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Microorganisms, Volume 11, Issue 11 (November 2023) – 205 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): At present, viruses are emerging and re-emerging in unpredictable forms, so bridging the knowledge and resource gaps is crucial to mitigating the impact of the rapidly spreading pathogens. From public education to individual responsiveness and from research breakthroughs to innovative surveillance tools, vaccine developments, and treatments, these varied approaches help us navigate the ongoing challenge of fast-mutating viruses. This overview provides up-to-date research on emerging and re-emerging viruses for readers to assist in designing and adopting effective prevention and control strategies for future viral outbreaks. View this paper
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19 pages, 2991 KiB  
Article
Diversity, Taxonomic Novelty, and Encoded Functions of Salar de Ascotán Microbiota, as Revealed by Metagenome-Assembled Genomes
Microorganisms 2023, 11(11), 2819; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11112819 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 899
Abstract
Salar de Ascotán is a high-altitude arsenic-rich salt flat exposed to high ultraviolet radiation in the Atacama Desert, Chile. It hosts unique endemic flora and fauna and is an essential habitat for migratory birds, making it an important site for conservation and protection. [...] Read more.
Salar de Ascotán is a high-altitude arsenic-rich salt flat exposed to high ultraviolet radiation in the Atacama Desert, Chile. It hosts unique endemic flora and fauna and is an essential habitat for migratory birds, making it an important site for conservation and protection. However, there is limited information on the resident microbiota’s diversity, genomic features, metabolic potential, and molecular mechanisms that enable it to thrive in this extreme environment. We used long- and short-read metagenomics to investigate the microbial communities in Ascotán’s water, sediment, and soil. Bacteria predominated, mainly Pseudomonadota, Acidobacteriota, and Bacteroidota, with a remarkable diversity of archaea in the soil. Following hybrid assembly, we recovered high-quality bacterial (101) and archaeal (6) metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs), including representatives of two putative novel families of Patescibacteria and Pseudomonadota and two novel orders from the archaeal classes Halobacteriota and Thermoplasmata. We found different metabolic capabilities across distinct lineages and a widespread presence of genes related to stress response, DNA repair, and resistance to arsenic and other metals. These results highlight the remarkable diversity and taxonomic novelty of the Salar de Ascotán microbiota and its rich functional repertoire, making it able to resist different harsh conditions. The highly complete MAGs described here could serve future studies and bioprospection efforts focused on salt flat extremophiles, and contribute to enriching databases with microbial genome data from underrepresented regions of our planet. Full article
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15 pages, 6790 KiB  
Article
Notch Signaling Regulates the Function and Phenotype of Dendritic Cells in Helicobacter pylori Infection
Microorganisms 2023, 11(11), 2818; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11112818 - 20 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 767
Abstract
Notch signaling manipulates the function and phenotype of dendritic cells (DCs), as well as the interaction between DCs and CD4+ T cells. However, the role of Notch signaling in Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection remains elusive. Murine bone marrow-derived dendritic [...] Read more.
Notch signaling manipulates the function and phenotype of dendritic cells (DCs), as well as the interaction between DCs and CD4+ T cells. However, the role of Notch signaling in Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection remains elusive. Murine bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDCs) were pretreated in the absence or presence of Notch signaling inhibitor DAPT prior to H. pylori stimulation and the levels of Notch components, cytokines and surface markers as well as the differentiation of CD4+ T cells in co-culture were measured using quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR), Western blot, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and flow cytometry. Compared with the control, the mRNA expression of all Notch receptors and Notch ligands Dll4 and Jagged1 was up-regulated in H. pylori-stimulated BMDCs. The blockade of Notch signaling by DAPT influenced the production of IL-1β and IL-10 in H. pylori-pulsed BMDCs, and reduced the expression of Notch1, Notch3, Notch4, Dll1, Dll3 and Jagged2. In addition, DAPT pretreatment decreased the expression of maturation markers CD80, CD83, CD86, and major histocompatibility complex class II (MHC-II) of BMDCs, and further skewed Th17/Treg balance toward Treg. Notch signaling regulates the function and phenotype of DCs, thus mediating the differentiation of CD4+ T cells during H. pylori infection. Full article
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10 pages, 4224 KiB  
Brief Report
Genomics of Yoonia sp. Isolates (Family Roseobacteraceae) from Lake Zhangnai on the Tibetan Plateau
Microorganisms 2023, 11(11), 2817; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11112817 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 607
Abstract
Understanding the genomic differentiation between marine and non-marine aquatic microbes remains a compelling question in ecology. While previous research has identified several lacustrine lineages within the predominantly marine Roseobacteraceae family, limited genomic data have constrained our understanding of their ecological adaptation mechanisms. In [...] Read more.
Understanding the genomic differentiation between marine and non-marine aquatic microbes remains a compelling question in ecology. While previous research has identified several lacustrine lineages within the predominantly marine Roseobacteraceae family, limited genomic data have constrained our understanding of their ecological adaptation mechanisms. In this study, we isolated four novel Yoonia strains from a brackish lake on the Tibetan Plateau. These strains have diverged from their marine counterparts within the same genus, indicating a recent habitat transition event from marine to non-marine environments. Metabolic comparisons and ancestral genomic reconstructions in a phylogenetic framework reveal metabolic shifts in salinity adaptation, compound transport, aromatics degradation, DNA repair, and restriction systems. These findings not only corroborate the metabolic changes commonly observed in other non-marine Roseobacters but also unveil unique adaptations, likely reflecting the localized metabolic changes in responses to Tibetan Plateau environments. Collectively, our study expands the known genomic diversity of non-marine Roseobacteraceae lineages and enhances our understanding of microbial adaptations to lacustrine ecosystems. Full article
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14 pages, 1211 KiB  
Article
MiTree: A Unified Web Cloud Analytic Platform for User-Friendly and Interpretable Microbiome Data Mining Using Tree-Based Methods
Microorganisms 2023, 11(11), 2816; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11112816 - 20 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 711
Abstract
The advent of next-generation sequencing has greatly accelerated the field of human microbiome studies. Currently, investigators are seeking, struggling and competing to find new ways to diagnose, treat and prevent human diseases through the human microbiome. Machine learning is a promising approach to [...] Read more.
The advent of next-generation sequencing has greatly accelerated the field of human microbiome studies. Currently, investigators are seeking, struggling and competing to find new ways to diagnose, treat and prevent human diseases through the human microbiome. Machine learning is a promising approach to help such an effort, especially due to the high complexity of microbiome data. However, many of the current machine learning algorithms are in a “black box”, i.e., they are difficult to understand and interpret. In addition, clinicians, public health practitioners and biologists are not usually skilled at computer programming, and they do not always have high-end computing devices. Thus, in this study, we introduce a unified web cloud analytic platform, named MiTree, for user-friendly and interpretable microbiome data mining. MiTree employs tree-based learning methods, including decision tree, random forest and gradient boosting, that are well understood and suited to human microbiome studies. We also stress that MiTree can address both classification and regression problems through covariate-adjusted or unadjusted analysis. MiTree should serve as an easy-to-use and interpretable data mining tool for microbiome-based disease prediction modeling, and should provide new insights into microbiome-based diagnostics, treatment and prevention. MiTree is an open-source software that is available on our web server. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Microbial Biotechnology)
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13 pages, 2289 KiB  
Article
Molecular Characterization of Lactic Acid Bacteria in Bakery and Pastry Starter Ferments
Microorganisms 2023, 11(11), 2815; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11112815 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 663
Abstract
Bread is the oldest and most essential food consumed by humans, with its consumption exceeding nutritional needs and becoming part of cultural habits. Fermentation is an important step in the bread-making process, giving it its rheological, organoleptic, aromatic, and nutritional properties. Lactic acid [...] Read more.
Bread is the oldest and most essential food consumed by humans, with its consumption exceeding nutritional needs and becoming part of cultural habits. Fermentation is an important step in the bread-making process, giving it its rheological, organoleptic, aromatic, and nutritional properties. Lactic acid bacteria and yeasts are both responsible for the fermentation step and part of the natural flour microbiota. In this study, we aimed to characterize LAB in three types of flour, namely, wheat, oat, and rice flour, using conventional phenotypic and biochemical assays and to carry out molecular-biology-based characterization via studying the rrn Operon using RFLP of the ITS region and via PCR using species-specific primers. Additionally, the effect of LAB diversity among the three types of flour and their influence on dough characteristics were assessed. Also, we evaluated the antagonistic effects of LAB on two bacterial (E. coli and S. aureus) and two fungal (Botrytis and Fusarium) pathogens. This study showed that LAB are not the predominant species in rice flour, while they were predominant in wheat and oat flour. Additionally, Lactobacillus sanfranciscencis was found to be the predominant species in wheat flour, while its presence in oat flour was minor. Finally, through their production of soluble substances, LAB exerted antagonistic effects on the four types of pathogenic microorganisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Food Microbiology)
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27 pages, 1729 KiB  
Review
Salmonella Infection in Poultry: A Review on the Pathogen and Control Strategies
Microorganisms 2023, 11(11), 2814; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11112814 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 2332
Abstract
Salmonella is the leading cause of food-borne zoonotic disease worldwide. Non-typhoidal Salmonella serotypes are the primary etiological agents associated with salmonellosis in poultry. Contaminated poultry eggs and meat products are the major sources of human Salmonella infection. Horizontal and vertical transmission are the [...] Read more.
Salmonella is the leading cause of food-borne zoonotic disease worldwide. Non-typhoidal Salmonella serotypes are the primary etiological agents associated with salmonellosis in poultry. Contaminated poultry eggs and meat products are the major sources of human Salmonella infection. Horizontal and vertical transmission are the primary routes of infection in chickens. The principal virulence genes linked to Salmonella pathogenesis in poultry are located in Salmonella pathogenicity islands 1 and 2 (SPI-1 and SPI-2). Cell-mediated and humoral immune responses are involved in the defense against Salmonella invasion in poultry. Vaccination of chickens and supplementation of feed additives like prebiotics, probiotics, postbiotics, synbiotics, and bacteriophages are currently being used to mitigate the Salmonella load in poultry. Despite the existence of various control measures, there is still a need for a broad, safe, and well-defined strategy that can confer long-term protection from Salmonella in poultry flocks. This review examines the current knowledge on the etiology, transmission, cell wall structure, nomenclature, pathogenesis, immune response, and efficacy of preventative approaches to Salmonella. Full article
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14 pages, 3339 KiB  
Article
Epidemiology of Pneumococcal Pneumonia in Louisville, Kentucky, and Its Estimated Burden of Disease in the United States
Microorganisms 2023, 11(11), 2813; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11112813 - 20 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 610
Abstract
Streptococcus pneumoniae remains a primary pathogen in hospitalized patients with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). The objective of this study was to define the epidemiology of pneumococcal pneumonia in Louisville, Kentucky, and to estimate the burden of pneumococcal pneumonia in the United States (US). This [...] Read more.
Streptococcus pneumoniae remains a primary pathogen in hospitalized patients with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). The objective of this study was to define the epidemiology of pneumococcal pneumonia in Louisville, Kentucky, and to estimate the burden of pneumococcal pneumonia in the United States (US). This study was nested in a prospective population-based cohort study of all adult residents in Louisville, Kentucky, who were hospitalized with CAP from 1 June 2014 to 31 May 2016. In hospitalized patients with CAP, urinary antigen detection of 24 S. pneumoniae serotypes (UAD-24) was performed. The annual population-based pneumococcal pneumonia incidence was calculated. The distribution of S. pneumoniae serotypes was characterized. Ecological associations between pneumococcal pneumonia and income level, race, and age were defined. Mortality was evaluated during hospitalization and at 30 days, 6 months, and 1 year after hospitalization. Among the 5402 CAP patients with a UAD-24 test performed, 708 (13%) patients had pneumococcal pneumonia. The annual cumulative incidence was 93 pneumococcal pneumonia hospitalizations per 100,000 adults (95% CI = 91–95), corresponding to an estimated 226,696 annual pneumococcal pneumonia hospitalizations in the US. The most frequent serotypes were 19A (12%), 3 (11%), and 22F (11%). Clusters of cases were found in areas with low incomes and a higher proportion of Black or African American population. Pneumococcal pneumonia mortality was 3.7% during hospitalization, 8.2% at 30 days, 17.6% at 6 months, and 25.4% at 1 year after hospitalization. The burden of pneumococcal pneumonia in the US remains significant, with an estimate of more than 225,000 adults hospitalized annually, and approximately 1 out of 4 hospitalized adult patients dies within 1 year after hospitalization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Detection and Analysis of Clinical Microbial Infections)
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14 pages, 3866 KiB  
Article
Spring Viremia of Carp Virus Infection Induces Carp IL-10 Expression, Both In Vitro and In Vivo
Microorganisms 2023, 11(11), 2812; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11112812 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 742
Abstract
Interleukin-10 (IL-10) is a pleiotropic cytokine with both immune enhancement and immunosuppression activities, but the main role is immunosuppression and anti-inflammatory ability. In order to use the immunosuppressive function of IL-10, many viruses, such as SARS-CoV-2, hepatitis B virus and EB virus, can [...] Read more.
Interleukin-10 (IL-10) is a pleiotropic cytokine with both immune enhancement and immunosuppression activities, but the main role is immunosuppression and anti-inflammatory ability. In order to use the immunosuppressive function of IL-10, many viruses, such as SARS-CoV-2, hepatitis B virus and EB virus, can evade the host’s immune surveillance and clearance by increasing the expression of host IL-10. However, it has not been reported whether the aquatic animal infection virus can upregulate the expression of host IL-10 and the mechanisms are still unknown. Spring viremia of carp (SVC) is a fatal viral disease for many fish species and is caused by spring viremia of carp virus (SVCV). This disease has caused significant economic losses in the aquaculture industry worldwide. In this study, the expression of carp IL-10 with or without infection of SVCV in epithelioma papulosum cyprinid (EPC) cells, carp head kidney (cHK) primary cells and common carp tissues were analyzed using RT-PCR and ELISA. The results show that SVCV infection induced carp IL-10 mRNA and protein expression, both in vitro and in vivo. However, the upregulation of carp IL-10 by SVCV was hindered by specific inhibitors of the JAK inhibitor (CP-690550), STAT3 inhibitor (STA-21), NF-κB inhibitor (BAY11-7082) and p38 MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) inhibitor (SB202190), but not JNK inhibitor (SP600125). Furthermore, the results demonstrated that JAK1, JAK2, JAK3, TYK2 and STAT5 played important roles in carp IL-10 production induced by SVCV infection. Taken together, SVCV infection significantly induced carp IL-10 expression and the upregulation trigged in JAK-STAT, NF-κB and p38MAPK pathways. To our knowledge, this is the first time that a fish infection virus upregulated the host IL-10 expression through the JAK-STAT, NF-κB and p38MAPK pathways. Altogether, fish viruses may have a similar mechanism as human or other mammalian viruses to escape host immune surveillance and clearance. Full article
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15 pages, 8220 KiB  
Article
Changes in Microbial Communities Using Pigs as a Model for Postmortem Interval Estimation
Microorganisms 2023, 11(11), 2811; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11112811 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 729
Abstract
Microbial communities can undergo significant successional changes during decay and decomposition, potentially providing valuable insights for determining the postmortem interval (PMI). The microbiota produce various gases that cause cadaver bloating, and rupture releases nutrient-rich bodily fluids into the environment, altering the soil microbiota [...] Read more.
Microbial communities can undergo significant successional changes during decay and decomposition, potentially providing valuable insights for determining the postmortem interval (PMI). The microbiota produce various gases that cause cadaver bloating, and rupture releases nutrient-rich bodily fluids into the environment, altering the soil microbiota around the carcasses. In this study, we aimed to investigate the underlying principles governing the succession of microbial communities during the decomposition of pig carcasses and the soil beneath the carcasses. At early decay, the phylum Firmicutes and Bacteroidota were the most abundant in both the winter and summer pig rectum. However, Proteobacteria became the most abundant in the winter pig rectum in late decay. Using genus as a biomarker to estimate the PMI could get the MAE from 1.375 days to 2.478 days based on the RF model. The abundance of bacterial communities showed a decreasing trend with prolonged decomposition time. There were statistically significant differences in microbial diversity in the two periods (pre-rupture and post-rupture) of the four groups (WPG 0–8Dvs. WPG 16–40D, p < 0.0001; WPS 0–16Dvs. WPS 24–40D, p = 0.003; SPG 0D vs. SPG 8–40D, p = 0.0005; and SPS 0D vs. SPS 8–40D, p = 0.0208). Most of the biomarkers in the pre-rupture period belong to obligate anaerobes. In contrast, the biomarkers in the post-rupture period belong to aerobic bacteria. Furthermore, the genus Vagococcus shows a similar increase trend, whether in winter or summer. Together, these results suggest that microbial succession was predictable and can be developed into a forensic tool for estimating the PMI. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forensic Microorganism)
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11 pages, 12493 KiB  
Article
T Cell Response in Tuberculosis-Infected Patients Vaccinated against COVID-19
Microorganisms 2023, 11(11), 2810; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11112810 - 19 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 960
Abstract
Many studies have focused on SARS-CoV-2 and Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) co-infection consequences. However, after a vaccination plan against COVID-19, the cases of severe disease and death are consistently controlled, although cases of asymptomatic and mild COVID-19 still happen together with tuberculosis [...] Read more.
Many studies have focused on SARS-CoV-2 and Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) co-infection consequences. However, after a vaccination plan against COVID-19, the cases of severe disease and death are consistently controlled, although cases of asymptomatic and mild COVID-19 still happen together with tuberculosis (TB) cases. Thus, in this context, we sought to compare the T cell response of COVID-19-non-vaccinated and -vaccinated patients with active tuberculosis exposed to SARS-CoV-2 antigens. Flow cytometry was used to analyze activation markers (i.e., CD69 and CD137) and cytokines (IFN-γ, TNFα, IL-17, and IL-10) levels in CD4+ and CD8+ T cells upon exposure to SARS-CoV-2 peptides. The data obtained showed that CD8+ T cells from non-vaccinated TB patients present a high frequency of CD69 and TNF-α after viral challenge compared to vaccinated TB donors. Conversely, CD4+ T cells from vaccinated TB patients show a high frequency of IL-10 after spike peptide stimulus compared to non-vaccinated patients. No differences were observed in the other parameters analyzed. The results suggest that this reduced immune balance in coinfected individuals may have consequences for pathogen control, necessitating further research to understand its impact on clinical outcomes after COVID-19 vaccination in those with concurrent SARS-CoV-2 and Mtb infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coronaviruses: Past, Present, and Future)
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12 pages, 818 KiB  
Article
Contribution of the Rapid LAMP-Based Diagnostic Test (RLDT) to the Evaluation of Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) and Shigella in Childhood Diarrhea in the Peri-Urban Area of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Microorganisms 2023, 11(11), 2809; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11112809 - 19 Nov 2023
Viewed by 890
Abstract
The estimates of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) and Shigella burden in developing countries are limited by the lack of rapid, accessible, and sensitive diagnostics and surveillance tools. We used a “Rapid LAMP based Diagnostic Test (RLDT)” to detect ETEC and Shigella in diarrheal [...] Read more.
The estimates of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) and Shigella burden in developing countries are limited by the lack of rapid, accessible, and sensitive diagnostics and surveillance tools. We used a “Rapid LAMP based Diagnostic Test (RLDT)” to detect ETEC and Shigella in diarrheal and non-diarrheal stool samples from a 12-month longitudinal cohort of children under five years of age in a peri-urban area of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso (West Africa). To allow comparison with the RLDT-Shigella results, conventional culture methods were used to identify Shigella strains in the stool samples. As conventional culture alone cannot detect ETEC cases, a subset of E. coli-like colonies was tested using conventional PCR to detect ETEC toxins genes. Of the 165 stool samples analyzed for ETEC, 24.9% were positive when using RLDT against 4.2% when using culture followed by PCR. ETEC toxin distribution when using RLDT was STp 17.6% (29/165), LT 11.5% (19/165), and STh 8.5% (14/165). Of the 263 specimens tested for Shigella, 44.8% were positive when using RLDT against 23.2% when using culture. The sensitivity and specificity of the RLDT compared to culture (followed by PCR for ETEC) were 93.44% and 69.8% for Shigella and 83.7% and 77.9% for ETEC, respectively. This study indicates that both Shigella and ETEC are substantially underdiagnosed when using conventional culture and highlights the potential contribution of the new RLDT method to improve enteric disease burden estimation and to guide future efforts to prevent and control bacterial enteric infection and disease. Full article
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17 pages, 2877 KiB  
Article
Rapid Detection and Quantification of Viable Cells of Pectobacterium brasiliense Using Propidium Monoazide Combined with Real-Time PCR
Microorganisms 2023, 11(11), 2808; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11112808 - 19 Nov 2023
Viewed by 772
Abstract
Pectobacterium brasiliense (Pbr) has caused significant economic losses in major vegetable production areas in Northern China by causing bacterial soft rot in cash crops such as potatoes and cucumbers. This study aimed to establish a PMA-qPCR detection method for Pbr by [...] Read more.
Pectobacterium brasiliense (Pbr) has caused significant economic losses in major vegetable production areas in Northern China by causing bacterial soft rot in cash crops such as potatoes and cucumbers. This study aimed to establish a PMA-qPCR detection method for Pbr by screening specific and sensitive primers based on the glu gene and the conserved region of the 23S rRNA gene. Based on the optimized PMA pretreatment conditions, a standard curve was designed and constructed for PMA-qPCR detection (y = −3.391x + 36.28; R2 = 0.99). The amplification efficiency reached 97%, and the lowest detection limit of viable cells was approximately 2 × 102 CFU·mL−1. The feasibility of the PMA-qPCR method was confirmed through a manually simulated viable/dead cell assay under various concentrations. The analysis of potato tubers and cucumber seeds revealed that nine naturally collected seed samples contained a range from 102 to 104 CFU·g−1 viable Pbr bacteria. Furthermore, the system effectively identified changes in the number of pathogenic bacteria in cucumber and potato leaves affected by soft rot throughout the disease period. Overall, the detection and prevention of bacterial soft rot caused by Pbr is crucial. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Analysis of Plant Pathogenic Bacteria, 2nd Edition)
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19 pages, 3327 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Warming on Assembly Processes and Diversity Patterns of Bacterial Communities in Mesocosms
Microorganisms 2023, 11(11), 2807; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11112807 - 19 Nov 2023
Viewed by 887
Abstract
Bacteria in lake water bodies and sediments play crucial roles in various biogeochemical processes. In this study, we conducted a comprehensive analysis of bacterioplankton and sedimentary bacteria community composition and assembly processes across multiple seasons in 18 outdoor mesocosms exposed to three temperature [...] Read more.
Bacteria in lake water bodies and sediments play crucial roles in various biogeochemical processes. In this study, we conducted a comprehensive analysis of bacterioplankton and sedimentary bacteria community composition and assembly processes across multiple seasons in 18 outdoor mesocosms exposed to three temperature scenarios. Our findings reveal that warming and seasonal changes play a vital role in shaping microbial diversity, species interactions, and community assembly disparities in water and sediment ecosystems. We observed that the bacterioplankton networks were more fragile, potentially making them susceptible to disturbances, whereas sedimentary bacteria exhibited increased stability. Constant warming and heatwaves had contrasting effects: heatwaves increased stability in both planktonic and sedimentary bacteria communities, but planktonic bacterial networks became more fragile under constant warming. Regarding bacterial assembly, stochastic processes primarily influenced the composition of planktonic and sedimentary bacteria. Constant warming intensified the stochasticity of bacterioplankton year-round, while heatwaves caused a slight shift from stochastic to deterministic in spring and autumn. In contrast, sedimentary bacteria assembly is mainly dominated by drift and remained unaffected by warming. Our study enhances our understanding of how bacterioplankton and sedimentary bacteria communities respond to global warming across multiple seasons, shedding light on the complex dynamics of microbial ecosystems in lakes. Full article
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11 pages, 2099 KiB  
Article
Efficacy, Safety, and Concerns on Microbiota Modulation, Antibiotics, Probiotics, and Fecal Microbial Transplant for Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Other Gastrointestinal Conditions: Results from an International Survey
Microorganisms 2023, 11(11), 2806; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11112806 - 19 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1339
Abstract
The gut microbiota play a pivotal role in human health. Dysbiosis, alterations in microbiota composition and function, is associated with gastrointestinal disorders, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). This international survey aimed to assess physicians’ experiences, perceptions, and practices related to microbiome modulation for [...] Read more.
The gut microbiota play a pivotal role in human health. Dysbiosis, alterations in microbiota composition and function, is associated with gastrointestinal disorders, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). This international survey aimed to assess physicians’ experiences, perceptions, and practices related to microbiome modulation for gastrointestinal conditions, with a focus on IBD. Results from 142 healthcare professionals, predominantly gastroenterologists, confirmed a consensus on the relevance of the gut microbiota in IBD pathogenesis. However, the utilization of microbial composition analysis and probiotics in clinical practice was limited, primarily due to the lack of standardized guidelines and supporting evidence. Physicians held conflicting views on antibiotics, recognizing their potential for inducing remission but also causing flares in IBD. Respondents also had varying opinions on the efficacy of fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) for different gastrointestinal conditions, with higher confidence in FMT effectiveness for irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea, pouchitis, and ulcerative colitis. Concerns on FMT included uncertainty about effect duration, administration intervals, and conflicting evidence. Donor selection was believed to be a crucial factor in FMT outcomes. This survey highlights the need for further research and evidence-based guidelines to optimize the use of microbiome-based therapies in clinical practice. As our understanding of the gut microbiome continues to evolve, these insights will contribute to more informed and personalized approaches to managing gastrointestinal disorders. Full article
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16 pages, 4735 KiB  
Article
Development and Evaluation/Verification of a Fully Automated Test Platform for the Rapid Detection of Cyclospora cayetanensis in Produce Matrices
Microorganisms 2023, 11(11), 2805; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11112805 - 19 Nov 2023
Viewed by 812
Abstract
Cyclosporiasis, caused by the coccidian parasite Cyclospora cayetanensis, has emerged as an increasing global public health concern, with the incidence of laboratory-confirmed domestically acquired cases in the US exceeding 10,000 since 2018. A recently published qPCR assay (Mit1C) based on a mitochondrial [...] Read more.
Cyclosporiasis, caused by the coccidian parasite Cyclospora cayetanensis, has emerged as an increasing global public health concern, with the incidence of laboratory-confirmed domestically acquired cases in the US exceeding 10,000 since 2018. A recently published qPCR assay (Mit1C) based on a mitochondrial target gene showed high specificity and good sensitivity for the detection of C. cayetanensis in fresh produce. The present study shows the integration and verification of the same mitochondrial target into a fully automated and streamlined platform that performs DNA isolation, PCR, hybridization, results visualization, and reporting of results to simplify and reduce hands-on time for the detection of this parasite. By using the same primer sets for both the target of interest (i.e., Mit1C) and the internal assay control (IAC), we were able to rapidly migrate the previously developed Mit1C qPCR assay into the more streamlined and automated format Rheonix C. cayetanensisTM Assay. Once the best conditions for detection were optimized and the migration to the fully automated format was completed, we compared the performance of the automated platform against the original “bench top” Mit1C qPCR assay. The automated Rheonix C. cayetanensis Assay achieved equivalent performance characteristics as the original assay, including the same performance for both inclusion and exclusion panels, and it was able to detect as low as 5 C. cayetanensis oocysts in fresh produce while significantly reducing hands-on time. We expect that the streamlined assay can be used as a tool for outbreak and/or surveillance activities to detect the presence of C. cayetanensis in produce samples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyclospora cayetanensis and Cyclosporiasis 2.0)
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13 pages, 897 KiB  
Systematic Review
Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus GG Versus Placebo for Eradication of Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococcus faecium in Intestinal Carriers: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Microorganisms 2023, 11(11), 2804; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11112804 - 19 Nov 2023
Viewed by 641
Abstract
The aim of this review was to assess the efficacy and safety of Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG) (previously known as Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG) for the eradication of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VREfm) in colonized carriers. We searched Cochrane Central, EMBASE, and the PubMed Library [...] Read more.
The aim of this review was to assess the efficacy and safety of Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG) (previously known as Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG) for the eradication of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VREfm) in colonized carriers. We searched Cochrane Central, EMBASE, and the PubMed Library from inception to 21 August 2023, for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) investigating the effectiveness of LGG for the eradication of gastrointestinal carriage of VREfm. An initial screening was performed followed by a full-text evaluation of the papers. Out of 4076 articles in the original screening, six RCTs (167 participants) were included in the review. All were placebo-controlled RCTs. The meta-analysis was inconclusive with regard to the effect of LGG for clearing VREfm colonization. The overall quality of the evidence was low due to inconsistency and the small number of patients in the trials. We found insufficient evidence to support the use of LGG for the eradication of VREfm in colonized carriers. There is a need for larger RCTs with a standardized formulation and dosage of LGG in future trials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Beneficial Microbes: Food, Mood and Beyond 2.0)
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21 pages, 2182 KiB  
Article
Genomic and Phenotypic Characterization of Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia albertii Strains Isolated from Wild Birds in a Major Agricultural Region in California
Microorganisms 2023, 11(11), 2803; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11112803 - 18 Nov 2023
Viewed by 984
Abstract
Escherichia albertii is an emerging foodborne pathogen. To better understand the pathogenesis and health risk of this pathogen, comparative genomics and phenotypic characterization were applied to assess the pathogenicity potential of E. albertii strains isolated from wild birds in a major agricultural region [...] Read more.
Escherichia albertii is an emerging foodborne pathogen. To better understand the pathogenesis and health risk of this pathogen, comparative genomics and phenotypic characterization were applied to assess the pathogenicity potential of E. albertii strains isolated from wild birds in a major agricultural region in California. Shiga toxin genes stx2f were present in all avian strains. Pangenome analyses of 20 complete genomes revealed a total of 11,249 genes, of which nearly 80% were accessory genes. Both core gene-based phylogenetic and accessory gene-based relatedness analyses consistently grouped the three stx2f-positive clinical strains with the five avian strains carrying ST7971. Among the three Stx2f-converting prophage integration sites identified, ssrA was the most common one. Besides the locus of enterocyte effacement and type three secretion system, the high pathogenicity island, OI-122, and type six secretion systems were identified. Substantial strain variation in virulence gene repertoire, Shiga toxin production, and cytotoxicity were revealed. Six avian strains exhibited significantly higher cytotoxicity than that of stx2f-positive E. coli, and three of them exhibited a comparable level of cytotoxicity with that of enterohemorrhagic E. coli outbreak strains, suggesting that wild birds could serve as a reservoir of E. albertii strains with great potential to cause severe diseases in humans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microorganisms Associated with Infectious Disease 2.0)
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17 pages, 1730 KiB  
Article
Nanopore MinION Sequencing Generates a White Spot Syndrome Virus Genome from a Pooled Cloacal Swab Sample of Domestic Chickens in South Africa
Microorganisms 2023, 11(11), 2802; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11112802 - 18 Nov 2023
Viewed by 862
Abstract
White spot syndrome virus is a highly contagious pathogen affecting shrimp farming worldwide. The host range of this virus is primarily limited to crustaceans, such as shrimps, crabs, prawns, crayfish, and lobsters; however, several species of non-crustaceans, including aquatic insects, piscivorous birds, and [...] Read more.
White spot syndrome virus is a highly contagious pathogen affecting shrimp farming worldwide. The host range of this virus is primarily limited to crustaceans, such as shrimps, crabs, prawns, crayfish, and lobsters; however, several species of non-crustaceans, including aquatic insects, piscivorous birds, and molluscs may serve as the vectors for ecological dissemination. The present study was aimed at studying the faecal virome of domestic chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus) in Makhanda, Eastern Cape, South Africa. The cloacal swab specimens (n = 35) were collected from domestic chickens in December 2022. The cloacal swab specimens were pooled—each pool containing five cloacal swabs—for metagenomic analysis using a sequence-independent single-primer amplification protocol, followed by Nanopore MinION sequencing. While the metagenomic sequencing generated several contigs aligning with reference genomes of animal viruses, one striking observation was the presence of a White spot syndrome virus genome in one pool of cloacal swab specimens. The generated White spot syndrome virus genome was 273,795 bp in size with 88.5% genome coverage and shared 99.94% nucleotide sequence identity with a reference genome reported in China during 2018 (GenBank accession: NC_003225.3). The Neighbour-Joining tree grouped South African White spot syndrome virus genome with other White spot syndrome virus genomes reported from South East Asia. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a White spot syndrome virus genome generated from domestic chickens. The significance of White spot syndrome virus infection in domestic chickens is yet to be determined. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Pathogens in the Context of One Health)
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18 pages, 8358 KiB  
Article
Regulatory Functions of PurR in Yersinia pestis: Orchestrating Diverse Biological Activities
Microorganisms 2023, 11(11), 2801; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11112801 - 17 Nov 2023
Viewed by 760
Abstract
The bacterium Yersinia pestis has developed various strategies to sense and respond to the complex stresses encountered during its transmission and pathogenic processes. PurR is a common transcriptional regulator of purine biosynthesis among microorganisms, and it modulates the transcription level of the pur [...] Read more.
The bacterium Yersinia pestis has developed various strategies to sense and respond to the complex stresses encountered during its transmission and pathogenic processes. PurR is a common transcriptional regulator of purine biosynthesis among microorganisms, and it modulates the transcription level of the pur operon to suppress the production of hypoxanthine nucleotide (IMP). This study aims to understand the functions and regulatory mechanisms of purR in Y. pestis. Firstly, we constructed a purR knockout mutant of Y. pestis strain 201 and compared certain phenotypes of the null mutant (201-ΔpurR) and the wild-type strain (201-WT). The results show that deleting purR has no significant impact on the biofilm formation, growth rate, or viability of Y. pestis under different stress conditions (heat and cold shock, high salinity, and hyperosmotic pressure). Although the cytotoxicity of the purR knockout mutant on HeLa and 293 cells is reduced, the animal-challenging test found no difference of the virulence in mice between 201-ΔpurR and 201-WT. Furthermore, RNA-seq and EMSA analyses demonstrate that PurR binds to the promoter regions of at least 15 genes in Y. pestis strain 201, primarily involved in purine biosynthesis, along with others not previously observed in other bacteria. Additionally, RNA-seq results suggest the presence of 11 potential operons, including a newly identified co-transcriptional T6SS cluster. Thus, aside from its role as a regulator of purine biosynthesis, purR in Y. pestis may have additional regulatory functions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transcriptional Regulation in Bacteria)
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16 pages, 4717 KiB  
Article
One Step Closer to Enigmatic USCα Methanotrophs: Isolation of a Methylocapsa-like Bacterium from a Subarctic Soil
Microorganisms 2023, 11(11), 2800; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11112800 - 17 Nov 2023
Viewed by 667
Abstract
The scavenging of atmospheric trace gases has been recognized as one of the lifestyle-defining capabilities of microorganisms in terrestrial polar ecosystems. Several metagenome-assembled genomes of as-yet-uncultivated methanotrophic bacteria, which consume atmospheric CH4 in these ecosystems, have been retrieved in cultivation-independent studies. In [...] Read more.
The scavenging of atmospheric trace gases has been recognized as one of the lifestyle-defining capabilities of microorganisms in terrestrial polar ecosystems. Several metagenome-assembled genomes of as-yet-uncultivated methanotrophic bacteria, which consume atmospheric CH4 in these ecosystems, have been retrieved in cultivation-independent studies. In this study, we isolated and characterized a representative of these methanotrophs, strain D3K7, from a subarctic soil of northern Russia. Strain D3K7 grows on methane and methanol in a wide range of temperatures, between 5 and 30 °C. Weak growth was also observed on acetate. The presence of acetate in the culture medium stimulated growth at low CH4 concentrations (~100 p.p.m.v.). The finished genome sequence of strain D3K7 is 4.15 Mb in size and contains about 3700 protein-encoding genes. According to the result of phylogenomic analysis, this bacterium forms a common clade with metagenome-assembled genomes obtained from the active layer of a permafrost thaw gradient in Stordalen Mire, Abisco, Sweden, and the mineral cryosol at Axel Heiberg Island in the Canadian High Arctic. This clade occupies a phylogenetic position in between characterized Methylocapsa methanotrophs and representatives of the as-yet-uncultivated upland soil cluster alpha (USCα). As shown by the global distribution analysis, D3K7-like methanotrophs are not restricted to polar habitats but inhabit peatlands and soils of various climatic zones. Full article
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17 pages, 4797 KiB  
Article
SARS-CoV-2 Papain-like Protease Negatively Regulates the NLRP3 Inflammasome Pathway and Pyroptosis by Reducing the Oligomerization and Ubiquitination of ASC
Microorganisms 2023, 11(11), 2799; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11112799 - 17 Nov 2023
Viewed by 742
Abstract
The interaction of viruses with hosts is complex, especially so with the antiviral immune systems of hosts, and the underlying mechanisms remain perplexing. Infection with SARS-CoV-2 may result in cytokine syndrome in the later stages, reflecting the activation of the antiviral immune response. [...] Read more.
The interaction of viruses with hosts is complex, especially so with the antiviral immune systems of hosts, and the underlying mechanisms remain perplexing. Infection with SARS-CoV-2 may result in cytokine syndrome in the later stages, reflecting the activation of the antiviral immune response. However, viruses also encode molecules to negatively regulate the antiviral immune systems of hosts to achieve immune evasion and benefit viral replication during the early stage of infection. It has been observed that the papain-like protease (PLP) encoded by coronavirus could negatively regulate the host’s IFNβ innate immunity. In this study, we first found that eight inflammasome-related genes were downregulated in CD14+ monocytes from COVID-19 patients. Subsequently, we observed that SARS-CoV-2 PLP negatively regulated the NLRP3 inflammasome pathway, inhibited the secretion of IL-1β, and decreased the caspase-1-mediated pyroptosis of human monocytes. The mechanisms for this may arise because PLP coimmunoprecipitates with ASC, reduces ASC ubiquitination, and inhibits ASC oligomerization and the formation of ASC specks. These findings suggest that PLP may inhibit strong immune defenses and provide the maximum advantage for viral replication. This research may allow us to better understand the flex function of CoV-encoding proteases and provide a new perspective on the innate immune responses against SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Microbiology and Immunology)
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14 pages, 5196 KiB  
Article
Metabolome and Transcriptome Combinatory Profiling Reveals Fluconazole Resistance Mechanisms of Trichosporon asahii and the Role of Farnesol in Fluconazole Tolerance
Microorganisms 2023, 11(11), 2798; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11112798 - 17 Nov 2023
Viewed by 552
Abstract
Trichosporon asahii is a basidiomycete yeast that is pathogenic to humans and animals, and fluconazole-resistant strains have recently increased. Farnesol secreted by fungi is a factor that causes variations in fluconazole resistance; however, few studies have explored the underlying mechanisms. Therefore, this study [...] Read more.
Trichosporon asahii is a basidiomycete yeast that is pathogenic to humans and animals, and fluconazole-resistant strains have recently increased. Farnesol secreted by fungi is a factor that causes variations in fluconazole resistance; however, few studies have explored the underlying mechanisms. Therefore, this study aims to delineate the fluconazole resistance mechanisms of T. asahii and explore farnesol’s effects on these processes. A comparative metabolome–transcriptome analysis of untreated fluconazole-sensitive (YAN), fluconazole-resistant (PB) T. asahii strains, and 25 μM farnesol-treated strains (YAN-25 and PB-25, respectively) was performed. The membrane lipid-related genes and metabolites were upregulated in the PB vs. YAN and PB-25 vs. PB comparisons. Farnesol demonstrated strain-dependent mechanisms underlying fluconazole tolerance between the YAN and PB strains, and upregulated and downregulated efflux pumps in PB-25 and YAN-25 strains, respectively. Membrane lipid-related metabolites were highly correlated with transporter-coding genes. Fluconazole resistance in T. asahii was induced by membrane lipid bio-synthesis activation. Farnesol inhibited fluconazole resistance in the sensitive strain, but enhanced resistance in the resistant strain by upregulating efflux pump genes and membrane lipids. This study offers valuable insights into the mechanisms underlying fungal drug resistance and provides guidance for future research aimed at developing more potent antifungal drugs for clinical use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Antibiotic and Drug-Resistance Mechanisms)
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16 pages, 375 KiB  
Review
The Role of Stakeholders’ Understandings in Emerging Antimicrobial Resistance: A One Health Approach
Microorganisms 2023, 11(11), 2797; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11112797 - 17 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 882
Abstract
The increasing misuse of antibiotics in human and veterinary medicine and in agroecosystems and the consequent selective pressure of resistant strains lead to multidrug resistance (AMR), an expanding global phenomenon. Indeed, this phenomenon represents a major public health target with significant clinical implications [...] Read more.
The increasing misuse of antibiotics in human and veterinary medicine and in agroecosystems and the consequent selective pressure of resistant strains lead to multidrug resistance (AMR), an expanding global phenomenon. Indeed, this phenomenon represents a major public health target with significant clinical implications related to increased morbidity and mortality and prolonged hospital stays. The current presence of microorganisms multi-resistant to antibiotics isolated in patients is a problem because of the additional burden of disease it places on the most fragile patients and the difficulty of finding effective therapies. In recent decades, international organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) have played significant roles in addressing the issue of AMR. The ECDC estimates that in the European Union alone, antibiotic resistance causes 33,000 deaths and approximately 880,000 cases of disability each year. The epidemiological impact of AMR inevitably also has direct economic consequences related not only to the loss of life but also to a reduction in the number of days worked, increased use of healthcare resources for diagnostic procedures and the use of second-line antibiotics when available. In 2015, the WHO, recognising AMR as a complex problem that can only be addressed by coordinated multi-sectoral interventions, promoted the One Health approach that considers human, animal, and environmental health in an integrated manner. In this review, the authors try to address why a collaboration of all stakeholders involved in AMR growth and management is necessary in order to achieve optimal health for people, animals, plants, and the environment, highlighting that AMR is a growing threat to human and animal health, food safety and security, economic prosperity, and ecosystems worldwide. Full article
18 pages, 1349 KiB  
Article
Effect of L. crispatus M247 Administration on Pregnancy Outcomes in Women Undergoing IVF: A Controlled, Retrospective, Observational, and Open-Label Study
Microorganisms 2023, 11(11), 2796; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11112796 - 17 Nov 2023
Viewed by 855
Abstract
The aim of our study was to retrospectively evaluate whether the oral administration of L. crispatus (M247) could increase pregnancy and live birth rates in women undergoing assisted reproductive technology procedures. Enrolled women (N = 160) were divided into two groups: treated (N [...] Read more.
The aim of our study was to retrospectively evaluate whether the oral administration of L. crispatus (M247) could increase pregnancy and live birth rates in women undergoing assisted reproductive technology procedures. Enrolled women (N = 160) were divided into two groups: treated (N = 80) or untreated (N = 80) with the probiotic strain. The odds ratio (OR) for a treated woman to have a clinical pregnancy (CP) was 1.56. In women aged 30–40 years, M247 increased the probability of a CP in correlation with the progressive rise in BMI, reaching 47% (35% in controls) with a BMI of 35 (OR: 2.00). The CAID statistics showed that in a woman of the blastocyst subgroup, below 43 years, with a BMI over 18.6, treatment with M247 increased the chance of a CP from 28.4% to 44.5% (OR: 2.08; p < 0.05). Considering live births, the rate of the probiotic group was 12.5% versus 7.5% (OR: 1.76). Considering only the blastocyst subgroup, the treatment increased the number of live births by 200% (OR: 3.64; p = 0.05). As confirmed also by statistical indices NNT, NNH, and LHH, the use of M247 demonstrated a risk-benefit ratio to the full advantage of the benefits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Medical Microbiology)
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12 pages, 7126 KiB  
Communication
Multidrug-Resistant Escherichia coli Isolate of Chinese Bovine Origin Carrying the blaCTX-M-55 Gene Located in IS26-Mediated Composite Translocatable Units
Microorganisms 2023, 11(11), 2795; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11112795 - 17 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 599
Abstract
Elevated detection rates of the blaCTX-M-55 gene in animals have been reported as a result of antibiotic misuse in clinics. To investigate the horizontal transfer mechanism of blaCTX-M-55 and its associated mobile genetic elements (MGEs), we isolated 318 nonrepetitive strains of [...] Read more.
Elevated detection rates of the blaCTX-M-55 gene in animals have been reported as a result of antibiotic misuse in clinics. To investigate the horizontal transfer mechanism of blaCTX-M-55 and its associated mobile genetic elements (MGEs), we isolated 318 nonrepetitive strains of Escherichia coli (E. coli) from bovine samples in Xinjiang and Gansu provinces, China. All E. coli strains were screened for the CTX-M-55 gene using PCR. The complete genomic data were sequenced using the PacBio triplet sequencing platform and corrected using the Illumina data platform. The genetic environment of the plasmids carrying the resistance blaCTX-M-55 gene was mapped using the software Easyfig2.2.3 for comparison. The results showed that all blaCTX-M-55-positive strains were resistant to multiple antibiotics. Five strains of Escherichia coli carry the blaCTX-M-55 gene, which is adjacent to other resistance genes and is located on the IncHI2-type plasmid. Four of the five blaCTX-M-55-harbor strains carried translocatable units (TUs). All the donor bacteria carrying the blaCTX-M-55 genes could transfer horizontally to the recipient (E. coli J53 Azr). This study demonstrates that the transmission of blaCTX-M-55 is localized on IS26-flanked composite transposons. The cotransmission and prevalence of blaCTX-M-55 with other MDR resistance genes on epidemic plasmids require enhanced monitoring and control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Antimicrobial Agents and Resistance)
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13 pages, 2433 KiB  
Article
Methanomethylophilus alvi gen. nov., sp. nov., a Novel Hydrogenotrophic Methyl-Reducing Methanogenic Archaea of the Order Methanomassiliicoccales Isolated from the Human Gut and Proposal of the Novel Family Methanomethylophilaceae fam. nov.
Microorganisms 2023, 11(11), 2794; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11112794 - 17 Nov 2023
Viewed by 974
Abstract
The methanogenic strain Mx-05T was isolated from the human fecal microbiome. A phylogenetic analysis based on the 16S rRNA gene and protein marker genes indicated that the strain is affiliated with the order Methanomassiliicoccales. It shares 86.9% 16S rRNA gene sequence [...] Read more.
The methanogenic strain Mx-05T was isolated from the human fecal microbiome. A phylogenetic analysis based on the 16S rRNA gene and protein marker genes indicated that the strain is affiliated with the order Methanomassiliicoccales. It shares 86.9% 16S rRNA gene sequence identity with Methanomassiliicoccus luminyensis, the only member of this order previously isolated. The cells of Mx-05T were non-motile cocci, with a diameter range of 0.4–0.7 μm. They grew anaerobically and reduced methanol, monomethylamine, dimethylamine, and trimethylamine into methane, using H2 as an electron donor. H2/CO2, formate, ethanol, and acetate were not used as energy sources. The growth of Mx-05T required an unknown medium factor(s) provided by Eggerthella lenta and present in rumen fluid. Mx-05T grew between 30 °C and 40 °C (optimum 37 °C), over a pH range of 6.9–8.3 (optimum pH 7.5), and between 0.02 and 0.34 mol.L−1 NaCl (optimum 0.12 mol.L−1 NaCl). The genome is 1.67 Mbp with a G+C content of 55.5 mol%. Genome sequence annotation confirmed the absence of the methyl branch of the H4MPT Wood–Ljungdahl pathway, as described for other Methanomassiliicoccales members. Based on an average nucleotide identity analysis, we propose strain Mx-05T as being a novel representative of the order Methanomassiliicoccales, within the novel family Methanomethylophilaceae, for which the name Methanomethylophilus alvi gen. nov, sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is Mx-05T (JCM 31474T). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Gut Microbiota)
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16 pages, 3757 KiB  
Article
Therapeutic Effects of Zymomonas mobilis on Experimental DSS-Induced Colitis Mouse Model
Microorganisms 2023, 11(11), 2793; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11112793 - 17 Nov 2023
Viewed by 905
Abstract
Zymomonas mobilis, a Gram-negative bacteria observed in some popular beverages, is considered safe and has been studied for its potential therapeutic benefits. In this study, we explored its effects on the inflammatory process, tissue integrity, differential gene expression, and microbiota composition in [...] Read more.
Zymomonas mobilis, a Gram-negative bacteria observed in some popular beverages, is considered safe and has been studied for its potential therapeutic benefits. In this study, we explored its effects on the inflammatory process, tissue integrity, differential gene expression, and microbiota composition in an experimental dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis model in mice. As a result, Z. mobilis alleviated the symptoms caused by DSS administration, as indicated by reduced weight loss, disease activity index, a significant reduction in the colon weight/length ratio, and histopathological improvement. Also, Z. mobilis could restore the mucosal barrier as well as increase the expression of Muc3 and Ocln genes. An analysis of 16S rRNA sequences showed that Z. mobilis alters gut microbiota, increasing Akkermansia muciniphila abundance and decreasing Escherichia coli. Furthermore, Z. mobilis seems to be involved in potentiating a regulatory phenotype by inducing immunomodulatory genes like Tgfb, Il5, Il10, and Foxp3 and reducing the relative mRNA expression of proinflammatory cytokines TNF, Il6, and Il17. Our data suggest that Z. mobilis could alleviate disease progression and be considered a possible probiotic adjuvant for pathologies of the bowel. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Probiotics, Prebiotics, and Gut Microbes)
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20 pages, 3597 KiB  
Article
Avirulent Isolates of Penicillium chrysogenum to Control the Blue Mold of Apple Caused by P. expansum
Microorganisms 2023, 11(11), 2792; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11112792 - 17 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 698
Abstract
Blue mold is an economically significant postharvest disease of pome fruit that is primarily caused by Penicillium expansum. To manage this disease and sustain product quality, novel decay intervention strategies are needed that also maintain long-term efficacy. Biocontrol organisms and natural products [...] Read more.
Blue mold is an economically significant postharvest disease of pome fruit that is primarily caused by Penicillium expansum. To manage this disease and sustain product quality, novel decay intervention strategies are needed that also maintain long-term efficacy. Biocontrol organisms and natural products are promising tools for managing postharvest diseases. Here, two Penicillium chrysogenum isolates, 404 and 413, were investigated as potential biocontrol agents against P. expansum in apple. Notably, 404 and 413 were non-pathogenic in apple, yet they grew vigorously in vitro when compared to the highly aggressive P. expansum R19 and Pe21 isolates. Whole-genome sequencing and species-specific barcoding identified both strains as P. chrysogenum. Each P. chrysogenum strain was inoculated in apple with the subsequent co-inoculation of R19 or Pe21 simultaneously, 3, or 7 days after prior inoculation with 404 or 413. The co-inoculation of these isolates showed reduced decay incidence and severity, with the most significant reduction from the longer establishment of P. chrysogenum. In vitro growth showed no antagonism between species, further suggesting competitive niche colonization as the mode of action for decay reduction. Both P. chrysogenum isolates had incomplete patulin gene clusters but tolerated patulin treatment. Finally, hygromycin resistance was observed for both P. chrysogenum isolates, yet they are not multiresistant to apple postharvest fungicides. Overall, we demonstrate the translative potential of P. chrysogenum to serve as an effective biocontrol agent against blue mold decay in apples, pending practical optimization and formulation. Full article
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14 pages, 1926 KiB  
Article
Preliminary SAR of Novel Pleuromutilin–Polyamine Conjugates
Microorganisms 2023, 11(11), 2791; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11112791 - 17 Nov 2023
Viewed by 727
Abstract
While pleuromutilin (1) and its clinically available derivatives (26) are highly effective against Gram-positive bacteria, they remain inactive against many pathogenic Gram-negative bacteria due to the efflux pump AcrAB-TolC. In an effort to broaden the spectrum of [...] Read more.
While pleuromutilin (1) and its clinically available derivatives (26) are highly effective against Gram-positive bacteria, they remain inactive against many pathogenic Gram-negative bacteria due to the efflux pump AcrAB-TolC. In an effort to broaden the spectrum of activity of pleuromutilin (1), we developed a series of novel pleuromutilin–polyamine conjugates (9af) which exhibited promising intrinsic antimicrobial properties, targeting both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus, methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA), and Escherichia coli, along with the fungal strain Cryptococcus neoformans, and were devoid of cytotoxic and hemolytic properties with the exception of one conjugate. Furthermore, this series displayed moderate to low antibiotic potentiation of legacy antibiotics doxycycline and erythromycin, with three conjugates enhancing the activity four-fold in combination with doxycycline. In comparison to pleuromutilin (1) and tiamulin (2), one of the conjugates exhibited an expanded spectrum of activity, including Gram-negative bacteria and fungi, making it a promising option for combating microbial infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Antibiotic and Drug-Resistance Mechanisms)
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13 pages, 932 KiB  
Article
Prevalence of Diarrhoeagenic Escherichia coli among Children Aged between 0–36 Months in Peri-Urban Areas of Lusaka
Microorganisms 2023, 11(11), 2790; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11112790 - 17 Nov 2023
Viewed by 975
Abstract
Diarrhoea is a major contributor to childhood morbidity and mortality in developing countries, with diarrhoeagenic Escherichia coli being among the top aetiological agents. We sought to investigate the burden and describe the diarrhoeagenic E. coli pathotypes causing diarrhoea among children in peri-urban areas [...] Read more.
Diarrhoea is a major contributor to childhood morbidity and mortality in developing countries, with diarrhoeagenic Escherichia coli being among the top aetiological agents. We sought to investigate the burden and describe the diarrhoeagenic E. coli pathotypes causing diarrhoea among children in peri-urban areas of Lusaka, Zambia. This was a facility-based surveillance study conducted over an 8-month period from 2020 to 2021. Stool samples were collected from children aged 0–3 years presenting with diarrhoea at five peri-urban health facilities in Lusaka. Stool samples were tested for diarrhoeagenic E. coli using the Novodiag bacterial GE+® panel, a platform utilising real-time PCR and microarray technology to detect bacterial pathogens. Of the 590 samples tested, diarrhoeagenic E. coli were detected in 471 (76.1%). The top three pathogens were enteropathogenic E. coli 45.4% (n = 268), enteroaggregative E. coli 39.5% (n = 233), and enterotoxigenic E. coli 29.7% (n = 176). Our results revealed that 50.1% of the diarrhoeagenic E. coli positive samples comprised multiple pathotypes of varying virulence gene combinations. Our study demonstrates a high prevalence of diarrhoeagenic E. coli in childhood diarrhoea and the early exposure (<12 months) of children to enteric pathogens. This calls for the early implementation of preventive interventions for paediatric diarrhoea. Full article
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