Tagged: e coli

Is the Waikato River really one of the cleanest rivers in the world? - Guest Work

Guest Work Nov 01, 2016

In response to recent claims in the media, New Zealand Freshwater Sciences Society (NZFSS) president Dr Marc Schallenberg, on behalf of the society, refutes recent comments about the condition of the Waikato River: The Background Recently, Jacqueline Rowarth (professor of agribusiness at the University of Waikato and newly appointed Chief Scientist for the Environmental Protection Authority) declared that the Waikato River … Read More

Note to the Havelock North Inquiry – Think Big - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Sep 26, 2016

Prof Alistair Woodward, A/Prof Simon Hales An Independent Inquiry is now investigating the cause of the water-borne outbreak caused by Campylobacter in Havelock North. In this blog we consider the background to this issue and argue the Inquiry must not miss the opportunity to think up-stream, on the scale of water catchments, agricultural economies and climate systems. “Alarming new … Read More

Superbugs could kill more people than cancer by 2050 - Infectious Thoughts

Siouxsie Wiles May 28, 2016

Antibiotic-resistant superbugs are in the news again. This time a strain of E. coli resistant to the antibiotic colistin has been spotted in the USA. So why is this newsworthy and should we be scared?  A strain of E. coli has been identified in the USA that is resistant to the antibiotic colistin. A paper describing the strain has just been published … Read More

Those “illegal” school science kits and our illogical Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act - Infectious Thoughts

Siouxsie Wiles Apr 08, 2015

The Dominion Post recently ran an article about “Glowing GE bacteria” which were “produced illegally in New Zealand using mail-order kits from America”. Perhaps unsurprisingly given that the phrase ‘genetically engineered’ was mentioned, Green MP Stefan Browning and GE Free New Zealand spokesperson Jon Carapiet chimed in to share their dismay that people/kids were fiddling with complex natural … Read More

The threats of antibiotic resistant superbugs to New Zealand - Infectious Thoughts

Siouxsie Wiles Sep 26, 2014

In this week’s New Zealand Medical Journal is a paper by Deborah Williamson and Helen Heffernan on antimicrobial resistance in New Zealand (1). This comes hot on the heels of the WHO report which gave a global picture of antibiotic resistance (2), and highlights what the big challenges are for New Zealand. So what are the antibiotic resistant superbugs that … Read More

Understanding evolution – the changing enzymes of E. coli - Infrequently Asked Questions

Lynley Hargreaves Sep 10, 2014

PhD candidate Katherine Donovan, who is using mass spectrometry to look at whether the evolved protein is changing its dynamics Making a bet at a conference led to a Marsden Fund research grant for Canterbury University’s Dr Ren Dobson. His team are now looking into how nature – in, to our eyes, an apparently haphazard way – manages … Read More

Fonterra’s bad cream – FAQ - Infectious Thoughts

Siouxsie Wiles Jan 14, 2014

The reputation of NZ’s dairy giant Fonterra is taking another bashing with the announcement* of a voluntary recall of 8,700 bottles of cream** after tests indicated they may be contaminated with the food-poisoning bacterium Escherichia coli. So what is E. coli, how did it get in the cream and should we all be panicking? 1. What is … Read More

Monday micro – evolution in action! - Infectious Thoughts

Siouxsie Wiles Dec 16, 2013

This week’s Monday Micro is all about microbial adaptation, with two interesting new papers just out. The first relates to the H7N9 strain of bird flu that appeared in China earlier this year; as of the most recent WHO report there have been 137 lab confirmed cases with 45 deaths. There is currently no vaccine available against H7N9, … Read More

How does agriculture affect New Zealand’s water quality? - Waiology

Waiology Dec 05, 2013

By Bob Wilcock About 40% of the land area of New Zealand is in some form of agriculture. Sheep and beef farming are the most extensive (33%) followed by dairy farming at 6%, and the remainder being horticulture and cropping. Based on a large number of comparative land use studies we have a good understanding of how agriculture affects … Read More

NZ’s first ‘superbug’ victim? - Infectious Thoughts

Siouxsie Wiles Nov 19, 2013

One of the big news stories today was about the death of Brian Pool, who according to Stuff’s Michelle Duff is “believed to be New Zealand’s first victim of an aggressive superbug, caught while he was overseas, that is resistant to every type of antibiotic.” One of the doctors who treated him, clinical microbiologist … Read More

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