Author Archives: MicrobiologySociety

How concerned should we be about H7N9 flu?

The past few weeks have seen an increasing amount of coverage about an ongoing outbreak of the H7N9 strain of avian influenza in China (often called ‘bird flu’). Reports suggest that in January almost 200 people were confirmed as being … Continue reading

Posted in Clinical and Medical Microbiology, Virology | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Bacterial freeloaders: An unexpected mechanism of resistance

Bacteria are very good at evolving resistance to our drugs. Once all-powerful wonder-cures, antibiotics are steadily becoming less effective. If antibiotic resistance continues to spread, reports suggest that by 2050, 10 million people could die every year from infections we … Continue reading

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You can’t stop an outbreak without breaking a few eggs

Last year, a paper from Microbial Genomics described how scientists used molecular detective work to get to the bottom of an outbreak across Europe. In June 2014, there was an outbreak of Salmonella at a hospital in Birmingham. Thirty-two people were affected, and … Continue reading

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What is Herd Immunity?

When you think of a herd, you probably think of cows, wildebeest or buffalo. In the animal world, there is safety in numbers – more pairs of eyes to look out for predators, for example. As humans, we don’t generally have … Continue reading

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Streptomyces: bacterial explorers

Streptomyces bacteria are some of the most studied microbes on the planet. This genus of soil-dwelling organisms is best known for being prolific producers of many of the antibiotics that we use clinically. However, despite 70 years of study, they … Continue reading

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Podcast: Microbes in the Deep Dark Ocean

What’s it like to travel right down to the bottom of the ocean? Deep sea microbiologist Julie Huber should know. Her group, at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Massachusetts, USA, is trying to uncover more about the microbes living in … Continue reading

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On the Horizon: What is Oropouche virus?

In this edition of our On the Horizon series, we take a look at an obscure virus that may cause an important emerging disease in 2017, or may remain in obscurity for much of the world. That is, except for … Continue reading

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