Researchers find a new way to potentially thwart anthrax

In a new study, NYU School of Medicine researchers have found what may be an Achilles’ heel of deadly anthrax — a system that the bacteria use to communicate their presence to others of their kind. The researchers, Martin Blaser, M.D., the Frederick King Professor and Chairman of the Department of Medicine, and Professor of Microbiology and graduate student Marcus Jones, describe a “quorum-sensing system” in anthrax that is a type of bacterial “calling card.” Disrupting this system may open new avenues to prevention and treatment of anthrax, says Dr. Blaser.

Green tea boosts antimicrobial properties of toothpaste

Studies conducted at Pace University have indicated that green tea extracts (GTE) and polyphenol (PP) have an adverse effect on bacteria that cause strep throat, dental caries, and other infections. Additionally, the research suggests that the oral agents such as toothpaste and mouthwash are more effective in fighting pathogenic microbial agents, such as viruses, with the addition of GTE and PP. Researchers present their findings today at the 103rd General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.

Single dose oral smallpox drug shown effective in cowpox-infected mice

Two versions of an oral drug that halts the deadly action of smallpox and related orthopox viruses have been shown by researchers in Alabama and California to be effective in cowpox-infected mice, whether given three to five days before or two to three days after infection. The study evaluated the dosage regimen and effectiveness of four different ether lipid analogs of cidofovir (CDV), a compound that blocks the activity of variola, the virus that causes smallpox, cowpox, vaccinia and other orthopox viruses. Shown most effective in treating lethal cowpox infection in mice were hexadecyloxypropyl-CDV (HDP-CDV) and octadecyloxyethyl-CDV (ODE-CDV). In addition, the study pinpointed the time period for effectiveness when the drug is administered prior to or after infection.