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Immune activity shortly after surgery holds big clue to recovery rate

Immune activity shortly after surgery holds big clue to recovery rate

The millions of people who undergo major surgery each year have no way of knowing how long it will take them to recover from the operation. Continue reading

Search for better biofuels microbes leads to human gut

Search for better biofuels microbes leads to human gut

Scientists have scoured cow rumens and termite guts for microbes that can efficiently break down plant cell walls for the production of next-generation biofuels, but some of the best microbial candidates actually may reside in the human lower intestine, researchers report. Continue reading

Critically ill ICU patients lose almost all of their gut microbes and the ones left aren’t good

Critically ill ICU patients lose almost all of their gut microbes and the ones left aren’t good

Researchers at the University of Chicago have shown that after a long stay in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) only a handful of pathogenic microbe species remain behind in patients’ intestines. Continue reading

Influenza A potentiates pneumococcal co-infection: New details emerge

Influenza A potentiates pneumococcal co-infection: New details emerge

Influenza infection can enhance the ability of the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae to cause ear and throat infections, according to research published ahead of print in the journal Infection and Immunity . Continue reading

Influenza A potentiates pneumococcal co-infection: New details emerge

Influenza A potentiates pneumococcal co-infection: New details emerge

Influenza infection can enhance the ability of the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae to cause ear and throat infections, according to research published ahead of print in the journal Infection and Immunity . Continue reading

U.S. health system not properly designed to meet needs of patients nearing end of life, say experts

U.S. health system not properly designed to meet needs of patients nearing end of life, say experts

The U.S. health care system is not properly designed to meet the needs of patients nearing the end of life and those of their families, and major changes to the system are necessary, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine. The 21-member committee that wrote the report envisioned an approach to end-of-life care that integrates traditional medical care and social services and that is high-quality, affordable, and sustainable Continue reading

Each day in hospital raises risk of multidrug-resistant infection

Each day in hospital raises risk of multidrug-resistant infection

If a patient contracts an infection while in the hospital, each day of hospitalization increases by 1% the likelihood that the infection will be multidrug-resistant, according to research presented at the 54th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) an infectious disease meeting of the American Society for Microbiology. Researchers from the Medical University of South Carolina gathered and analyzed historical data from 949 documented cases of Gram-negative infection at their academic medical center Continue reading

New antifungal as effective as existing drugs with fewer adverse events

New antifungal as effective as existing drugs with fewer adverse events

A newly developed antifungal, isavuconazole, is as effective as an existing drug, voriconazole, against invasive mold disease in cancer patients with less adverse effects, according to phase 3 clinical data presented at the 54th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, an infectious disease meeting of the American Society for Microbiology. Continue reading

Sniffing-out smell of disease in feces: ‘Electronic nose’ for rapid detection of clostridum difficile infection

Sniffing-out smell of disease in feces: ‘Electronic nose’ for rapid detection of clostridum difficile infection

A fast-sensitive “electronic-nose” for sniffing the highly infectious bacteria C-diff, that causes diarrhea, temperature and stomach cramps, has been developed by a team at the University of Leicester. Using a mass spectrometer, the research team has demonstrated that it is possible to identify the unique ‘smell’ of C-diff which would lead to rapid diagnosis of the condition. What is more, the Leicester team say it could be possible to identify different strains of the disease simply from their smell — a chemical fingerprint — helping medics to target the particular condition. Continue reading

Surprising discovery: HIV hides in gut, evading eradication

Surprising discovery: HIV hides in gut, evading eradication

Researchers at UC Davis have made some surprising discoveries about the body’s initial responses to HIV infection. Studying simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), the team found that specialized cells in the intestine called Paneth cells are early responders to viral invasion and are the source of gut inflammation by producing a cytokine called interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β). Continue reading