Partnering with microbiologists to diagnose and prevent diseaseTM

September, 2022
Emerging hand in hand with the Pandemic… A deadly form of yeast A new 2022 special report from the CDC is sounding the alarm that antimicrobial resistance to some of the most concerning bacteria and fungi significantly increased during the COVID-19 pandemic (1) One such highly drug resistant yeast noted in the report is Candida auris that shows... Read more »
August, 2022
Effective vaccinations for COVID-19 have been readily available in the United States for well over a year and a new vaccine has just been added to the arsenal. Novavax (NVX-CoV2373), created by a company of the same name, was granted emergency use authorization in early July and has now been endorsed by the CDC.(2) Novavax... Read more »
August, 2022
Group A Streptococcus (GAS) is the most common bacterial cause of pharyngitis, often referred to as strep throat. GAS can also cause severe invasive infections. People who are elderly, have skin breakdown (when the skin is deprived of blood flow, the skin can become damaged or develop ulcers), or have chronic medical conditions, such as... Read more »
July, 2022
Another respiratory virus of concern. Common, yet underdiagnosed… Every year we anticipate the rounds of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza, and now Covid-19; but there is a lesser-known culprit of seasonal respiratory infections. Human metapneumovirus (HMPV) is a negative-sense single-stranded virus from the family Pneumoviridae and the second most common cause of lower respiratory infection in young... Read more »
June, 2022
Many parents in the United States are reeling from the effects of an outbreak of Cronobacter sakazakii in powdered infant formula. Between September 2021 and January 2022, four cases of Cronobacter infections in infants were reported to the FDA. In each case, the infants were fed powdered formula from Abbott Nutrition.(1) Cronobacter sakazakii (formerly genus:... Read more »
June, 2022
Miracle in the Mucin… Discovered in 2004, Akkermansia muciniphila is a relative newcomer to microbiology. Akkermansia was named for the microbial ecologist Antoon Akkermans, and muciniphila meaning preferring mucin. This organism in the phylum Verrucomicrobia was the result of a study that used purified mucin as a growth medium, looking for organisms that could use this as their food source. A. muciniphila was the result, a Gram-negative... Read more »
April, 2022
Genetic engineering can help preserve endangered species Since 1978, Escherichia coli has been used in the development of synthetic “human” insulin (1). More recently, E. coli has become an essential part in the development of cancer drugs (2). Researchers at The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability in Denmark have developed a method for the large-scale production of P450... Read more »
April, 2022
Glyphosate linked to microbial dysbiosis and intestinal disease Glyphosate-based herbicides may be to blame for the rise in cases of celiac disease and gluten intolerance. Though the proponents of glyphosate have always maintained that it has no effect on human and animal cells, an ever-increasing amount of research suggests that the herbicide inhibits the healthy... Read more »
March, 2022
As the COVID-19 pandemic moves into its third year, new treatment options to combat the coronavirus disease are being authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In December, 2021, the FDA issued emergency use authorization (EUA) for two oral antiviral treatments for COVID-19, Molnupiravir and Paxlovid.(1,2)This comes at a crucial time in the pandemic... Read more »
March, 2022
Is there a cranial microbiome? Can it be harmful? Over the decades, scientists have dedicated their entire careers to studying microorganisms on and in our bodies. Although the brain has largely been considered a sterile environment, research has shown evidence of microorganisms living harmlessly in the brain. In what could be considered a serendipitous event,... Read more »
February, 2022
Salmonella Infantis Globally, Salmonella causes illness in 93.8 million people and causes approximately 155,000 deaths each year.(1) Within the United States alone, Salmonella is responsible for 1.35 million infections, 26,000 of which are severe enough to warrant hospitalization and over 400 deaths.(2)Infection occurs after ingesting more than 50,000 bacterial cells from contaminated food or water with symptoms appearing from... Read more »
February, 2022
How dangerous are the BA.2 and BA.3 sub-variants compared to the Omicron BA.1 that we already know? South Africa has one of the most robust public health systems in the world, carefully monitoring their SARS-CoV-2 case load, which has been dominated these last few months by the Delta variant. In recent months, however, South Africa’s case... Read more »
January, 2022
Probiotics found to assist in restoring normal immune function… COVID-19 disrupts normal bowel flora SARS-CoV-2 infection induces an aggressive inflammatory response which is strongly implicated in the cause of multi-organ dysfunction in some patients.(3) As a result, disease severity is likely caused not only by viral infection, but also an extreme host immune reaction. Patients... Read more »
December, 2021
Do food labels tell the full story of what consumers are eating? In the U.S., many citizens may be unaware of how much inulin they may be consuming on a daily basis. As a result, individuals who consume inulin may suffer from digestive discomfort without knowing the true cause.(1) On many food labels, there is... Read more »
November, 2021
In the United States, Campylobacter is the most common bacterial cause of diarrhea, affecting 1.5 million U.S. residents every year.(1) Approximately 30% of Campylobacter strains have decreased susceptibility to fluoroquinolones (e.g., ciprofloxacin) or macrolides (e.g., azithromycin), the antibiotics commonly used to treat infections, which poses a serious threat to public health.(2)In August 2017, the Florida... Read more »
November, 2021
Plastic is invaluable to the scientific community from Petri plates to syringes and almost everything in between. Scientific research alone accounts for approximately 1.8% of global plastic production.(1) With the COVID-19 pandemic the need of the scientific community is increasing due to the increased need for plastic used for PPE, plastic tubes, pipets, etc.(2) While... Read more »
October, 2021
The discovery of a cause, as well as treatment, for Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) may involve our commensal gut bacteria. Millions of adults suffering from RA experience chronic pain, chronic inflammation, and often severe functional disability of the joints. Onset in older populations is a well-known risk factor, and RA is three times as likely in... Read more »
September, 2021
Ocean bacteria and viruses take up residence, but for a limited amount of time. As an individual initiates their first stride into the piercing cold ocean, our lungs are not the only part of our body greeted by the shock of the drastic change in environment. A brutal battle, invisible to the naked eye, has... Read more »
September, 2021
Is a New and Better Vaccine Coming Soon? A new player in the field of COVID vaccines could be arriving soon. The trials so far are encouraging for both safety and efficacy. It even has some advantages over the Pfizer, Moderna, and J&J vaccines that have become so familiar to us. Novavax, headquartered in Maryland,... Read more »
August, 2021
In 1884, Danish microbiologist Hans Christian Gram discovered that crystal violet irreversibly stained certain bacteria but can be washed from others. The Gram stain technique identifies bacteria as gram-positive (the stain is retained) or gram-negative (the stain is washed away.) Gram found that his stain worked for visualizing a series of bacteria associated with disease... Read more »
August, 2021
Is there a correlation between the end of mask mandates and the rise in cases of the common cold and influenza? The start of the summer is aligning with another new beginning, one in which many around the world make a return to the “New Normal” and relearn what life was like before COVID-19. While... Read more »
August, 2021
Antidepressants may be our best bet in treating Ebola The 2013 to 2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa made global headlines and inflamed discussion as the largest single outbreak of this deadly virus. The lack of a vaccine approved for use in humans and the rapid rate of mutation in the Ebolavirus genus create a... Read more »
July, 2021
Can H. pylori colonization offer some protection against disease? Helicobacter pylori is an organism typically known as the culprit of painful stomach ulcers and severe abdominal pain, although there is now growing evidence which suggesting that there may be advantages to colonization by this acid-loving organism. In several studies conducted during the 1990s and 2000s, correlations emerged between H.... Read more »
June, 2021
Some patients have become infected with TB from contaminated graft material. How are they screened for infectious disease? In June of this year, it was discovered over 100 patients may have been exposed to tuberculosis originating from cadaver-derived material used in their bone graft procedures. Second only to blood, human bone is the next most... Read more »
June, 2021
Medieval doctors didn’t always prescribe what was best for an ailing patient (leeches were a popular therapy). However, a medical manuscript from the 10th Century called Bald’s Leechbook recently found in the British Library details a concoction of wine, oxbile, and two species of Allium (garlic, onion, or leek) used to treat styes, now known... Read more »
June, 2021
Although of great concern, vaccination will help When will the pandemic end? How many more COVID-19 waves will the U.S. go through? Will we go back to “normal” in the fall? All these questions depend largely on one factor: the epidemiology of the variants. As the virus spreads around the world, variant strains have emerged.... Read more »
May, 2021
How far do we have to go to reach herd immunity? First of all we must know that herd immunity is defined as a form of indirect protection from infectious disease that can occur with some diseases when a sufficient percentage of a population has become immune to an infection, either through vaccination or previous infections, thereby reducing the likelihood of infection... Read more »
May, 2021
Public health is facing a looming crisis. However, unlike many more obvious public health emergencies, the majority of us may not recognize or realize the culprit: antimicrobial resistance. As hundreds of thousands of patients come face-to-face with health issues related to antibiotic-resistant infections, the scientific community must address the significance of antimicrobial stewardship and its... Read more »
April, 2021
Nanotechnology refers to the manipulation of molecules for large-scale manufacturing purposes. It is a broad field of science, which combines chemistry, physics, energy storage, microfabrication, and molecular engineering. Recently, it has been popularized by its role in nanomedicine for the COVID-19 vaccine. (1) Currently, with the introduction of mRNA vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna, the importance of... Read more »
April, 2021
Could this explain why some are more susceptible to COVID-19? The SARS-CoV-2 virus gains entry to the epithelial cells lining the respiratory tract by way of the ACE2 (angiotensin-converting enzyme 2) receptor. This is the protein to which the viral spike proteins attach in order to gain entry into the cell. If we knew more... Read more »
March, 2021
Information on messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines is frequently in the news due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, since mRNA technology is used in the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines against SARS-CoV-2. Long before the start of the pandemic, however, researchers have been trying to use this technology to treat cancer. Colorectal cancer is the third leading... Read more »
March, 2021
As COVID-19 presses forward, it is easy to look back at the past year and see nothing but the ruin left behind by the pandemic. However, as 2021 advances, there appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel. Unlike previous years, the 2020-2021 flu season has diminished immensely. Healthcare workers are reporting... Read more »
March, 2021
Many states are relaxing restrictions amid both vaccination efforts and slowly decreasing case numbers, however, scientists warn that this pandemic is far from over. Researchers are working to gather more information about the SARS CoV-2 and its variants while the virus continues to mutate. So, what are variants? Complex recombination across genetically similar viruses plays... Read more »
February, 2021
Can they assist with COVID-19 immunity? The idea of probiotics is for centuries something well known in other cultures. Many old cultures count with them in yogurts, kefirs and even something thought to be new but made recently popular by savvy Hollywood stars, called: Kombucha. A group of researchers looked at Malaysian Kefir, made from fermented grains... Read more »
February, 2021
A SARS-CoV-2 infection affects many organ systems in the body, including the gut microbiome and the 100 trillion bacterial that make up this important part of our bodies and its immune system.
January, 2021
New Study shows that assays for T Cells against COVID-19 can be good predictor of disease susceptibility.
January, 2021
A novel test for T cells show great promise in detecting immune status Antibodies often steal the spotlight when talking about immunity, but they are not the only protagonist in the immune system. T cells are specialized defenders activated in the adaptive immune response. They multiply and differentiate into cytotoxic, helper, or regulatory t-cells. These... Read more »
December, 2020
COVID-19 has dominated our lives for the better part of a year and yet we are left with more questions than we are answers. One of these questions most frequently brought up is how long will the antibodies be effective after a vaccination is given?
December, 2020
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), a pandemic on March 11, 2020. 1 Since then—at the time of writing—63,098,003 cases and 1,465,111 deaths have been reported from 191 afflicted countries/regions across the globe. 2 Along with its high transmissibility and mortality... Read more »
November, 2020
Carbapenem-resistance Enterobacterales (CRE) is a global health threat. From screening to confirmation, Hardy Diagnostics is proud to join you in the fight against antimicrobial resistance. Our rapid CRE assay, CARBA 5, gives you the advantage!
November, 2020
Saving Patient Lives with Rapid Pneumonia Testing Streptococcus pneumoniae and Legionella pneumophila pose a severe threat of morbidity and mortality, with acute symptoms that include shortness of breath and chest pain. High-risk cases are known to result in respiratory failure, sepsis, pneumonia, bacteremia, and meningitis.(1) Consequently, “Pneumonia is the world’s leading cause of death among children under five... Read more »
October, 2020
A team of researches at the University of Sheffield in South Yorkshire, England, have reported a new compound that displays the ability to kill both gram-positive and gram-negative antibiotic-resistant bacteria (1). PhD student Kirsty Smitten, Principal Investigator Jim Thomas, and their team in the Department of Chemistry first published their findings in Chemical Science in... Read more »
October, 2020
Bacteria are commonly considered a culprit leading to cancer. However, recent research suggests that some bacteria, being a potential enemy can also be a friend, and thus be utilized to create novel cancer therapeutics and treatments.(1, Figure 1) A great deal of research ahs centered on using bacteria to reduce the size of tumors. Tumors... Read more »
September, 2020
As the number of global coronavirus cases continues to increase beyond 20 million, there is an urgent need for treatment for those infected with SARS CoV2. Internationally, biotech companies are working feverishly towards developing a vaccine to reduce infection rates. However, it is still unclear when a final product will be released and to what... Read more »
September, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic is unlike any public health emergency we have seen in many decades. Nations have shut down borders, businesses, and life as people knew it. Aside from the obvious economic side effects of shutting down businesses, offices, schools, and other buildings, another potentially deadly disease may be on the rise as a consequence... Read more »
August, 2020
Below are quotes from numerous studies showing that Vitamin D can be useful in the battle against COVID-19 infections. “Several groups of researchers from different countries have found that the sickest patients often have the lowest levels of vitamin D, and that countries with higher death rates had larger numbers of people with vitamin D... Read more »
August, 2020
Without a doubt one of the greatest health problems plaguing Americans to date is obesity.  The CDC reports that currently 42.4% of adults in the US are obese with a body mass index (BMI) between 30-40. Among these individuals, 9.2% were reported as having severe obesity with a BMI greater than 40. (1) In addition... Read more »
August, 2020
CBD: How Pet Parents are Leading the Pack -The current landscape for pets and medical cannabis products In America, around 70% of households own a pet. This means that roughly 90.5 million families have welcomed a four legged (or maybe feathered) friend into their homes. (Rainwalk Pet Insurance, 2022) Not only do most people own... Read more »
July, 2020
Listeria hysteria! Outbreaks have been popping up in a variety of foods over the years—however, not all infections are created equal. The severity of L. monocytogenes infection, also known as Listeriosis, is dependent on both the host’s immune system and the virulence of the strain.(1) Immunocompromised populations may experience encephalitis, meningitis, bacteremia, miscarriage, gastroenteritis, or... Read more »
June, 2020
Can it control gluten sensitivity and asthma? Helicobacter pylori infection is no laughing matter. Sufferers can look forward to such unpleasant symptoms as chronic gastritis, gastric ulcers, and possibly gastric adenocarcinoma. Only discovered in 1982, H. pylori‘s pervasive presence, particularly in developing countries, is now accepted as the underlying cause of many gastric disorders.Despite the... Read more »
June, 2020
A study published on May 6th, has produced optimism that vitamin D may help to prevent serious infections of the COVID-19 virus. Researchers from the UK have compiled data on the incidence of COVID-19 infections and correlated it to the blood levels of vitamin D in people from 20 European nations. The results show that... Read more »
May, 2020
One of the deadliest species known to man is Aedes aegypti, also known as the Yellow Fever mosquito. This species of mosquito is capable of carrying and spreading diseases such as chikungunya, zika, yellow fever, and dengue fever to more than half of the world’s population. These diseases are the cause for millions of deaths... Read more »
March, 2020
This is the question that many are asking, but unfortunately, there is no easy answer.  First of all, we have to take a look at why the cold and flu viruses seem to dissipate in the summer months. There are four possible reasons why respiratory viruses are more common in the winter and tend to... Read more »
March, 2020
Due to the recent 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, we have been getting many inquiries about what type of swabs, media, and kits should be used for COVID-19 sample collection prior to testing. Below we have a short guide on which COPAN products meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Interim Guidelines for... Read more »
February, 2020
Cannabis has many different modes of delivery and applications for use. The most common ways that cannabis is used in our society today are: a smokeable, an edible, an oil or infused product. According to most market researchers, flower products and concentrates are the top sellers, with edibles and cosmetics also representing a solid segment... Read more »
February, 2020
According to the USGS, the Earth’s surface is comprised of about 71% water (1); however, only a modicum of this supply is potable. Fortunately, modern marvels of mankind are making this supply increasingly accessible through the desalination of salt water and filtration of contaminated water, to name a few. Unlike salt water, the consumption of... Read more »
February, 2020
The new generation of active viable microbial air samplers represent a new approach to maintaining environmental control. The TRIO and the RABS ISOLATOR instruments are made by Orum International and distributed by Hardy Diagnostics. Active impact microbial air sampling is one aspect of the regulatory guidelines related to contamination control. The principle of microbial air sampling... Read more »
February, 2020
Candida auris was first described in 2009 and was first reported in the United States in 2016.(1)  It is a member of a growing group of yeasts that can cause candidiasis, yeast infections that are normally of little consequence, and treatable through a number of anti-fungal medications.  Nosocomial candidiasis, however can easily infect ports installed... Read more »
January, 2020
Antibiotic resistance has been an emerging critical threat that, according to the CDC, results in more than 2.8 million antibiotic-resistant infections in the U.S each year, of which 35,000 are fatal (1). To date, most every antibiotic at our disposal has been discovered in the dirt; these compounds exist as natural products that are produced... Read more »
November, 2019
Many people are concerned about what kinds of microorganisms might be lurking in their cannabis products. Growers and cultivators are trying their best to understand how these contaminants, or “bugs,” may be getting into their products. Testing labs are working hard to properly screen and identify the worst offenders, even when they are not required... Read more »
May, 2019
The English translation for the French phrase “Il faut souffrir pour etre belle” is: “You must suffer to be beautiful.” Throughout history, the definition of beauty has changed from one era and society to another. A decade of shaved and precisely drawn in eyebrows gave way to a natural, full and almost unruly look. Glued... Read more »
March, 2019
Art masterpieces should be protected from microbial damages by applying preventive action. Although human occupancy is known as the main source of airborne bacteria and molds in closed environments like hospitals and schools,  art masterpieces in museums are often not considered in this respect. Many fungi and bacteria are capable of producing serious damage in... Read more »
March, 2019
Seeing the doctor about concerns of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or urinary tract infections (UTIs) can be very uncomfortable for most people...
February, 2019
Glioblastoma tumors are the most common form of malignant brain tumor and affect approximately two to three adults per 100,000 each year. Due to the aggressive nature of glioblastoma, existing treatments are relatively ineffective and the prognosis for affected patients is quite poor. According to the National Brain Tumor Society, the five-year survival rate for... Read more »
May, 2018
From 2002 to 2014, the rate of antibiotic-resistant infections doubled from 5.2% to 11% while the overall rate of bacterial infections has remained relatively constant (13.5 million to 14.3 million). Treating an antibiotic-susceptible infection costs an average of $1,394, while an antibiotic-resistant infection costs an average of $3,698. There were approximately 1.5 million cases of... Read more »
May, 2018
Recently, cases of cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct cancer) and hepatic pain in the United States have been described among Vietnam War veterans. The cause is Clonorchis sinensis, one of the most prevalent parasites in the world which is still transmitted in many regions of Asia. It is also known as the liver fluke worm. The fluke... Read more »
April, 2018
In recent years, greater appreciation for microbes inhabiting human body sites has emerged. In the female mammary gland, milk has been shown to contain bacterial species, reaching the ducts from the skin. Researchers have also discovered a diverse population of bacteria within tissue collected from sites all around the breast in women ages 18 to... Read more »
April, 2018
While GBS screenings are the standard in the US and in Europe, there are still parts of the world where the 1 in 5 women globally who carry GBS may not receive screening or treatment. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded a study led by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, involving... Read more »
March, 2018
What doesn’t need water, can freeze solid and come back to life, survives intense radiation, and stays alive in the vacuum of space?  Although the answer isn’t a cinematic horror, it certainly looks the part. The humble tardigrade (also known as a moss piglet or water bear) is a small-scale animal that rarely grows larger... Read more »
March, 2018
Recent research suggests that Alzheimer’s could be due to amyloid plaque forming around an infectious agent.  Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disease that affects more than three million people each year. There are limited treatment options and no cure. While it generally affects those over the age of 60, it has been diagnosed in people... Read more »
March, 2018
Dietary sugar and Clostridium difficile are not usually two things you hear of in one sentence, but it was recently discovered that a sugar additive, trehalose, may encourage the virulence of Clostridium difficile. The supporting study titled “Dietary trehalose enhances virulence of epidemic Clostridium difficile” was very recently published in January 2018 in Nature, International Journal... Read more »
March, 2018
According to the American Cancer Society, “colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the United States, excluding skin cancers” and is responsible for over 50,000 deaths annually. In a recent newspaper article published in New York Times, “Gut Microbes Combine to Cause Colon Cancer, Study Suggests” by... Read more »
February, 2018
Antibiotic development has had its challenges recently; and while the concern of drug-resistant Gram-negative has been vastly described since the past couple of decades, there is a growing light at the end of the tunnel with the recent approval of the broad spectrum antimicrobials between 2015-17. Even more encouraging is the potential regulatory filing and... Read more »
January, 2018
Fluoroquinolones have been the staple of antimicrobial therapy since the launch of the flagship representative “Ciprofloxacin” by Bayer in the early 1980s. Fluoroquinolones have a fluorine atom attached to the core quinolone molecular ring and this modification results in a class of broad-spectrum bactericidal agents that show increased stability and potency against both Gram negative... Read more »
January, 2018
A new device called the iChip, short for isolation chip, may unlock the potential to culture the majority of microbes that still remain undiscovered.  So far, standard microbiology culture methods have only been able to grow about 1% of microbial species in vitro on synthetic media (1). Beginning in 2002, the iChip was designed and tested by... Read more »
January, 2018
Think of your daily morning routine. You wake up, shower, get dressed, eat, gather your belongings, and make your way out the door to work or wherever the day takes you. Most everyone has a mental checklist of the items we can’t forget in order to function properly throughout the day. I can’t speak for... Read more »
December, 2017
At the age of five, Robert Koch astounded his parents by telling them that he had taught himself to read with the aid of a newspaper. This feat merely foreshadowed the intelligence and tenacity which were to be so characteristic of Koch in his adult life. The son of a mining authority, Robert Koch was... Read more »
December, 2017
The Happiest Place on Earth just made news in November for all the wrong reasons. Disneyland recently shut down two contaminated cooling towers after health officials discovered the towers had elevated levels of Legionella bacteria. Eleven separate cases of Legionnaires’ disease have surfaced in the Anaheim area. The victims were infected sometime between late August... Read more »
December, 2017
On September 1, 2017, San Diego County officials declared a state of emergency due to a major outbreak of Hepatitis A in the region.   Since November 2016, 544 infections and 20 deaths have been reported. In comparison, for the last five years, San Diego County has recorded only 28 cases annually on average. Among the... Read more »
December, 2017
In an attempt to reduce the inappropriate use of antibiotics, researchers at the University of Rochester have developed a tool that physicians can use to distinguish between a bacterial or viral infection in a patient that is suffering from an infection. Antibiotics are useless in treating viral infections; sadly, bacterial resistance is stimulated by the... Read more »
November, 2017
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month, and while breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer among women worldwide, more than half the women who develop this cancer have no known risk factors. The risk factors that are known are not always good predictors of developing breast cancer, including those who are genetically predisposed and... Read more »
November, 2017
In September 1620, a group of separatists seeking religious freedom of worship as well as bountiful land sailed from Plymouth, England for the New World. After a 66 day journey, the Mayflower dropped anchor off the coast of Cape Cod, nearly 200 miles north of their intended destination.  They of course, in true European fashion,... Read more »
November, 2017
As we progress through the 21st Century, the looming threat of antimicrobial resistance and the urgent call for action have been expressed by the medical community worldwide.  Bacterial resistance mechanisms are becoming increasingly more common, especially to broad spectrum beta (β)-lactam antibiotics which include penicllins, cephalosporins, monobactams, and carbapenems. β-lactam resistant bacteria generally evade these... Read more »
November, 2017
Marijuana legalization has been a hot topic in the news across the United States over the past few years.  In 2012, Colorado was the first state to pass legalization of recreational marijuana use. Prior to this, many states had legal medical prescription marijuana sales and usage on the books. However, Colorado’s move to legalize recreational... Read more »
October, 2017
Compounding Pharmacies are specialized pharmacies able to address specific health needs in a way mass produced pharmaceuticals cannot. Compounded medications offer customized solutions for patients’ unique conditions. The value of these facilities is significant for those who have experienced an enhanced quality of life or life-saving benefits from compounded medications. In January 2017, the former... Read more »
October, 2017
Amidst the myriad of effects we’ve found our gut microbiome can have on our daily lives, a recent study finds that it may also affect behaviors in our offspring, even long after they’ve exited the womb. Two newer studies using rats published by MIT and the University of Massachusetts Medical School explored the idea that... Read more »
October, 2017
On September 6th, 2017, the organization known as PETA or the People for the ethical treatment of animals called out to their vegan brethren to donate their stool…for SCIENCE! [1]  For those who are unaware, Fecal Microbiota Transplants or FMT’s are a relatively new but promising treatment for individuals who have had their guts ravaged by... Read more »
September, 2017
Throughout history there has been an ongoing conversation about the mystical “living light” that shows up fluttering in the sky, churning beneath the ocean waves, and dancing across the forest floor. Stories have been passed down depicting this fantastical phenomenon stemming from all different cultures and histories. From ocean explorers that discovered the deep sea... Read more »
September, 2017
Urinary tract infections are a result of bacteria entering the urinary tract through the urethra. When these bacteria arrive at the bladder, they begin to multiply, leading to an infection. In most cases, the urinary system can usually fight off these invaders; but in cases where the defense of the urinary system fails, UTIs affect... Read more »
September, 2017
My wife is eight months pregnant and her due date is creeping ever closer with each passing day. In this last month, many preparations are being made in our home. We have assembled the cradle, put away the copious amount of clothes our generous parents have given us (it’s our first child), and the house has... Read more »
September, 2017
Can you think of an infectious disease that infects about one million people annually, has no effective treatment, and there is no available vaccine? Chikungunya falls into this category of neglected diseases. Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne viral disease first described duringan outbreak in southern Tanzania in 1952. It is an RNA virus that belongs to the... Read more »
September, 2017
Lake Natron is a vast body of water, 57 kilometers (35 mi) long and 22 kilometers (14 mi) wide, in the Great Rift Valley of Eastern Africa right along the Northern border of Tanzania and Kenya. Located at the base of the volcano Ol Doinyo Lengai, you will first notice the deep red hue of its water,... Read more »
August, 2017
Environmental monitoring (EM) is a proactive tool for Quality Assurance and is a critical process within pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. The process is important in determining the microbial and particulate content of clean room air and surfaces and highlights conditions that contribute to excess microbial and particulate levels caused by ineffective cleaning, or issues due to personnel or... Read more »
August, 2017
Humans are extremely adaptive creatures. We have crowned ourselves ruler of our planet, cultivating civilizations across the globe from the hottest deserts and tallest mountain ranges, to even floating communities such as the Kompong Chhnang floating city in Cambodia. Humanity, however, is still constrained by physical limitations such as the need for oxygen, drinkable water, and... Read more »
August, 2017
Concerns about antimicrobial resistance have been growing for many years. At one point it seemed as though we were out of options -organisms were becoming resistant to all antibiotics on the market and no new drugs were being produced. A healthy return on investment for an antibiotic was lacking. The cost to develop a new... Read more »
August, 2017
These days, most people are aware that bacteria have benefits to our health and that not all bacteria are to be feared. Probiotic packed yogurts proudly proclaim their rich source of beneficial microbes. Health conscious Americans have taken the time to learn how to balance their intestinal flora based on research showing links between your gut... Read more »
July, 2017
Around the world, more than 100 million landmines lay buried and undetected in over 70 countries. There is a global need for safe and efficient technologies for detecting buried landmines and explosives. Worldwide, About half a million people are survivors of mine inflicted injuries and an additional 15,000 to 20,000 people are injured or killed... Read more »
June, 2017
In late April of this year, there was an outbreak of botulism due to contaminated nacho cheese at a gas station outside of Sacramento, California. The issue is no longer a threat, as the lot of cheese has been recalled and was discarded on May 5, 2017. However, the outbreak took its toll on nine... Read more »
May, 2017
In the past year, there have been ongoing concerns that sanitizers commonly used to reduce pathogens on poultry carcasses can lead to false-negative test results for Salmonella.  Salmonella are bacteria that can make people sick with an infection called salmonellosis. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that Salmonella causes approximately 1.2 million illnesses... Read more »
May, 2017
If one antibiotic resistant bacteria that makes the news often, it is MRSA. Whether it be the recent infection of newborns at a major clinic or the infection of a national football team due to improper cleaning of gym equipment, MRSA accrues a lot of airtime. MRSA stands for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Staphylococcus aureus is most commonly found under... Read more »
April, 2017
Next up for CHROM month, We examine HardyCHROM Vibrio and the risks of shooting back oysters on the half shell… Summer is fast approaching and beach goers everywhere are rejoicing. Warmer weather, sunny skies, and fresh seafood: what’s not to love about summer? Well, the warmer weather brings something else besides people to the coastal... Read more »
March, 2017
Listeriosis or Listeria monocytogenes food poisoning is an infection which could be fairly mild or debilitating depending on the person infected. Young children, pregnant women, the elderly, or anyone with a compromised immune system are the most susceptible to Listeriosis. When a person is infected, symptoms of a Listeria infection can include sudden onset fever, chills, severe... Read more »
March, 2017
With Clostridium difficile infections (CDI) on the rise among hospital acquired infections across America in hospitals and care facilities, infection control specialists have been scrambling to prevent the acceleration of this toxic and destructive bacterium. Where does CDI come from? Where is it going? How can we avoid it? With nearly half a million impacted... Read more »
February, 2017
Since 1947, when the first drive-through restaurant was opened by Sheldon “Red” Chaney in Springfield, Missouri[1], the term “fast food” has become a staple of the American vocabulary.  McDonalds, Burger King, White Castle, In & Out, and Taco Bell: all of these have become so monolithically important to everyday life, that many can recite the... Read more »
February, 2017
Microbiologists are a very opinionated group of individuals, and it is, at times, difficult to get consensus and standardization on certain procedures. Whether to heat fix or methanol fix slides in preparation for Gram staining is one of those controversial procedures. It was never fully documented as to why one method would be superior over... Read more »
February, 2017
Did You Know You Are Autophagic?  And that’s a good thing, since it slows down aging and prevents degenerative diseases. For illuminating the weird cellular phenomenon of “self-eating,” Yoshinori Ohsumi has won the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.  Called autophagy – from the Greek words “auto” and “phagein,” meaning “self” and “to eat”... Read more »
October, 2016
The average soccer ball is about 1.6 million times bigger than a grain of sand. A grain of sand is about a million times bigger than a single bacterial cell, and a single bacterial cell can be 40 to 100 times bigger than a norovirus particle. It is astonishing that norovirus, something so small in comparison to... Read more »
June, 2016
Given the prevalence of hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) in the United States, several companies are making efforts to develop technologies to reduce the occurrence of HAIs.  In a multistate point-prevalence survey of health care-associated infections in published in 2014, it was estimated that there were about 648,000 patients with 721,800 health care-associated infections in U.S. acute... Read more »