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Fighting infections with infections
Multi-drug-resistant bacterial infections are becoming more of an issue, with 1.2 million people dying of previously treatable bacterial infections. Scientists are frantically searching for new metho…
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A tale of two colleges
COVID-19 at the University of Wisconsin this fall has been pretty much a non-issue. While we are wearing masks, full in-person teaching is happening on campus. Bars, restaurants, and all other busine…
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Get your Vitamin D to Protect Yourself from COVID-19
This sounds like another hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin hoax, but the science is peer-reviewed. Getting enough vitamin D in your diet is an excellent way to protect yourself from severe COVID-19. E…
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About 35,000 people die from drug-resistant infection in the US. What are we going to do?
When antibiotics first achieved widescale use in the middle of the 20th century, they had a tremendous impact. For example, the mortality rate in England from infectious disease dropped from 25% in 1…
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Nasal nanoSTING vaccines may Provide Lasting Protection Against SARS-CoV-2
All successful vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 have used the spike protein as the target and delivered the vaccine by intramuscular injection, typically a shot in the left or right shoulder. The vaccines…
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Probiotic Bacterium can prevent antibiotic use side effects


Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine demonstrate the power of probiotics. A test group was given Bifidobacterium lactis BB-12 as they took a course of amoxicillin clavulanate (a very common antibiotic treatment). They then measure the level of short-chain fatty acids produced in the gut of these volunteers (a marker of microbiome activity). Giving the test group BB12 resulted in a smaller drop of SFA production and a return back to normal SFA production once the antibiotic course was done. The control group was also fed yogurt once a day, but it did not contain BB12. In the control group, SFA production dropped more and never returned to previous levels. It appears BB12 is helpful for maintaining the microbiome during antibiotic treatment. Limiting the effects of antibiotics can be important to prevent general diarrhea and infection with Clostridium difficile that can create life-threatening illness.