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Appl. Microbiol., Volume 3, Issue 4 (December 2023) – 19 articles

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17 pages, 2425 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Lytic Viruses on Bacterial Carbon Metabolism in a Temperate Freshwater Reservoir (Naussac, France)
by Angia Sriram Pradeep Ram, Marie-Eve Mauduit, Jonathan Colombet, Fanny Perriere, Antoine Thouvenot and Télesphore Sime-Ngando
Appl. Microbiol. 2023, 3(4), 1407-1423; https://doi.org/10.3390/applmicrobiol3040095 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 607
Abstract
In aquatic systems, the impact of the viral regulation of bacterial carbon metabolism (BCM) is often overlooked compared with nutrient supply. To address this gap, an investigation was conducted in the euphotic and aphotic zones of a mesotrophic freshwater reservoir (Naussac, France) to [...] Read more.
In aquatic systems, the impact of the viral regulation of bacterial carbon metabolism (BCM) is often overlooked compared with nutrient supply. To address this gap, an investigation was conducted in the euphotic and aphotic zones of a mesotrophic freshwater reservoir (Naussac, France) to assess the relative influence of lytic viral infection on key bacterial metabolic parameters, specifically bacterial production (BP) and respiration (BR), as indicators of BCM. Measured using flow cytometry, the abundance of viral sub-groups (V1–V3) exhibited a consistent pattern in tandem with their bacterial hosts across both time and space. A more significant relationship between bacterial and viral parameters than between physicochemical factors suggested a prevailing internal control mechanism that was potentially driven by viral lysis. Viral-mediated bacterial mortality up to 65% was evident in the euphotic zone. The observed variation in BCM (ranging from 7% to 32%) was explained by an uncoupling between BR and BP. Notably, BR was significantly higher (three-fold) than BP in bacterial communities subjected to low in situ phosphate concentrations (<0.5 µM P) and high nutrient stoichiometric ratios (N:P > 60, C:P > 900). An antagonistic relationship between lytic viruses and BCM, whereby the repression of bacterial growth results in elevated respiratory demands, could potentially be attributed to substrate availability constraints. Full article
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15 pages, 1146 KiB  
Article
Campylobacter Bacteriophage Infection at Refrigeration Temperatures
by Yang Hu, Bader Al Shaaer, Lu Liang and Ian F. Connerton
Appl. Microbiol. 2023, 3(4), 1392-1406; https://doi.org/10.3390/applmicrobiol3040094 - 13 Dec 2023
Viewed by 930
Abstract
The application of bacteriophages to control foodborne bacterial pathogens in foods has gained traction in recent years. Poultry meat is a major source of Campylobacter jejuni, and a target for the application of bacteriophages. To offer the prospect of a post-harvest control [...] Read more.
The application of bacteriophages to control foodborne bacterial pathogens in foods has gained traction in recent years. Poultry meat is a major source of Campylobacter jejuni, and a target for the application of bacteriophages. To offer the prospect of a post-harvest control measure, the bacteriophage must function at refrigeration temperatures, where C. jejuni does not grow but can survive. Here, we report actions of three classes of Campylobacter bacteriophage at 4 °C. The pre-incubation of broth cultures at 4 °C before a shift to 42 °C under conditions that support the growth of the host bacteria revealed differences in the time to lysis compared with cultures incubated at 42 °C. The pre-adsorption of the bacteriophage to a sub-population of bacteria is consistent with the observation of asynchronous infection. To ascertain whether the bacteriophages adsorb and infect (the commitment to replicate), we investigated bacteriophage transcription at 4 °C. RNA transcripts for all the bacteriophage host combinations were detected after 15 min, indicating that the interaction is not merely passive. Bacteriophages can infect C. jejuni at refrigeration temperatures, but the infection does not proceed to lysis in the absence of host cell division. Full article
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4 pages, 215 KiB  
Editorial
Antimicrobial Resistance in the Time of COVID-19
by Chandra Kant Singh and Kushneet Kaur Sodhi
Appl. Microbiol. 2023, 3(4), 1388-1391; https://doi.org/10.3390/applmicrobiol3040093 - 11 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 678
Abstract
The world is presently dealing with two pandemics—COVID-19 and antibiotic resistance (AMR)—that constitute a serious menace to public health on a worldwide basis [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Antimicrobial Resistance in the Time of COVID-19)
18 pages, 4063 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Formulation and Freeze Drying on the Properties and Performance of Freeze-Dried Limosilactobacillus reuteri R2LC
by Nisha Tyagi, Zandra Gidlöf, Daniel Tristan Osanlóo, Elizabeth S. Collier, Sandeep Kadekar, Lovisa Ringstad, Anna Millqvist Fureby and Stefan Roos
Appl. Microbiol. 2023, 3(4), 1370-1387; https://doi.org/10.3390/applmicrobiol3040092 - 03 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1904
Abstract
Freeze drying is a commonly used method for preserving probiotic bacteria and live biotherapeutic products. Before drying, the bacterial cells are formulated with a lyoprotectant, and the design of these two process steps are crucial to achieve a high-quality product. There are several [...] Read more.
Freeze drying is a commonly used method for preserving probiotic bacteria and live biotherapeutic products. Before drying, the bacterial cells are formulated with a lyoprotectant, and the design of these two process steps are crucial to achieve a high-quality product. There are several factors that may affect the biological and physicochemical properties of the freeze-dried cells and we have used a Design of Experiment approach to investigate the effects of formulation and freeze-drying parameters on properties and performance of Limosilactobacillus reuteri R2LC. The biological characteristics of the dried bacteria were evaluated by measuring cell survival, metabolic activity and stability, and physicochemical characteristics were studied using visual inspection, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and analysis of residual moisture content and bacterial aggregation. A comparison between the lyoprotectants trehalose and sucrose showed that the latter gave better freeze-drying survival, metabolic activity, and storage stability. We also want to highlight that there was a correlation between bacterial concentration, metabolic activity, and aggregation of bacteria, where a higher concentration (1010 CFU/mL) resulted in both higher metabolic activity and aggregation. Several other process and formulation factors affected both the biological and physicochemical properties of freeze-dried L. reuteri R2LC and it could be concluded that care must be taken to develop a production method that generates a product with high and consistent quality. These results may, or may not, be strain specific. Full article
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15 pages, 2365 KiB  
Article
Employing Active Learning in Medium Optimization for Selective Bacterial Growth
by Shuyang Zhang, Honoka Aida and Bei-Wen Ying
Appl. Microbiol. 2023, 3(4), 1355-1369; https://doi.org/10.3390/applmicrobiol3040091 - 03 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1180
Abstract
Medium optimization and development for selective bacterial cultures are essential for isolating and functionalizing individual bacteria in microbial communities; nevertheless, it remains challenging due to the unknown mechanisms between bacterial growth and medium components. The present study first tried combining machine learning (ML) [...] Read more.
Medium optimization and development for selective bacterial cultures are essential for isolating and functionalizing individual bacteria in microbial communities; nevertheless, it remains challenging due to the unknown mechanisms between bacterial growth and medium components. The present study first tried combining machine learning (ML) with active learning to fine-tune the medium components for the selective culture of two divergent bacteria, i.e., Lactobacillus plantarum and Escherichia coli. ML models considering multiple growth parameters of the two bacterial strains were constructed to predict the fine-tuned medium combinations for higher specificity of bacterial growth. The growth parameters were designed as the exponential growth rate (r) and maximal growth yield (K), which were calculated according to the growth curves. The eleven chemical components in the commercially available medium MRS were subjected to medium optimization and specialization. High-throughput growth assays of both strains grown separately were performed to obtain thousands of growth curves in more than one hundred medium combinations, and the resultant datasets linking the growth parameters to the medium combinations were used for the ML training. Repeated rounds of active learning (i.e., ML model construction, medium prediction, and experimental verification) successfully improved the specific growth of a single strain out of the two. Both r and K showed maximized differentiation between the two strains. A further analysis of all the data accumulated in active learning identified the decision-making medium components for growth specificity and the differentiated, determinative manner of growth decisions of the two strains. In summary, this study demonstrated the efficiency and practicality of active learning in medium optimization for selective cultures and offered novel insights into the contribution of the chemical components to specific bacterial growth. Full article
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16 pages, 2248 KiB  
Article
Reduced Infestation Levels of Lepeophtheirus salmonis in Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar) following Immersion Exposure to Probiotic Aliivibrio spp.
by Marius Steen Dobloug, Camilla Skagen-Sandvik, Øystein Evensen, Koestan Gadan, Marit Jørgensen Bakke, Henning Sørum and Kira Salonius
Appl. Microbiol. 2023, 3(4), 1339-1354; https://doi.org/10.3390/applmicrobiol3040090 - 30 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1075
Abstract
Salmon lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis) constitute a major challenge during the production of farmed Atlantic salmon in Norway. Preventive measures are considered to have a higher impact on sustainable control than lice treatment. Therefore, the studies presented here aimed to document the [...] Read more.
Salmon lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis) constitute a major challenge during the production of farmed Atlantic salmon in Norway. Preventive measures are considered to have a higher impact on sustainable control than lice treatment. Therefore, the studies presented here aimed to document the preventive effects of probiotic Aliivibrio spp. on lice infestation in experimental challenges. A reduction in salmon lice attachment success (58–65%) was observed in two separate aquarium trials, where Atlantic salmon were exposed to different compositions of Aliivibrio species 91 and 155 days prior to lice challenge. In a third trial, no difference in attachment was observed in groups exposed to probiotics 58 days prior to lice challenge compared to controls. However, a relative reduction in lice counts was seen on movable stages later in the trial. High levels of probiotic bacteria had no impact on lice viability in an in vitro bioassay on the preadult life stage; thus, the mechanism behind the preventative effect remains unknown. In conclusion, probiotic Aliivibrio bacteria can likely be used as a preventive tool to reduce salmon louse infestations in the salmon industry. The mechanism is still unknown, and this novel approach to lice control warrants further investigation to understand its optimal use and potential. Full article
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37 pages, 1024 KiB  
Review
The Vaginal Microbiome during Pregnancy in Health and Disease
by George L. Mendz
Appl. Microbiol. 2023, 3(4), 1302-1338; https://doi.org/10.3390/applmicrobiol3040089 - 30 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1671
Abstract
This study appraises the progress in the understanding of the composition of the vaginal microflora with a focus on the microbiome during pregnancy. This knowledge is presented with the background of the global health contribution, along with the importance of these microbial communities [...] Read more.
This study appraises the progress in the understanding of the composition of the vaginal microflora with a focus on the microbiome during pregnancy. This knowledge is presented with the background of the global health contribution, along with the importance of these microbial communities to pregnancy. A brief review of current methods employed to investigate the structure of these microbial populations is included. Two types of studies, cross-sectional and longitudinal, have been used to characterise the vaginal microbiota; both types are reviewed since they provide information that serves to piece together a more complete picture of the vaginal microflora and its changes during pregnancy. The identity of microbes present in the vagina are examined in the context of health and disease, and, more specifically, in the setting of pregnancy outcomes. The protective role of lactobacilli in maintaining a healthy vaginal environment is evaluated, with analyses of the different roles of various Lactobacillus spp. Classifications of the vaginal microbiota into vagitypes in non-pregnant and pregnant women are discussed. The associations of specific taxa with three adverse pregnancy results, namely, miscarriage, stillbirth, and preterm birth, are examined in some detail. Longitudinal studies investigating changes in the bacterial community composition and taxa abundance demonstrate that this microbiota decreases in richness and diversity relative to those present in non-pregnant microbiomes. Notwithstanding the significant effort made to characterise the vagina bacterial microbiota, a large number of issues remain to be fully understood. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbiome in Ecosystem 2.0)
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25 pages, 1116 KiB  
Article
Assessment of the Spoilage Microbiota and the Growth Potential of Listeria monocytogenes in Minced Free-Range Chicken Meat Stored at 4 °C in Vacuum: Comparison with the Spoilage Community of Resultant Retail Modified Atmosphere Packaged Products
by Panagiota Tsafrakidou, Nikoletta Sameli, Athanasia Kakouri, Loulouda Bosnea and John Samelis
Appl. Microbiol. 2023, 3(4), 1277-1301; https://doi.org/10.3390/applmicrobiol3040088 - 28 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 786
Abstract
Although current diet and nutrition trends in developed countries led the poultry industry to shift to alternative breeding/production methods, such as organic and free-range, limited data on the microbiology of alternative compared to conventional poultry meat products exist. Therefore, this study assessed the [...] Read more.
Although current diet and nutrition trends in developed countries led the poultry industry to shift to alternative breeding/production methods, such as organic and free-range, limited data on the microbiology of alternative compared to conventional poultry meat products exist. Therefore, this study assessed the evolution and composition of the spoilage microbiota and the growth potential of inoculated (3 log cfu/g) Listeria monocytogenes in freshly minced free-range chicken meat stored at 4 °C in vacuum packages (VP; four batches) for 0, 3, 5, 7, and 10 days. Additionally, two VP batches were compared with their resultant retail products stored in modified atmosphere packages (MAP 30:70 CO2/N2) at 4 °C to detect potential differences with the MAP spoilage community described previously. The initial pH of the VP minces was 6.0–6.1, except for one mince, designated VP + AA, which had initial pH 5.8 and was found to contain ‘external’ 1.26% L-lactate and 0.24% acetate associated with a vinegar smell during storage. The rest of the VP batches contained on average 0.75% L-lactate and 0.02% acetate on day 0. After 7 days at 4 °C, L-lactate decreased by at least 3-fold in VP and over 5-fold in VP + AA vs. minor decreases in MAP. Acetate increased 2-fold in all batches. D-lactate (ca. 0.02% on day 0) increased by 4-fold in VP batches only. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) became the dominant spoilers in all samples. Only VP allowed a delayed 10-fold growth (>5.0 to 6.2 log cfu/g) of pseudomonads from day 7 to day 10 at 4 °C. Compared to VP, VP + AA and MAP retarded growth of LAB, pseudomonads, and enterobacteria by 1–2 log units, at final levels below 6.5, 4.5, and 3.0 log cfu/g, respectively. Enterococci, staphylococci, yeasts, and L. monocytogenes did not grow. Latilactobacillus sakei predominated in all spoiled VP batches (65.8% of 80 meat isolates) followed by Latilactobacillus fuchuensis (9.2%), Leuconostoc carnosum (6.6%), Carnobacterium divergens (6.6%), Latilactobacillus curvatus (5.3%), and Weissella koreensis (2.6%). VP + AA favored Latilactobacillus. Brochothrix thermosphacta was frequent in one VP batch. In conclusion, cold-stored (4 °C), minced, free-range chicken meat spoils more rapidly and offensively under VP than MAP or VP combined with acetate-containing (VP + AA) antimicrobial blends. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applied Microbiology of Foods 2.0)
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15 pages, 738 KiB  
Article
Soil Bacteriome Resilience and Reduced Nitrogen Toxicity in Tomato by Controlled Release Nitrogen Fertilizer Compared to Urea
by Carley R. Rohrbaugh, Mary M. Dixon, Jorge A. Delgado, Daniel K. Manter and Jorge M. Vivanco
Appl. Microbiol. 2023, 3(4), 1262-1276; https://doi.org/10.3390/applmicrobiol3040087 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 974
Abstract
Controlled release fertilizers (CRFs) mitigate negative effects of high nitrogen (N) fertilization rates, such as N toxicity and soil N loss. However, it is unknown if potentially toxic rates of CRF and quick release fertilizer differentially affect soil bacterial communities. To examine potential [...] Read more.
Controlled release fertilizers (CRFs) mitigate negative effects of high nitrogen (N) fertilization rates, such as N toxicity and soil N loss. However, it is unknown if potentially toxic rates of CRF and quick release fertilizer differentially affect soil bacterial communities. To examine potential N toxicity effects on soil microbial communities, we grew tomato (Solanum lycopersicum “Rutgers”) for eight weeks in soils that were fertilized with high levels of quick release or controlled release urea and in soils with either low or high initial microbial N competitor populations. In both soils, we observed N toxicity in urea-fertilized tomatoes, but toxicity was ameliorated with CRF application. Controlled release fertilization increased soil N retention, thereby reducing soil N loss. While N toxicity symptoms manifested in the plant, the soil microbiome was only minorly affected. There were subtle differences in soil bacterial populations, in which nitrifying bacteria accumulated in soils fertilized at high N rates, regardless of the type of N fertilizer used. Ultimately, CRF reduced plant N toxicity symptoms but did not change the soil microbiome compared to quick release urea. These results show that while there are clear benefits of CRF regarding N toxicity tolerance on crops, the soil microbiome is resilient to this abiotic stressor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbiome in Ecosystem 2.0)
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13 pages, 731 KiB  
Review
Exopolysaccharides Synthesized by Rhizospheric Bacteria: A Review Focused on Their Roles in Protecting Plants against Stress
by María Evangelina Carezzano, Florencia Belén Alvarez Strazzi, Verónica Pérez, Pablo Bogino and Walter Giordano
Appl. Microbiol. 2023, 3(4), 1249-1261; https://doi.org/10.3390/applmicrobiol3040086 - 16 Nov 2023
Viewed by 999
Abstract
Plants are constantly exposed to a wide range of environmental factors that cause different kinds of stress, such as drought, salinity, heat, frost, and low nutrient availability. There are also biotic sources of stress, which include pathogens (bacteria, viruses, pests), herbivores, and plant [...] Read more.
Plants are constantly exposed to a wide range of environmental factors that cause different kinds of stress, such as drought, salinity, heat, frost, and low nutrient availability. There are also biotic sources of stress, which include pathogens (bacteria, viruses, pests), herbivores, and plant competitors. These various types of stress affect normal plant physiology and development, and may lead to significantly lower yields. However, certain microorganisms (MOs), known as plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR), can interact with and benefit plants in stressful environments. They do so through a series of mechanisms which contribute to minimizing the negative effects of plants’ responses to stress. This review summarizes current knowledge about those mechanisms, with a focus on the production of exopolysaccharides (EPSs). These compounds can act as osmoprotectants, promote the production of phytohormones, prevent the entry of pathogens through roots, bioremediate metals, and improve soil structure and permeability, among many other beneficial effects. This makes them suitable alternatives to guarantee food security while reducing the excessive use of chemical agricultural inputs and their harmful consequences for the environment. Full article
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20 pages, 3520 KiB  
Article
Unraveling Microbial Endosymbiosis Dynamics in Plant-Parasitic Nematodes with a Genome Skimming Strategy
by Sulochana K. Wasala, Cedar Hesse, Catherine L. Wram, Dana K. Howe, Inga A. Zasada and Dee R. Denver
Appl. Microbiol. 2023, 3(4), 1229-1248; https://doi.org/10.3390/applmicrobiol3040085 - 20 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1149
Abstract
Bacterial endosymbionts, in genera Wolbachia and Cardinium, infect various arthropods and some nematode groups. Manipulating these microbial symbionts presents a promising biocontrol strategy for managing disease-causing parasites. However, the diversity of Wolbachia and Cardinium in nematodes remains unclear. This study employed a [...] Read more.
Bacterial endosymbionts, in genera Wolbachia and Cardinium, infect various arthropods and some nematode groups. Manipulating these microbial symbionts presents a promising biocontrol strategy for managing disease-causing parasites. However, the diversity of Wolbachia and Cardinium in nematodes remains unclear. This study employed a genome skimming strategy to uncover their occurrence in plant-parasitic nematodes, analyzing 52 populations of 12 species. A metagenome analysis revealed varying endosymbiont genome content, leading to the categorization of strong, weak, and no evidence for endosymbiont genomes. Strong evidence for Wolbachia was found in five populations, and for Cardinium in one population, suggesting a limited occurrence. Strong Wolbachia evidence was noted in Pratylenchus penetrans and Radopholus similis from North/South America and Africa. Heterodera glycines from North America showed strong Cardinium evidence. Weak genomic evidence for Wolbachia was observed in Globodera pallida, Meloidogyne incognita, Rotylenchus reniformis, Pratylechus coffeae, Pratylenchus neglectus, and Pratylenchus thornei; for Cardinium was found in G. pallida, R. reniformis and P. neglectus; 27/52 populations exhibited no endosymbiont evidence. Wolbachia and Cardinium presence varied within nematode species, suggesting non-obligate mutualism. Wolbachia and Cardinium genomes differed among nematode species, indicating potential species-specific functionality. This study advances knowledge of plant-parasitic nematode–bacteria symbiosis, providing insights for downstream eco-friendly biocontrol strategies. Full article
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15 pages, 1778 KiB  
Article
Development of Novel Indole and Coumarin Derivatives as Antibacterial Agents That Target Histidine Kinase in S. aureus
by Lisha K. Poonacha, Rashmi Ramesh, Akshay Ravish, Arunkumar Mohan, Pradeep M. Uppar, Prashant K. Metri, Nanjunda Swamy Shivananju, Santosh L. Gaonkar, Shubha Gopal, Alexey Yu Sukhorukov, Vijay Pandey, Priya Babu Shubha and Basappa Basappa
Appl. Microbiol. 2023, 3(4), 1214-1228; https://doi.org/10.3390/applmicrobiol3040084 - 17 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1035
Abstract
Heterocyclic compounds can specifically regulate bacterial development by targeting specific bacterial enzymes and metabolic pathways. The ESKAPE pathogens are multidrug-resistant and cause nosocomial infections, which is one of the greatest challenges in clinical practice. The search for novel agents to combat resistant bacteria [...] Read more.
Heterocyclic compounds can specifically regulate bacterial development by targeting specific bacterial enzymes and metabolic pathways. The ESKAPE pathogens are multidrug-resistant and cause nosocomial infections, which is one of the greatest challenges in clinical practice. The search for novel agents to combat resistant bacteria has become one of the most important areas of antibacterial research today. Heterocyclic compounds offer a valuable strategy in the fight against resistance as they can be designed to interact with bacterial targets that are less prone to developing resistance mechanisms. Bacterial histidine kinases (HKs), which are a component of two-component bacterial systems, are a promising target for new antibacterial compounds. We have designed and synthesized novel indole derivatives as antibacterial agents. Among the series, indole-coumarin (4b) and bisindole (4e) have shown the best inhibitory activity against S. aureus. Further, in silico docking studies show that compounds 4b and 4e could target histidine kinases in bacteria. Full article
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10 pages, 561 KiB  
Article
Better COVID-19 Outcomes in Children with Good Asthma Control
by Jasna Rodman Berlot, Malena Aldeco, Dušanka Lepej, Marina Praprotnik, Saša Šetina Šmid, Aleksandra Zver and Uroš Krivec
Appl. Microbiol. 2023, 3(4), 1204-1213; https://doi.org/10.3390/applmicrobiol3040083 - 17 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 774
Abstract
Factors associated with COVID-19 presentation in children with asthma are poorly defined. Our study aimed to assess the clinical course of COVID-19 in children with asthma, with particular attention to possible risk factors for severe disease and long-term sequelae in this group of [...] Read more.
Factors associated with COVID-19 presentation in children with asthma are poorly defined. Our study aimed to assess the clinical course of COVID-19 in children with asthma, with particular attention to possible risk factors for severe disease and long-term sequelae in this group of patients. We assessed the occurrence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in children with asthma six months before their regular outpatient visit to the asthma clinic. Characteristics of patients presenting with signs of SARS-CoV-2 upper (URTI) or lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI) were compared. We focused on factors previously associated with COVID-19 severity. Twenty-seven percent of patients (57/210) reported exposure to SARS-CoV-2 infection. In the symptomatic group, 36% (15/42) reported symptoms of LRTI and 64% (27/42) of URTI. Poorer asthma control was observed in patients with LRTI compared to URTI (80% vs. 7%, p < 0.001). In addition, children with poorer asthma control had a higher risk of presenting with SARS-CoV-2 LRTI in a multiple logistic regression analysis. COVID-19 disease course was not associated with regular ICS use and asthma severity. However, patients on regular ICS had better asthma control (p = 0.026). We found no PFT deterioration post-COVID-19 in either group of patients. Our results suggest good asthma control and treatment adherence prior to infection are associated with better COVID-19 outcomes in children with asthma. Full article
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9 pages, 747 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Live Lactobacilli Recovery from Probiotic Products for Vaginal Application
by Diana Neves Sousa, Carlos Gaspar, Joana Rolo, Gilbert G. G. Donders, José Martinez-de-Oliveira, Rita Palmeira-de-Oliveira and Ana Palmeira-de-Oliveira
Appl. Microbiol. 2023, 3(4), 1195-1203; https://doi.org/10.3390/applmicrobiol3040082 - 14 Oct 2023
Viewed by 929
Abstract
The interest in the use of probiotics to treat and prevent vaginal infections is known. The new regulation of medical devices by the European Medical Agency (EMA) introduced big changes in Europe regarding probiotic products for vaginal application, as they are no longer [...] Read more.
The interest in the use of probiotics to treat and prevent vaginal infections is known. The new regulation of medical devices by the European Medical Agency (EMA) introduced big changes in Europe regarding probiotic products for vaginal application, as they are no longer considered as medical devices. As the future classification will be as drugs, it will stress the need to define robust and reliable pre-clinical in vitro testing in order to assess the quality, safety and efficacy of probiotics for human use. Before discussing the efficacy in human pathology, it is mandatory to evaluate the survival and multiplication potential of probiotic strains when brought into contact with vaginal fluid. In this work, our objective was to assess the recovery and stability profile of lactobacilli from six vaginal probiotic formulations brought in contact with specific culture media or vaginal fluid simulants (VFS). Overall, the recovery of viable lactobacilli cells from a modified vaginal fluid simulant (MVFS) solution was comparable to the recovery pattern obtained in standard culture medium. Therefore, we conclude that the MVFS seems to better simulate the conditions of the human vaginal fluid, in contrast with other simulants, and may be used to predict the viability of probiotics over time in the normal vaginal milieu. We discovered that each probiotic product has a unique profile that requires stand-alone studies in conditions that mimic the in vivo status in order to assess their preclinical effectiveness and promote their differential use by the medical community. Full article
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17 pages, 10340 KiB  
Article
Bacillus coagulant HYI (BC-HYI) Alleviates LPS-Elicited Oxidative Stress by Engaging the Nrf2/HO-1 Signaling Pathway and Regulates Gut Macrobiotics in Laying Chickens
by Tianhang Lu, Le Wang, Qiong Wu, Hua Zhang, Defeng Cui, Bowen Liu, Jinjin Tong and Yonghong Zhang
Appl. Microbiol. 2023, 3(4), 1178-1194; https://doi.org/10.3390/applmicrobiol3040081 - 09 Oct 2023
Viewed by 893
Abstract
In the current study, Bacillus coagulants had a role in combating oxidative stress by inhibiting the growth of intestinal pathogens. However, there are few studies on reducing the mechanisms of oxidative stress. Therefore, this study aimed to explore the effects and underlying mechanisms [...] Read more.
In the current study, Bacillus coagulants had a role in combating oxidative stress by inhibiting the growth of intestinal pathogens. However, there are few studies on reducing the mechanisms of oxidative stress. Therefore, this study aimed to explore the effects and underlying mechanisms of B. coagulant HYI (BC-HYI) treatment on growth and intestinal functions in laying chickens under LPS-induced oxidative stress. The in vivo experimental group included five groups of laying chicks: normal control, LPS group, B6 group, B7 group and B8 group. The test consisted of six repetitions in each group, with six animals in each repetition. In the in vitro experiment, an LPS-induced oxidative stress model of chicken fibroblast DF-1 cells was established, and the DF-1 cells were divided into control group, LPS-treated group, B5 group, B6 group and B7 group. On the one hand, we found that BC-HYI can inhibit pathological changes in some intestinal tissues. On the other hand, BC-HYI supplementation has a dual effect on the gut microbiota, promoting the proliferation of beneficial microbes such as Barbarella, Lactobacillus, and Antibacterial while maintaining symbiotic balance. The abundance of Barbarella, Bactericide, and Cloistral was significantly different between the LPS group and the BC-HYI group (p < 0.01). Moreover, compared with the LPS group, BC-HYI significantly decreased reactive oxygen species levels and prevented cell apoptosis (p < 0.01). It used to prevent oxidative stress by activating the Nrf2-ARE/HO-1 signaling pathway, enhancing the scavenging of free radicals, and reducing oxidative damage. BC-HYI alleviated oxidative stress in laying chickens by modulating the gut microbiota and activating the Nrf2-ARE/HO-1 signaling pathway. In summary, laying chickens and cell experiments indicate that BC-HYI supplementation can improve the enzyme function of antioxidants, regulate intestinal barrier function and activate the Nrf2-ARE/HO-1 signaling pathway to regulate intestinal barrier function. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applied Microbiology of Foods 2.0)
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14 pages, 3308 KiB  
Article
Recombinant Expression in Bacillus megaterium and Biochemical Characterization of Exo-Mannered Glycosyl Hydrolase Family 43 α-L-Arabinofuranosidase from the Korean Black Goat Rumen Metagenome
by Sazzad Hossen Toushik and Md. Ashrafudoulla
Appl. Microbiol. 2023, 3(4), 1164-1177; https://doi.org/10.3390/applmicrobiol3040080 - 06 Oct 2023
Viewed by 890
Abstract
There is no doubt that ruminants have the capability to digest lignocellulosic compounds and to utilize them as an absorbable form of energy by tapping into enzymes produced by the microbial population in their rumens. Among the rumens of various ruminants, this study [...] Read more.
There is no doubt that ruminants have the capability to digest lignocellulosic compounds and to utilize them as an absorbable form of energy by tapping into enzymes produced by the microbial population in their rumens. Among the rumens of various ruminants, this study focused on Korean goat rumens because of their unique digestibility of lignocellulosic biomasses. Therefore, a novel Gene12 gene was screened and unmasked from the constructed rumen metagenomic library of a Korean black goat and expressed in a Bacillus megaterium system. The recombinant protein was distinguished as a novel α-L-arabinofuranosidase enzyme from glycosyl hydrolase family 43 (GH43) for its capability to hydrolyze the non-reducing end of α-1,5-L-arabinofuranose linkages in α-L-arabinofuranosyl groups. The enzyme can also break apart α-L-arabinofuranosidic linkages and act synergistically with other hemicellulolytic enzymes to release α-1,2- and α-1,3-L-arabinofuranosyl groups from L-arabinose-comprising polysaccharides. In silico, phylogenetic, and computational analyses proclaimed that the Gene12 gene encodes a novel carbohydrate-active enzyme possessing a V-shaped indentation of the GH43 catalytic and functional domain (carbohydrate-binding module 6). The recombinant Gene12 protein has shared 81% sequence homology with other members of the GH43 family. Enzymic synopses (optimal pH, temperatures, and stability studies) of the recombinant Gene12 enzyme and its substrate specificity (synthetic and natural substrates) profiling were considered. The recombinant Gene12 α-L-arabinofuranosidase works best at pH 6.0 and 40 °C, and it is stable at pH 4.0 to 7.0 at temperatures of 20 to 50 °C. Additionally, 5-blended β-sheets were identified through a tertiary (3D) structure analysis along with the high substrate specificity against p-nitrophenyl-D-arabinofuranoside (pNPA). The highest substrate specificity of pNPA for Gene12 α-L-arabinofuranosidase indicated its confirmation as an exo-type arabinofuronidase. The results thus propose using the Gene12 protein as an exo-mannered GH43 α-L-arabinofuranosidase (EC 3.2.1.55) enzyme. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applied Microbiology of Foods 2.0)
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20 pages, 2779 KiB  
Review
Metabolically Active Microbial Communities in Oilfields: A Systematic Review and Synthesis of RNA Preservation, Extraction, and Sequencing Methods
by Rosimeire Floripes Gomes, Glen Jasper Yupanqui García, Joyce da Cruz Ferraz Dutra, Mariana Santos Cardoso, Eduardo Almeida Costa, Vinicius de Abreu Waldow, Claudia Julia Groposo, Rubens Nobumoto Akamine, Maira Paula de Sousa, Henrique Figueiredo, Vasco Ariston de Carvalho Azevedo and Aristóteles Góes-Neto
Appl. Microbiol. 2023, 3(4), 1144-1163; https://doi.org/10.3390/applmicrobiol3040079 - 06 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1136
Abstract
Characterizing metabolically active microorganisms using RNA-based methods is a crucial tool for monitoring and mitigating operational issues, such as oil biodegradation and biocorrosion of pipelines in the oil and gas industry. Our review, a pioneering study, addresses the main methods used to preserve, [...] Read more.
Characterizing metabolically active microorganisms using RNA-based methods is a crucial tool for monitoring and mitigating operational issues, such as oil biodegradation and biocorrosion of pipelines in the oil and gas industry. Our review, a pioneering study, addresses the main methods used to preserve, isolate, and sequence RNA from oilfield samples and describes the most abundant metabolically active genera studied. Using the MEDLINE/PubMed, PubMed Central, Scopus, and Web of Science databases, 2.561 potentially eligible records were identified. After screening, 20 studies were included in our review, underscoring the scarcity of studies related to the subject. Data were extracted and reported according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA). These studies evaluated different samples, including produced water (PW), injection water (IW), solid deposits (SD), oil (OIL), and oily sludge (OS) collected from oilfields located in Australia, China, India, Mexico, and the United Arab Emirates. Environmental samples accounted for 55% of the studies, while enriched cultures and microbial consortia represented 35% and 15% of studies, respectively. PW was the most frequently studied sample, comprising 72% of all samples. Filtration and centrifugation were the only processes employed to concentrate the biomass present in samples. For RNA preservation, the most used method was a solution composed of 95:5 v/v ethanol/TRIzol, while for RNA isolation, the TRIzol reagent was the most cited. The Sanger sequencing method was used in all studies evaluating functional genes (alkB, dsrA, aprA, assA, and mcrA), and the Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) method was employed in studies for sequencing transcripts of the 16S rRNA gene and metatranscriptomes. Pseudomonas (16S rRNA = PW: 2%; IW: 8%; metatranscriptome = PW: 20%) and Acinetobacter (16S rRNA = PW: 1%; IW: 4%; metatranscriptome = PW: 17%) were the most abundant genera. This study outlined the primary methods employed in researching metabolically active microorganisms. These data provide a foundation for future research. However, it is essential to note that we cannot yet determine the most effective method. We hope that this study will inspire further research related to the standardization of RNA preservation, extraction, and sequencing methods and significantly contribute to our understanding of active microbial communities in oilfields. Full article
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14 pages, 1721 KiB  
Article
Usage of Cultured Human Fecal Microbiota for Colonization of Caenorhabditis elegans to Study Host–Microbe Interaction
by Katrine V. Møller, Jonas Bruhn Wesseltoft, Richelle Malazarte, Sabrina J. Kousgaard, Hans L. Nielsen, Erika Yashiro and Anders Olsen
Appl. Microbiol. 2023, 3(4), 1130-1143; https://doi.org/10.3390/applmicrobiol3040078 - 28 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 933
Abstract
The role of the microbiota in health and disease is a research area receiving much attention in academia and industry. A person’s microbiota refers to a community of microorganisms found mainly in the gut. It is estimated that around 39 trillion bacteria can [...] Read more.
The role of the microbiota in health and disease is a research area receiving much attention in academia and industry. A person’s microbiota refers to a community of microorganisms found mainly in the gut. It is estimated that around 39 trillion bacteria can be found on and inside the human body and there is increasing evidence that they influence human health. Advances in sequencing techniques are revolutionizing characterization of the human microbiome. However, causality and underlying molecular mechanisms are still largely unknown due to the complexity of the human microbiome and its interaction with the host. Turning towards simpler host organisms and using well-defined microbiomes are two ways to strengthen studies of causality and mechanism. Here, we show that the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans can be used as host to study sub-microbiomes derived from human feces samples prepared for fecal microbiota transplantation following a simple feeding protocol. Approximately 200 amplicon sequence variants were identified in the worm gut following transplantation with human fecal microbiota samples. We find that the gut microbiome does not simply reflect the bacterial community initially fed to the worms. Hence, our experimental setup can be used to identify and characterize host genetic factors shaping the microbiota and improving our understanding of host–human microbiome interactions. Full article
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10 pages, 1240 KiB  
Brief Report
Phenotypic and Draft Genome Sequence Analyses of a Paenibacillus sp. Isolated from the Gastrointestinal Tract of a North American Gray Wolf (Canis lupus)
by Jennifer McCabe, Jessika L. Bryant, C. Cristoph Klews, MiCayla Johnson, Ariel N. Atchley, Thomas W. Cousins, Analiska Dominguez, Marie Gabriel, Katie Middleton, Natasha A. Bowles, Heather M. Broughton, Kristina M. Smith, Mark R. Ackermann, Robert Bildfell, Patrick N. Ball, Evan S. Forsythe and Bruce S. Seal
Appl. Microbiol. 2023, 3(4), 1120-1129; https://doi.org/10.3390/applmicrobiol3040077 - 23 Sep 2023
Viewed by 10975
Abstract
The discovery of novel probiotic bacteria from free-ranging animals for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease in domestic pets is a unique approach. The chloroform extraction of gastrointestinal (GI) tract material was used to inactivate vegetative cells and select for spore-forming bacteria. A [...] Read more.
The discovery of novel probiotic bacteria from free-ranging animals for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease in domestic pets is a unique approach. The chloroform extraction of gastrointestinal (GI) tract material was used to inactivate vegetative cells and select for spore-forming bacteria. A bacterium identified as a novel Paenibacillus sp. strain via small ribosomal RNA (16S) gene sequencing was isolated from the GI tract of a gray wolf (Canis lupus). The bacterium was typed as Gram-variable, both catalase/oxidase-positive and positive via starch hydrolysis and lipase assays. The bacterium inhibited the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Micrococcus luteus. The draft whole genome sequence (WGS) assembly was 7,034,206 bp in length, encoding 6543 genes, and is similar in size and coding capacity to other closely related Paenibacillus spp. The isolate’s genome encodes several germination and sporulation gene products along with antimicrobials such as a bacteriocin system and chitinase. Enzyme genes such as alpha amylase, cellulase, lipases and pectin lyase are also present in the genome. An incomplete lysogenic bacteriophage genome was also present in the isolate’s genome. Phenotypic characteristics combined with a WGS genotype analysis indicate that this bacterium, designated Paenibacillus sp. ClWae2A, could be a potential candidate probiotic for domestic dogs. Full article
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