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

This Is How We Can Use The Internet To Improve Health

(0) Comments | Posted August 22, 2016 | 2:23 PM

The world wide web is filled with health advice. Unfortunately, recommendations may not be all that reliable. That's why many public health professionals look down on this type of consultation.

That being said, this trend has risen over the years and shows no signs of slowing. This...

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What's The Best Way To Deal With West Nile Virus?

(0) Comments | Posted August 15, 2016 | 12:53 PM

There are many welcome hallmarks to summer, such as the longer days and pleasant temperatures. Yet, summer also brings unwanted risks like damaging storms, oppressive heat waves, forest fires, and drought. One of the least favoured recurrences is the rise in mosquito populations and the potential for West Nile Virus...

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Will Smelling Like A Chicken Really Prevent Mosquito Bites?

(0) Comments | Posted August 8, 2016 | 8:49 AM

Almost no one wants to be bitten by a mosquito. The itching is bad enough but a number of infections may come with that unfortunate bite. Infections such as malaria, West Nile Virus, Dengue, and now Zika can turn that annoyance into a potentially life-threatening condition.

While Canadians may...

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It's Official! Gargling With Salt Water Actually Works

(12) Comments | Posted July 29, 2016 | 4:27 PM

When it comes to health, there are two streams of advice. The first is medical in nature, held true by doctors and supported by clinical trials and years, if not decades, of evidence. The other can be best described as the "grandma" approach. There's little to no information on the...

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Antibiotics Are Probably Not An Option To Combat Obesity

(1) Comments | Posted July 25, 2016 | 1:10 PM

No one can deny Canada has an obesity problem. Statistically, a quarter of adults and ten percent of children suffer from this ailment. Yet despite the rising concern, finding effective means to combat the condition has been harder than finding a needle in a haystack.

At first glance,...

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Nanoparticles May One Day Replace Antibiotics

(1) Comments | Posted July 18, 2016 | 11:57 AM

What's the best way to combat a bacterial infection?

For decades, the answer has been relatively straightforward: take an antibiotic. But over the last twenty years, that option has become substantially less effective as a result of antibiotic resistance. The situation is now so widespread even the mention of...

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These Friendly Microbes May Put Popular Allergy Theory To Rest

(0) Comments | Posted July 11, 2016 | 11:52 AM

Over the last decade, many of the mysteries regarding the role of microbes in human health have been solved. No longer are these invisible organisms solely regarded as pathogens. They represent a diverse community of species, most of which are harmless and others actually help us stay healthy. But there...

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On July 9th, Celebrate Health The Nunavummiut Way

(0) Comments | Posted July 4, 2016 | 6:44 AM

Though Canada Day has come and gone, there's still a good reason to keep the good feelings alive. On July 9th, Nunavut will be celebrating its 23rd birthday and the rest of our country is invited to join in the festivities. Not only will it mark a special day for...

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Celebrate Canada Day And Independence Day Safely With Hand Sanitizers

(0) Comments | Posted June 27, 2016 | 10:05 AM

This weekend marks the celebration of two great neighbours. On Friday, Canada will be celebrating its 149th birthday while on Monday our neighbours to the south will be marking the grand old age of 240 years. As one might expect, the two countries will be jam packed with events and...

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Little Doubt This Acne Bacteria Plays A Role In Prostate Cancer

(0) Comments | Posted June 20, 2016 | 11:11 AM

propionibacterium acnes
Propionibacterium acnes, anaerobic gram-positive bacilli responsible for inflammatory acne.

When someone mentions cancer in men, most will immediately think of the prostate. This gland is primarily responsible for male urogenital health. It also may be vulnerable to the onset of tumours, both...

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We Finally Know Why Some Canadians Still Refuse To Vaccinate

(0) Comments | Posted June 13, 2016 | 11:19 AM

Vaccination is one of the most successful means to prevent infections. Yet since it was first used over 200 years ago, the practice continuously has been the subject of controversy.

In Canada, most people know and understand the benefits as well as the risks. However,...

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Meet The Molecule That Can Supercharge Cancer-Killing Viruses

(0) Comments | Posted June 6, 2016 | 10:18 AM

Since the turn of the millennium, the fight against cancer has seen significant progress in all areas of treatment. One of the most promising routes happens to be through a process known as oncolytic virotherapy, or simply OV. The term may be a mouthful but the process at...

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The Seesaw Effect Of Bacterial Antibiotic Resistance

(1) Comments | Posted May 30, 2016 | 11:30 AM

A few months ago, the discovery of the antibiotic resistance gene mcr-1 sent shockwaves through the public and the health communities. This piece of bacterial DNA, also known as plasmid-mediated colistin resistance, revealed bacteria had developed a mechanism to tolerate yet another antibiotic. While this milestone marked another...

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Why Dust Mites May Make You Wheeze

(0) Comments | Posted May 23, 2016 | 10:10 AM

It's that time of the year when the air warms up, the humidity rises, and those with allergies suffer. The culprits are numerous but usually involve outdoors allergens. Yet, one particularly problematic pest lives inside the home and is known to cause a variety of respiratory troubles including asthma.


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Microbial Superglue May Lead To Faster, Safer Vaccines

(0) Comments | Posted May 16, 2016 | 1:25 PM

The development of a vaccine is a rather long and complicated process. Also, it isn't always successful. While we may hear of great advancements in the media, such as last year's successful trial of the Ebola vaccine, usually the news comes after decades of work in the laboratory...

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This Probiotic Could Mean Less Antiobiotics For Your Kids

(0) Comments | Posted May 9, 2016 | 10:42 AM

At one time, giving antibiotics to ill children was considered a normal part of life. A parent would bring a child to the physician's office, clinic or emergency room and leave with a prescription in hand, if only "just in case." However, this oft-used way to treat infections...

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Supporting New Zika Therapies Key To Combating Evolving Virus

(0) Comments | Posted May 2, 2016 | 9:18 AM

About five months have passed since the Brazilian government first announced the now well-known Zika outbreak. In that time, the virus has spread across many parts of the Americas and now threatens many areas of the United States.

As the virus spreads, researchers across the globe are...

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This Is What Happens To Your Lungs When You Get The Flu

(0) Comments | Posted April 25, 2016 | 11:23 AM

We haven't heard much about influenza this winter. According to the latest statistics, it has been a relatively quiet year with 4,371 hospitalizations and only 193 deaths.

While these numbers are concerning, they pale compared to last season in which some 8,000 people went to...

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A Cautionary Tale For Tourists Unwittingly Packing Pathogens

(0) Comments | Posted April 18, 2016 | 11:03 AM

The northern region of Canada is a majestic area. This area represents one of the places in the world to visit, if only to take in the incredible sights of Earth's natural beauty. One of the most active sites for tourism is Nunavik, located in Quebec. The combination...

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Planting A Natural Way To Clean Indoor Air

(0) Comments | Posted April 11, 2016 | 11:57 AM

Most Canadians probably do not know the name Hans Selye but his work in this country stands out as one of the most important in our everyday lives. He is better known as the "Father" of stress research. He examined the effect of this common phenomenon...

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