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Posts Tagged ‘bacteria’

Antibiotics In Animal Feed Encourage Emergence Of Superbugs – FDA Sued By Health And Consumer Organizations

May 26, 2011 3 comments

medicalnewstoday
If the FDA concluded in 1977 that adding low-dose antibiotics used in human medicine to animal feed raised the risk of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, why has it still done nothing about it? A suit filed by some health and consumer organizations says the FDA has not met its legal responsibility to protect public health – the practice of routinely adding low-dose antibiotics to animal feed has to stop, and the FDA has the authority to make it so.

Peter Lehner, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) executive director, said:

“More than a generation has passed since FDA first recognized the potential human health consequences of feeding large quantities of antibiotics to healthy animals.

Accumulating evidence shows that antibiotics are becoming less effective, while our grocery store meat is increasingly laden with drug-resistant bacteria. The FDA needs to put the American people first by ensuring that antibiotics continue to serve their primary purpose – saving human lives by combating disease.”

70% of all US antibiotic consumption is used up in adding low-doses to animal feed to make up for unsanitary living conditions and promote faster growth, according to NRDC. This practice has been steadily growing over the last six decades, despite the every-growing threat to humans of superbugs.

The antibiotic doses used in feed or water for turkeys, cows, pigs and chickens are too low to treat diseases – however, they are low enough for a significant number of bacteria to survive and build Read more…

Bedbugs with ‘superbug’ germ found

May 13, 2011 Comments off

abclocal

We’ve all heard the expression “don’t let the bed bugs bite.” Well that’s exactly what they do, and a new study shows some of them may be carrying a staph infection superbug.

First of all the study is very small and preliminary. Canadian scientists found drug-resistant staph bacteria in bedbugs at a hospital in British Columbia. Experts say while the bugs cause a lot of discomfort they have not been known to spread disease. Just the word bedbug gives a lot of people the willies.

The small pests were nearly wiped out 70 years ago, but they are once again a growing problem.

Karen Christie is an infection preventionist with ProMedica. She says, “In the state of Ohio, we’ve seen a real increase and part of the reason for that is they are resistant to some of the pesticides that are used to treat and kill bedbugs.”

The Centers for Disease Control released a study on the potential bedbug superbug this week. Doctors at a Vancouver hospital did research after seeing a spike in bedbugs and staph infections from a neighborhood near the hospital. Five bed bugs were crushed and analyzed. Methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus or MRSA was found on three of the bugs. MRSA is resistant to several Read more…

Bacteria on the Radio: DNA Could Act as Antenna

April 27, 2011 Comments off

Wired

Theoretical physicists have proposed an explanation for how bacteria might transmit electromagnetic signals: Chromosomes could act like antennae, with electrons traveling gene circuits to produce species-specific wavelengths. It’s just a hypothesis, and the notion that bacteria can generate radio waves is controversial. But according to Northeastern University physicist Allan Widom, calculations based on the properties of DNA and electrons square with what’s been measured. “For a long time, there have been signals in water. Something is happening around a Read more…

Study: Half of supermarket meat may have staph bug

April 16, 2011 Comments off

AP

ATLANTA (AP) — Half the meat and poultry sold in the supermarket may be tainted with the staph germ, a new report suggests.

The new estimate is based on just 136 samples of beef, chicken, pork and turkey purchased from grocery stores in Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Flagstaff, Ariz. and Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Proper cooking kills the germs, and federal health officials estimate staph accounts for less than 3 percent of foodborne illnesses, far less than more common bugs like salmonella and E. coli.

The new study found more than half the samples contained Staphylococcus Read more…

Has BP really cleaned up the Gulf oil spill?

April 14, 2011 Comments off

guardian

A brown pelican coated in heavy oil wallows in the Louisiana surf, June 2010.

A brown pelican coated in heavy oil wallows in the Louisiana surf, June 2010. Photograph: Win Mcnamee

There are few people who can claim direct knowledge of the ocean floor, at least before the invention of the spill-cam, last year’s strangely compulsive live feed of the oil billowing out of BP‘s blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico. But for Samantha Joye it was familiar terrain. The intersection of oil, gas and marine life in the Mississippi Canyon has preoccupied the University of Georgia scientist for years. So one year after an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig, about 40 miles off the coast of Louisiana, killed 11 men and disgorged more than 4m barrels of crude, Joye could be forgiven for denying the official version of the BP oil disaster that life is returning to normal in the Gulf.

The view from her submarine is different, and her attachment is almost personal. On her descent to a location 10 miles from BP’s well in December, Joye landed on an ocean floor coated with dark brown muck about 4cm deep. Thick ropes of slime draped across coral like cobwebs in a haunted house. The few creatures that remained alive, such as the crabs, were too listless to flee. “Most of the time when you go at them with a submarine, they just run,” she says. “They weren’t running, they were just sitting there, dazed and stupefied. They certainly weren’t behaving as normal.” Her conclusion? “I think it is not beyond the imagination that 50% of the oil is still floating around out there.”

At a time when the White House, Congress, government officials and oil companies are trying to put the oil disaster behind them, that is not the message from the deep that people are waiting to hear. Joye’s data – and an outspoken manner for a scientist – have pitted her against the Obama adminstration’s scientists as well as other independent scientists who have come to different conclusions about the state of the Gulf. She is consumed Read more…

India objects to ‘smuggling’ superbug samples out to UK

April 8, 2011 Comments off

timesofindia

NEW DELHI: India on Thursday seriously objected to biological samples in the form of “swabs of seepage water and tap water” being carried out of the country “on the sly” by British scientists to test the presence of the multi-drug resistant superbug.

India said it was a signatory to World Health Organization’s International Materiel Transfer Agreement as per which permission is required to carry out any biological material from the country.

“The way scientists carried out samples from India to be tested in UK does not point to a good scientific motive. It is illegal,” said Dr V M Katoch, director general of Indian Council for Medical Research. “Some people want to keep the heat on India,” he added.

According to him, such multi-drug resistant bacteria — like what is being called a superbug caused by the NDM1 gene — exists in environment across the world. “To keep on pressing India as a hotbed of such superbugs is unfair, and its motive is questionable,” Dr Katoch added.

The scientists had collected 171 swabs of seepage water and 50 public tap water samples Read more…

Researchers find superbug gene in New Delhi water

April 7, 2011 Comments off

cosmostv

By MARIA CHENG, AP Medical Writer
LONDON – A gene that can turn many types of bacteria into deadly superbugs was found in about a quarter of water samples taken from drinking supplies and puddles on the streets of New Delhi, according to a new study.
Experts say it’s the latest proof that the new drug-resistance gene, known as NDM-1, named for New Delhi, is widely circulating in the environment — and could potentially spread to the rest of the world.
Bacteria armed with this gene can only be treated with a couple of highly toxic and expensive antibiotics. Since it was first identified in 2008, it has popped up in a number of countries, including the United States, Australia, Britain, Canada and Sweden.
Most of those infections were in people who had recently traveled to or had medical Read more…

Superbug spreading to Southern California hospitals

March 25, 2011 Comments off

latimes.com

2010 map of Carbapenem-Resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae in the U.S.

A dangerous drug-resistant bacteria has spread to patients in Southern California, according to a study by Los Angeles County public health officials.

More than 350 cases of the Carbapenem-Resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae, or CRKP, have been reported at healthcare facilities in Los Angeles County, mostly among elderly patients at skilled-nursing and long-term care facilities, according to a study by Dr. Dawn Terashita, an epidemiologist with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

It was not clear from the study how many of the infections proved fatal, but other studies in the U.S. and Israel have shown that about 40% of patients with the infection die. Tereshita was Read more…

Dolphin deaths in Alabama, Mississippi may be caused by measles-related illness

March 2, 2011 Comments off

http://blog.al.com/live/2011/03/dead_dolphins_measles_related.html

dead-dolphin-map.jpg

MOBILE, Ala. — With six new dolphin carcasses discovered in Mississippi and Alabama since Saturday, a review of the scientific literature associated with similar mass die-offs of marine mammals around the world suggests a common culprit: a morbillivirus.

In the same family as the viruses that cause measles in humans and canine distemper in dogs, there are well-documented outbreaks of fatal morbillivirus infections in dolphins, whales and seals around the world since the 1980s.

Jerry Saliki, a University of Georgia researcher and veterinarian who has published a number of scientific papers on morbillivirus infections in dolphins, said the virus could be responsible for the current mass die off.

“It is certainly possible. In the past, there have been significant die offs in the Gulf with dolphins that were attributed to morbillivirus,” Saliki said Monday. “But, there are Read more…

Global warming could increase diseases originating from water sources

February 20, 2011 Comments off

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Climate change could increase exposure to water-borne diseases originating in oceans, lakes and coastal ecosystems, and the impact could be felt within 10 years, US scientists told a conference in Washington on Saturday.

Several studies have shown that shifts brought about by climate change make ocean and freshwater environments more susceptible to toxic algae blooms and allow harmful microbes and bacteria to proliferate, researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.

In one study, NOAA scientists modeled future ocean and weather patterns to predict the effect on blooms of Alexandrium catenella, or the toxic “red tide,” which can accumulate in shellfish and cause symptoms, including paralysis, and can sometimes be deadly to humans who eat the Read more…