Antibiotics

Mike the Mad Biologist

Category archives for Antibiotics

In this story about the use of rapid genomic sequencing to monitor a hospital outbreak of multi-drug resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae (more details here), this end bit is interesting (italics mine): “In the E. coli outbreak, we had enough E. coli reference strains and knew enough about E. coli biology to quickly identify a set of…

Recently, ScienceBlogling Jeff Toney responded to Chief Veterinarian of the National Pork Producers Council Liz Wagstrom’s argument that widespread antibiotic use in agriculture has little effect on the antibiotic resistance problem. He concludes: However, the scientific facts support this idea [of agricultural misuse being a problem] – imagine the effect on our population of literally…

I haven’t gone after creationists in quite a while, because it just starts to feel like picking on the slow kid. Both PZ Myers and Kele Cable attended a seminar by Answers in Genesis High Wackaloon Terry Mortenson. I don’t think you could pay me enough to wade through that morass of unadulterated bullshit, but…

Microbiologist Julian Davies once said that the world is bathed in a dilute solution of tetracycline (an antibiotic). Between human use and production in the environment by naturally-occurring bacteria, there’s a lot of tetracycline out there. In spite of all of this tetracycline, most soil bacteria, and even a fair number of clinical bacteria are…

…or it won’t be much of a revolution. Yesterday, I discussed the difference between a DNA sequencing revolution and a genomics revolution, and how we have a long way to go before there’s a genome sequencer in every pot (or something). But let’s say, for argument’s sake, these problems are overcome–and I think they will…

When biologists refer to the ‘wild type’, we mean that there is a dominant phenotype or trait that most organisms in a species possess. For example, most Drosophila melangaster (the fly commonly used in genetics) have red eyes–red eyes are the wild type, while white eyes are often referred to as the ‘mutant’ phenotype. If…

If you haven’t heard, there’s a new antibiotic resistance gene, NDM-1, which stands for New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase-1. This gene has been found in Gram-negative Enterobacteriaceae (E. coli and Klebsiella), and confers resistance to every penicillin derivative. Like the KPC genes, this gene is found on miniature chromosomes that also carry other resistance genes, making this…

Two Thoughts About MRSA ST239

Maryn McKenna has a good article about a new strain of methicillin resistant of Staphylococcus aureus, ST239, aka The Brazilian Clone (as far as I know, no bikini wax is involved…). ST239 is troubling since it’s not only resistant to methicillin, but also resistant to other antibiotics, including clindamycin, tetracycline, cotrimoxazole (also known as Bactrim),…

One of the constant assumptions in the field of antibiotic resistance is that the massive exposure of bacteria to antibiotics, and the evolution of resistance to these antibiotics, didn’t occur until after the widespread introduction of penicillin and other antibiotics less than a century ago. But ScienceDaily reports that we might have to rethink this:…

So, in some quarters, there’s been wailing and gnashing of teeth over the Congressional hearings about the direct-to-customer (‘DTC’) genetic testing industry. I’ve discussed why I don’t think regulation is a disaster before, but I’ll add one more issue to the mix: maintaining subject confidentiality in NIH genomic studies. If someone related to a person…