Infectious Thoughts

Menstrual cups: let’s investigate!

Siouxsie Wiles Apr 29, 2018

After finding that there really have been bugger all studies done on menstrual cups and toxic shock, microbiologist Siouxsie Wiles ponders whether crowdfunding and open science might be the solution. Last week a new lab-based study came out about menstrual cups and toxic shock syndrome, the very rare but potentially deadly result of infection with the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus. Read More

2

The recent ‘period in a bag’ study: what it can and can’t tell us about menstrual cups and toxic shock

Siouxsie Wiles Apr 29, 2018

Recently, a lab-based study was published about menstrual cups, tampons, and toxic shock syndrome. In this post, microbiologist Siouxsie Wiles reflects on what the study can and can’t tell us about menstrual cups and toxic shock. If you need reminding, toxic shock syndrome is a very rare complication of a bacterial infection that can quickly result in organ failure … Read More

Menstrual cups and toxic shock revisited

Siouxsie Wiles Apr 29, 2018

Last week a new lab-based study came out, about menstrual cups, tampons, and toxic shock syndrome (1). In this post, microbiologist Siouxsie Wiles reflects on the various responses she’s had to her blog about the study.  If you need reminding, toxic shock syndrome is one of the bogey-men every menstruating teen is warned about – a very rare complication … Read More

Menstrual cups and toxic shock: no need for panic but rinsing is not enough!

Siouxsie Wiles Apr 25, 2018

A new study shows that menstrual cups and cotton tampons may not be as safe as people are being led to believe.   Diva, Fleur, JuJu, Kiko, Lunette, Me Luna, Mooncup, My Cup, Sckoon, Tāti, Wā, Yuuki. All cutesy names for the same thing: the menstrual cup – a ‘cup’ people insert into their vagina to collect blood during their … Read More

8

It’s time for academics to stand up against bad science

Siouxsie Wiles Jan 12, 2018

Shocking revelations around a clinical trial of a new tuberculosis vaccine are just the tip of the iceberg. Maintaining public trust in science depends on open science. Ten years ago, Dr Ben Goldacre published Bad Science, a book described by The Economist as “a fine lesson in how to skewer the enemies of reason … Read More

3

An open letter to the people of Whakatane (and the rest of Aotearoa New Zealand)*

Siouxsie Wiles Jul 02, 2017

As a parent, I know what it’s like to worry about whether you are doing the right thing for your child. When my daughter was born, I couldn’t quite believe that after just a few days in hospital we’d be going home in sole charge of a small infant. Didn’t they realise we were unqualified?! Aside from giving her a … Read More

28

Crowdfunding a solution to a global crisis

Siouxsie Wiles May 22, 2017

Friday, the 19th May. Another day, another funding application rejected. My proposal? To search for new antibiotics from New Zealand’s unique fungi to help avert a global crisis that experts predict will soon be killing more people than cancer. This is the fifth time I’ve tried to get government funding for this project in the last 3 years. I’ve … Read More

A typhoid outbreak in Auckland: the hunt for the source is on!

Siouxsie Wiles Apr 01, 2017

According to news reports, ten people in Auckland have been hospitalised with typhoid, and health officials say we can expect more cases. So what is typhoid and why is this news? Typhoid is an infection caused by the bacterium Salmonella enterica subspecies enterica serovar Typhi, usually abbreviated to Salmonella Typhi or S. Typhi. Humans are this bacteria’s only … Read More

2

A future without antibiotics

Siouxsie Wiles Nov 24, 2016

Last week was World Antibiotic Awareness week, an initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO) to raise awareness and understanding of antimicrobial resistance. To follow-up, here at Te Pūnaha Matatini we are having a week-long conversation about the health, social, economic, and environmental impacts of infectious diseases in Aotearoa New Zealand. In this post, I want to touch on what … Read More

InfectedNZ: the state of the nation

Siouxsie Wiles Nov 21, 2016

Today marks the start of World Antibiotic Awareness week, an initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO) to raise awareness and understanding of antibiotic-resistant superbugs. To coincide, here at Te Pūnaha Matatini we are launching a week-long conversation about the health, social, economic, and environmental impacts of infectious diseases in Aotearoa New Zealand. Where possible, in … Read More