Monday, 18 June 2012

Don't touch?

Next time you enter a new hotel room, you might think twice before touching the light switch or reaching for the remote. Those are two of the top surfaces most likely to be contaminated with bacteria, according to a study aimed at boosting hotel cleaning practices.

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Friday, 6 April 2012

Your Computer Mouse Carries More Germs Than A Toilet Seat

The average computer mouse is three times dirtier than a toilet seat, according to an alarming new study.
Researchers blame the results on  workers who eat at their desks, turning work stations into breeding grounds for harmful bugs and germs. And men are far more filthy than their female counterparts - with 40 per cent more bacteria lurking in male mice.Keyboards were the second most grubby item in the office, ahead of phones and chairs.Initial Washroom Hygiene, which carried out the tests, said computer mice also carried twice as many bugs as a toilet flush handle.
Researchers swabbed 158 items seized from 40 desks at three office locations and compared the results with data on toilet hygiene, including 28 loo seats, obtained from other buildings. Four-in-10 desks were home to at least one item with very high levels of bacteria and surface contamination which posed a risk to health.
Initial Technical manager Peter Barratt said: 'It is now common for office workers to spend their lunch hour eating at their desk - often surfing the web or continuing to type at the same time.
'This leaves crumbs and other food residue all over the work station, particularly on mice and keyboards, making them ideal places for bacteria and other microorganisms to survive and multiply.
'In addition because they are electrical devices these items aren’t cleaned as regularly or as thoroughly as other parts of the office, or even as the desks themselves.'
The mouse isn't the only everyday item found to be filthier than the average toilet seat - research has discovered more bacteria on kitchen work surfaces, steering wheels, restaurant high chairs, shopping trolleys and even lift buttons.
–Daily Mail, London

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Antibiotic resistance: we must act now says WHO.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Staphylococcus aureus might be an intracellular pathogen

Increasing evidence indicates that Staphylococcus aureus might be a facultative intracellular pathogen. In particular, certain subpopulations, called small colony variants (SCVs), seem to be well adapted to the intracellular milieu. When compared to ‘normal’ staphylococcal strains, SCVs show increased uptake by host cells, resistance to intracellular defences and reduced stimulation of host defences. We propose that the ability to form two subpopulations with different phenotypes might allow S. aureus the option for both extra- cellular and intra-cellular survival in the host.
Trends in Microbiology 2012 (Article in Press)

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Gene could be factor in frequent cold sores

People who get frequent flare-ups of cold sores may have variations of an obscure gene, according to a study published this week in the Journal of Infectious Diseases. This is the first gene to be associated with cold sore outbreaks.
Cold sores are the lesions caused by herpes simplex virus type 1, a persistent and common virus. The sores usually appear on the lip, around the mouth and sometimes on the nose, chin and fingers. Apart from the distress the sores can cause by their appearance, they can be painful and stick around for two weeks.
The sores also are infectious. Once a person has the virus, there’s no cure or way to predict or prevent the cold sores. The virus remains in the body and then unpredictably flares up in an outbreak of sores.  There are medications to relieve the symptoms.
Herpes simplex virus type 1 is different from genital herpes, which is herpes simplex virus type 2.
When will we see a herpes cure?
Researchers from University of Utah and the University of Massachusetts say the gene behind the frequent cold sores is C21orf91. Everyone has the gene, but there are two variations of the C21orf91 that are associated with the greater frequency of the outbreaks.
This doesn’t mean that people who have one of these two gene variations will automatically get a slew of cold sores.
“Twenty-one percent of the trait is due to genetic factors,” said study author, Dr. John Kriesel who is also a research associate professor of infectious diseases at the University of Utah School of Medicine. This means that 79% is due to other factors such as the virus strain and environmental factors.
Kriesel and the co-authors reached their findings after analysing data from the gene sequences from 618 study participants - half of whom had cold sore outbreaks.
“The hope is if we can figure out what this protein is doing, we’ll find insight,” Kriesel said.  “There are other forms of herpes that are much more serious than cold sores.”
Post by: Madison Park - Writer/Producer