Thursday 30 November 2023

Microbiology News: Antimicrobials and mother’s microbiome




There is much of interest in the world of microbiology, with new areas to explore emerging in recent years, including the importance of the microbiome in affecting health and disease (that is the microorganisms and genetic interactions within a given niche) and with the continued rise in cases of antimicrobial resistance, which presents a major risk to the health of humanity. We explore stories relating to both of these areas, together with news relating to some of the earliest recorded cases of parasitic infection.


Bacterial resistance to two critical antibiotics widespread in Southeast Asia


Resistance to two critical antibiotic types, one a “drug of last resort” when all others fail against some “superbugs,” have been shown to be widely distributed in Southeast Asia, raising the risk of untreatable infections, say a team of investigators led by Georgetown University Medical Center. The picture the data paints is of a serious emerging public health threat.

The research has been published in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents, with the research paper titled “Carbapenem and Colistin Resistance in Enterobacteriaceae in Southeast Asia: Review and Mapping of Emerging and Overlapping Challenges.”


Ancient feces reveal how ‘marsh diet’ left Bronze Age Fen folk infected with parasites


New research shows how the prehistoric inhabitants of a settlement in the freshwater marshes of eastern England were infected by intestinal worms caught from foraging for food in the lakes and waterways around their homes. Preserved in the surrounding mud were waterlogged “coprolites” — pieces of human faeces. By uisng microscopy techniques to detect ancient parasite eggs within the faeces and surrounding sediment, the researchers found the earliest evidence for fish tapeworm and giant kidney worm in Britain. This was the result of dumping of excrement into the freshwater channel.


These findings are published in the journal Parasitology (“Intestinal parasites at the Late Bronze Age settlement of Must Farm, in the fens of East Anglia, UK (9th century B.C.E.)”).


Mode of delivery at birth may play key role in shaping the child’s skin microbiome


The maturation of skin microbial communities during childhood impacts on the skin health of children and development of the immune system into adulthood, based on a new study examining the microbiota in young children. Here investigators in China discovered that bacterial genera in children were more similar to those of their own mothers than to those of unrelated women. These data suggest that the mode of delivery at birth could be an important factor in shaping the child’s microbiome.


This study has been reported to the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, with the research paper headed “Age and Mothers: Potent Influences of Children’s Skin Microbiota.”

 Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle, Pharmaceutical Microbiology Resources (

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