain that first emerged in Bangladesh, scientists reported on Wednesday.

The current pandemic is the seventh since cholera, a water- and food-borne diarrhoeal disease caused by the Vibrio cholerae bug, emerged nearly two centuries ago.

Gene sequencing of 154 samples of V. cholerae taken from patients around the world show today’s pandemic can be traced to an initial outbreak of cholera in the Bay of Bengal in 1975, the investigators said.

In 1982, the strain, known as El Tor, acquired genes making it resistant to antibiotics. As a result, successive waves of the disease spread around the world, propagated from the original source.

The new probe, published in the British journal Nature, points to the Read more…

Deadly superbug outbreak hits problem-plagued network of Ontario hospitals

July 4, 2011 Comments off

theglobeandmail

cluster of Clostridium difficile bacteria on a surfaceA deadly outbreak of a highly contagious superbug has claimed the lives of 15 patients in Southern Ontario, raising questions about whether enough is being done to prevent and control the spread of hospital-acquired infections.

Niagara Health System, a sprawling network of seven hospitals serving 434,000 people in a dozen communities, has declared an outbreak of Clostridium difficile, commonly known as C. difficile, at three of its sites.

Hong Kong declares scarlet fever outbreak

June 21, 2011 1 comment

physorg

Hong Kong has declared an outbreak of scarlet fever after it claimed the life of at least one child while infecting thousands of others in the city and elsewhere in China.

A seven-year-old Hong Kong girl died from the illness late last month while a five-year-old boy in the city died Tuesday morning from what said was a “very likely” a case of scarlet fever.

Hong Kong authorities have recorded 40 new cases in the past few days, pushing the total number to 459 so far this year, the highest annual total in the city and more than three times the figure for the whole of 2010.

The boy — who also had — developed a fever last Wednesday and was admitted to hospital on Sunday with symptoms of the illness.

His condition deteriorated rapidly and he died Tuesday morning, Thomas Tsang, controller of Hong Kong’s Centre for Health Protection, said.

Classes have been suspended at the boy’s kindergarten for a week, a first for Hong Kong following a scarlet fever death.

“The situation is rather serious at the moment,” Tsang said Tuesday.

“We are facing an because the that is causing scarlet fever is widely circulating in Read more…

A Microscopic Chytrid Fungus Is Causing Massive Declines In Frog Populations Worldwide

June 20, 2011 1 comment

nanopatentsandinnovations

A microscopic chytrid fungus is causing massive declines in frog populations all over the world and even the extinction of certain species. Together with colleagues from Europe and the USA, researchers from the University of Zurich present methods as to how the chytrid fungus can be combated in the journal Frontiers in Zoology: namely with bacteria and fungicides. However, the possibility of vaccinating the frogs is also being considered.

The midwife toad: a species that is particularly sensitive to the chytrid fungus.

Photo: Benedikt Schmidt

New pathogens are not just a growing problem for humans and livestock, but also wild animals. Along with the destruction of their habitats and the overexploitation of their populations, a disease caused by a chytrid fungus called chytridiomycosis is one of the three Read more…