Startling discovery: Salmonella protein reduces drug resistance in tumors

A surprising result in an experiment on Salmonella bacteria has led to a discovery that may make drug resistant cancer cells more treatable by conventional chemotherapies. Scientists at the University of Massachusetts Medical School have found that the Salmonella protein SipA naturally reduces a well-known drug resistant molecule found in many different types of cancer cells.

By delivering the protein attached to tiny gold nanoparticles, researchers were able to dramatically boost tumor sensitivity to chemotherapeutic drugs and shrink colon and breast cancer tumors in mice.

“It is fascinating to think that this discovery has incredible clinical potential for treating certain drug resistant cancers. On the strength of these findings, we’re already moving into pre-clinical development,” said Beth A. McCormick, PhD, vice chair and professor of microbiology & physiological systems at UMass Medical School and a lead author of the study in Nature Communications.

Source: University of Massachusetts Medical School

Daniel Elmer Salmon gave his name to the Salmonella genus of bacteria

Daniel Elmer Salmon (July 23, 1850 – August 30, 1914) was a veterinary surgeon. He earned the first D.V.M. degree awarded in the United States, and spent his career studying animal diseases for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He gave his name to the Salmonella genus of bacteria, which was discovered by an assistant, and named in his honor.

Early life and education

Salmon was born in Mount Olive Township, New Jersey. Dr. Salmon’s father died in 1851 and his mother, Eleanor Flock Salmon, died in 1859, leaving him an orphan at the age of 8. He was then raised by his second cousin, Aaron Howell Salmon and spent time working both on Aaron’s farm and as a clerk in a country store. His early education was at the Mount Olive District School, Chester Institute, and Eastman Business College. He then attended Cornell University and graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine in 1872.

After an additional four years of study, in veterinary health and science, he was awarded the professional degree of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Cornell in 1876, the first D.V.M. degree granted in the United States. Toward the end of his career at Cornell, he studied at the Alfort Veterinary School in Paris, France.


Dr. Salmon opened a veterinary practice in Newark, New Jersey in 1872 and subsequently moved to Asheville, North Carolina in 1875 due to his health. In 1877 he gave a series of lectures at the University of Georgia on the topic of veterinary science. He worked for the State of New York, studying diseases in swine and for the United States Department of Agriculture studying animal diseases in the southern states. In 1883 he was asked to establish a veterinary division within the Department of Agriculture. It became the Bureau of Animal Industry and he served as its chief from 1884 to December 1, 1905. Under his leadership, the Bureau eradicated contagious pleural-pneumonia of cattle in the United States, studied and controlled Texas fever (Babesia), put in place the federal meat inspection program, began inspecting exported livestock and the ships carrying them, began inspecting and quarantining imported livestock, and studied the effect of animal diseases on public health. In 1906 he established the veterinary department at the University of Montevideo, Uruguay and was its head for five years. He returned to the United States in 1911 and concentrated on veterinary work in the western region of the country.

Salmonella is a genus of microorganisms named after him in Modern Latin in 1900 by J. Lignières, although the man who actually discovered and named the first strain, Salmonella cholerae suis, was Theobald Smith, Dr. Salmon’s research assistant, who isolated the bacterium in 1885. Since that time, more than 2,000 subtypes have been identified.

Source: Wikipedia

The Netherlands and China collaborate to combat antibiotic resistance

The Netherlands is sharing antibiotic resistance research knowledge with China, to collaborate against antimicrobial resistance. This is an important step as resistant bacteria can travel all over the world with travellers and in food supplies. On September 20-21 Chinese and Dutch researchers are organising a conference in Bejing and Shanghai, China to discuss antibiotic resistance.

Recently, Chinese researchers found a bacteria that can transfer from pigs to humans, this bacteria appeared resistant to the newest group of antibiotics but also to the older drug colistine, a last resort treatment for patients with serious infections from resistant bacteria.

In China the use of antibiotics and resistance is not monitored like it has been in Europe in the past 10 years. At the same time, the use of antibiotics has risen in patients, but also in livestock farming and large pharmaceutical companies are dumping large amounts of waste with antibiotics in it.

The RIVM is leading a delegation that will attend the conferences in Bejing and Shanghai. Tjalling Leenstra, medical epidemiologist at RIVM will lead the RIVM delegation. He has been closely involved in collaboration with the Chinese CDC. From 1998-2010 a European network was coordinated by RIVM to collect data on use of antibiotics and prevention of antimicrobial resistance.

“The Chinese are very interested in how to set up and run a network like that over several countries,” said Mariken van der Lubben, coordinator antibiotic resistance at RIVM and closely involved in the Chinese collaboration. “For example, what technological features do you need to exchange data between several countries?”

In China the focus on antibiotic resistance is increasing, the Chinese have recently come up with a national approach. “A lot is happening now in China,” said Leenstra, “the labs are highly developed, the level of knowledge is quite high. We can collaborate as equals but they are also open to ideas from others. Most of the people we work with are trained in the United States.” Van der Lubben: “It is remarkable to see how much the Chinese already know, they have a lot of data.”

RIVM has helped the Chinese with the set-up of a monitoring system for antibiotics resistance. Van der Lubben: “They were very thorough, in no time the number of participating hospitals went from a few 100 to 1400.”

One Health approach

The Chinese are currently working on antibiotic stewardship, a system to improve the use of antibiotics. “This year, a large group of Chinese researchers attended the microbiology conference organised by the European association to learn more about antibiotic stewardship. This has lead to a concrete approach to implement the system.

The Dutch On Health approach is an important theme at the 2 day conference in Bejing. “The Chinese are very interested in the approach, we will talk about how we work in the One Health approach. They wil share their own experience. By offering a broad program with attention to antibiotics, antibiotic resistance in humans, animals and the environment we try to show that the problem covers all three areas. The conerences in Bejing and Shanghai are organised by the Dutch Embassy and the Health Development Research Centre in Shanghai.

Source: NOS article

BRF SA and Check-Points B.V. sign new two year collaboration agreement.

BRF SA, one of the largest food companies in the world and a leading global provider of animal protein, and Check-Points B.V., a manufacturer of rapid molecular diagnostic assays for food and veterinary testing, today announced the signing of a two year supply agreement. The supply agreement covers Check-Points’ molecular Salmonella serotyping assay, Check&Trace Salmonella, which forms an integral part of the Salmonella reduction program in place at BRF SA throughout the production chain.

The agreement builds on eight years of successful collaboration which has led to early detection and further reduction of Salmonella occurrence in the production chain.

“BRF is committed to develop products of high quality,” said Fabrício da Silva Delgado, Director of Animal Production and Health at BRF. “We invest in research and in innovation and continuously monitor the health of our livestock to minimize the incidence of contamination. Through state of the art molecular tests we are able to pinpoint and eliminate the source of contamination in the most efficient manner. Our association with Check-Points is a key part of this strategy.”

Both companies are planning to work together on a similar approach to screen and understand resistance in livestock, using Check-Points’ innovative molecular antibiotic resistance technology such as Check-MDR CT, currently used by ivy league hospitals.

“We are very pleased to be supporting BRF in their quest for the best quality,” said Wouter de Levita VP of Sales and Business Development Check-Points. “Our close collaboration has confirmed that our products can lead to better economics for the producers through healthier livestock as well as result in better quality for the clients. BRF continually push us to improve our product range and we look forward to continuing our fruitful collaboration.”

Learn more about BRF’s commitment to quality here (in Portuguese)