The Quest for Better Bandages Turns to Nanofibers

Our skin is a protective barrier to bacterial infection, but damage to the skin allows bacteria to enter. Normally, our immune system kills the bacteria and allows wounds to heal. However, certain diseases can overload the immune system and lead to heavy infection. Antibiotics are commonly used to treat heavy bacterial infection, but bacteria can develop drug resistance after too much exposure. A team at … Continue reading The Quest for Better Bandages Turns to Nanofibers

Less of the Same: Rebooting the antibiotic pipeline

by Francesca Tomasi figures by Aparna Nathan Too Much of a Good Thing? Ninety years ago, Alexander Fleming happened upon the chemical compound penicillin and sparked a medical revolution. It was a serendipitous occasion – Fleming had been growing plates of bacteria in his lab when he noticed some mold growing on one of them. Just some classic contamination, he probably thought, ready to discard … Continue reading Less of the Same: Rebooting the antibiotic pipeline

Bacteriophage: A solution to our antibiotics problem?

by Veerasak “Jeep” Srisuknimit figures by Jovana Andrejevic Our time with antibiotics is running out. In 2016, a woman in Nevada died from a bacterial infection caused by Klebsiella pneumoniae that was resistant to all available antibiotics. Bacteria that is resistant to colistin, an antibiotic of last resort, has been discovered on pig farms in China. Bacteria have been evolving to resist antibiotics faster than … Continue reading Bacteriophage: A solution to our antibiotics problem?

Expanding the Antibiotic Arsenal: A New Drug of Last Resort

Prior to the discovery of antibiotics, bacterial infections were the leading cause of death worldwide. Now, treating infections is often a routine procedure – simply requiring a doctor’s visit and a prescribed antibiotic. However, this simple routine has become marred by the emergence of antibiotic resistance. The misuse and overuse of antibiotics is fueling the rise of resistant bacteria. In response to antibiotic exposure, bacteria have evolved … Continue reading Expanding the Antibiotic Arsenal: A New Drug of Last Resort

MRSA Bacteria

Reversing Resistance: How to teach old antibiotics new tricks

It’s an all-too-common refrain nowadays, but antibiotic resistance remains one of the world’s most severe public health threats.  Bacteria have developed resistance to nearly every antibiotic drug in our arsenal, and the Healthcare Infection Society has estimated that 10 million people will die annually from antibiotic-resistant bacteria by 2050. Hoping to reverse these worrying trends, researchers from Oregon State University and Sarepta Therapeutics have developed … Continue reading Reversing Resistance: How to teach old antibiotics new tricks

Say Goodbye to Antibacterial Soaps: Why the FDA is banning a household item

by Gabriel W. Rangel figures by Michael Gerhardt How many times per day do you wash your hands? Do you ever think about the type of soap you use? We all know handwashing with soap is an impactful way to maintain health by decreasing the risk of becoming infected with one germ or another. Therefore, using soap with antibacterial compounds added is a no-brainer, right? … Continue reading Say Goodbye to Antibacterial Soaps: Why the FDA is banning a household item

New technology lets researchers visualize the evolution of antibiotic resistance

Antibiotics are powerful drugs used to treat bacterial infections. Recently, however, a growing number of bacterial infections have developed resistance to many commonly used antibiotics. In fact, the World Health Organization has pegged antibiotic resistance as one of the world’s biggest threats to global health! Bacteria acquire antibiotic resistance by changing in a way that reduces drug effectiveness. In a recent article, a research team … Continue reading New technology lets researchers visualize the evolution of antibiotic resistance

Bacteria Resistant to Last-Line Antibiotic Found in US

In May, researchers identified for the first time a bacterial infection in the US that was resistant to the last-resort antibiotic colistin. Colistin was the last remaining antibiotic effective against all bacteria in the country – a weapon of last resort. This particular infection was sensitive to other antibiotics and was cured, but the presence of colistin resistant bacteria in the US (it was known … Continue reading Bacteria Resistant to Last-Line Antibiotic Found in US

Irresistible: Stopping bacteria from acquiring evil superpowers

The news is filled with stories of bacteria beating antibiotics – over time, bacteria can become resistant to drugs that are used to fight them. Unfortunately, this means that the “wonder drug” you thought could cure your infection may eventually be outsmarted by the bacteria it was designed to treat. In order to tackle bacterial resistance, scientists have devoted substantial effort to understanding how bacteria … Continue reading Irresistible: Stopping bacteria from acquiring evil superpowers

Antibiotic Resistance: Old genes, new problems

by Alexandra Cantley figures by Joy Jiao and Shannon McArdel Over the last several years, antibiotic resistance has gripped the attention of the public. Recently, newspapers have alerted us to a “superbug” in China and detailed the struggles of Daniel Fells, a Giants team member who is facing surgery for a persistent MRSA infection [1,2]. Yet, a recent survey conducted by the World Health Organization … Continue reading Antibiotic Resistance: Old genes, new problems