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Applied and Environmental Microbiology

Thu, 05/17/2018 - 11:05
Four isothermal recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA) assays were developed for fast in-field identification of Bacillus anthracis. The RPA assays targeted three specific sequences (i.e., the BA_5345 chromosomal marker, the lethal factor lef [from pXO1], and the capsule-biosynthesis-related capA [from pXO2]) and a conserved sequence in the adenylate cyclase gene (adk) for the Bacillus cereus...
Thu, 05/17/2018 - 11:05
In recent years, global warming has led to a growing number of Vibrio cholerae infections in bathing water users in regions formerly unaffected by this pathogen. It is therefore of high importance to monitor V. cholerae in aquatic environments and to elucidate the main factors governing its prevalence and abundance. For this purpose, rapid and standardizable methods that can be performed by...
Tue, 05/01/2018 - 11:05
Cronobacter strains harboring the CRISPR-Cas system are important foodborne pathogens causing serious neonatal infections. However, the specific role of the CRISPR-Cas system in bacterial evolution remains relatively unexplored. In this study, we investigated the impact of the CRISPR-Cas system on Cronobacter evolution and obtained 137 new whole-genome Cronobacter sequences by next-generation...
Mon, 04/16/2018 - 11:00
In recent years, plasma-activated solutions (PASs) have made good progress in the disinfection of medical devices, tooth whitening, and fruit preservation. In this study, we investigated the inactivation efficacy of Newcastle disease virus by PASs. Water, 0.9% NaCl, and 0.3% H2O2 were excited by plasma to obtain the corresponding solutions PAS(H2O), PAS(NaCl), and PAS(H2O2). The complete...
Mon, 04/16/2018 - 11:00
Microgreens, like sprouts, are relatively fast-growing products and are generally consumed raw. Moreover, as observed for sprouts, microbial contamination from preharvest sources may also be present in the production of microgreens. In this study, two Salmonella enterica serovars (Hartford and Cubana), applied at multiple inoculation levels, were evaluated for survival and growth on alfalfa...
Mon, 04/16/2018 - 11:00
The adjustment of metabolic patterns is fundamental to fungal biology and plays vital roles in adaptation to diverse ecological challenges. Nematode-trapping fungi can switch their lifestyle from saprophytic to pathogenic by developing specific trapping devices induced by nematodes to infect their prey as a response to nutrient depletion in nature. However, the chemical identity of the specific...
Mon, 04/16/2018 - 11:00
To assess phenotypic bacterial antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in different strata (e.g., host populations, environmental areas, manure, or sewage effluents) for epidemiological purposes, isolates of target bacteria can be obtained from a stratum using various sample types. Also, different sample processing methods can be applied. The MIC of each target antimicrobial drug for each isolate is...
Mon, 04/16/2018 - 11:00
Shigella flexneri and Shigella sonnei bacteria cause the majority of all shigellosis cases worldwide. However, their distributions differ, with S. sonnei predominating in middle- and high-income countries and S. flexneri predominating in low-income countries. One proposed explanation for the continued range expansion of S. sonnei is that it can survive in amoebae, which could provide a protective...
Mon, 04/16/2018 - 11:00
Enhancements in swabbing technology to increase sample collection efficacy would benefit the food industry. Specifically, these enhancements would assist the food industry in implementing the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) requirements by improving environmental monitoring effectiveness. A sonicating swab device, an example of an enhanced swabbing technology, was demonstrated previously...
Mon, 04/02/2018 - 11:00
The intracellular pathogen Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium has emerged as a major cause of foodborne illness, representing a severe clinical and economic concern worldwide. The capacity of this pathogen to efficiently infect and survive inside the host depends on its ability to synchronize a complex network of virulence mechanisms. Therefore, the identification of new virulence...
Mon, 04/02/2018 - 11:00
Fresh vegetables harbor diverse bacterial populations on their surfaces. However, information on this microbiota is limited to a few types of fresh vegetables, and little is known about how it varies with geography and host condition. Here, we analyzed bacterial communities on the floret surfaces of 66 field-grown broccoli collected from 22 farms in four farming regions of Jeju Island, South...
Mon, 04/02/2018 - 11:00
Symbiotic microorganisms have been found in the hemolymph (blood) of many aquatic invertebrates, such as crabs, shrimp, and oysters. Hemolymph is a critical site in the host immune response. Currently, studies on hemolymph microorganisms are mostly performed with culture-dependent strategies using selective media (e.g., thiosulfate-citrate-bile salts-sucrose [TCBS], 2216E, and LB) for enumerating...
Mon, 04/02/2018 - 11:00
Salmonella spp. exhibit prolonged survivability and high tolerance to heat in low-moisture foods. The reported thermal resistance parameters of Salmonella spp. in low-moisture foods appear to be unpredictable due to various unknown factors. We report here that temperature-dependent water activity (aw, treatment temperature) plays an important role in the sharply increased thermal resistance of...
Mon, 04/02/2018 - 11:00
Since the initial discovery of mcr-1 in an Escherichia coli isolate from China, the gene has also been detected in Klebsiella pneumoniae and Salmonella enterica but is rarely reported in other Enterobacteriaceae. Here, we report the isolation and identification of a Shigella flexneri strain harboring mcr-1 from stool samples in a pig farm in China from 2009. The MIC of colistin for the isolate is...
Mon, 04/02/2018 - 11:00
The Escherichia coli virulence factor hemoglobin protease (Hbp) has been engineered into a surface display system that can be expressed to high density on live E. coli and Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium cells or derived outer membrane vesicles (OMVs). Multiple antigenic sequences can be genetically fused into the Hbp core structure for optimal exposure to the immune system. Although the...
Mon, 04/02/2018 - 11:00
Fusarium graminearum is a major plant pathogen that causes devastating diseases of cereals and produces type B trichothecene (TCTB) mycotoxins in infected grains. A comprehensive understanding of the molecular and biochemical mechanisms underlying the regulation of TCTB biosynthesis is required for improving strategies to control the TCTB contamination of crops and ensuring that these strategies...
Mon, 03/19/2018 - 11:00
Human bocavirus (HBoV) has been shown to be a common cause of respiratory infections and gastroenteritis in children. Recently, HBoVs have been detected in sewage and river waters in Italy and worldwide. However, studies on their presence in other water environments and in bivalve mollusks are not yet available. In this study, 316 bivalve shellfish samples collected in three Italian regions over...
Mon, 03/19/2018 - 11:00
Campylobacter jejuni was longitudinally isolated from beef cattle housed in four confined feeding operations (CFOs) in Southern Alberta, Canada, over 18 months. All of the cattle were administered a variety of antimicrobial agents (AMAs) nontherapeutically and metaphylactically during their time in the CFOs. In total, 7,966 C. jejuni isolates were recovered from cattle. More animals were...
Mon, 03/19/2018 - 11:00
We have previously shown that the lactic acid bacterium Lactobacillus brevis 174A, isolated from Citrus iyo fruit, produces a bacteriocin designated brevicin 174A, which is comprised of two antibacterial polypeptides (designated brevicins 174A-β and 174A-). We have also found a gene cluster, composed of eight open reading frames (ORFs), that contains genes for the biosynthesis of brevicin...
Mon, 03/19/2018 - 11:00
Food preservation by the use of essential oils (EOs) is being extensively studied because of the antimicrobial properties of their individual constituents (ICs). Three resistant mutants (termed CAR, CIT, and LIM) of Escherichia coli MG1655 were selected by subculturing with the ICs carvacrol, citral, and (+)-limonene oxide, respectively. These derivative strains showed increased MIC values of ICs...
Thu, 03/01/2018 - 11:00
Secondary metabolites are an important source of pharmaceuticals and key modulators of microbe-microbe interactions. The bacterium Serratia marcescens is part of the Enterobacteriaceae family of eubacteria and produces a number of biologically active secondary metabolites. In this study, we screened for novel regulators of secondary metabolites synthesized by a clinical isolate of S. marcescens...
Thu, 03/01/2018 - 11:00
Fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) are the basis for water quality regulations and are considered proxies for waterborne pathogens when conducting human health risk assessments. The direct detection of pathogens in water and simultaneous identification of the source of fecal contamination are possible with microarrays, circumventing the drawbacks to FIB approaches. A multigene target microarray was...
Thu, 03/01/2018 - 11:00
While some species in the Bacillus cereus group are well-characterized human pathogens (e.g., B. anthracis and B. cereus sensu stricto), the pathogenicity of other species (e.g., B. pseudomycoides) either has not been characterized or is presently not well understood. To provide an updated characterization of the pathogenic potential of species in the B. cereus group, we classified a set of 52...
Thu, 03/01/2018 - 11:00
An increase in the prevalence of commensal Escherichia coli carrying blaCTX-M genes among dairy cattle was observed between 2008 and 2012 in Washington State. To study the molecular epidemiology of this change, we selected 126 blaCTX-M-positive and 126 blaCTX-M-negative isolates for determinations of the multilocus sequence types (MLSTs) and antibiotic resistance phenotypes from E. coli obtained...
Thu, 03/01/2018 - 11:00
Aerobic methanotrophs have long been known to play a critical role in the global carbon cycle, being capable of converting methane to biomass and carbon dioxide. Interestingly, these microbes exhibit great sensitivity to copper and rare-earth elements, with the expression of key genes involved in the central pathway of methane oxidation controlled by the availability of these metals. That is,...
Thu, 03/01/2018 - 11:00
Campylobacter spp. are major causes of gastroenteritis worldwide. The virulence potential of Campylobacter shed in crow feces obtained from a roost area in Bothell, Washington, was studied and compared with that from isolates from other parts of Washington and from a different crow species 7,000 miles away in Kolkata, India. Campylobacter organisms were isolated from 61% and 69% of the fecal...
Thu, 03/01/2018 - 11:00
The most common practice in studying and cataloguing prokaryotic diversity involves the grouping of sequences into operational taxonomic units (OTUs) at the 97% 16S rRNA gene sequence identity level, often using partial gene sequences, such as PCR-generated amplicons. Due to the high sequence conservation of rRNA genes, organisms belonging to closely related yet distinct species may be grouped...
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...

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