Humans carry more antibiotic-resistant bacteria than animals they work with One of the most common and costly diseases faced by the dairy industry is bovine mastitis, a potentially fatal bacterial inflammation of the mammary gland. Widespread use of antibiotics to treat the disease is often blamed for generating antibiotic-resistant bacteria. However, researchers investigating staphylococcal populations responsible for causing mastitis in dairy cows in South Africa found that humans carried more antibiotic-resistant staphylococci than the farm animals with which they worked.
Off switch for biofilm formation discovered When disease-causing bacteria establish a biofilm on hospital equipment, it can be impossible to sterilize the devices, raising infection rates and necessitating expensive replacements. Now, scientists have found an enzyme that shuts down the signals bacteria use to form a biofilm. The findings could one day help make biofilm-related complications a distant memory.
Fish oil-diet benefits may be mediated by gut microbes Diets rich in fish oil versus diets rich in lard (e.g., bacon) produce very different bacteria in the guts of mice, reports a new study. The researchers transferred these microbes into other mice to see how they affected health. The results suggest that gut bacteria share some of the responsibility for the beneficial effects of fish oil and the harmful effects of lard.
Quick way to determine bacterial' antibiotic resistance Bacteria's ability to become resistant to antibiotics is a growing issue in healthcare: Resistant strains result in prolonged illnesses and higher mortality rates. One way to combat this is to determine bacteria's antibiotic resistance in a given patient, but that often takes days -- and time is crucial in treatment. Scientists have developed a technique that can sort antibiotic-resistant from 'susceptible' bacteria, and it happens in a matter of minutes.