April 07, 2014

4:55 PM | Vibrio outbreak prompts changes in oyster handling
I’ve only once had raw oysters, on a trip to New Zealand while in graduate school where some Kiwi food safety folks urged me to try the delicacy. They were slimy. I determined that the taste benefit wasn’t worth the … Continue reading →
3:47 PM | BacterioFiles Micro Edition 161 - Permafrost Produces Perceptible Pithos
This episode: The largest virus so far has been discovered in ancient Siberian permafrost! Download Episode (9.5 MB, 10.3 minutes)Show notes:News item/Journal Paper Other interesting stories: Plants seem to stimulate bacteria to degrade pollutants (paper) Gene therapy with virus could help repair brain damages Phages could soon be important for treating bacterial infections Certain portions of gut microbiome, and inflammation, associated with colon cancer (paper) (TWiM 71) Yogurt […]
11:27 AM | Referral: VDU Charts The Ebola Outbreak
Photo Credit - CDC   # 8442     Dr. Ian Mackay, after a well-deserved week’s respite from blogging, has returned with a summary and case chart on the Ebola outbreak in Western Africa.   Follow the link below to read:   Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in West Africa: chart of cases to 04-Apr Credit Dr Ian Mackay VDU Blog. The Ebola virus disease (EVD) case chart adjacent is based on the latest Disease Outbreak News (DON) from […]
11:07 AM | The Oldest Gem Tells its Tale
by Gemma Reguera Modern Earth is nothing like it was in its early days. Our planet was formed some 4.56 billion years ago when a giant stellar cloud collapsed on itself due its massive size and gravitational force. The explosion also generated the sun and many other planetary bodies, including those that would eventually become the planets of the Solar system. This early Earth was a planet of molten rock surrounded by a layer of hydrogen and helium gases. These gases were likely blown away by […]
11:07 AM | WPRO World Health Day Video: Small Bite, Big Threat
Global brief on vector-borne diseases pdf, 4.45 Mb     # 8441   Globally, the World Health Organization estimates that one out of two people are at risk of contracting a vector-borne illness; diseases carried by mosquitoes, ticks, biting flies, and freshwater snails.  Globally Malaria infects more than 200 million people each year - killing over 600,000 - while 40% of the world’s population is now at risk of Dengue.    Add in the considerable […]

April 06, 2014

9:25 PM | Listeria being sequenced to better understand food poisoning
Chances are you’ve heard of mapping genes to diagnose rare diseases, predict your risk of cancer and tell your ancestry. But to uncover food poisonings? The nation’s disease detectives are beginning a program to try to outsmart outbreaks by routinely … Continue reading →
9:07 PM | Maybe don’t quit your day job? UK restaurant mentored by TV food guru Russell Norman given one star hygiene rating
A restaurant mentored by television food guru Russell Norman in his BBC show scored just one star in a food hygiene inspection. A fridge at Desi Fusion – featured on The Restaurant Man show – was found with mouldy and … Continue reading →
5:20 PM | Saudi MOH Adds 1 New MERS-CoV Case & 2 Fatalities
    # 8440   The Saudi MOH has updated their MERS-CoV graphic today, incrementing the number of cases by 1, and adding 2 additional deaths.    They have also posted a `clarification’ which, unfortunately, doesn’t quite live up to its billing. As best as I can gather from perusing two syntax challenged translations, is the 27-year-old nurse we learned about 9 days ago (see Saudi MOH Announces A New MERS-CoV Case In Jeddah) has died, as has […]
1:32 PM | TWiV 279: The missing LNC
On episode #279 of the science show This Week in Virology, Vincent, Alan, and Kathy reveal how a retrovirus in the human genome keeps embryonic stem cells in a pluripotent state, from where they can differentiate into all cells of the body. You can find TWiV #279 at www.twiv.tv.
11:52 AM | WHO Updates On West Africa’s Ebola Outbreak
Ebola Testing Now Done locally – Twitter picture Promoted by WHO   # 8437   It may be an early Sunday morning, but the World Health Organization (@WHO) and their spokesperson Gregory Hartl (@Haertlg) have been very busy the past few hours providing updates on the latest developments in Africa’s Ebola outbreak via their respective twitter accounts.    With more than 1.2 million followers, the WHO now routinely dispenses breaking news and […]
6:45 AM | Review on PCR based diagnostic approaches for detection of intestinal parasites
My colleague Jaco Verweij – a pioneer in terms of developing and applying real-time PCR diagnostics in clinical parasitology – and I have put together a review in the journal Clinical Microbiology Reviews with the title: Molecular Testing for Clinical Diagnosis and Epidemiological Investigations of Intestinal Parasitic Infections It’s available form the journal’s website here. […]

Verweij JJ & Stensvold CR (2014). Molecular testing for clinical diagnosis and epidemiological investigations of intestinal parasitic infections., Clinical microbiology reviews, 27 (2) 371-418. PMID:

Lee MY, Cho EJ, Lee JH, Han SH & Park YS (2011). A ten-year survey of Giardia cysts in drinking water supplies of Seoul, the Republic of Korea., The Korean journal of parasitology, 49 (1) 9-15. PMID:

5:07 AM | Community rallies behind Oklahoma boy battling E. coli infection
Residents in a small town in northwest Oklahoma are rallying behind a young boy, who is fighting for his life after being infected with E. coli. State health officials in Oklahoma are investigating a spike in a deadly strain of E. … Continue reading →
3:04 AM | There’s no problem here; UK tourist sues over Salmonella ‘nightmare holiday’ in Bulgaria
Catherine Lowe, aged 26, came down with Salmonella poisoning during a stay at a hotel in Bulgaria. The healthcare assistant needed to be hooked up to a drip at a local medical centre when her symptoms left her dangerously dehydrated, … Continue reading →
2:57 AM | Over £17Kin fines; mouldy food and filthy conditions at The Thali Indian restaurant shock UK hygiene inspectors
Conditions at a filthy East Yorkshire restaurant have been described as some of the worst that hygiene inspectors had ever seen. Inspectors visiting The Thali Indian restaurant in Pocklington found mouldy food on counters, no soap for workers to wash … Continue reading →
2:23 AM | Over 100 sick linked to Japanese steakhouse in Michigan
More than 100 cases of gastrointestinal illnesses have been linked to Wild Chef Japanese Steakhouse Grill and Bar, 2863 West Shore Drive in Holland Township. Kristina Wieghmink, spokeswoman for the Ottawa County Department of Public Health, said they pinpointed the … Continue reading →
2:20 AM | Good reading on the history of the terms/concepts of prokaryote & eukaryote
Preparing for some lectures at UC Davis for Biodiversity and The Tree of Life course and came across this: The Prokaryote-Eukaryote Dichotomy: Meanings and Mythology by Jan Sapp which I had not really scrutinized before.  It is quite good and has lots of information on the history of microbiology and the twisted history of the prokaryote - eukaryote distinction.  Veryvery interesting stuff.  And freely available in Pubmed Central. Thank you thank you thank you Pubmed […]
1:59 AM | Kids don’t get to choose: more illness with more raw milk in US
An alliance of food activists and anti-regulation libertarians is battling to legalize raw, unpasteurized milk, despite warnings from health officials about the rising toll of illnesses affecting adults and children alike. Kimberly Kindy of The Washington Post writes that as … Continue reading →
1:46 AM | Medieval poop found: still stinks
I’ve always been a fan of the raspberries. A number of Medieval wooden barrels have been uncovered in Denmark, revealing their less- than-glamorous contents. Originally built to transport goods and store fish, the barrels were converted into latrines — still … Continue reading →

April 05, 2014

7:42 PM | Egypt: Media Reports Of Another H5N1 Case
  # 8436   Just over two weeks ago (see Watching Egypt Again . . .) the newshounds at FluTrackers picked up several Arabic media reports regarding a pair of H5N1 cases; a 56 years old housewife in Beheira (Damanhur) and a 4 year-old child in Damietta (Annaana).  Six days later the World Health Organization  confirmed those reports here. Today the Arabic media is once again carrying reports (h/t Gert van der Hoek  on this FluTrackers Thread)  of […]
7:21 PM | bunsenb: Incredible work by Betty Busby
bunsenb: Incredible work by Betty Busby
7:18 PM | U.S. National Guard and Navy called in to help child suffering from salmonellosis
Dealing with an ill toddler while away from home is stressful; being 900 miles offshore in a wind-powered boat with a kid who has picked up Salmonella is scary. According to NBC San Diego, the California Air National Guard and … Continue reading →
5:44 PM | It takes a village - and if you are interested in plants - here is one
Continuing to be impressed with PlantVillage. Their mantra isPlantVillage is built on the premise that the all knowledge that helps people grow food should be openly accessible to anyone on the planet. PlantVillage is a user moderated Q & A forum dedicated to the goal of helping people grow their own food. It is an open freely available resource that helps you solve all your plant related questions.I first found out about this when David Hughes was visiting UC Davis a few weeks ago to […]
1:24 PM | From the low-moisture-foods-with-Salmonella files: black peppercorn edition
Sprouts Farmers Market have, according to a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) press release have recalled some black peppercorn products due to Salmonella after internal testing revealed the bacterial contamination. Sprouts Farmers Market, Inc. (the “Company”) is recalling Organic … Continue reading →
1:05 PM | The consequences of unsafe home canning are scary
With the first ramps making their way to New York restaurants, the North Carolina spring is here. As the top two-thirds of North America thaws out, the bottom third is gearing up for the home canning season. If done incorrectly … Continue reading →
10:24 AM | NEJM: Lessons Learned From The 2009 Pandemic
Credit NEJM   # 8435     Although it seems like just yesterday, it’s been nearly five years since we first received word that a new swine-origin H1N1 virus had been identified in both San Diego and Imperial County, California and in San Antonio, Texas (see CDC Issues Outbreak Notice On Swine Flu).  Soon it became apparent that an outbreak had been ongoing for several weeks in Mexico, and early reports suggested a worrisome morbidity and mortality rate.   […]
9:21 AM | Blogger's Desk- What’s wrong with our science
Greetings      Lately, a few days ago I happened to stumble on an important point regarding “publication of research work”. Several blogs, podcasts, high level meetings, editorials etc.. are now pouring in opinions on how science is not working, the way it is supposed to. I have written on topics of very broad interest in this blog. Things that I have expressed below, is my personal opinion based on what I have found from polling (Link), talking in person to people […]
8:16 AM | RCT Study on Dientamoeba fragilis in CID
In the string of papers coming out from Dr Dennis Röser’s PhD study on the epidemiology, transmission, and clinical significance of Dientamoeba fragilis, the most recent article was published a few days ago in Clinical Infectious Diseases and available (uncorrected proof) from the journal’s website here. DOI =  10.1093/cid/ciu188. Currently, the full text can be […]

Röser D, Simonsen J, Stensvold R, Olsen KE, Bytzer P, Nielsen HV & Mølbak K (2014). Metronidazole therapy for treating dientamoebiasis in children is not associated with better clinical outcomes: A randomized, double-blinded and placebo-controlled clinical trial., Clinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, PMID:

Röser D, Simonsen J, Nielsen HV, Stensvold CR & Mølbak K (2013). Dientamoeba fragilis in Denmark: epidemiological experience derived from four years of routine real-time PCR., European journal of clinical microbiology & infectious diseases : official publication of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology, 32 (10) 1303-10. PMID:

Röser D, Nejsum P, Carlsgart AJ, Nielsen HV & Stensvold CR (2013). DNA of Dientamoeba fragilis detected within surface-sterilized eggs of Enterobius vermicularis., Experimental parasitology, 133 (1) 57-61. PMID:

Clark CG, Röser D & Stensvold CR (2014). Transmission of Dientamoeba fragilis: pinworm or cysts?, Trends in parasitology, 30 (3) 136-140. PMID:

Stensvold CR, Clark CG & Röser D (2013). Limited intra-genetic diversity in Dientamoeba fragilis housekeeping genes., Infection, genetics and evolution : journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases, 18 284-6. PMID:

5:06 AM | Mouse infestation closes birthplace of the cronut
New York City residents and tourists are apparently not alone in their love of Cronuts, those croissant-and-doughnut hybrids that have people lined up for blocks before dawn outside a SoHo bakery. Online video showing a mouse running around in the Dominique … Continue reading →

April 04, 2014

8:50 PM | Minnesota: Rare Imported Case Of Lassa Fever
Credit CDC’s Lassa Information Page     # 8433   Although its lethality is nowhere in the same league as Ebola Zaire, Lassa fever is another Viral Hemorrhagic Fever (VHF) which is endemic in Western Africa. The Lassa virus is commonly found in multimammate rats, a local rodent that often likes to enter human dwellings.   Exposure is typically through the urine or dried feces of infected rodents, and roughly 80% who are infected only experience mild […]
6:30 PM | Powering our future with electrigenic bacteria
Trillions of microbes live on us, in us, and around us, quietly sharing our bodies and our cities. But in the future, some microbes may have to work for their real estate. In fact, they may quiet literally become the generators that power our lives. How? By putting them to work inside electricity-generating fuel cells. The concept of…
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