Soil bacteria may provide clues to curbing antibiotic resistance

Bacteria that naturally live in the soil have a vast collection of genes to fight off antibiotics, but they are much less likely to share these genes than infectious bacteria, a new study by researchers at the School of Medicine has revealed. Shown is senior author Gautam Dantas, PhD.

$32 million NIH grant funds study of multipurpose infection fighter

A multi-institutional campaign to harness a newly recognized cellular defense against infection is being led by researchers at the School of Medicine. A $32 million grant from the National Institutes of Health is funding the collaborative, which could lead to drugs with unprecedented versatility in fighting different infections. Washington University’s Herbert W. Virgin IV, MD, PhD, is the principal investigator.

Bacteria may contribute to premature births, STDs

New research at the School of Medicine points to a common species of bacteria as an important contributor to bacterial vaginosis, a condition linked to preterm birth and increased risk of sexually transmitted diseases. Pictured is a single cell of the bacteria that may be causing the problem, Gardnerella vaginalis.
Estrogen fights urinary infection in mouse study

Estrogen fights urinary infection in mouse study

Estrogen levels drop dramatically in menopause, a time when the risk of urinary tract infections increases significantly. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found new evidence in mice that the two phenomena are connected by more than just timing.

Urinary tract infections steal from hosts’ defense arsenals

Humans have known for centuries that copper is a potent weapon against infection. New research shows that the bacteria that cause serious urinary tract infections “know” this, too, and steal copper to prevent the metal from being used against them. Blocking this thievery with a drug may significantly improve patients’ chances of fighting off infections, according to researchers.