News & Comment

  • Research Highlight |

    A recent study reports that Cas13 induces a state of dormancy in bacteria, which inhibits viral replication and the rise of CRISPR-resistant phages.

    • Ashley York
  • Research Highlight |

    This study shows that bacteria can maintain efficient chemotaxis in the presence of obstacles by reducing their tumbling frequency.

    • Ursula Hofer
  • Genome Watch |

    This month’s Genome Watch highlights the use of genome-centric approaches to further our understanding of the human gut microbiome.

    • Tanja Woyke
  • Research Highlight |

    A recent study reports a force-independent form of flow-sensing in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    • Ashley York
  • Viewpoint |

    In this Viewpoint article, several experts discuss the microbial contributions to climate change and consider the effects of global warming, extreme weather and other consequences of climate change on microbial communities in the ocean and soil, host–microbiota interactions and the global burden of infectious diseases and ecosystem processes, and they explore open questions and research needs.

    • David A. Hutchins
    • , Janet K. Jansson
    • , Justin V. Remais
    • , Virginia I. Rich
    • , Brajesh K. Singh
    •  & Pankaj Trivedi
  • Comment |

    Global change microbiology is a rapidly growing research field on microbial responses to global warming, overuse and pollution and on feedback mechanisms and functions that affect Earth’s element cycles and planetary health. In this Comment, Antje Boetius explores how this field could provide essential knowledge and sustainable solutions to the problems driven by global change.

    • Antje Boetius
  • In Brief |

    This study found that coagulase-negative staphylococci found on human skin inhibit Staphylococcus aureus quorum sensing and may influence the pathophysiology of S. aureus-associated atopic dermatitis.

    • Ashley York
  • In Brief |

    An observational study of 782 gay couples across Europe reports that men whose HIV-1 infection was fully suppressed by antiretroviral therapy had zero chance of infecting their partner.

    • Ashley York
  • In Brief |

    This study reports the findings of a large global survey of the ecological diversity of viruses in the oceans and shows that the Arctic ocean is an unexpected hotspot for viral diversity.

    • Rebecca Kelsey
  • In Brief |

    This study reports a mutualistic symbiosis between excavate protists and ectosymbiotic Deltaproteobacteria in anoxic marine sediments, revealing a unique example of eukaryotic magnetoreception acquired by symbiosis.

    • Rebecca Kelsey
  • Research Highlight |

    Two studies describe how a commensal can either protect against or promote colitis, and a third study shows how colitis can affect the disease severity of a subsequent infection.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • Research Highlight |

    This study shows that a subpopulation of bacteria assumes a hypermutable phenotype during antibiotic treatment, which accelerates resistance development.

    • Ursula Hofer
  • Research Highlight |

    Tissue damage in the lungs can lead to the outgrowth of commensal bacterial species that promote fibrotic responses.

    • Yvonne Bordon
  • Research Highlight |

    This study shows that under nutrient-depleted conditions, γ-proteobacteria eject their flagellar hook, distal rod and filament and that relics of these ejected flagella are retained at old cell poles.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • Comment |

    The recent large outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in Western Africa resulted in greatly increased accumulation of human genotypic, phenotypic and clinical data, and improved our understanding of the spectrum of clinical manifestations. As a result, the WHO disease classification of EVD underwent major revision.

    • Jens H. Kuhn
    • , Takuya Adachi
    • , Neill K. J. Adhikari
    • , Jose R. Arribas
    • , Ibrahima Elhadj Bah
    • , Daniel G. Bausch
    • , Nahid Bhadelia
    • , Matthias Borchert
    • , Arne Broch Brantsæter
    • , David M. Brett-Major
    • , Timothy H. Burgess
    • , Daniel S. Chertow
    • , Christopher G. Chute
    • , Theodore J. Cieslak
    • , Robert Colebunders
    • , Ian Crozier
    • , Richard T. Davey
    • , Hilde de Clerck
    • , Rafael Delgado
    • , Laura Evans
    • , Mosoka Fallah
    • , William A. Fischer II
    • , Tom E. Fletcher
    • , Robert A. Fowler
    • , Thomas Grünewald
    • , Andy Hall
    • , Angela Hewlett
    • , Andy I. M. Hoepelman
    • , Catherine F. Houlihan
    • , Giuseppe Ippolito
    • , Shevin T. Jacob
    • , Michael Jacobs
    • , Robert Jakob
    • , Frederique A. Jacquerioz
    • , Laurent Kaiser
    • , Andre C. Kalil
    • , Rashidatu F. Kamara
    • , Jimmy Kapetshi
    • , Hans-Dieter Klenk
    • , Gary Kobinger
    • , Mark G. Kortepeter
    • , Colleen S. Kraft
    • , Thomas Kratz
    • , Henry S. Kyobe Bosa
    • , Marta Lado
    • , François Lamontagne
    • , H. Cliff Lane
    • , Leslie Lobel
    • , Julius Lutwama
    • , G. Marshall Lyon III
    • , Moses B. F. Massaquoi
    • , Thomas A. Massaquoi
    • , Aneesh K. Mehta
    • , Vital Mondonge Makuma
    • , Srinivas Murthy
    • , Tonny Seikikongo Musoke
    • , Jean-Jacques Muyembe-Tamfum
    • , Phiona Nakyeyune
    • , Carolina Nanclares
    • , Miriam Nanyunja
    • , Justus Nsio-Mbeta
    • , Tim O’Dempsey
    • , Janusz T. Pawęska
    • , Clarence J. Peters
    • , Peter Piot
    • , Christophe Rapp
    • , Bertrand Renaud
    • , Bruce Ribner
    • , Pardis C. Sabeti
    • , John S. Schieffelin
    • , Werner Slenczka
    • , Moses J. Soka
    • , Armand Sprecher
    • , James Strong
    • , Robert Swanepoel
    • , Timothy M. Uyeki
    • , Michel van Herp
    • , Pauline Vetter
    • , David A. Wohl
    • , Timo Wolf
    • , Anja Wolz
    • , Alie H. Wurie
    •  & Zabulon Yoti
  • In Brief |

    This report shows that glycolysis is important for modulating replication of murine norovirus.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • In Brief |

    This study reports that the intracellular c-di-GMP levels are reduced in Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Typhimurium during infection of macrophages to promote survival.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • Research Highlight |

    This study uncovers a functional link between ion flux and ribosome function, and indicates an alternative mechanism for bacterial survival under antibiotic stress.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • Research Highlight |

    This study shows that Malassezia restricta in the gut acts via CARD9S12N, a risk factor for Crohn’s disease, to promote the production of inflammatory cytokines in myeloid phagocytes and exacerbate colitis.

    • Katharine H. Wrighton
  • In Brief |

    This study reports a novel strategy to reduce the ability of tsetse flies to transmit trypanosomes.

    • Andrea du Toit
  • In Brief |

    This study shows that a plant pathogen uses extracellular DNases as a defence mechanism against host-secreted extracellular DNA.

    • Andrea du Toit
  • In Brief |

    This study shows that naked and quasi-enveloped hepatitis A virus virions enter cells via similar endocytic pathways, but uncoating of capsids is temporally and spatially different.

    • Andrea du Toit
  • In Brief |

    This study shows that staphylococcal leukocidins target endothelial cells to cause host lethality.

    • Andrea du Toit
  • In Brief |

    The findings of this study suggest that Zika virus differentially reprogrammes glucose metabolism in humans and mosquitoes, which affects host cell death and survival.

    • Andrea du Toit
  • In Brief |

    This study reports that the incorporation of antimalarial drugs into insecticide-treated bed nets could be a promising transmission-blocking strategy.

    • Andrea du Toit
  • Research Highlight |

    Two new studies investigate how bacteria respond with slow or no growth during unfavourable conditions.

    • Ursula Hofer
  • Research Highlight |

    Two new studies investigated the human gut virome and report the positive correlation between microbiome diversity and phage diversity, and the link between phage expansion and intestinal inflammation.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • Under the Lens |

    This month’s Under the Lens discusses the use of single-molecule tracking to study the effects and response of bacterial cells exposed to antibiotics.

    • Oliver J. Pambos
    •  & Achillefs N. Kapanidis
  • In Brief |

    This study found that a lipase secreted by the opportunistic pathogen Staphylococcus aureus promotes immune evasion.

    • Ashley York
  • Research Highlight |

    A recent study shows that phosphatidic acid produced during infection acts as an intrinsic signal that governs natural egress of the parasite Toxoplasma gondii through a guanylate cyclase signalling platform.

    • Ashley York
  • In Brief |

    This study reports that the phosphorylation of a paramyxovirus protein switches the infection phenotype from lytic to persistent.

    • Ashley York
  • In Brief |

    A recent study finds that pre-existing immunity to dengue virus is associated with a reduction in Zika virus transmission.

    • Ashley York
  • News & Views |

    Biofilms are a fundamental form of microbial life and occur in diverse environments, ranging from the mammalian gut to deep subsurface rocks. It is often claimed that most bacteria and archaea live in biofilms, but this claim awaits quantification. Recent updates on global microbial cell numbers prompt a revisiting of this question.

    • Yinon M. Bar-On
    •  & Ron Milo
  • Research Highlight |

    A new study combining video microscopy and computer models shows that rare pioneer bacteria contribute to Listeria monocytogenes spread.

    • Ursula Hofer
  • In Brief |

    The description of a method to measure the HIV-1 reservoir that quantifies intact and defective proviruses.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • In Brief |

    This study shows that the interaction between two sessile soil bacteria leads to emergence of interspecies social spreading.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • In Brief |

    This study reports a large population cohort study in which the authors correlate microbial taxa with quality of life and the incidence of depression.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • Genome Watch |

    This Genome Watch article discusses the application of machine learning algorithms to predict the source of food-borne infections.

    • Nicole E. Wheeler
  • In Brief |

    This report shows that a non-structural protein of a persistent plant virus can induce the apoptotic response to promote viral transmission.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • In Brief |

    This study used a large-scale metagenomic-assembly approach and uncovered thousands of new species associated with the human microbiome.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • Research Highlight |

    In a recent study, researchers examined the super-donor phenomenon in faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) and concluded that the existence of FMT super-donors is not yet supported, and they suggest a more personalized approach could improve the success of FMT.

    • Ashley York