Category Archives: E. coli

The Price of Pork and the Externalities of Antibiotic Resistance

If you haven’t read Maryn McKenna’s excellent piece on antibiotic resistance, you should. Before I get to a point about agriculture, I just want to point out this bit from McKenna’s article: At UCLA, Spellberg treated a woman with what … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Antibiotics, E. coli, Economics, KPC | 10 Comments

KPC: It’s the Drug Resistance, Stupid

Probably. With the recent CDC report detailing the many thousands killed by antibiotic resistance, a recent Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy paper addresses a relevant question: in the clinical setting, are most drug-resistant infections dangerous (or lethal) because they are good … Continue reading

Posted in Antibiotics, E. coli, KPC

Healthcare Is Not the Same As Healthcare Budgeting: The CREs Are Going to Kill Us All Edition

Every so often, I blog about CRE, which is short for carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae (E. coli and relatives). CREs are resistant to just about every antibiotic (the two drugs commonly used, colistin and tigecycline, cause renal failure or are used off-label … Continue reading

Posted in Antibiotics, E. coli, Fucking Morons, Healthcare, I For One Welcome Our Austerity Overlords, KPC, NDM-1 | 4 Comments

Microbiome Creep, E. coli and Colorectal Cancer (Oh My!)

My recent snark-laden post about the microbiome was in part inspired by the coverage of this Science paper “Intestinal Inflammation Targets Cancer-Inducing Activity of the Microbiota.” Interestingly, the coverage of this paper didn’t make Jonathan Eisen happy either: Some studies … Continue reading

Posted in E. coli, Microbiology, Microbiome, News Media | 3 Comments

How Not to Isolate E. coli

If you’re interested in studying what ‘real’ bacteria do–that is, not the microbiological equivalent of anemic inbred lab rats–you have to isolate them from natural samples. Yogi Berra-esque statements notwithstanding, how you isolate bacteria is critical. Methodological details do matter. … Continue reading

Posted in Antibiotics, E. coli, Microbiology, Viruses | 2 Comments

John McCain Wants You to Get Sick When You Eat Spinach

While I’m sure Senator McCain doesn’t see it that way, he has decided to beat up unsexy science grants contained in the farm bill. Number ten on his top-ten list of pork projects was this: Pigs! Pork! Get it? Hur … Continue reading

Posted in Conservatives, E. coli, Fucking Morons, Poop


The NY Times recently had a story about a study by a pro-vegan medical group which claimed that 48 percent of chickens bought at supermarkets are contaminated with E. coli. Of course, the vegan group referred to the E. coli … Continue reading

Posted in E. coli, Food, Propaganda, Public Health | 9 Comments

Are Deer the Reservoir for Shiga-Toxinogenic E. coli (STEC)?

THIS IS THE FACE OF THE ENEMY! (from here) A recent paper in Applied and Environment Microbiology describes the frequency of STEC–Shiga toxin producing E. coli–in wild animals. STEC can cause organ failure and death and are found throughout E. … Continue reading

Posted in E. coli, Food, Microbiology, Public Health

According to Anti-Gay Bigot ‘Logic’, Minnesota Teens Are Having Sex With Deer. Or Something (You’ll Never Think About Bambi the Same Way Again)

Lots of people believe HIV entered the human population because people had sex with monkeys, when it is probably due to contact with monkey blood (and other fluids) after killing the monkey for food. As ERV noted, if you tried … Continue reading

Posted in Conservatives, E. coli, Fucking Morons, Let's Talk About Sex, Baby

The Colicin Plasmid Persistence Problem

Yesterday, I described an interesting paper that provides a potential solution to the plasmid persistence problem–how do bacterial mini-chromosomes that can jump from bacterium to bacterium survive? Not only does this paper shed some light on the ‘plasmid persistence problem’, … Continue reading

Posted in E. coli, Plasmids, Salmonella