Spores of fungus, Candida albicans

The long strands are the tubular filaments (hyphae) that have developed from the fungal spores. Yeast cells (rounded, yellow) are budding from the ends of the hyphae (red). Candida albicans causes the infection known as candidiasis which affects the moist mucous membranes of the body, such as skin folds, mouth, respiratory tract and vagina. Oral and vaginal conditions are known as thrush.

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News

Microbes are always hitting the headlines. Keep up to date with the latest microbiology news. Most stories are linked to the full article.

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  • MMR hearing resumes

    6th April, 2010

    The General Medical Council (GMC) hearing into Dr Andrew Wakefield’s research into the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism has resumed. The panel will decide whether he and two colleagues were guilty of serious professional misconduct and should be struck off the medical register. The link alleged by Dr Wakefield between the triple vaccination against MMR and autism in children led to a sharp decline in uptake of the jab.

  • C diff death in Scotland

    5th April, 2010

    Four patients in Perth Royal Infirmary have contracted the hospital ‘superbug’ Clostridium difficile, one of whom has died. Infection control procedures have been implemented and the ward has been closed to new admissions. Cases of the disease in Scottish hospitals are at their lowest since records began.

  • Prompting self-destruction of TB bacteria

    22nd March, 2010

    Triggering a chemical reaction in tuberculosis (TB) bacteria that leads to their self-destruction could be a novel basis for new drugs that tackle the disease. The scientists from the John Innes Centre in Norwich and the Albert Einstein University in New York believe this reaction could even be enhanced through diet to fight infection. TB is a respiratory disease that causes 2 million deaths globally each year. New drugs are needed due to increasing resistance to existing treatments. The researchers discovered an enzyme inside Mycobacterium tuberculosis that is necessary for a reaction that leads to the build-up of a sugar, called maltose 1-phospate, within cells. The accumulation of the sugar is toxic to the bacterium and sends a suicide signal to the cell. “This pathway has never previously been targeted by antimicrobials and offers a treatment option very different from antibiotics in use,” said Dr William Jacobs, from Albert Einstein University who conducted the research. Drugs that target this pathway are at a very early stage of development and it may be many years before they are available for use.

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