Category Archives: In the news

Novartis joins the Big Pharma exodus out of antibiotics | Endpoints News

Novartis joins the Big Pharma exodus out of antibiotics, dumping research, cutting 140 and out-licensing programs

Turning A Phage | IPATH at UC San Diego

Image from Wellcome Images With microbial resistance to antibiotics growing into a major global health crisis, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, in collaboration with national research institutions and private industry, are leveraging hard-won expertise to exploit a natural viral enemy of pathogenic bacteria, creating North America’s first Center for Innovative Phage Applications and Therapeutics (IPATH). UCSD press release announcing IPATH IPATH website

Trillions Upon Trillions of Viruses Fall From the Sky Each Day | NYT

New York Times High in the Sierra Nevada mountains of Spain, an international team of researchers set out four buckets to gather a shower of viruses falling from the sky. Scientists have surmised there is a stream of viruses circling the planet, above the planet’s weather systems but below the level of airline travel. Very little is known about this realm, and that’s why the number of deposited viruses stunned the team in Spain. Each day, they calculated, some 800 million viruses cascade onto every square meter of… Read More →

Superbugs Are Nearly Impossible to Fight. This Last-Resort Medical Treatment Offers Hope | Time Magazine

On the evening of Nov. 7, Steffanie Strathdee sent out a cryptic tweet: “#Phage researchers! I am working with a team to get Burkholderia cepacia phages to treat a 25 y old woman with CF whose infection has failed all #antibiotics. We need lytic non-lysogenic phage URGENTLY to find suitable phage matches. Email if you can help!” The message was retweeted nearly 400 times. To the average social-media user, the tweet might as well have been written in another language, but to those who know Strathdee, it was… Read More →

Sewage Saved This Man’s Life. Someday It Could Save Yours. | HuffPost

Bacteriophages — viruses found in soil, water and human waste — may be the cure in a post-antibiotic world. Source: Sewage Saved This Man’s Life. Someday It Could Save Yours. | HuffPost

Viral Soldiers | The Scientist Magazine

Phage therapy to combat bacterial infections is garnering attention for the second time in 100 years, but solid clinical support for its widespread use is still lacking. Source: Viral Soldiers | The Scientist Magazine®

‘Swine farmers likely to carry drug-resistant staph’ | Pig Progress

Swine farmers are more likely to carry multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus or “staph”) than people without current swine exposure, according to a study conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Iowa, Kent State University, and the National Cancer Institute in the US.   Link to the study’s citation in PubMed

PigProgress – MRSA in Danish pigs – what can we learn?

EFSA (European Food Safety Authority – 2009) published a report on a Baseline Survey of the prevalence of MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) in the EU, for 2008, in breeding holdings (producers of breeding stock) and production herds (producing weaners, growers and finishers) and found that in the Netherlands, the country that first recognised the problem in 2005, had a prevalence of 12.8% and 17.9%, respectively of the pig adapted clone of MRSA CC398. Spain had a high 46% and 50.2% prevalence, respectively, but Denmark had only 0% and… Read More →

Carnivore’s Dilemma | National Geographic

Meat is murder. Meat—especially beef—is cigarettes and a Hummer rolled into one. For the sake of the animals, our own health, and the health of the planet, we must eat less of it. Meat is delicious. Meat is nutritious. Global demand is soaring for good reason, and we must find a way to produce more of it. In short, meat—especially beef—has become the stuff of fierce debate. Link: Carnivore’s Dilemma – National Geographic.

Bacteriophage Boom? | The Scientist Magazine®

The search for alternatives to antibiotics has led many scientists to a treatment practice that’s been on the fringes of modern medicine for nearly a century. Bacteriophages—viruses that infect and kill bacteria—were first used in 1919 to treat a wide range of infections. Phage therapy fell out of favor with the advent of antibiotics; the practice has only persisted in some European countries as an experimental treatment. However, earlier this year, phage therapy was highlighted as one of seven approaches to “achieving a coordinated and nimble approach to… Read More →