Clear seasonal variation in bacterial infections
In a first of its kind study, a first-degree family history of prostate cancer has no impact on the treatment outcomes of prostate cancer patients treated with brachytherapy (also called seed implants), and patients with this type of family history have clinical and pathologic characteristics similar to men with no family history at all, according
Full Post: First-degree family history of prostate cancer does not affect some treatment outcomes
In the same way that winter is commonly known to be the “flu season,” a new study suggests that the dog days of summer may well be the “bacterial infection” season.
Researchers have discovered that serious infections caused by gram-negative bacteria can go up as much as 17 percent with every 10 degree increase in seasonal temperature. The findings, which were based on seven years of data from infections in a Baltimore hospital, suggest that the incidence there of some of these illnesses might be up to 46 percent higher in summer than in winter.
The cause is not known, scientists said, but the seasonal variation is clear.
“Gram-negative bacteria are a frequent cause of urinary tract, gastrointestinal and respiratory infections, as well as more serious things like pneumonia, wound or blood infections,” said Jessina McGregor, an assistant professor in the College of Pharmacy at Oregon State University. “Everyone knows there is a seasonality to some viral infections such as influenza or the common cold, but we’re now finding that some of these bacterial infections peak in the heat of summer.”
Recognition of these seasonal trends, the researchers said, may improve disease diagnosis, prompt treatments and better interventions to prevent the infections in the first place.
The findings were made by scientists from OSU; Dr. Eli N. Perencevich, associate professor of epidemiology and preventive medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine; and researchers from the University of Florida and the Research Institute of the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. They were just published in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, a professional journal.
The study examined infections caused by several gram-negative bacteria, including E. coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, E. cloacae, and Acinetobacter baumannii. The greatest increases in infection due to higher temperatures were found with P. aeruginosa, a common cause of burn, external ear, urinary tract and lung infections; and A. baumannii, an opportunistic pathogen that can cause death and serious illnesses, particularly in people with compromised immune systems.
The study also found that there was no apparent seasonal increase in gram-positive bacterial infections, which have a slightly different cell structure and are the source of fewer pathogenic infections in humans.
“Bacterial infections in general have been rising for some time, probably due at least in part to increased antibiotic resistance,” McGregor said. “The more we can learn about what is causing them and when they are most likely to occur, the better we can treat or prevent them.”
There are several possible causes for the summertime increase in gram-negative bacterial infections, the researchers said, but none are proven. P. aeruginosa is an aquatic organism, and infections caused by it could be linked to more people swimming in lakes or pools during the summer. Cattle have higher bacterial shedding rates in the summer, and the peak of E. coli infections could be connected to higher consumption of ground beef or other factors during the “outdoor grill” season.
Several of these gram-negative bacteria cause urinary tract infections, and a known risk factor for that is recent sexual intercourse - the frequency of which also peaks in the summer, when there is more sunlight.
“Regardless of the mechanisms responsible for infections, recognition of the link between the physical environment and the incidences of pathogenic infection could aid in infection prevention interventions or the selection of optimal empirical antimicrobial therapy,” the researchers wrote in their report.
The link between this type of bacterial infections and heat, the study suggested, should also be considered along with the many other possible impacts of global climate change.
When bacterial infections cause us to get really sick, the only way to get better is to go to the doctor. With the help of antibiotics, we can start to recover quickly. One such antibiotic is Augmentin which belongs to the penicillin family of drugs. A bacterial infection is different to a viral infection, therefore the
Full Post: Antibiotic Augmentin
Swissmedic, the Swiss agency for therapeutic products, has approved Zevtera (ceftobiprole medocaril) for the treatment of complicated skin and soft tissue infections, including diabetic foot infections which have not spread to the bone. Ceftobiprole is licensed from and co-developed with Basilea Pharmaceutica Ltd. Janssen-Cilag will market ceftobiprole in Switzerland under the trade name Zevtera.
Full Post: Swiss approval for Zevtera in treatment of complicated skin and soft tissue infections
As bacteria resistant to commonly used antibiotics continue to increase in number, scientists keep searching for new sources of drugs. In this week’s JBC, one potential new bactericide has been found in the tiny freshwater animal Hydra. The protein identified by Joachim Grötzinger, Thomas Bosch and colleagues at the University of Kiel, hydramacin-1, is unusual
Full Post: Discovery of potential new bactericide
The redox-active pigments responsible for the blue-green stain of the mucus that clogs the lungs of children and adults with cystic fibrosis (CF) are primarily signaling molecules that allow large clusters of the opportunistic infection agent, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, to organize themselves into structured communities, report Massachusetts Institute of Technology geobiologists at American Society for Cell
Full Post: Evolutionary roots of ancient bacteria may open new line of attack on cystic fibrosis
Infectious disease experts warn that new drugs are urgently needed to treat six drug-resistant bacteria that cause most hospital infections and increasingly escape the effects of antibiotics. The ESKAPE pathogens - as these six bad bugs have been dubbed - are still on the loose more than four years after the Infectious Diseases Society of
Full Post: Six bad bugs increasingly escaping effects of antibiotics