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 »
September, 2022
Coffee drinkers beware… Does coffee lead to increased risk of dementia and stroke? Moderation is best! Coffee, with over 22 billion pounds consumed annually, is without a doubt one of the most popular drinks worldwide. (1) Many of us wake up each morning and seek energy from this bitter bean as it provides a high... Read more »
September, 2022
Another Emerging Virus With a Very High Mortality Rate Originates from bats The Nipah virus (NiV) is a zoonotic virus of the genus Henipavirus, family Paramyxoviridae, and has been identified as a biosafety level-4 pathogen with a 40-75% fatality rate. The virus was first discovered in 1999 following a Malaysian outbreak among pig farmers which resulted in nearly... 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
Lyme disease is one of the most common types of tick-borne diseases (TBDs), yet many questions remain surrounding long-term treatment of this disease. Borrelia burgdorferi, the spirochete causing the disease, is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected Ixodes tick. (1) The first symptoms will often include a bullseye rash forming around the... Read more »
June, 2022
In December 2021, Canada reported the first case of the 2021-2022 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 in North America. Subsequently, HPAI H5N1 viruses have been confirmed in wild birds, backyard flocks, and commercial poultry facilities in both Canada and the United States. (1) According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), as of... 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
Why We Inspect Food Before Consumption, From Contamination to Cause We have all heard the phrase, “The way to a person’s heart is through their stomach.” While taking that concept with a grain of salt, most people would not want their appetite spoiled with the thought of consuming rotten or tainted food. In the United... 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
Want to lower your risk of contracting a MAP-related malady? Here’s how. Emerging research is implicating Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis (MAP) as the etiological cause of various diseases including inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, Type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, multiple sclerosis and autism.(8) This species of bacteria is a relative of M. tuberculosis and belongs... 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 »
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 »
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 »
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.
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 »
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 »
February, 2016
We know there are all kinds of ways bacteria make us safer. They help digest our food, they create vitamins, decompose waste, and out-compete pathogens from invading our system. Could bacteria also help catch criminals invading our house? A study by the Fort Lauderdale police department suggests they may. Recently, studies have been popping up... Read more »
December, 2015
January 2016 is right around the corner. While a new year always brings change, or at least the promise for change (I swear to make it to the gym for a change), this new year brings a critical change to clinical labs in the United States. Starting on the first of January, the Centers for... Read more »
November, 2015
Early Life: Louis Pasteur is, simply put, a continued source of inspiration for chemists and microbiologists around the world. His work found new ways to preserve our food, revolutionized healthcare, and has potentially saved millions of lives. He fundamentally changed how the world perceived biology by drawing attention to the microscopic building blocks of life.... Read more »
October, 2015
Well…oysters to be more accurate. On October 1st, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) have announced a 14-day closure of oyster beds located in Duxbury Bay, Kingston Bay, Bluefish River, Back River, and Plymouth Harbor following two new cases of Vibrio parahaemolyticus... Read more »
September, 2015
In 2008, a deadly Salmonella outbreak in peanut butter ran unbridled across 46 states. Its deadly rampage was responsible for nine deaths as well 714 confirmed cases of illness. This number is considered extremely conservative as the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) often state that for every reported case of Salmonella another 38... Read more »
September, 2015
No, Blood Falls is not the newest Norwegian metal band, but it is actually a naturally occurring geologic wonder.  Blood falls flows out of the Taylor Glacier in Antarctica onto the neighboring West Lake Bonney which is completely frozen over. The isolated (even for Antarctica) anomaly as well as the glacier and valley was discovered... Read more »
September, 2015
If you were on the internet a few months ago, then you more than likely saw this photo. The woman behind this image is Tasha Sturm, a Laboratory Technician for Cabrillo College and became, seemingly overnight, a sensation because of her love of microbiology. The image went viral on social media and news channels. Overnight,... Read more »
August, 2015
On September 13th, 2009 a University of Chicago researcher, Malcom Casadaban, was admitted to a local hospital due to fever, aches, cough and shortness of breath. Blood tests indicated renal failure, severely elevated white blood cell count, and a left shift in the ratio of immature to mature neutrophils. Blood smears indicated bacteremia. The patient... Read more »
August, 2015
If you have seen the news lately, you may have heard about the recent outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease in New York city, particularly the South Bronx. Over one hundred people have been affected by the illness and twelve people have died from the disease.   While Legionnaire’s disease may sound like something that plagued ancient... Read more »
August, 2015
Many people decide to become dog owners for reasons such as companionship, protection of one’s home, or simply the happiness that is felt every day from being greeted by a furry friend. To add to this list, owning a dog might also change the microbial composition in your gut and alleviate the symptoms of allergies.... Read more »
August, 2015
Art restoration experts spend countless hours in awkward positions, breathing in harsh chemicals while meticulously cleaning, varnishing, and stippling irreplaceable works of art. A shaky hand or a rough touch could result in the destruction of a priceless work of art.  Consequently, students at the Polytechnic University of Valencia’s Institute of Heritage Restoration may have... Read more »
August, 2015
      Hybrid, Zero Emissions, Paperless: These, amongst others, are keywords that have become so woven into our daily vernacular that the very sight of them has almost become second nature. The movement to conserve energy or “Going Green” has been enjoying an all-time height of relevancy.  Environmental concerns such as climate change have... Read more »