We experience the ickiness and inconvenience of biofilms every day. From slow drains to tooth plaque, biofilms surround us because bacteria surround us. But take our everyday annoyance with biofilms such as a gunky sink pipe or teeth that need to be brushed twice daily and multiply that exponentially and you begin to have an idea of the horror biofilms present to industries and healthcare planet-wide. Today we'll explore the tenacious, intractable, just-as-likely-to-return-as-Jason nature of bacteria's number one weapon: biofilms.
In last week's post, we examined the three things required for bacteria to form a biofilm: Moisture, nutrients, and a surface. Once these biofilms become established, they begin to act in very creepy ways. Today we'll look at some of the characteristics of biofilms that are the stuff of nightmares. Don't say we didn't warn you.
When the cases of COVID-19 started to explode in the spring of 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) suspended reporting of hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) until June of that same year. In an effort to alleviate the unprecedented strain on staff and time, this suspension enabled infection prevention teams to concentrate all their efforts on responding to COVID-19. Surveillance is now beginning to catch up, with reports emerging of how COVID-19 affected HAI cases and rates. In today's post, we'll look at what some of that preliminary data says about how we are faring as a nation in preventing HAIs while simultaneously fighting a global pandemic.
Imagine a wandering nomadic tribe, toiling by day to find enough food to survive, sleeping only in short bursts in attempts to avoid predators. One day, exhausted by the energy required simply to continue to live, they happen upon a river. The small tribe finds this river well-populated with fish, and only a few steps away is a large cave. The group decides to stay long enough to fill their bellies and rest in the dark, cool safety of the cave. The next day the group is able to easily find enough food for everyone. They stay another night. One night becomes two. After a few days of safety, access to plentiful food, and a source of fresh water, the tribe begins to put down roots. Each family unit has set up in their own part of the cave. Duties are delegated, health and vitality begin to return to all the members. As the group grows, they are easily able to fight off any predators, and are even able to bring home larger beasts as they hunt together. Time goes by and the group is fully established next to their river. They expand to neighboring caves as the population grows, and even send a few adventurous groups up and down the river to set up their own homes.
In today's intense search for products that can help control the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, the need for testing virucidal efficacy has increased hundredfold. Products with current virucidal claims are scrambling to secure a SARS-COV-2 claim, while new products are vying for the chance to be the "next new thing" that can help eradicate the virus from the air, our hands, and surfaces. But how are these tests conducted? In today's post, we'll explore how a lab can measure whether a product is capable of killing viruses, including SARS-COV-2.
One of the fastest-growing research sectors is the investigation of the human microbiome. We read articles about using the microbiome to keep us healthy and even to cure us from disease. What is the microbiome? In today’s post, we’ll explore this invisible but essential part of our existence.