Apr
21
2017
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Researchers at the University of Manitoba – Winnipeg and St. Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg have published the results of their research into a new antibiotic compound. This compound, referred to as PEG-2s, is novel in the way it ‘attacks’ infecting bacteria. Traditional antibiotics usually target a bacteria cell’s cell wall or its processes of DNA replication and protein synthesis. PEG-2s instead takes aim at one particular protein that is responsible for providing energy to the cell. The compound is so accurate and effective that the researchers claim that it does not have an effect on good gut bacteria or the body’s good cells. The protein that PEG-2S targets is not found in the normal cells of the body, and as such it could significantly mitigate any possible side effects. The researchers have successfully tested PEG-2S on legionella, other pneumonia bacteria, and the bacteria responsible for chlamydia. The tests have only been conducted within petri dishes, and as of now it has not been tested on animals or humans. The researchers see PEG-2S’s targeting system as providing a solution to the problem of antibiotic resistant bacteria because the drug acts so differently from traditional antibiotics that it would take a longer for bacteria to evolve any resistance mechanisms to it. The research team is currently in the process of seeking USDA approval.

To read more about the study click here. The research can be found here.

Jules Zacher is an attorney in Philadelphia who has tried Legionnaires’ disease cases across the U.S.  Please visit LegionnaireLawyer.com again for updates.

Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 9:56 am
Apr
20
2017
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The Florida Department of Health is investigating an Ocoee gym after three of its customers have contracted Legionnaires disease. The officials have not yet confirmed the gym as the source of the cluster of cases but are taking precautions as such. The management at LA Fitness have issued a press release stating that they have made efforts to notify all members that have used the gym in the last month of their potential exposure to legionella bacteria. The release also mentions the ongoing remediation process that LA Fitness is taking to eradicate the presence of legionella bacteria. In January of this year, the spa area at an LA Fitness location in Garden City Park, NY was forced to shut down after it was confirmed by the Nassau County Health Department that it was the source of two cases of Legionnaires’ disease. In November of 2013, another spa area at an Illinois LA Fitness was also found to be the source of two Legionnaires’ disease cases.

To read more about the situation in Florida, click here.

Jules Zacher is an attorney in Philadelphia who has tried Legionnaires’ disease cases across the U.S.  Please visit LegionnaireLawyer.com again for updates.

Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 10:20 am
Apr
19
2017
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Researchers at CalTech , The Washington University School of Medicine, and the University of Florida have successfully modeled the ‘Type Four Secretion’ system unique to legionella bacteria. Previously, other scientists have not been able to accurately model  this mechanism as the bacteria are only about 40 nanometers in diameter. This process, referred to as the ‘Toxin Gun’ by some, is responsible for the bacteria’s noted resistance to some antibiotics. The ‘Toxin Gun’ secretes thousands of toxic molecules that infect and significantly weaken cells,  overloading the body’s immune response. The ‘Toxin Gun’ also shoots out material that is coded with antibiotic resistance genes, thereby allowing more creating more bacteria that is now resistant to some forms of antibiotics. The researchers state that studying the structure of the system is the first step in developing drugs that can prevent this process from ever taking place. The head researcher, Dr. Debnath Ghosal, further stated that the results of this study and any future treatments developed because of the research can also be applied to other bacteria that share a similar secretion mechanism. The different types of bacteria that Ghosnal refers to are responsible for stomach cancer, whooping cough, and the extremely rare Q Fever.

More information about the team’s research can be found here.

Below is an animated model of the process, created by the research team.

3-D image of bacterial machine that injects toxins into cells and spreads antibiotic resistance

Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 4:25 pm
Apr
18
2017
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A European research consortium, comprised of university researchers, chemical analysis labs, and an Italian HVAC manufacturer. Researchers at the POSEIDON Project, which stands for Plasmonic-Based Automated Lab-on-Chip Sensor for the Rapid in-Situ Detection of Legionella, have begun the testing phase of a device that can instantly detect legionella. The device uses an optical sensor to automatically detect the presence of legionella bacteria. The current method of testing for the presence of legionella takes days, as a sample is taken and analysts wait for a culture of legionella bacteria to grow. The POSEIDON Project is only slated to be installed in HVAC and water systems as a means of providing automatic detection. There are no current plans to apply this technology to the medical field.

To read more about Project POSEIDON click here. To visit the official Project POSEIDON website, click here.

Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 10:47 am
Apr
17
2017
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The University of Windsor, located in Windsor, Ontario, shut down its hot water system in a dozen buildings around campus after routine inspections indicated the presence of legionella bacteria. Originally, three hot water systems tested positive for legionella bacteria. Subsequently, nine more buildings were found to have legionella bacteria in their hot water systems. As of now, the local health department has stated that there have been no cases of  Legionnaires’ Disease or Pontiac Fever reported to them. The university has stated that it has immediately begun the process of remediating these hot water systems.

To read more about this situation, click here.

Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 12:12 pm
Apr
14
2017
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A publicly operated recreation center and ice rink in the Montreal suburb of Beaconsfield has shut down after routine tests of ice condensers indicated a higher-than-normal presence of legionella. There have been no reported cases of Legionnaires Disease as of now. The operators of the recreation center have announced that the arena will be closed to the public for remediation and general maintenance for 6 weeks. These findings come roughly two years after an outbreak of Legionnaires Disease at a similar public recreation center and ice rink in Quebec infected 18 people, resulting in two deaths.

Click here to read more about the story.

 

Jules Zacher is an attorney in Philadelphia who has tried Legionnaires’ disease cases across the U.S.  Please visit LegionnaireLawyer.com again for updates.

Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 2:58 pm
Apr
13
2017
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The Victoria Department of Health and Human Services are investigating an outbreak of Legionnaires Disease in downtown Melbourne believed to have infected at least six people within the past two weeks, with more potential cases being investigated. All six of the victims are reported to have worked in or visited the east side of Melbourne’s Central Business District. One of the victims is said to have been hospitalized within an intensive care unit. All reported victims have been released from the hospital. The health authorities believe that the outbreak is tied to 92 cooling towers within the Central Business District of Melbourne. As of now, 92 of those cooling towers are on track to be inspected and subsequently  disinfected by this Friday, April 14th.

The situation is still developing and more can be read about it here and here.

Jules Zacher is an attorney in Philadelphia who has tried Legionnaires’ disease cases across the U.S.  Please visit LegionnaireLawyer.com again for updates.

Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 4:30 pm
Apr
11
2017
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Researchers at the Chemical Genomics Center of the Max Planck Society in Munich have promising results from their study of legionella infections. Legionellosis, the process of infection by legionella bacteria, is a particularly evasive infection. The body’s typical immune response involves ‘eating up’ foreign intruders such as bacteria and viruses in a process known as autophagy, ultimately preventing the onset of diseases and infections. A molecule known as LC3-PE is responsible for this process. Legionella bacteria has been found to contain a molecule, called RavZ, that disrupts the actions of LC3-PE and ultimately allows legionella bacteria to propagate within the body, leading to the start of Legionnaires’ Disease. The research team at the Max Planck Society have studied the process by which RavZ  recognizes and destroys LC3-PE, studying the structure and RavZ and the binding process. The team have found that the inclusion of a peptide that disrupts RavZ’s recognition process. The head of the research team, Yaowen Wu, concluded the study by saying: “We hope that understanding these mechanisms will be beneficial for the development of new drugs against infection by Legionella”.

To read more about the study, click here.

Jules Zacher is an attorney in Philadelphia who has tried Legionnaires’ disease cases across the U.S.  Please visit LegionnaireLawyer.com again for updates.

Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 10:53 am
Apr
10
2017
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According to a lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court in Early April, four cancer patients staying at the Hope Lodge, an American Cancer Society facility that temporarily houses cancer patients, contracted Legionnaires Disease in early 2015. Of the four cases, Joan Pederson, a 62 year old brain cancer patient was the first and only recorded death associated with the outbreak. Pederson had to stop treatment for her brain cancer for weeks in order to receive treatment for her Legionnaires’ Disease. This outbreak was overshadowed by the much larger, concurrent Bronx outbreaks in which more than 100 people were affected, and around 12 people died.

 

To read more about this story, click here.

Jules Zacher is an attorney in Philadelphia who has tried Legionnaires’ disease cases across the U.S.  Please visit LegionnaireLawyer.com again for updates.

Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 11:13 am
Apr
07
2017
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A suburban Philadelphia high school has been shut down today after legionella bacteria was found in the school’s hot water system. The school was conducting routine testing of their water systems when a water sample from a spigot in the boiler room tested positive for legionella bacteria. This was the only area in the school that tested positive for legionella. The superintendent of the Kennett Consolidated School District, Barry W. Tomasetti, posted a bulletin to the school district’s website informing students and families of these findings. The school district stated that it is working closely with the Chester County Health Department and an environmental services firm to remediate the situation. There are no confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ Disease, and as such the Chester County Health Department is not issuing a public health advisory.

More information on the story can be found here and here.

Jules Zacher is an attorney in Philadelphia who has tried Legionnaires’ disease cases across the U.S.  Please visit LegionnaireLawyer.com again for updates.

Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 10:19 am