HPV In Malawi

Malawi, in Sub-Saharan Africa, has the highest incidence and mortality of cervical cancer in the world. Nearly all cases of cervical cancer are caused by human papillomavirus, or HPV.

Earlier this year, the Microbiology Society funded one of our members, Dr Ramya Bhatia, to travel to Malawi as part of a research collaboration between Nkhoma Hospital and the University of Edinburgh.

In this podcast, Ramya talks to us about her time in Malawi, and Nkhoma’s highly successful cervical cancer screening programme.

Anand Jagatia

Image Credit: Derek Brumby/Thinkstock
Posted in Clinical and Medical Microbiology, Grants, Virology | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Antimicrobial Resistance and One Health Focused Meeting 2017

At the end of August, Microbiology Society staff and members attended the Antimicrobial Resistance and One Health Focused Meeting at Maynooth University, Ireland. In our latest blog post, Policy Officer Roya Ziaie lays out some of the topics that were discussed at the event.

With antimicrobial resistance (AMR) becoming a major public health concern, collaboration is vital to fill gaps in knowledge between sectors. Responding to this need, the Antimicrobial Resistance and One Health meeting focused on environmental, animal, human and policy aspects of AMR in order to better understand how these sectors are independent yet interconnected. Continue reading

Posted in Policy | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Protecting penguins from avian malaria

In 2016, a colony of penguins living in Exmoor Zoo in the UK suddenly died after an outbreak of avian malaria, a parasitic disease spread by the bites of infected mosquitoes. Sadly, this isn’t the only time that avian malaria has struck, and several other zoos in the UK have lost animals to the disease.

Avian malaria is mainly caused by the parasite Plasmodium relictum, which reproduces in red blood cells. While the disease appears to be harmless in many bird species, in can cause lethal anaemia in others. Continue reading

Posted in Animal Microbiology, Parasitology, Video | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Podcast: Microbiome Research – Opportunity or Over-hype?

This month, we’re bringing you a real highlight from our Annual Conference in Edinburgh: a live discussion about the state of microbiome research.

A panel of experts gave their views on whether microbiome research is an opportunity, or whether it’s been over-hyped. Continue reading

Posted in Events, Microbiome, Podcast | 2 Comments

New microbes found in a rhino, bird crops and mobile phone screens


Scientists have identified a new species of bacterium from a rhinoceros. The team isolated the strain from the genital tract of Sani the rhinoceros during a routine microbiological test. They name it Arcanobacterium wilhelmae after Wilhelma Zoo in Stuttgart, where it was found.

Meanwhile, researchers in a wild animal park in China have discovered a novel actinobacterium in the faeces of a golden snub-nosed monkey. The species, Mobilicoccus caccae becomes only the second member of its genus, joining Mobilicoccus pelagius, which was originally isolated from the intestinal tract of a fish.

Continue reading

Posted in New to Science | 3 Comments

Spotlight on Grants: Applied Microbiology in Uganda

Every year, the Microbiology Society awards grants from its International Development Fund to support members’ activities in countries where microbiology teaching or diagnostics require development. Dr Kostas Gkatzionis writes about his trip to Uganda earlier this year to run activities on applied microbiology for students at Kyambogo University.

Food microbiology is essential to build capacity in Uganda for food safety and quality testing, as well as increasing Uganda’s chances of full participation in international food trade. This is why in January 2017, together with Dr Ediriisa, I organised three weeks of activities on applied microbiology at Kyambogo University, with a focus on techniques for characterising bacterial flora in fermented foods.

Continue reading

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Why don’t archaea cause disease?

Are there really no archaeal pathogens? And if not, why not?

Dr James Chong explores these questions in a film and article for Microbiology Today.
Read the full comment piece here.

For a microbe, pathogenesis is a fundamentally bad idea. From an anthropomorphic point of view, why would you kill the host that is providing you with food and board at no cost? Is this not a poorly thought-through error of judgement? Surely a much better approach to propagation of one’s progeny is to hide in a corner and hope you’re not noticed? By minimising the burden on your host – or, better yet, offering them some service – they are more likely to tolerate, or even encourage, your presence. Continue reading

Posted in Video | Tagged | 2 Comments