Older adults and antibiotics: Study shows healthy attitudes but unhealthy practices

While most adults over 50 understand that overuse of antibiotics is a problem, and say they’re cautious about taking the drugs, a sizable minority have used antibiotics for something other than their original purpose, and appear to think the drugs could help treat colds, which are caused by viruses not bacteria.

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Groups Denounce Misleading “One Health CertifiedTM” Label Scheme

Today, a coalition of animal welfare, consumer, public health, and environmental organizations called on grocery stores, restaurants and meat producers to reject the use of a misleading label scheme known as One Health CertifiedTM (OHC) and the standards behind it. The label was approved for use on chicken and turkey products earlier this year and is now being used by a handful of grocery store chains, including Aldi and BJ’s, and at least one restaurant chain. Consumer Reports recently assigned the OHC label its second poorest rating because the standards behind the label essentially reflect current problematic industry practices related to antibiotic use, animal production, and environmental impact.

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Antibiotic resistance genes in three Puerto Rican watersheds after Hurricane Maria

Researchers monitored antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in three Puerto Rican watersheds after Hurricane Maria, finding that the abundance and diversity of ARGs were highest downstream of WWTPs. They report their results in ACS’ Environmental Science & Technology.

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Penn Medicine Scientists Engineer Bacteria-Killing Molecules from Wasp Venom

A team led by Penn Medicine has engineered powerful new antimicrobial molecules from toxic proteins found in wasp venom. The team hopes to develop the molecules into new bacteria-killing drugs, an important advancement considering increasing numbers of antibiotic-resistant bacteria which can cause illness such as sepsis and tuberculosis.

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Too many COVID-19 patients get unneeded “just in case” antibiotics

More than half of patients hospitalized with suspected COVID-19 in Michigan during the state’s peak months received antibiotics soon after they arrive, just in case they had a bacterial infection in addition to the virus, a new study shows. But testing soon showed that 96.5% of them only had the coronavirus, which antibiotics don’t affect.

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Antibiotic-destroying genes widespread in bacteria in soil and on people

Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have found that genes that confer the power to destroy tetracycline antibiotics are widespread in bacteria. But the researchers have also created a chemical compound that shields tetracyclines from destruction, restoring the antibiotics lethality. The findings indicate an emerging threat to one of the most widely used classes of antibiotics — but also a promising way to protect against that threat.

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Study describes cocktail of pharmaceuticals in waters in Bangladesh

An analysis revealed that water samples held a cocktail of pharmaceuticals and other compounds, including antibiotics, antifungals, anticonvulsants, anesthetics, antihypertensive drugs, pesticides, flame retardants and more. Not all chemicals were found at every test site.

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Study: How U.S. sewage plants can remove medicines from wastewater

A study of seven wastewater treatment plants points to two treatment methods — granular activated carbon and ozonation — as being particularly promising for reducing the concentration of pharmaceuticals including certain antidepressants and antibiotics.

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New CRISPR-based System Targets Amplified Antibiotic-resistant Genes

Researchers have developed a new CRISPR-based gene-drive system that more efficiently inactivates a gene rendering bacteria antibiotic-resistant. The new system leverages technology developed by UC San Diego biologists in insects and mammals that biases genetic inheritance of preferred traits called “active genetics.”

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Researchers identify ‘Achilles’ heel’ of drug-resistant superbug

Researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) have identified a protein that allows vancomycin-resistant enterococci to defy antibiotic treatment and immune system attacks. Their discovery opens the door for future treatment options in the fight against antibiotic resistance.

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Flu Preparedness Hearing Opens Opportunities for Vaccine, AMR Action

Today’s subcommittee hearing on U.S. preparedness and responses for the 2019-2020 flu season offers an important opportunity to examine and act on gaps and challenges exacerbating the public health threats of seasonal influenza outbreaks.

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Poll reveals risky use of antibiotics by some older adults, and opportunities for providers to improve

Half of older Americans got help from the infection-fighting power of antibiotics in the past two years, a new poll finds, but a sizable minority didn’t follow the instructions on their pill bottle. And one in five say that in the past, they’ve engaged in a risky practice: taking leftover antibiotics without checking with a medical professional.

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Scientists Discover New Antibiotic in Tropical Forest

Scientists from Rutgers University and around the world have discovered an antibiotic produced by a soil bacterium from a Mexican tropical forest that may help lead to a “plant probiotic,” more robust plants and other antibiotics. Probiotics, which provide friendlier bacteria and health benefits for humans, can also be beneficial to plants, keeping them healthy and more robust. The new antibiotic, known as phazolicin, prevents harmful bacteria from getting into the root systems of bean plants, according to a Rutgers co-authored study in the journal Nature Communications.

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