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Applied and Environmental Microbiology

Wed, 02/14/2018 - 11:00
Salmonella is estimated to cause one million foodborne illnesses in the United States every year. Salmonella-contaminated poultry products are one of the major sources of salmonellosis. Given the critical role of the gut microbiota in Salmonella transmission, a manipulation of the chicken intestinal microenvironment could prevent animal colonization by the pathogen. In Salmonella, the global...
Wed, 02/14/2018 - 11:00
Water resources contaminated with wastewater are an important source for the dissemination of enteric viruses with an impact on the health of the population. The aim of the study was to assess the viral contamination of freshwater from a dam in Argentina by using infectious enterovirus detection, viral RNA amplification, and a genetic characterization of five enteric viruses associated with...
Wed, 02/14/2018 - 11:00
Purple prairie clover (PPC; Dalea purpurea Vent.) containing 84.5 g/kg dry matter (DM) of condensed tannin (CT) was ensiled without (control) or with polyethylene glycol (PEG) for 76 days, followed by 14 days of aerobic exposure. Changes in fermentation characteristics were determined, and the composition of bacterial and fungal communities were assessed using metagenomic sequencing. The addition...
Wed, 02/14/2018 - 11:00
Cerecidins are small lantibiotics from Bacillus cereus that were obtained using a semi-in vitro biosynthesis strategy and showed prominent antimicrobial activities against certain Gram-positive bacteria. However, the parental strain B. cereus As 1.1846 is incapable of producing cerecidins, most probably due to the transcriptional repression of the cerecidin gene cluster. Located in the cerecidin...
Wed, 02/14/2018 - 11:00
The opportunistic plant-pathogenic fungus Aspergillus flavus produces carcinogenic mycotoxins termed aflatoxins (AF). Aflatoxin contamination of agriculturally important crops, such as maize, peanut, sorghum, and tree nuts, is responsible for serious adverse health and economic impacts worldwide. In order to identify possible genetic targets to reduce AF contamination, we have characterized the...
Wed, 02/14/2018 - 11:00
Campylobacter jejuni is a microaerophilic bacterium and is believed to persist in a biofilm to antagonize environmental stress. This study investigated the influence of environmental conditions on the formation of C. jejuni biofilm. We report an extracellular DNA (eDNA)-mediated mechanism of biofilm formation in response to aerobic and starvation stress. The eDNA was determined to represent a...
Wed, 02/14/2018 - 11:00
Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium is the only organism demonstrated to utilize fructose-asparagine (F-Asn) as a source of carbon and nitrogen. In this report, we first used a bioinformatics approach to identify other microorganisms that encode homologs of the Salmonella F-Asn utilization enzymes FraB (deglycase), FraD (kinase), and FraE (asparaginase). These candidate organisms were then...
Wed, 02/14/2018 - 11:00
Salmonella spp. are remarkably adaptable pathogens, and this adaptability allows these bacteria to thrive in a variety of environments and hosts. The mechanisms with which these pathogens establish within a niche amid the native microbiota remain poorly understood. Here, we aimed to uncover the mechanisms that enable Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium strain ATCC 14028 to benefit from the...
Wed, 01/31/2018 - 11:00
Metagenomics analysis of food samples promises isolation-independent detection and subtyping of foodborne bacterial pathogens in a single workflow. The selective concentration of Salmonella genomic DNA by immunomagnetic separation (IMS) and multiple displacement amplification (MDA) shortened the time for culture enrichment of Salmonella-spiked raw chicken breast samples by over 12 h while...
Wed, 01/31/2018 - 11:00
Salmonella enterica is an animal and zoonotic pathogen of worldwide importance. Salmonella serovars that differ in their host and tissue tropisms exist. Cattle are an important reservoir of human nontyphoidal salmonellosis, and contaminated bovine peripheral lymph nodes enter the food chain via ground beef. The relative abilities of different serovars to survive within the bovine lymphatic system...
Wed, 01/31/2018 - 11:00
Antibiotic selection for the maintenance of expression plasmids is discouraged in the production of recombinant proteins for pharmaceutical or other human uses due to the risks of antibiotic residue contamination of the final products and the release of DNA encoding antibiotic resistance into the environment. We describe the construction of expression plasmids that are instead maintained by...
Wed, 01/31/2018 - 11:00
The main hypothesis of this work was that Sicilian forestry resources are suitable for the production of equipment to be used in cheese making and indigenous milk lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are able to develop stable biofilms providing starter and nonstarter cultures necessary for curd fermentation and cheese ripening, respectively. Hence, the present work was carried out with deproteinized whey...
Wed, 01/31/2018 - 11:00
The molecular epidemiology of Listeria monocytogenes was investigated in a longitudinal study of three Finnish dairy farms during 2013 to 2016. A total of 186 bulk tank milk (BTM), 224 milk filter sock (MFS), and 1,702 barn environment samples were analyzed, and isolates of L. monocytogenes were genotyped using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. L. monocytogenes occurred throughout the year in all...
Wed, 01/31/2018 - 11:00
Medium- and long-chain 1-alkanol and α,-alkanediols are used in personal care products, in industrial lubricants, and as precursors for polymers synthesized for medical applications. The industrial production of α,-alkanediols by alkane hydroxylation primarily occurs at high temperature and pressure using heavy metal catalysts. However, bioproduction has recently emerged as a more...
Wed, 01/31/2018 - 11:00
Four sponge-associated Antarctic bacteria (i.e., Winogradskyella sp. strains CAL384 and CAL396, Colwellia sp. strain GW185, and Shewanella sp. strain CAL606) were selected for the highly mucous appearance of their colonies on agar plates. The production of extracellular polymeric substances (EPSs) was enhanced by a step-by-step approach, varying the carbon source, substrate and NaCl...
Wed, 01/17/2018 - 11:00
Thermoanaerobacter kivui is one of the very few thermophilic acetogenic microorganisms. It grows optimally at 66°C on sugars but also lithotrophically with H2 + CO2 or with CO, producing acetate as the major product. While a genome-derived model of acetogenesis has been developed, only a few physiological or biochemical experiments regarding the function of important enzymes in carbon and...
Wed, 01/17/2018 - 11:00
Clostridioides difficile (formerly Clostridium difficile) is a pathogenic bacterium displaying great genetic diversity. A significant proportion of this diversity is due to the presence of integrated prophages. Here, we provide an in-depth analysis of phiCD211, also known as phiCDIF1296T, the largest phage identified in C. difficile so far, with a genome of 131 kbp. It shares morphological and...
Wed, 01/17/2018 - 11:00
Changes in the microbial gene content and abundance can be analyzed to detect shifts in the microbiota composition due to the use of a starter culture in the food fermentation process, with the consequent shift of key metabolic pathways directly connected with product acceptance. Meat fermentation is a complex process involving microbes that metabolize the main components in meat. The breakdown...
Wed, 01/17/2018 - 11:00
Leptospirillum ferriphilum plays a major role in acidic, metal-rich environments, where it represents one of the most prevalent iron oxidizers. These milieus include acid rock and mine drainage as well as biomining operations. Despite its perceived importance, no complete genome sequence of the type strain of this model species is available, limiting the possibilities to investigate the...
Wed, 01/17/2018 - 11:00
Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Vibrio vulnificus are naturally occurring estuarine bacteria and are the leading causes of seafood-associated infections and mortality in the United States. Though multiple-antibiotic-resistant V. parahaemolyticus and V. vulnificus strains have been reported, resistance patterns in vibrios are not as well documented as those of other foodborne bacterial pathogens....
Wed, 01/17/2018 - 11:00
Neurotoxic methylmercury (MeHg) is produced by anaerobic Bacteria and Archaea possessing the genes hgcAB, but it is unknown how organic substrate and electron acceptor availability impacts the distribution and abundance of these organisms. We evaluated the impact of organic substrate amendments on mercury (Hg) methylation rates, microbial community structure, and the distribution of hgcAB+...
Tue, 01/02/2018 - 11:00
Chickens with good or poor feed efficiency (FE) have been shown to differ in their intestinal microbiota composition. This study investigated differences in the fecal bacterial community of highly and poorly feed-efficient chickens at 16 and 29 days posthatch (dph) and evaluated whether a fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) from feed-efficient donors early in life can affect the fecal microbiota in...
Tue, 01/02/2018 - 11:00
Mycotoxin contamination of cereal grains causes well-recognized toxicities in animals and humans, but the fate of plant-bound masked mycotoxins in the gut is less well understood. Masked mycotoxins have been found to be stable under conditions prevailing in the small intestine but are rapidly hydrolyzed by fecal microbiota. This study aims to assess the hydrolysis of the masked mycotoxin...
Tue, 01/02/2018 - 11:00
Staphylococcus aureus is part of the nasal microbiome of many humans and has become a significant public health burden due to infections with antibiotic-resistant strains, including methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) strains. Several lineages of S. aureus, including MRSA, are found in livestock species and can be acquired by humans through contact with animals. These livestock-associated MRSA...
Tue, 01/02/2018 - 11:00
Nitrate-reducing iron(II)-oxidizing bacteria have been known for approximately 20 years. There has been much debate as to what extent the reduction of nitrate and the oxidation of ferrous iron are coupled via enzymatic pathways or via abiotic processes induced by nitrite formed by heterotrophic denitrification. The aim of the present study was to assess the coupling of nitrate reduction and iron(...
Tue, 01/02/2018 - 11:00
Mercury (Hg), one of the most toxic and widely distributed heavy metals, has a high affinity for thiol groups. Thiol groups reduce and sequester Hg. Therefore, low-molecular-weight (LMW) and protein thiols may be important cell components used in Hg resistance. To date, the role of low-molecular-weight thiols in Hg detoxification remains understudied. The mercury resistance (mer) operon of...
Tue, 01/02/2018 - 11:00
Many pathogenic bacteria use sophisticated survival strategies to overcome harsh environmental conditions. One strategy is the formation of slow-growing subpopulations termed small colony variants (SCVs). Here we characterize an SCV that spontaneously emerged from an axenic Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium water culture. We found that the SCV harbored a frameshift mutation in the glutamine...
Tue, 01/02/2018 - 11:00
Heat-stable toxin (STa)-producing enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) strains are a top cause of moderate-to-severe diarrhea in children from developing countries and a common cause of travelers' diarrhea. Recent progress in using STa toxoids and toxoid fusions to induce neutralizing anti-STa antibodies has accelerated ETEC vaccine development. However, concern remains regarding whether the...
Tue, 01/02/2018 - 11:00
High-pressure processing is a nonthermal method of food preservation that uses pressure to inactivate microorganisms. To ensure the effective validation of process parameters, it is important that the design of challenge protocols consider the potential for resistance in a particular species. Herein, the responses of 99 diverse Salmonella enterica strains to high pressure are reported. Members of...
Tue, 01/02/2018 - 11:00
The critically endangered elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata) is affected by white pox disease (WPX) throughout the Florida Reef Tract and wider Caribbean. The bacterium Serratia marcescens was previously identified as one etiologic agent of WPX but is no longer consistently detected in contemporary outbreaks. It is now believed that multiple etiologic agents cause WPX; however, to date, no other...
Fri, 12/15/2017 - 11:00
Peptidoglycan hydrolases (PGHs) have been suggested as novel therapeutics for the treatment of bovine mastitis. However, activity in the presence of cow's milk is an important requirement for drugs administered into the bovine udder. We have used a microtiter plate-based protocol to screen a library of >170 recombinant PGHs, including engineered bacteriophage endolysins, for enzymes with...
Fri, 12/15/2017 - 11:00
Bacteria of the genus Enterococcus are important human pathogens that are frequently resistant to a number of clinically important antibiotics. They are also used as markers of animal fecal contamination of human foods and are employed as sentinel organisms for tracking trends in resistance to antimicrobials with Gram-positive activity. As part of the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring...
Fri, 12/15/2017 - 11:00
Vegetable seeds contaminated with bacterial pathogens have been linked to fresh-produce-associated outbreaks of gastrointestinal infections. This study was undertaken to observe the physiological behavior of Salmonella enterica and enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) cells artificially internalized into vegetable seeds during the germination process. Surface-decontaminated seeds of alfalfa...
Fri, 12/15/2017 - 11:00
Norovirus (NoV) is the leading cause of gastroenteritis outbreaks linked to oyster consumption. In this study, we investigated the potential of F-specific RNA bacteriophages (FRNAPH) as indicators of viral contamination in oysters by focusing especially on FRNAPH subgroup II (FRNAPH-II). These viral indicators have been neglected because their behavior is sometimes different from that of NoV in...
Fri, 12/15/2017 - 11:00
Cah is a calcium-binding autotransporter protein involved in autoaggregation and biofilm formation. Although cah is widespread in Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), we detected mutations in cah at a frequency of 31.3% in this pathogen. In STEC O157:H7 supershedder strain SS17, a large deletion results in a smaller coding sequence, encoding a protein lacking the C-terminal 71 amino...
Fri, 12/15/2017 - 11:00
Cattle are the primary carrier of Escherichia coli O157:H7, a foodborne human pathogen, and those shedding >104 CFU/gram of feces of E. coli O157:H7 are defined as supershedders (SS). This study investigated the rectoanal junction (RAJ) mucosa-associated microbiota and its relationship with host gene expression in SS and in cattle from which E. coli O157:H7 was not detected (nonshedders [NS...
Fri, 12/01/2017 - 11:00
Microbial bioremediation is a promising approach for the removal of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) contaminants. Many degraders of PAHs possess efflux pump genes in their genomes; however, their specific roles in the degradation of PAHs have not been clearly elucidated. In this study, two efflux pumps, TtgABC and SrpABC, were systematically investigated to determine their functions in a...
Fri, 12/01/2017 - 11:00
Enteric viruses are recognized as major etiologies of U.S. foodborne infections. These viruses are easily transmitted via food contact surfaces. Understanding virus interactions with surfaces may facilitate the development of improved means for their removal, thus reducing transmission. Using MS2 coliphage as a virus surrogate, the strength of virus adhesion to common food processing and...
Fri, 12/01/2017 - 11:00
Clostridium perfringens is a gastrointestinal pathogen capable of causing disease in a variety of hosts. Necrotic enteritis in chickens is caused by C. perfringens strains that produce the pore-forming toxin NetB, the major virulence factor for this disease. Like many other C. perfringens toxins and antibiotic resistance genes, NetB is encoded on a conjugative plasmid. Conjugative transfer of the...
Fri, 12/01/2017 - 11:00
Endospores of the genus Bacillus can be triggered to germinate by a limited number of chemicals. Mandelate had powerful additive effects on the levels and rates of germination produced in non-heat-shocked spores of Bacillus anthracis strain Sterne, Bacillus cereus, and Bacillus thuringiensis when combined with l-alanine and inosine. Mandelate had no germinant effect on its own but was active with...
Fri, 12/01/2017 - 11:00
Campylobacter jejuni is a leading cause of foodborne illnesses worldwide. As a microaerophilic organism, C. jejuni must be able to defend against oxidative stress encountered both in the host and in the environment. How Campylobacter utilizes a mutation-based mechanism for adaptation to oxidative stress is still unknown. Here we present a previously undescribed phenotypic and genetic mechanism...
Fri, 12/01/2017 - 11:00
Bacterial biofilm formation is a widespread phenomenon and a complex process requiring a set of genes facilitating the initial adhesion, maturation, and production of the extracellular polymeric matrix and subsequent dispersal of bacteria. Most studies on Escherichia coli biofilm formation have investigated nonpathogenic E. coli K-12 strains. Due to the extensive focus on laboratory strains in...
Fri, 12/01/2017 - 11:00
Staphylococcus aureus is a common biofilm-forming pathogen. Low doses of disinfectants have previously been reported to promote biofilm formation and to increase virulence. The aim of this study was to use transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq) analysis to investigate global transcriptional changes in S. aureus in response to sublethal concentrations of the commonly used food industry disinfectants...
Fri, 12/01/2017 - 11:00
Campylobacter jejuni clone SA is the major cause of sheep abortion and contributes significantly to foodborne illnesses in the United States. Clone SA is hypervirulent because of its distinct ability to produce systemic infection and its predominant role in clinical sheep abortion. Despite the importance of clone SA, little is known about its distribution and epidemiological features in cattle....
Thu, 11/16/2017 - 11:00
Sorbitol-fermenting (SF) enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) O157:H– strains, first identified in Germany, have emerged as important pathogens throughout Europe. Besides chromosomally encoded Shiga toxin 2a (the major virulence factor), several putative virulence loci, including the hly, etp, and sfp operons, encoding EHEC hemolysin, type II secretion system proteins, and Sfp fimbriae...
Thu, 11/16/2017 - 11:00
This study examined the inactivation of human norovirus (HuNoV) GI.1 and GII.4 by chlorine under conditions mimicking sewage treatment. Using a porcine gastric mucin-magnetic bead (PGM-MB) assay, no statistically significant loss in HuNoV binding (inactivation) was observed for secondary effluent treatments of ≤25 ppm total chlorine; for both strains, 50 and 100 ppm treatments resulted in ≤...
Thu, 11/16/2017 - 11:00
In 2015, a typhoid fever outbreak began in downtown Kampala, Uganda, and spread into adjacent districts. In response, an environmental survey of drinking water source types was conducted in areas of the city with high case numbers. A total of 122 samples was collected from 12 source types and tested for Escherichia coli, free chlorine, and conductivity. An additional 37 grab samples from seven...
Thu, 11/16/2017 - 11:00
Source attribution studies report that the consumption of contaminated poultry is the primary source for acquiring human campylobacteriosis. Oral administration of an engineered Escherichia coli strain expressing the Campylobacter jejuni N-glycan reduces bacterial colonization in specific-pathogen-free leghorn chickens, but only a fraction of birds respond to vaccination. Optimization of the...
Thu, 11/16/2017 - 11:00
Transmission of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) from animals to humans is of great concern due to the implications for human health and the health care system. The objective was to investigate the frequency and duration of MRSA carriage in human volunteers after a short-term exposure in a swine farm. The experimental study included 34 human volunteers staying 1 h in a MRSA-...
Tue, 10/31/2017 - 11:00
RNA stable isotope probing and high-throughput sequencing were used to characterize the active microbiomes of bacteria and fungi colonizing the roots and rhizosphere soil of oilseed rape to identify taxa assimilating plant-derived carbon following 13CO2 labeling. Root- and rhizosphere soil-associated communities of both bacteria and fungi differed from each other, and there were highly...

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