Deadly Bug, C. diff could be responsible for 30,000 deaths in U.S. hospitals and nursing homes each year.

Fate of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella Enteritidis on Currency

The fate of foodborne pathogens Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella Enteritidis on coin surfaces was determined at room temperature (25°C). A five-strain mixture of E. coli O157:H7 or Salmonella Enteritidis of approximately 5 × 104 CFU was applied to the surfaces of sterile U.S. coins (pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters) and to the surfaces of two control substrata (Teflon and glass coverslips). During storage at room temperature, E. coli O157:H7 survived for 7, 9, and 11 days on the surfaces of pennies, nickels, and dimes and quarters, respectively. However, the pathogen died off within 4 to 7 days on both the Teflon and glass surfaces. Salmonella Enteritidis survived for 1, 2, 4, and 9 days on the surfaces of pennies, nickels, quarters, and dimes, respectively. Unlike E. coli O157:H7, survival of Salmonella Enteritidis was greatest on both Teflon and glass coverslips, with more than 100 cells per substratum detected at the 17th day of storage. Results indicate that coins could serve as potential vehicles for transmitting both E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella Enteritidis.

Fate of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella Enteritidis on Currency. XIUPING JIANG and MICHAEL P. DOYLE, pages 805–807.


Doctors are struggling to fight a lethal bacteria that is "resistant to virtually every antibiotic."

The bacteria, classified as Gram-negative because of their reaction to the so-called Gram stain test, can cause severe pneumonia and infections of the urinary tract, bloodstream and other parts of the body. Their cell structure makes them more difficult to attack with antibiotics than Gram-positive organisms like MRSA.

NEWSER) – Travelers from overseas have brought back an unwelcome present for us all: a particularly rough stomach bug that is now spreading across the US. Bonus: This strain of Shigella is resistant to the go-to antibiotic in such cases, ciprofloxacin, or Cipro. A CDC report says the agency has tracked 243 cases in 32 states between May of last year and February of this year. Massachusetts, California, and Pennsylvania have seen the worst of it, and 20% of patients had to be hospitalized. The CDC thinks the illness was brought back to the US from travelers to India, the Dominican Republic, Morocco, and elsewhere, reports NPR. But the disease is so contagious that it's quickly spreading beyond those initial contacts. "If rates of resistance become this high, in more places, we'll have very few options left for treating shigella with antibiotics by mouth," says lead researcher Anna Bowen. IV antibiotics would follow. Shigella causes diarrhea, cramps, and vomiting and spreads easily through contaminated food and water, including pools and ponds, reports the AP. In most cases, it goes away on its own after about a week. In its report, the CDC advises those traveling abroad to be extra vigilant about washing their hands, watching what they eat, and using over-the-counter treatments such as Pepto-Bismol before grabbing Cipro.

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