One route to malaria drug resistance found

Researchers led by Audrey Odom, MD, PhD, at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have uncovered a way the malaria parasite becomes resistant to an investigational drug. The discovery also is relevant for other infectious diseases including bacterial infections and tuberculosis.

Bacterial biofilms may be source of recurrent tonsillitis

Richard CholeInfection of the tonsils, or tonsillitis, is one of the most common infectious diseases of childhood. More than 400,000 tonsillectomies are performed annually in the U.S., making it one of the most common surgical procedures involving children. Prior to surgery, pediatricians prescribe antibiotics, and children get better, but infections can return in a pattern that repeats itself until the doctor — or the frustrated parents — finally decide that the tonsils must come out. Now researchers, led by Richard A. Chole, M.D., Ph.D., Lindburg Professor and head of the Department of Otolaryngology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, have discovered that bacteria often form biofilms in the wet and warm folds of the tonsils, and that these may serve as reservoirs of repeated infection. Recent evidence has linked biofilms to a variety of persistent infections.