Somewhere in the deep past, bacteria from the deep sea made their way into mammalian guts. Now, with new genetic sequencing technology, scientists are uncovering these organisms' ancient paths. As part of NIH’s Demystifying Lecture, Dr. Sievert, an Associate Scientist in the Biology Department of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and Dr. John Dekker, Chief of the Bacterial Pathogenesis and Antimicrobial Resistance Unit in NIAID’s Laboratory of Clinical Immunology and Microbiology, discussed how pathogens have evolved from microbes living in some of the world’s most inhospitable environments, and how the latest science is helping us track and fight them.
NIAID has helped colleagues at Houston Methodist Hospital establish a “layered” big-data approach to analyze microbial genetic changes that can make some bacteria extremely dangerous to people.
Even after standard antibiotic treatments, tuberculosis patients can relapse if not all the bacteria are killed. By re-examining patients’ sputum, or thick saliva, collected from other studies, NIAID-funded researchers found a way to determine whether patients are likely to relapse following standard treatment.
PATRIC is one of six NIAID-funded Bioinformatics Resource Centers (BRCs) for Infectious Diseases and focuses on bacterial species. The BRCs compile large datasets in a standardized way, allowing scientists to perform analyses more efficiently. This can include assessing the function of specific genes, identifying markers for diagnosing a particular bacterial infection, or discovering new bacterial resistance mechanisms.
A new video from NIAID explores a possible new way to fight bacteria as they become increasingly resistant to antibiotics.
NIAID supports biomedical research to combat the growing public health threat of antimicrobial resistance. Check out NIAID’s image library of antimicrobial-resistant microbes and related graphics.
NIH MedlinePlus Magazine has produced a video to accompany its spring issue on antimicrobial resistance and what NIAID is doing about it. NIAID Now spoke with the video’s animator, Jeff Day, about how the video came to be.
Bacterial infections that resist antibiotics are a major problem in the United States. In 2015, the U.S. government launched the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria. Guided by the plan, NIAID and other NIH components work with government, academic, and industry partners on a wide range of projects aimed at understanding and controlling antibiotic resistance. To mark this year’s Antibiotic Awareness Week, November 13-19, we highlight a few of these efforts.