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Applied and Environmental Microbiology

Thu, 05/16/2019 - 11:01
Mahewu is a fermented cereal beverage produced in Zimbabwe. This study determined the composition and origin of mahewu microbiota. The microbiota of mahewu samples consisted of 3 to 7 dominant strains of lactobacilli and two strains of yeasts. Enterobacteriaceae were not detected. Candida glabrata was present in high cell counts from samples collected in summer but not from samples collected in...
Thu, 05/16/2019 - 11:01
Little is known about the abiotic factors contributing to the preharvest persistence of Salmonella in tomato tissues. Therefore, we investigated the effects of specific environmental conditions and contamination methods on the persistence and dissemination of Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serotype Typhimurium (JSG626) in tomato plants. When plants were sprayed on the leaves with a JSG626-...
Thu, 05/16/2019 - 11:01
Microcin PDI (MccPDI), a class IIa microcin that is produced by Escherichia coli strains 25 and 284, is known to inhibit foodborne pathogenic enterohemorrhagic E. coli serotypes O157:H7 and O26. Here we demonstrate that MccPDI can inhibit Shigella strains and E. coli isolates that are multidrug resistant, the latter including strains known to cause urinary tract infections in people and companion...
Thu, 05/16/2019 - 11:01
Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) strains that produce immunologically heterogeneous fimbriae and enterotoxins are the primary cause of neonatal diarrhea and postweaning diarrhea in young pigs. A multivalent vaccine inducing protective immunity against ideally all ETEC fimbriae and enterotoxins could be effective against diarrhea in young pigs. However, developing a vaccine to broadly...
Thu, 05/16/2019 - 11:01
Contamination of fresh produce with pathogenic Escherichia coli, including Shiga-toxigenic E. coli (STEC), represents a serious risk to human health. Colonization is governed by multiple bacterial and plant factors that can impact the probability and suitability of bacterial growth. Thus, we aimed to determine whether the growth potential of STEC for plants associated with foodborne outbreaks (...
Thu, 05/16/2019 - 11:01
Campylobacter is a major foodborne pathogen in humans and a significant cause of abortion in sheep. Although ruminants are increasingly recognized as important reservoirs for Campylobacter species, limited information is available about the molecular epidemiology and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) profiles of sheep Campylobacter. Here, we describe a two-trial study that examined Campylobacter...
Thu, 05/02/2019 - 11:02
Enterobactin (Ent)-mediated high-affinity iron acquisition is critical for Gram-negative bacteria to survive in the host. Given the bacteriostatic effect of lipocalin resulting from its potent Ent-binding ability, immune intervention directly targeting Ent is promising for iron-dependent pathogen control. Recently, an Ent conjugate vaccine was reported, but it still has several significant...
Thu, 05/02/2019 - 11:02
Untreated biological soil amendments of animal origin (BSAAO) are commonly used as biological fertilizers but can harbor foodborne pathogens like Salmonella enterica, leading to potential transfer from soils to fruits and vegetables intended for human consumption. Heat-treated poultry pellets (HTPP) can provide produce growers with a slow-release fertilizer with a minimized risk of pathogen...
Thu, 05/02/2019 - 11:02
Spore-forming bacteria are natural contaminants of food raw materials, and sporulation can occur in many environments from farm to fork. In order to characterize and to predict spore formation over time, we developed a model that describes both the kinetics of growth and the differentiation of vegetative cells into spores. The model is based on a classical growth model and enables description of...
Thu, 05/02/2019 - 11:02
Municipal wastewater includes human waste that contains both commensal and pathogenic enteric microorganisms, and this collective community microbiome can be monitored for community diseases. In a previous study, we assessed the salmonellosis disease burden using municipal wastewater from Honolulu, Hawaii, which was monitored over a 54-week period. During that time, a strain of Salmonella...
Thu, 05/02/2019 - 11:02
Western Canada produces large amounts of bitumen, a heavy, highly weathered crude oil. Douglas Channel and Hecate Strait on the coast of British Columbia are two water bodies that may be impacted by a proposed pipeline and marine shipping route for diluted bitumen (dilbit). This study investigated the potential of microbial communities from these waters to mitigate the impacts of a potential...
Thu, 05/02/2019 - 11:02
Bacteriophage lysins are compelling antimicrobial proteins whose biotechnological utility and evolvability would be aided by elevated stability. Lysin catalytic domains, which evolved as modular entities distinct from cell wall binding domains, can be classified into one of several families with highly conserved structure and function, many of which contain thousands of annotated homologous...
Thu, 04/18/2019 - 11:01
Different Bacillus species with PGPR (plant growth-promoting rhizobacterium) activity produce potent biofungicides and stimulate plant defense responses against phytopathogenic fungi. However, very little is known about how these PGPRs recognize phytopathogens and exhibit the antifungal response. Here, we report the antagonistic interaction between Bacillus subtilis and the phytopathogenic fungus...
Thu, 04/18/2019 - 11:01
Lytic bacteriophages (or phages) drive bacterial mortality by elaborating exquisite abilities to bind, breach, and destroy bacterial cell membranes and subjugate critical bacterial cell functions. These antimicrobial activities make phages ideal candidates to serve as, or provide sources of, biological control measures for bacterial pathogens. In this study, we isolated the Myoviridae phage...
Thu, 04/04/2019 - 11:00
Fe-organic matter (Fe-OM) complexes are abundant in the environment and, due to their mobility, reactivity, and bioavailability, play a significant role in the biogeochemical Fe cycle. In photic zones of aquatic environments, Fe-OM complexes can potentially be reduced and oxidized, and thus cycled, by light-dependent processes, including abiotic photoreduction of Fe(III)-OM complexes and...
Thu, 04/04/2019 - 11:00
Microbial food safety of raw or minimally processed fresh produce is a significant challenge. The current sanitation processes are effective for inactivation of bacteria in wash water but have limited efficacy (<2 log/g reduction) for inactivation of microbes on the surfaces of fresh produce. This study demonstrates a novel concept to enhance effectiveness of chlorine using a particle-based...
Thu, 04/04/2019 - 11:00
DNA is the carrier of genetic information. DNA modifications play a central role in essential physiological processes. Phosphorothioation (PT) modification involves the replacement of an oxygen atom on the DNA backbone with a sulfur atom. PT modification can cause genomic instability in Salmonella enterica under hypochlorous acid stress. This modification restores hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)...
Fri, 03/22/2019 - 11:00
Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) and Campylobacter jejuni are notable health hazards associated with the consumption of raw milk. These bacteria may colonize the intestines of asymptomatic cattle and enter bulk tank milk via fecal contamination during milking. We studied the frequency of STEC O157:H7 and C. jejuni contamination in tank milk (n = 785) and the in-line milk filters of...
Fri, 03/22/2019 - 11:00
This study employed high-throughput quantitative PCR and 16S rRNA sequencing to evaluate the effect of temperature and residual antibiotics on the dynamics of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) and microbial communities during anaerobic digestion of swine manure. The abundances of total ARGs and 16S rRNA genes significantly decreased in all of four treatments (25°C, 37°C, and 37°C...
Fri, 03/22/2019 - 11:00
Bacteria of the genus Shigella, consisting of 4 species and >50 serotypes, cause shigellosis, a foodborne disease of significant morbidity, mortality, and economic loss worldwide. Classical Shigella identification based on selective media and serology is tedious, time-consuming, expensive, and not always accurate. A molecular diagnostic assay does not distinguish Shigella at the species level...
Wed, 03/06/2019 - 11:00
Efficient microbial conversion of lignocellulose into valuable products is often hindered by the presence of furfural, a dehydration product of pentoses in hemicellulose sugar syrups derived from woody biomass. For a cost-effective lignocellulose microbial conversion, robust biocatalysts are needed that can tolerate toxic inhibitors while maintaining optimal metabolic activities. A comprehensive...
Wed, 03/06/2019 - 11:00
We developed a multiplex PCR method based on multiple-locus variable-number tandem-repeat (VNTR) analysis (MLVA) that was designed for the rapid typing of Escherichia coli and Shigella isolates. The method amplifies seven VNTRs and does not require a sequencing capillary or fluorescent dyes. The amplification products are simply loaded on a standard agarose gel for electrophoresis, and the...
Wed, 03/06/2019 - 11:00
Atypical enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (aEPEC) strains (36 Japanese and 50 Bangladeshi) obtained from 649 poultry fecal samples were analyzed by molecular epidemiological methods. Clermont’s phylogenetic typing showed that group A was more prevalent (58%, 50/86) than B1 (31%, 27/86). Intimin type β1, which is prevalent among human diarrheal patients, was predominant in both...
Wed, 03/06/2019 - 11:00
Klebsiella pneumoniae is a leading cause of severe infections in humans and dairy cows, and these infections are rapidly becoming untreatable due to the emergence of multidrug-resistant (MDR) strains. However, little is known about the relationship between bovine and human K. pneumoniae isolates at the genome population level. Here, we investigated the genomic structures, pangenomic profiles,...
Wed, 03/06/2019 - 11:00
Aspergillus flavus is an opportunistic fungal plant and human pathogen and a producer of mycotoxins, including aflatoxin B1 (AFB1). As part of our ongoing studies to elucidate the biological functions of the A. flavus rtfA gene, we examined its role in the pathogenicity of both plant and animal model systems. rtfA encodes a putative RNA polymerase II (Pol II) transcription elongation factor...
Wed, 03/06/2019 - 11:00
In this study, we examined the change in resistance of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium and Escherichia coli O157:H7 to 222-nm krypton-chlorine (KrCl) excilamp treatment as influenced by acid adaptation and identified a mechanism of resistance change. In addition, we measured changes in apple juice quality indicators, such as color, total phenols, and 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH)...
Wed, 02/20/2019 - 11:00
Campylobacter bacteria are major human enteropathogens. Campylobacter coli shows less genetic diversity than C. jejuni and clusters into three clades, of which clade 1 includes most human and farm animal isolates, while environmental C. coli isolates mainly belong to clades 2 and 3. Recently, we sequenced the whole genomes of eight C. coli clade 2 and 3 isolates cultivated from water, and here we...
Wed, 02/20/2019 - 11:00
To control the spore-forming human pathogen Bacillus cereus, we isolated and characterized a novel endolysin, LysPBC2, from a newly isolated B. cereus phage, PBC2. Compared to the narrow host range of phage PBC2, LysPBC2 showed very broad lytic activity against all Bacillus, Listeria, and Clostridium species tested. In addition to a catalytic domain and a cell wall binding domain, LysPBC2 has a...
Wed, 02/20/2019 - 11:00
Untreated biological soil amendments of animal origin (BSAAO), such as manure, are commonly used to fertilize soils for growing fruit and vegetable crops and can contain enteric bacterial foodborne pathogens. Little is known about the comparative longitudinal survival of pathogens in agricultural fields containing different types of BSAAO, and field data may be useful to determine intervals...
Wed, 02/06/2019 - 11:00
Inappropriate and disproportionate use of antibiotics is contributing immensely to the development of antibiotic resistance in bacterial species associated with food contamination. The use of natural products in combination can be a potent alternative hurdle strategy to inactivate foodborne pathogens. Here, we explored the pro-oxidant properties of essential oil linalool and vitamin C in...
Wed, 02/06/2019 - 11:00
Poultry are considered a major reservoir and source of human campylobacteriosis, but the roles of environmental reservoirs, including wild birds, have not been assessed in depth. In this study, we isolated and characterized Campylobacter jejuni from western jackdaws (n = 91, 43%), mallard ducks (n = 82, 76%), and pheasants (n = 9, 9%). Most of the western jackdaw and mallard duck C. jejuni...
Wed, 02/06/2019 - 11:00
Salmonella spp. are estimated to cause 1.2 million cases of human foodborne illness each year in the United States, and pigs can often be asymptomatically colonized with Salmonella spp. (>50% of farms). Recent reports state that 18.3% of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium isolates are resistant to ≥3 antimicrobial classes, and multidrug-resistant (MDR) strains are associated with an...
Wed, 02/06/2019 - 11:00
The hypersaline Kebrit Deep brine pool in the Red Sea is characterized by high levels of toxic heavy metals. Here, we describe two structurally related mercuric reductases (MerAs) from this site which were expressed in Escherichia coli. Sequence similarities suggest that both genes are derived from proteobacteria, most likely the Betaproteobacteria or Gammaproteobacteria. We show that one of the...
Wed, 01/23/2019 - 11:00
Diet is a major determinant of intestinal microbiome composition. While studies have evaluated microbiome responses to diet variation, less is understood about how the act of feeding influences the microbiome, independent of diet type. Here, we use the clownfish Premnas biaculeatus, a species reared commonly in ornamental marine aquaculture, to test how the diversity, predicted gene content, and...
Wed, 01/23/2019 - 11:00
The characterization of native polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)-degrading bacteria is significant for understanding the PAH degradation process in the natural environment and developing effective remediation technologies. Most previous investigations of PAH-degrading bacteria in environmental samples employ pahAc, which encodes the α-subunit of PAH ring-hydroxylating dioxygenase, as a...
Wed, 01/23/2019 - 11:00
The lower convective layer (LCL) of the Atlantis II brine pool of the Red Sea is a unique environment in terms of high salinity, temperature, and high concentrations of heavy metals. Mercuric reductase enzymes functional in such extreme conditions could be considered a potential tool in the environmental detoxification of mercurial poisoning and might alleviate ecological hazards in the mining...
Wed, 01/23/2019 - 11:00
Cronobacter sakazakii is a xerotolerant neonatal pathogen epidemiologically linked to powdered infant food formula, often resulting in high mortality rates. Here, we used transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq) to provide transcriptional insights into the survival of C. sakazakii in desiccated conditions. Our RNA-seq data show that about 22% of the total C. sakazakii genes were significantly...
Wed, 01/23/2019 - 11:00
Copper and alloys containing >60% copper by weight are antimicrobial. In aquaculture, copper alloys are used as part of corrosion-resistant cages or as part of copper coating. To test whether a copper alloy surface prevents the outbreak of parasitosis in the aquaculture of Larimichthys crocea, we covered the bottom of the aquaculture tank with sheets of copper alloy containing 74% to 78%...
Wed, 01/23/2019 - 11:00
Atypical El Tor strains of Vibrio cholerae O1 harboring variant ctxB genes of cholera toxin (CT) have gradually become a major cause of recent cholera epidemics. Vibrio mimicus occasionally produces CT, encoded by ctxAB on CTXFE genome; toxin-coregulated pilus (TCP), a major intestinal colonization factor; and also the CTXFE-specific receptor. This study carried out extensive molecular...
Wed, 01/09/2019 - 11:00
Under stressful conditions, Salmonella enterica forms multinucleated elongated filaments. The triggers and outcomes of filamentation are not well characterized. S. enterica serotypes Newport, Javiana, and Typhimurium were evaluated for their ability to form filaments upon exposure to 20 mM pelargonic acid. S. Newport was used as a model to investigate the progression and fate of filamentation via...
Wed, 01/09/2019 - 11:00
Members of the genus Acidithiobacillus, which can adapt to extremely high concentrations of heavy metals, are universally found at acid mine drainage (AMD) sites. Here, we performed a comparative genomic analysis of 37 strains within the genus Acidithiobacillus to answer the untouched questions as to the mechanisms and the evolutionary history of metal resistance genes in Acidithiobacillus spp....
Thu, 12/13/2018 - 11:00
Fusarium fujikuroi is a pathogenic fungus that infects rice. It produces several important mycotoxins, such as fumonisins. Fumonisin production has been detected in strains of maize, strawberry, and wheat, whereas it has not been detected in strains from rice seedlings infested with bakanae disease in Japan. We investigated the genetic relationships, pathogenicity, and resistance to a fungicide,...
Thu, 12/13/2018 - 11:00
There is growing evidence that anthropogenic sources of antibiotics and antimicrobial-resistant bacteria can spill over into natural ecosystems, raising questions about the role wild animals play in the emergence, maintenance, and dispersal of antibiotic resistance genes. In particular, we lack an understanding of how resistance genes circulate within wild animal populations, including whether...
Thu, 12/13/2018 - 11:00
The purpose of this study was to investigate the synergistic bactericidal effect of 222-nm KrCl excilamp and 254-nm low-pressure (LP) Hg lamp simultaneous treatment against Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Typhimurium, and Listeria monocytogenes in tap water and to identify the synergistic bactericidal mechanism. Sterilized tap water inoculated with pathogens...
Thu, 12/13/2018 - 11:00
Lactobacillus species are widely used as probiotics and starter cultures for a variety of foods, supported by a long history of safe usage. Although more than 35 species meet the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) criteria for qualified presumption of safety status, the safety of Lactobacillus species and their carriage of antibiotic resistance (AR) genes is under continuing ad hoc review. To...
Thu, 12/13/2018 - 11:00
During nonventilated storage of carrots, CO2 gradually accumulates to high levels and causes modifications in the carrot's microbiome toward dominance of Lactobacillales and Enterobacteriales. The lactic acid bacterium Leuconostoc mesenteroides secretes a slimy exudate over the surface of the carrots. The objective of this study was to characterize the slime components and the potential cause for...
Fri, 11/30/2018 - 11:00
In nature and man-made environments, microorganisms reside in mixed-species biofilms, in which the growth and metabolism of an organism are different from these behaviors in single-species biofilms. Pathogenic microorganisms may be protected against adverse treatments in mixed-species biofilms, leading to health risk for humans. Here, we developed two mixed five-species biofilms that included one...
Fri, 11/30/2018 - 11:00
Soils in household environments in low- and middle-income countries may play an important role in the persistence, proliferation, and transmission of Escherichia coli. Our goal was to investigate the risk factors for detection, survival, and growth of E. coli in soils collected from household plots. E. coli was enumerated in soil and fecal samples from humans, chickens, and cattle from 52...
Fri, 11/30/2018 - 11:00
Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs), the most poisonous proteins known to humankind, are a family of seven (serotype A to G) immunologically distinct proteins synthesized primarily by different strains of the anaerobic bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Being the causative agents of botulism, the toxins block neurotransmitter release by specifically cleaving one of the three soluble N-ethylmaleimide-...
Fri, 11/30/2018 - 11:00
In this study, we sampled rhizosphere soils from seven different agricultural fields adjacent to mining areas and cultivated with different crops (corn, rice, or soybean), to study the interactions among the innate microbiota, soil chemical properties, plants, and metal contamination. The rhizosphere bacterial communities were characterized by Illumina sequencing of the 16S rRNA genes, and their...

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