The incidence of tuberculosis (TB) is dropping in the US, but the World Health Organization (WHO) considers it to be epidemic in the rest of the world — there were over 10 million new cases in 2016.
A recent study offers information that might help combat a deadly virus that affects an estimated 300,000 people each year in West Africa.
How can a drug used to treat cancer be effective against viruses, too? The answer lies in the drug's shared target — specifically, cellular components that control the activity of genes. A new research study showed that one such type of drug, histone methyltransferase inhibitors used in cancer clinical trials, has activity against herpes simplex virus, too.
While not cuddly to most, bats are shy, skilled flyers that fill an important role in their environments. A new study reveals a deadly disease decimating North American bat populations has stepped up its attack on vulnerable bat populations in the summer months.
How would you feel if the stethoscope used by your doctor to listen to your heart and lungs was teeming with potentially unfriendly bacteria?
For as long as 14,000 years, the First Nations people of the Heitsuk Nation have made their home along the Central Coast of the Canadian province of British Columbia. Among the territory's inlets, islands, rivers, and valleys lie a clay deposit on the north side of Kisameet Bay, near King Island. For as long as most can remember, the tribe has used the clay as medicine. Now science says microbes that live in that clay may have important antibacterial properties.
For about a million Americans each year, a joint replacement brings relief from pain and restored mobility. But, 5–10% of those people have to endure another surgery within seven years, and most of those are due to an infection in their new joint. If doctors could treat infections more effectively, patients could avoid a second surgery, more pain, and another rehabilitation.
Regarding foodborne pathogens, eating fish is not as hazardous as it was a few years ago — but if fins are on the menu, it's good to have a heads-up about what's good and what's bad these days.
Bacteria, viruses and other germs sometimes set off the immune system to overreact, producing a severe condition called sepsis. Sepsis is so dangerous that it is the leading cause of death of children across the world, killing a million kids every year, mostly in developing countries. Probiotic bacteria might be able to prevent sepsis and infections, but no large research studies have been done to find out whether that actually works. Until now.
Scientists know that bacteria create their own energy, get nutrients to run their cellular processes, and multiply. But, bacteria haven't been shown to respond to external mechanical stimulation or signals in a way that's similar to how our bodies respond to touch, until now.
Crusty, itchy, red eyes? There is a decent chance you could have conjunctivitis, or pink eye, an infection of the thin lining around the eye and the eyelid, caused by bacteria, an allergen, virus, or even your contact lenses. Whatever the cause — you call up your doctor to get a prescription to clear it up, right? Not really.
News: Rare Raccoon Parasite Causing Blindness & Severe Brain Damage Could Be More Widespread Than We Knew
So cute, so furry, and so chock full of parasites. While raccoons are fun to watch, they are neither friendly nor clean — and they can make you sick in more ways than one.
Unfortunately, the very places we go to receive health care put us at risk for becoming infected with superbugs, bacteria exposed to so many antibiotics that they have become immune to their effects. Clostridium difficile (C. diff) is one such bacteria. It causes inflammation of the colon and rampant diarrhea that can have life-threatening consequences. Part of its virulence lies in the tough spores formed by the bacteria. They are responsible for starting infections in the colon and for spre...
Love is the spice of life — it is also the microbes that couples share through sickness and in health, through the bathroom and in a hallway.
Gonorrhea infections reached a peak in 1975, then decreased until 2009, when infection rate started rising and has increased each year since. With the rise of antibiotic resistance, those numbers are only going to get worse — unless we find new treatments against the bacteria.
Infections with group A streptococcus, like Streptococcus pyogenes, claim over a half million lives a year globally, with about 163,000 due to invasive strep infections, like flesh-eating necrotizing fasciitis and streptococcal toxic shock syndrome.
The growing list of dangerous antibiotic resistant organisms has just acquired three new members. Researchers have discovered three new species of Klebsiella bacteria, all of which can cause life-threatening infections and have genes that make them resistant to commonly used antibiotics.
The intestinal parasite Cyclospora cayetanensis has a dramatically increased infection rate this summer, and the source is still unknown, the CDC advised today. 2017 is a good year for Cyclospora looking for homes to start their families and a bad year for those of us who don't like food-stealing tenants living in our bodies.
More than one in ten people in the US have type 2 diabetes — that's over 29 million people. It's characterized by excessive sugar (glucose) in the blood due to the development of resistance to insulin, the hormone that normally metabolizes glucose.
When you have an infection, a doctor prescribes antibiotics to make the bacteria that causes it disappear. Sounds like a good idea, but the disappearance of microorganisms that have inhabited humans for millennia could be driving rising numbers of serious illness and debilitating conditions.
A new study shows the Zika virus is present in saliva — but it may not be enough to make you sick. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes there is "no evidence that Zika can be transmitted through saliva during deep kissing." Given the results of research published in the journal, Nature Communications," the agency may need to revise its guidance.
An older man dies of Zika. A younger man who cares for him catches Zika — but doctors cannot pinpoint how the disease was transmitted. While proximity to the patient is sufficient explanation for the rest of us, for microbe hunters, it is a medical mystery. Why? Zika is not known to transmit from person-to-person casually.
Rising on the world stage, dengue fever is transmitted by mosquitoes — and apparently air travel too.
As if the swollen, painful joints of rheumatoid arthritis weren't enough, the disease is the result of our immune system turning against cells of our own body. Ever since this realization, scientists have worked to find the trigger that sets the immune system off. Scientists believe that gut bacteria may have a role in initiating the abnormal immune response. Now, a team of researchers from Boston has figured out how that might occur.
Prime Directive: How NASA's Planetary Protection Officer Keeps Our Germs from Contaminating Other Planets (& Vice Versa)
On July 20, 1969, humans set foot on the moon for the first time. But some say our microbes beat us there. With the Space Age came new questions about microscopic invaders from outer space and concern about where we are leaving our microbial footprints. The questions are even more relevant today.
Whether your palate runs to domestic or imported, a piece of cheese can be a real treat for the senses. Its smell, taste, and texture are all parts of its appeal. A big part of what makes that savory wonderfulness comes from the microbes in and on the cheese. Thanks to a team of researchers dedicated to studying those microbes, we have a better understanding of their importance to cheese and us.
After years of telling patients to finish any prescribed course of antibiotics completely, a group of researchers in the UK say it is no longer necessary, and could even be harmful if we want to preserve the antibiotics we can still use.
The number of households in the US that go hungry because they lack money for food hit a high of almost 15% in 2011. While that number continues to decline, nearly 13% of American households still go hungry.
Once we recover from the respiratory infection pneumonia, our lungs are better equipped to deal with the next infection — thanks to some special cells that take up residence there.
Cancer cells do a pretty good job of flying under the radar of our immune system. They don't raise the alarm bells signaling they are a foreign invader the way viruses do. That might be something scientists can change, though.
Four million Americans misused prescription opioid painkillers in 2014. Those who do are 40 times more likely to inject heroin or other drugs than other people. Now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are blaming that misuse for a 12-fold increase in endocarditis, an infection of the heart valves.
Despite mounting scientific evidence that viruses can cause changes in learning and memory, the reasons have remained elusive.
A 6,000-year-old forest inhabitant awakens to find life in the forest around it in crisis. Plants, trees, animals, and birds are moving north to escape increasingly heated air, even as mass extinctions take place around the world. The inhabitant stirs and remembers it has lived this before and knows what to do.
Not all bacteria in the eyes cause infection. A group of researchers from the National Eye Institue has shown that not only is there a population of bacteria on the eyes that reside there but they perform an important function. They help activate the immune system to get rid of bad, potentially infection-causing — pathogenic — bacteria there.
Antibiotics are one of our main weapons against infections. The problem is that many bacteria are becoming resistant to most of the antibiotics we use to treat them, and those 'superbugs' have created an urgent threat to our global health. A research group found a new way to hit a well known bacterial target and have developed a drug to hit it.
Young girls, especially those who live in areas where HIV is epidemic, like sub-Saharan Africa, are particularly vulnerable to becoming infected with HIV. A vaginal ring containing the antiviral agent dapivirine has been shown to decrease the chance of developing HIV-1 in adult women over 21 and now in the first step for use in adolescents, the ring has been shown to be safe and well-tolerated in that younger age group.
New research explores how the bacteria on the penis can leave men more susceptible to infection with HIV.
Forget the rise of the machines. Tardigrades are set to outlive everything — even the bots. When the last echo of a whisper in a cell phone has long dissipated into space, the water bears will still be hanging out.
Results of an early-stage clinical trial of an HIV vaccine could mean a hoped-for breakthrough in the battle against AIDS.
We might think of Zika as a mosquito-borne virus that effects developing fetuses, but, it also can be passed through sex by either a man or a woman, just like herpes and other STD viruses. New research has shown that vaginal bacteria can inhibit sexually transmitted Zika virus and Herpes Simplex Virus-2 in women.