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Archive for the ‘Epidemiology’ Category

Australian science show Catalyst (on theAustralian Broadcasting Corporation network) is showing a story tonight about the tropical bacterial disease, Meliodosis, caused by the bacterium Bulkholderia psuedomallei. The bacteria live in soli and water and can cause pneumonia and systemic infections. Actually the university where I undertook research towards my Masters of Philosophy had a research group that was looking into the pathogenesis of Bulkholderia.

Check out the link for the transcript – http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/3623445.htm

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It was announced today over numerous news networks, that a vaccine against the Hendra virus for horses has been released.

The Equivac HeV vaccine was developed collaboratively by the CSIRO’s Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) and Pfizer Animal Health along with other US organizations.

Check out the below links for information regarding the vaccine and it’s use.

http://www.csiro.au/en/Organisation-Structure/Divisions/Animal-Food-and-Health-Sciences/Hendra-vaccine-arrives.aspx

http://www.health4horses.com.au/

http://theconversation.edu.au/how-we-developed-the-hendra-virus-vaccine-for-horses-10429

Source – ‘Vaccine arrives to boost the frontline fight against Hendra virus’ – http://www.csiro.au/en/Organisation-Structure/Divisions/Animal-Food-and-Health-Sciences/Hendra-vaccine-arrives.aspx

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The current multiple outbreaks in South-East Queensland, Australia of the bat-borne Hendra virus sparked has my keen interest. Reading article on the web, including the transcript of the ABC’s program Australian Story, I was interested and inspired to find that a key researcher on the virus is woman. Her name is Deborah Middlemen and she works at the CSIRO’s Australian Animal Health Laboratory in Geelong, Victoria. As a scientist, microbiologist, a woman and a feminist I think this is rather cool. She certainly an inspiration.

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The Playboy Mansion - West

Image via Wikipedia

What a fascinating piece of pop culture and microbiological news! Talk about weird and rather cool.

Legionella, the bacterium that causes Legionnaires Disease, was found to be the causative agent of an illness contracted by guests attending a fund raising party at the Playboy Mansion in February. A hot tub was the predicted source of outbreak. About 120 people fell ill.

Interesting images come to mind. Playboy bunnies, celebrities, billionaire businessmen and a hot tub harbouring a nice culture of legionella. What an interesting amalgam of sex pop culture and epidemiology.

Check out some of these blogs and articles.

http://epihealth.wordpress.com/2011/03/05/legionellosis-cluster-in-la-county/

http://www.medpagetoday.com/Blogs/24901

http://barfblog.foodsafety.ksu.edu/barfblog/category/other-microorganisms

http://www.cdc.gov/legionella/patient_facts.htm

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