Infectious Diseases

Systems Biology Research Group, UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering

A research team has produced the first complete genome sequencing of a strain of E. coli. This particular strain is associated with outbreaks of food poisoning that can be deadly.

Haythem Latif is on the research team at the University of California-San Diego.

“Although early detection is key to treatment, it has been known to cause severe renal failure in children,” Latif said.

He says the updated genome sequence for this strain of E. coli will help scientists tell one strain from another.

“During an outbreak, you may have 100 patients or whatever, that have had this and what you do is you’d type each of the different people’s pathogenic E. coli strain that they have and then you can trace it back to some kind of a source or some kind of lineage of a bacterial outbreak.”

Latif says sequencing technology has improved over time and that has allowed the research team to update the sequence for this strain.

International health experts tackling Ebola in West Africa
EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection / Flickr

A senior American health official says the U.S. will be sending at least 50 public health experts to West Africa over the next month to tackle the worst-ever outbreak of Ebola.

Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told the BBC that Ebola was currently out of control but could be easily stopped with basic health practices.

“We do know how to stop Ebola … Find the patients, make sure they get treated, find their contacts, track them, educate people, do infection control in hospitals. You do these things and you have to do them really well, and Ebola goes away,” Frieden said.

Even with that, the questions remain on the minds of many: What is the possibility of Ebola spreading further?

Morguefile

The United States needs to do a better job of fighting the spread of infectious disease. And so does the state of Michigan.

That's according to a report released today by Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The report looked at whether states met ten key indicators showing their capacity to prevent and control infectious disease. Michigan met only five out of ten.