From a human perspective, some strains are good, some are evil.
E. coli bacteria are the frequent culprits behind outbreaks of food-borne illnesses. But not all strains are harmful; some are even helpful.
Ten cases have been reported so far, including two deaths.
Shutterstock/Doug J Moore
Two people have died after eating rockmelon contaminated with listeria. A total of ten cases have been confirmed in NSW, Queensland and Victoria between Jan 17 and Feb 9, and more are expected.
A giant ant carries a dead fellow in the name of cleanliness.
Ants produce their own antimicrobial chemicals to fight bacteria.
Researchers are using epigenetics to find ways to 'turn off' bacteria's ability to cause infections.
Impetigo happens when itching causes the skin to break and let in disease-causing bacteria.
While school sores – or impetigo – is a treatable condition, if left untreated it can lead to much more serious illness such as kidney and heart disease.
What’s in the water?
AP Photo/David J. Phillip
Natural disasters expose people to toxic gases, bacterial illness and other serious dangers. How can people maximize their safety as they return home?
Reports of Buruli ulcer cases are on the rise on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula.
The hallmark of a Buruli ulcer is a sore, usually on the legs or arms, which slowly enlarges over weeks to months.
To finish, or not to finish, your course of antibiotics? There’s little doubt that you shouldn’t stop midstream.
New reports that stopping antibiotics when you feel better is better for you could do more harm than good. But it has reopened the debate on how long antibiotics should be used.
Green colonies of allergenic fungus Penicillium from air spores on a petri dish. Penicillin was the first antibiotic.
We've been told for a long time that we must take all of our antibiotics. But maybe we didn’t need so many to begin with. Here's why.
An article in a leading health journal causes confusion and undoes years of hard work in raising awareness of antibiotic resistance.
Two-thirds of children have already received antibiotics by the time they are one year old.
If you have a ten-month-old baby, what do you need to know? What do you need to ask your GP about the benefits and risks of antibiotics?
Man in a hospital via Shutterstock.
Thousands of people acquire infections while hospitalized. Many are caused by urinary catheters, a routine part of a hospital stay. But cutting back on their usage can lower infection rates.
It’s bacterial biofilms that give the Grand Prismatic Spring its colorful hues.
The vast majority of the bacteria that surround us are not free-floating but prefer to band together in cooperative communities called biofilms. How do biofilms form and cooperate?
Bloodletting was treatment for infection in the past.
Wellcome Library, London
While some ancient therapies proved effective enough that they are still used in some form today, on the whole they just aren't as good as modern antimicrobials at treating infections.
Staphylococcus aureus has confused researchers about how superbugs cause deadly infections.
Janice Haney Carr/wikimedia
A narrow focus on bacteria that produces high levels of toxin may have misled researchers in the pursuit to understand superbugs.
The more we take antibiotics, the more likely we are to have superbugs down the line.
Antibiotics can prevent serious harm and stop infections becoming fatal. But they won't kill common cold and flu viruses, and careless overprescribing by doctors can do more harm than good.
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are a leading cause of hospital infections.
New research shows the best way to treat hospital infections caused by C. difficile may be with more of the bacteria.
We’re in a protracted war against superbugs because we’ve overused existing antibiotics: a key weapon against disease.
We’ve heard a lot lately about superbugs – bacteria that are resistant to current antibiotics. But as the threat of superbugs continues to rise, the number of new treatments available has flatlined. This…
Symptoms can occur as soon as 30 minutes after exposure to the culprit organism or toxin.
We’ve all experienced the abdominal cramps and the urge to get to a toilet – quickly! When the stomach and intestinal tract become inflamed, our bodies respond with the sudden onset of diarrhoea, associated…
Consuming bath milk is particularly risky because it may contain the deadly STEC E.Coli bug.
The death this week of a Victorian toddler after allegedly drinking “bath milk” is a reminder of how dangerous some natural cosmetics can be. The product – Mountain View Organic Dairy’s Organic Bath Milk…