Viruses need to attach to cells to infect them, and they do this by binding to specific receptors on the cell. If a virus can’t attach, it can’t infect. Some receptors are very specific to an individual animal species, while some are more general. These differences in receptor binding explain why some viruses only infect

Bacteria are smarter than we give them credit for.
Or maybe we’re not a bright as we think we are.

Antimicrobial stewardship is sometimes (wrongly) assumed to simply be the practice of “using fewer antimicrobials,” but it’s more complex than that, because the issue is complex. At face value, overall reduction in antimicrobial use is

It was only a matter of time, so it’s not particularly surprising, but a potentially devastating pig disease has made its way into Ontario. It’s not a concern to people or other animals, but it’s worth mentioning here anyway (both to say it’s not a public health or non-pig health concern, and since it’s a

While it shouldn’t come as a surprise considering other studies, a recent study in PLoS One (O’Brien et al 2012) has caused a bit of a stir in the US. This study, headed up by Dr. Tara Smith’s research group in Iowa, looked for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in retail pork. They bought

When it comes to handling microorganisms, there are 4 biosafety levels.

  • Biosafety level 1 (BSL-1) organisms are harmless.
  • BSL-2 organisms include most of the commonly encountered bugs, including things like E. coli, Salmonella and Staphylococcus aureus. They can cause serious disease but infections are often treatable and they can be handled safely with

It seems like whenever a hit TV show or movie features an animal, there’s concern about the "101 Dalmatians effect," whereby there’s a mad rush to get the animal for a pet. When 101 Dalmatians was a hit movie, there was a huge spike in sales of this rather unusual breed – a