Category Archives: Bacterial Infections

Research – Association between Shiga Toxin–Producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 stx Gene Subtype and Disease Severity, England, 2009–2019

CDC

Abstract

Signs and symptoms of Shiga toxin–producing Escherichia coli (STEC) serogroup O157:H7 infection range from mild gastrointestinal to bloody diarrhea and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). We assessed the association between Shiga toxin gene (stx) subtype and disease severity for »3,000 patients with STEC O157:H7 in England during 2009–2019. Odds of bloody diarrhea, HUS, or both, were significantly higher for patients infected with STEC O157:H7 possessing stx2a only or stx2a combined with other stx subtypes. Odds of severe signs/symptoms were significantly higher for isolates encoding stx2a only and belonging to sublineage Ic and lineage I/II than for those encoding stx2a only and belonging to sublineage IIb, indicating that stx2a is not the only driver causing HUS. Strains of STEC O157:H7 that had stx1a were also significantly more associated with severe disease than strains with stx2c only. This finding confounds public health risk assessment algorithms based on detection of stx2 as a predictor of severe disease.

Europe – Shigellosis – Annual Epidemiological Report for 2017

Shigella - kswfoodworld

Image CDC

Shigellosis is a relatively uncommon disease in the European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA), but remains of concern in some countries and for some population groups. For 2017, 30 EU/EEA countries reported 6 337 confirmed shigellosis cases. The overall notification rate was 1.7 cases per 100 000 population, slightly higher than in 2016. The highest notification rate was observed in children below five years of age, followed by male adults aged 25–44 years. Sexual transmission of shigellosis among men who have sex with men (MSM) is thought to have contributed to the gender imbalance in the latter group.

Click to access AER_for_2017_shigellosis.pdf

Korea – ‘Special bank will manage, distribute food poisoning bacteria’

Korea Biomed

The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said that its food poisoning bacteria resource center has been designated as a bank specializing in managing the pathogen.

It is the first food poisoning bacteria bank. The nation has six specialized banks dealing with pathogen resources in the areas of viruses and zoonotic diseases.

With the latest designation, the new bank will preserve, manage, and distribute the food poisoning bacteria that are separated from food as a national resource.

 

Infographics -Did you know that superbugs can be found in food?

WHO

Research – How silver ions kill bacteria

Science Daily

The antimicrobial properties of silver have been known for centuries. While it is still a mystery as to exactly how silver kills bacteria, University of Arkansas researchers have taken a step toward better understanding the process by looking at dynamics of proteins in live bacteria at the molecular level.

Traditionally, the antimicrobial effects of silver have been measured through bioassays, which compare the effect of a substance on a test organism against a standard, untreated preparation. While these methods are effective, they typically produce only snapshots in time, said Yong Wang, assistant professor of physics and an author of the study, published in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

 

Research – Eating too much salt seems to impair body’s ability to fight bacteria

New Scientist listeria

Eating too much salt may impair the body’s ability to fight bacterial infections, according to studies in mice and in 10 human volunteers.

Christian Kurts at the University Hospital of Bonn in Germany and his team first showed that mice given a high salt diet were less able to fight kidney infections caused by E. coli and body-wide infections caused by Listeria monocytogenes, a common cause of food poisoning.

“The bacteria caused more damage before the immune system got rid them,” says Kurts.

Next, the team gave 10 healthy women and men who were 20 to 50 years old an extra 6 grams of salt a day on top of their normal diet, in the form of three tablets a day. After a week, some of their immune cells, called neutrophils, had a greatly impaired ability to engulf and kill bacteria compared with the same tests done on each individual before they took extra salt.

Research – Bacteria-killing gel heals itself while healing you

Science Daily

McMaster researchers have developed a novel new gel made entirely from bacteria-killing viruses.

The anti-bacterial gel, which can be targeted to attack specific forms of bacteria, holds promise for numerous beneficial applications in medicine and environmental protection.

Among many possibilities, it could be used as an antibacterial coating for implants and artificial joints, as a sterile growth scaffold for human tissue, or in environmental cleanup operations, says chemical engineer Zeinab Hosseini-Doust.

Her lab, which specializes in developing engineering solutions for infectious disease, grew, extracted and packed together so many of the viruses — called bacteriophages, or simply phages — that they assembled themselves spontaneously into liquid crystals and, with the help of a chemical binder, formed into a gelatin-like substance that can heal itself when cut.

Research – Dodging antibiotic resistance by curbing bacterial evolution

Science Daily

Lowering mutation rates in harmful bacteria might be an as yet untried way to hinder the emergence of antimicrobial pathogens. One target for drug development might be a protein factor, DNA translocase Mfd, that enables bacteria to evolve rapidly by promoting mutations in many different bacterial species. This action speeds antibiotic resistance, including multi-drug resistance. Working on drugs to block Mfd and similar factors could be a revolutionary strategy to address the worldwide crisis of treatment-resistant infectious diseases

Norway -Vibrio and Shewanella: Norway health officials warn of swimming in the warm waters

Outbreak News Today 

CDC Vibrio

Image CDC Enter a caption

Norwegian health authorities are warning people who are particularly vulnerable to Vibrio infections to take precautions while swimming as a number of serious bacterial infections ave been recorded.

This summer, six people have been severely ill with wound infection due to bacteria in seawater (five Vibrio and one Shewanella). The infection has occurred after swimming in the Oslo Fjord.

All adults over the age of 50 who have had a sore wound or have suffered sores during bathing in the Oslo Fjord in five different municipalities, Bærum, Oslo, Moss, Vestby and Fredrikstad.

In addition to the serious cases we know from earlier, there have been reports of 20 people who have had mild Vibrio infections on August 8th. These are sore infections and ear infections that often do not require treatment.