Fun to see how Resistance the Film is coming along … teaser released

Did an interview a while back with Michael Graziano for a film he was working on — “Resistance the Film” which is coming out soon. They released a trailer for the movie, and it has part of the interview with me as the narration ..

RESISTANCE TEASER I from uji films on Vimeo.

Antibiotic use in animals (may) lead to superbugs in people #mBIO

New paper in mBIO of potential interest from Lance Price et al.:  Staphylococcus aureus CC398: Host Adaptation and Emergence of Methicillin Resistance in Livestock.  For those not in the know, mBIO is a relatively new Open Access journal from the American Society for Microbiology.  The paper discusses genomic studies of MRSA which has led the authors to conclude that antibiotic use in animals may contribute to the rise and spread of superbugs in people.

From here. Maximum-parsimony tree of the 89 CC398 isolates (including ST398SO385) based on 4,238 total SNPs, including 1,102 parsimony-informative SNPs with a CI of 0.9591. Clades and groups of importance are labeled in a hierarchical fashion to facilitate description in the text. The tree was rooted with clade I based on an iterative selection process that identified this group as the most ancestral (see Materials and Methods). COO, country of origin; AT, Austria; BE, Belgium; CA, Canada; CH, Switzerland; CN, China; DE, Germany; DK, Denmark; ES, Spain; FI, Finland; FR, France; GF, French Guiana; HU, Hungary; IT, Italy; NL, The Netherlands; PE, Peru; PL, Poland; PT, Portugal; SI, Slovenia; US, United States; P, pig; H, human; R, horse; T, turkey; B, bovine; MET, methicillin susceptibility; R, resistant; S, susceptible.

The figure above is the only figure in the main text of the paper.  There are others in supplemental information which seems a bit strange to me – why put anything in supplemental information when the paper is only released online?  Or at least have thumbnail images for all figures in the main text …

Anyway, the paper and press release got picked up by many newsy places.  See for example:

I note – the Press Release is MUCH better than the last one that was about a paper by Price that I wrote about here: The Tree of Life: #PLoSOne paper keywords revealing: (#Penis #Microbiome #Circumcision #HIV); press release misleading …  Lance was awesomally quick to respond to my complaints about that PR.  The PR for this paper is not so bad — a bit over the top in some of the quotes – but no need for comments I think. 
Price LB, et al. 2012. Staphylococcus aureus CC398: host adaptation and emergence of methicillin resistance in livestock. mBio 3(1):e00305-11. doi:10.1128/mBio.00305-11.

UPDATE 2/21 5:30 PM: an alternative (and much more pleasing) press release from ASM is here.

Organic farming and antibiotic resistant bacteria:

Well, this news story is certainly going to get some publicity and almost certainly some responses. The Washington Post and Baltimore Sun are reporting on a new paper: Lower Prevalence of Antibiotic-resistant Enterococci On U.S. Conventional Poultry Farms That Transitioned to Organic Practices. The paper is from Environmental Health Perspectives – an open access journal so anyone out there can check it out. However, you might want to start with the news stories:

Organic farming reduces resistance of bacteria to antibiotics, study finds – The Checkup – The Washington Post

In summary – the researchers cultured microbes from poultry farms – including conventional ones as well as ones that recently switched from conventional to organic practices. And though potentially unpleasant types of microbes were found everywhere, the percentage of those microbes that were resistant to antibiotics was much higher at the conventional farms than the newly organic ones. Not surprising to me or to many others. But at least someone is studying it. In general (from other word), it seems like we desperately need to reduce antibiotic usage on farms — to limit the potential selection for and spread of antibiotic resistance. But general recommendations are less useful than specific studies. Hopefully this study is sound and will get a lot of press.