Jason Tetro
Since he was a teenager, Jason Tetro has called the laboratory his second home. His experience in microbiology and immunology has taken him into several fields including bloodborne, food and water pathogens; environmental microbiology; disinfection and antisepsis; and emerging pathogens such as SARS, avian flu, and Zika virus. He currently is a visiting scientist at the University of Guelph.

In the public, Jason is better known as The Germ Guy, and regularly offers his at times unconventional perspective on science in the media. Jason has written two books, The Germ Code, which was shortlisted as Science Book of The Year (2014) and The Germ Files, which spent several weeks on the national bestseller list. He has also co-edited, The Human Microbiome Handbook, which provides an academic perspective on the impact of microbes in human health. He lives in Toronto.

Entries by Jason Tetro

How The Bacteria Behind Gum Disease Turn Your Immune System Against You

(0) Comments | Posted May 23, 2017 | 1:09 PM

Gingivitis is one of the most common oral health problems in Canada. It starts off with a little redness in the gums but without proper attention and care, the situation can worsen leading to bleeding, puffiness, bad breath, and over time, what is known as periodontitis, more commonly...

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How Microbes Keep Chocolate On Store Shelves

(1) Comments | Posted May 15, 2017 | 1:00 PM

"All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt."
-Charles M. Schulz

About three decades ago, something devastating happened in Brazil. An infectious disease had struck the cacao trees and threatened to wipe out the population. Some 70% of these plants fell victim to this...

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How Breast Milk May Help Babies Fight Off A Deadly Infection

(0) Comments | Posted May 8, 2017 | 12:04 PM

As Mother's Day approaches, Canadians will be celebrating the people who brought us into this world and nurtured us as we developed. Most of the adulation will be due to social graces, such as care, kindness, and those life lessons that always come in handy. But there are other reasons...

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Here's Another Reason To Prevent Mosquito Bites

(0) Comments | Posted May 1, 2017 | 11:30 AM

Mosquito bites are a part of Canadian living. Usually, the only consequence of an unwanted invasion is an itchy welt. However, over the last decade, the consequences have become significantly greater due to the emergence of several viruses.

In Canada, however, the risk for a mosquito-borne virus is quite low....

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Are Dating Apps Behind A Recent Rise In Sexual Diseases?

(0) Comments | Posted April 24, 2017 | 11:03 AM

When public health officials see a rise in infections, finding the cause is one of the first priorities. In some cases, such as a foodborne outbreak, the process is relatively straightforward. The item or location is identified, a recall or closure is enacted, and the situation eventually is brought under...

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The Series Of Events That Leads To Elderly Health Issues

(0) Comments | Posted April 17, 2017 | 2:34 PM

As the saying goes, getting old is no fun. Our appearance changes, our bodies tend to get weaker, and we end up becoming prone to a variety of health troubles. Infections happen more frequently - and take longer to resolve -- and the chances for chronic diseases such as obesity,...

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There's An End In Sight To The Horror Of Flesh-Eating Disease

(4) Comments | Posted April 10, 2017 | 11:57 AM

It's a scenario straight out of a horror movie. You start with a normal bout of strep throat and figure you're going to have to deal with that week-long stretch of pain and difficulty swallowing. But after a few days, things get much worse.

Your hand, or leg, or...

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Fats Could Reduce The Need For Stronger And Stronger Antibiotics

(3) Comments | Posted April 3, 2017 | 10:34 AM

We are facing an antibiotic resistance crisis. Almost every health authority has sounded the alarm and the most recognized authority, the World Health Organization, is doing all it can to slow the arrival of the post-antibiotic era. Yet, even as these calls are made, the use of these drugs both...

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Why Even Pasteurized Milk Eventually Goes Bad

(9) Comments | Posted March 27, 2017 | 10:03 AM

Spoiled milk is one of the worst surprises anyone can encounter. The initial sourness is bad enough. Yet for those who dare to take in more than a sip, the accompanying solid pieces can revolt almost any palate.

As one might expect, the suspects behind the change from silky and...

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How Fibre May Keep Your Mouth Healthy

(1) Comments | Posted March 20, 2017 | 11:17 AM

For decades, good oral health has focused on three primary activities. We brush to keep teeth white, floss to maintain healthy gums, and for some, rinse with mouthwash to freshen breath. Behind all three of these measures is a common goal. We want to keep bad microbes at bay.

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Curing The 'Addiction' Of Antibiotic Resistance

(0) Comments | Posted March 13, 2017 | 10:01 AM

Every life form encounters stress. The trick to staying healthy is to find ways to manage troublesome situations. The strategies used can be split into two major coping mechanisms. One involves internal biological pathways to survive. The other requires outside supplementation to give the organism at least a chance to...

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Here's The Reason Mumps Has Made A Comeback

(5) Comments | Posted March 6, 2017 | 8:27 AM

At one time, the mere mention of mumps could strike fear in the population. The viral infection was known for causing a variety of short term symptoms, such as swollen salivary glands and reproductive organs as well as inflammation of the pancreas and meningitis. But the real worry came in...

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Here's Another Reason To Add Fibre To Your Diet

(0) Comments | Posted February 27, 2017 | 7:44 AM

It's a constant phrase echoed by health professionals all over the country, "Eat more fibre." At first glance, the recommendation may seem odd. After all, this food type is indigestible and appears to offer little to no nutritional benefit. Yet over the years, research has shown fibre is an excellent...

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How Travel Helps Antibiotic Resistance Spread Around The World

(0) Comments | Posted February 21, 2017 | 5:44 AM

With all the wintry weather affecting the country, Canadians cannot be blamed for seeking out warmer climates. The promise of sun, sand, and sea may seem like the perfect antidote to the constant struggles of the snow and those cold winds. Yet, there is an inherent risk associated with travel...

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We Are One Step Closer To A Syphilis Vaccine

(0) Comments | Posted February 13, 2017 | 8:15 AM

As Valentine's Day approaches, most Canadians turn their thoughts to love and all that comes with it. However, for public health officials, this year is particularly worrisome in the love department. It's all due to the rather unwelcome realization sexually transmitted diseases are continuing to rise in this country and...

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We May Soon Have A Trojan Horse To Defeat Cancer

(0) Comments | Posted February 6, 2017 | 7:14 AM

Beating cancer is one of humanity's greatest challenges and figuring out how to deal with these turncoat cells in our body continues to be a global priority. We have come a long way over the last century yet we have not yet won the fight. It is why researchers continue...

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We're A Step Closer To Calming Dangerous Flu-Related Inflammation

(0) Comments | Posted January 30, 2017 | 10:33 AM

Influenza is a nasty virus, as anyone who has been infected can attest. For most Canadians, the affliction only lasts for a few weeks before life returns to normal. But each year, thousands suffer more dire consequences and require hospitalization. Even with the best treatment options available, hundreds...

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Why Colds And The Flu Feel Worse At Night

(4) Comments | Posted January 23, 2017 | 2:15 AM

As cold and flu season continues to rage across the country, many Canadians are dealing with a rather frustrating conundrum. During the day, they seem to fare well with the infection but as soon as bedtime arrives, the situation worsens. The aches and pains return, the nasal passages fill up...

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The Flu May Be Trickier Than We Thought

(4) Comments | Posted January 13, 2017 | 12:18 PM

flu season

It's the middle of flu season and as expected, the virus is making its way through Canada. Thousands of people are struggling with the coughs, fever, and fatigue and looking for ways to deal with the weeks of suffering. Some will choose natural remedies, such...

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We Are One Step Closer To A Vaccine Against A Dangerous Virus

(0) Comments | Posted January 9, 2017 | 6:55 AM

This week, as expected, flu has taken over the headlines. All across Canada, hospitals are being overwhelmed by patients suffering from this well-known disease. Yet, among those looking for medical assistance, many will not have the influenza virus but another lesser known pathogen.

The pathogen is known as respiratory...

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