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Bacterial Infections

  1. -01-24-09 Sepsis Kills International Model (CNN News)
      "Brazilian model Mariana Bridi da Costa, whose hands and feet were amputated in a bid to save her from a deadly and little-known illness, died early Saturday, two friends of the model told CNN."

      "A doctor who recently published an article in The New England Journal of Medicine on the disease, told CNN that little was known about the illness, although it is the tenth leading cause of deaths in the United States." 01-09

  1. -Sepsis or Septic Shock (MSNBC News)
      "Sepsis is 'an incredibly robust reaction to fight infection' that becomes essentially counteractive, Azar said. 'The body’s trying so hard to fight infection and basically poops out.' " 06-16

  2. Bacteria (UCMP)
      Provides an introduction to bacteria.

  3. Bacterial Infections of the Skin not Bites (ABC News)
      "Their infections were caused by a bacterium called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA. Once confined mostly to hospitals and prisons, MRSA has branched out into the general population. It often infects people without warning, and is commonly mistaken as a spider bite."

      "A study published today in the New England Journal of Medicine shows just how widespread the bug has become. Researchers took hundreds of skin samples from patients who'd visited 11 emergency rooms in the United States with skin or tissue infections. Laboratory analysis showed that 59 percent of the time the culprit was MRSA, meaning the bug has reached broadly into the general community — and that's bad news in the fight against antibiotic resistance. " 08-06

  4. Bubonic Plague (Centers for Disease Control)
      "People usually get plague from being bitten by a rodent flea that is carrying the plague bacterium or by handling an infected animal. Millions of people in Europe died from plague in the Middle Ages, when human homes and places of work were inhabited by flea-infested rats. Today, modern antibiotics are effective against plague, but if an infected person is not treated promptly, the disease is likely to cause illness or death." 01-07

  5. Bubonic Plague (
      "Bubonic plague is a potentially fatal bacterial infection. It causes swollen, tender lymph nodes, high fever, and chills. The infected person may develop serious illnesses such as pneumonia, blood poisoning, or meningitis." 01-07

  6. Bubonic Plague (
      "Bubonic plague is the best-known variant of the deadly infectious disease plague, which is caused by the enterobacteria Yersinia pestis. The epidemological use of the term plague is currently applied to bacterial infections that cause buboes, although historically the medical use of the term plague was applied to pandemic infections generally." Bubonic plague is sometimes called the "black plague." 01-07

  7. Fleming, Alexander (PBS)
      Provides a biography of Alexander Fleming, known for his contribution to medicine by his discovery of the role of penicillin in fighting bacterial infections. 3-00

  8. Flesh-Eating Bacteria (CNN News)
      "Necrotizing fasciitis (NF), commonly known as flesh-eating disease or flesh-eating bacteria syndrome, is a rare infection of the deeper layers of skin and subcutaneous tissues, easily spreading across the fascial plane within the subcutaneous tissue."

      "Necrotizing fasciitis is a quickly progressing and severe disease of sudden onset and is usually treated immediately with high doses of intravenous antibiotics." 05-12

  9. New Bacteria Found to Cause Lyme Disease (
      "Like the more well-known Borrelia burgdorferi, Borrelia mayonii causes symptoms like fever, rash, headache, and neck pain, and as the disease progresses it can cause arthritis. Unlike the original strain, though, Borrelia mayonii can also cause vomiting and nausea. The initial bacteria was also characterized by a rash that looked like a bull’s eye, but an infection with Borrelia mayonii can cause a more widespread rash on the body."

      "Currently, the study authors note that the new strain appears to be limited to the upper midwest United States. People with Lyme disease caused by Borrelia mayonii also responded well to the same antibiotics used to treat the usual bacteria." 02-16

  10. One Girl's Courage Against Flesh-Eating Bacteria (CNN News)
      "The father of a University of West Georgia graduate student infected with rare "flesh-eating" bacteria has told in heartbreaking detail of the moment when his daughter learned she would lose her hands."

      "On a Facebook page dedicated to Aimee Copeland's recovery, Andy Copeland describes speaking with the surgeons who said that his daughter's hands should be amputated to ensure her survival." 05-12

  11. Scientists Find Bacteria That Fight Bad Breath (CBS News)
      "Scientists have found bacteria that fight bad breath and smelly feet." 7-05

  12. Staph Germ Can Kill Quickly (MSNBC News)
      "A nasty staph germ circulating in the community and some hospitals produces a poison that can kill pneumonia patients within 72 hours, researchers said Thursday."

      "Staphylococcus aureus bacteria — Staph for short — can pass one another the gene for the toxin and are apparently swapping it more often, the researchers report in Friday’s issue of the journal Science." 01-07

  13. Threat Level of "Superbugs" (CNN News)
      "For the first time, the CDC is categorizing drug-resistant superbugs by threat level. That's because, in their conservative estimates, more than 2 million people get antibiotic-resistant infections each year, and at least 23,000 die because current drugs no longer stop their infections."

      "Antibiotics are designed to kill bacteria that cause infection. However, in the process they can also kill so-called good bacteria (the human body hosts about 100 trillion)."

  14. Very Rare Bacteria Kill College Student (ABC News)
      "Also known as necrotizing fasciitis, flesh-eating bacteria are potent enough to turn a wound as minor as a pinprick or paper cut into a massive infection causing amputation or even death."

      "Nationwide, there are about 500 reported cases a year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention." 03-06

  1. New Antibiotics Successful Against Superbugs (Scientific American)
      "Doctors first identified methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria in the 1960s and hospitals have been fighting to control their spread ever since. MRSA carry a unique protein called PBP 2a on the cell membrane that plays a key role in helping to defend against antibiotics. In February, Shahriar Mobashery of Notre Dame University and his colleagues identified specific components of the bacterial cell wall that interact with PBP 2a to form a chemical barricade. The team has now made three new synthetic antibiotics based on cephalosporin, a close relative of penicillin. The compounds contain protein components that mimic the crucial parts of the cell wall that cooperate with PBP 2a, which leads to its deactivation and forces the bacterium to succumb to the medication." 9-05


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