Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Brazilian Journal of Microbiology]]> vol. 48 num. 1 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Draft genome sequence of alcohol-tolerant bacteria <em>Pediococcus acidilactici</em> strain K3]]> Abstract Pediococcus acidilactici strain K3 is an alcohol-tolerant lactic acid bacterium isolated from nuruk, which is a traditional Korean fermentation starter for makgeolli brewing. Draft genome of this strain was approximately 1,991,399 bp (G+C content, 42.1%) with 1525 protein-coding sequences (CDS), of which 44% were assigned to recognized functional genes. This draft genome sequence data of the strain K3 will provide insights into the genetic basis of its alcohol-tolerance. <![CDATA[Draft genome sequence of sulfur-reducing archaeon <em>Thermococcus thioreducens</em> DSM 14981<sup>T</sup>]]> Abstract Thermococcus thioreducens DSM 14981T, a sulfur-reducing archaeon, was isolated from the rainbow hydrothermal vent site on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Herein, we report the draft genome sequence of T. thioreducens DSM 14981T; we obtained 41 contigs with a genome size of 2,052,483 bp and G + C content of 53.5%. This genome sequence will not only help understand how the archaeon adapts to the deep-sea hydrothermal environment but also aid the development of enzymes that are highly stable under extreme conditions for industrial applications. <![CDATA[Genome sequence of <em>Prevotella intermedia</em> SUNY aB G8-9K-3, a biofilm forming strain with drug-resistance]]> Abstract Prevotella intermedia has long been known to be as the principal etiologic agent of periodontal diseases and associated with various systemic diseases. Previous studies showed that the intra-species difference exists in capacity of biofilm formation, antibiotic resistance, and serological reaction among P. intermedia strains. Here we report the genome sequence of P. intermedia SUNY aB G8-9K-3 (designated ATCC49046) that displays a relatively high antimicrobial resistant and biofilm-forming capacity. Genome sequencing information provides important clues in understanding the genetic bases of phenotypic differences among P. intermedia strains. <![CDATA[Draft genome sequence of pectic polysaccharide-degrading moderate thermophilic bacterium <em>Geobacillus thermodenitrificans</em> DSM 101594]]> Abstract Geobacillus thermodenitrificans DSM 101594 was isolated as a producer of extracellular thermostable pectic polysaccharide degrading enzymes. The completely sequenced genome was 3.6 Mb in length with GC content of 48.86%. A number of genes encoding enzymatic active against the high molecular weight polysaccharides of potential biotechnological importance were identified in the genome. <![CDATA[Genome sequence of <em>Bradyrhizobium embrapense</em> strain CNPSo 2833<sup>T</sup>, isolated from a root nodule of <em>Desmodium heterocarpon</em>]]> Abstract Bradyrhizobium embrapense CNPSo 2833T is a nitrogen-fixing symbiont of the legume pasture Desmodium. Its draft genome contains 8,267,832 bp and 7876 CDSs. The symbiotic island includes nodulation and nitrogen fixation genes resembling the operon organization of B. japonicum. Several CDSs related to secretion proteins and stress tolerance were also identified. <![CDATA[Draft genome of a South African strain of <em>Pectobacterium carotovorum</em> subsp. <em>brasiliense</em>]]> Abstract The draft genome of Pectobacterium carotovorum subsp. brasiliense (Pcb) which causes blackleg of potato was submitted to the NCBI and released with reference number NZ_LGRF00000000.1. The estimated genome size based on the draft genome assembly is 4,820,279 bp from 33 contigs ranging in length from 444 to 1,660,019 nucleotides. The genome annotation showed 4250 putative genes, 4114 CDS and 43 pseudo-genes. Three complete rRNA gene species were detected: nine 5S, one 16S and one 23S. Other partial rRNA gene fragments were also identified, nine 16S rRNA and three 23S rRNA. A total of 69 tRNA genes and one ncRNA gene were also annotated in this genome. <![CDATA[Collagenolytic enzymes produced by fungi: a systematic review]]> Abstract Specific proteases capable of degrading native triple helical or denatured collagen have been required for many years and have a large spectrum of applications. There are few complete reports that fully uncover production, characterization and purification of fungi collagenases. In this review, authors searched through four scientific on line data bases using the following keywords (collagenolytic OR collagenase) AND (fungi OR fungus OR fungal) AND (production OR synthesis OR synthesize) AND (characterization). Scientific criteria were adopted in this review to classify found articles by score (from 0 to 10). After exclusion criteria, 21 articles were selected. None obtained the maximum of 10 points defined by the methodology, which indicates a deficiency in studies dealing simultaneously with production, characterization and purification of collagenase by fungi. Among microorganisms studied the non-pathogenic fungi Penicillium aurantiogriseum and Rhizoctonia solani stood out in volumetric and specific collagenase activity. The only article found that made sequencing of a true collagenase showed 100% homology with several metalloproteinases fungi. A clear gap in literature about collagenase production by fungi was verified, which prevents further development in the area and increases the need for further studies, particularly full characterization of fungal collagenases with high specificity to collagen. <![CDATA[Degradation of textile dyes by cyanobacteria]]> Abstract Dyes are recalcitrant compounds that resist conventional biological treatments. The degradation of three textile dyes (Indigo, RBBR and Sulphur Black), and the dye-containing liquid effluent and solid waste from the Municipal Treatment Station, Americana, São Paulo, Brazil, by the cyanobacteria Anabaena flos-aquae UTCC64, Phormidium autumnale UTEX1580 and Synechococcus sp. PCC7942 was evaluated. The dye degradation efficiency of the cyanobacteria was compared with anaerobic and anaerobic-aerobic systems in terms of discolouration and toxicity evaluations. The discoloration was evaluated by absorption spectroscopy. Toxicity was measured using the organisms Hydra attenuata, the alga Selenastrum capricornutum and lettuce seeds. The three cyanobacteria showed the potential to remediate textile effluent by removing the colour and reducing the toxicity. However, the growth of cyanobacteria on sludge was slow and discoloration was not efficient. The cyanobacteria P. autumnale UTEX1580 was the only strain that completely degraded the indigo dye. An evaluation of the mutagenicity potential was performed by use of the micronucleus assay using Allium sp. No mutagenicity was observed after the treatment. Two metabolites were produced during the degradation, anthranilic acid and isatin, but toxicity did not increase after the treatment. The cyanobacteria showed the ability to degrade the dyes present in a textile effluent; therefore, they can be used in a tertiary treatment of effluents with recalcitrant compounds. <![CDATA[Potential for biocontrol of melanized fungi by actinobacteria isolated from intertidal region of Ilha Do Mel, Paraná, Brazil]]> Abstract Actinobacteria occur in many environments and have the capacity to produce secondary metabolites with antibiotic potential. Identification and taxonomy of actinobacteria that produce antimicrobial substances is essential for the screening of new compounds, and sequencing of the 16S region of ribosomal DNA (rDNA), which is conserved and present in all bacteria, is an important method of identification. Melanized fungi are free-living organisms, which can also be pathogens of clinical importance. This work aimed to evaluate growth inhibition of melanized fungi by actinobacteria and to identify the latter to the species level. In this study, antimicrobial activity of 13 actinobacterial isolates from the genus Streptomyces was evaluated against seven melanized fungi of the genera Exophiala, Cladosporium, and Rhinocladiella. In all tests, all actinobacterial isolates showed inhibitory activity against all isolates of melanized fungi, and only one actinobacterial isolate had less efficient inhibitory activity. The 16S rDNA region of five previously unidentified actinobacterial isolates from Ilha do Mel, Paraná, Brazil, was sequenced; four of the isolates were identified as Streptomyces globisporus subsp. globisporus, and one isolate was identified as Streptomyces aureus. This work highlights the potential of actinobacteria with antifungal activity and their role in the pursuit of novel antimicrobial substances. <![CDATA[Grazing of particle-associated bacteria-an elimination of the non-viable fraction]]> Abstract Quantification of bacteria being grazed by microzooplankton is gaining importance since they serve as energy subsidies for higher trophic levels which consequently influence fish production. Hence, grazing pressure on viable and non-viable fraction of free and particle-associated bacteria in a tropical estuary controlled mainly by protist grazers was estimated using the seawater dilution technique. In vitro incubations over a period of 42 h showed that at the end of 24 h, growth coefficient (k) of particle-associated bacteria was 9 times higher at 0.546 than that of free forms. Further, ‘k’ value of viable cells on particles was double that of free forms at 0.016 and 0.007, respectively. While bacteria associated with particles were grazed (coefficient of removal (g) = 0.564), the free forms were relatively less grazed indicating that particle-associated bacteria were exposed to grazers in these waters. Among the viable and non-viable forms, ‘g’ of non-viable fraction (particle-associated bacteria = 0.615, Free = 0.0086) was much greater than the viable fraction (particle-associated bacteria = 0.056, Free = 0.068). Thus, grazing on viable cells was relatively low in both the free and attached states. These observations suggest that non-viable forms of particle-associated bacteria were more prone to grazing and were weeded out leaving the viable cells to replenish the bacterial standing stock. Particle colonization could thus be a temporary refuge for the “persistent variants” where the viable fraction multiply and release their progeny. <![CDATA[Characterization of rhizobia isolates obtained from nodules of wild genotypes of common bean]]> Abstract This study aimed to evaluate the tolerance to salinity and temperature, the genetic diversity and the symbiotic efficiency of rhizobia isolates obtained from wild genotypes of common bean cultivated in soil samples from the States of Goiás, Minas Gerais and Paraná. The isolates were subjected to different NaCl concentrations (0%, 1%, 2%, 4% and 6%) at different temperatures (28 °C, 33 °C, 38 °C, 43 °C and 48 °C). Genotypic characterization was performed based on BOX-PCR, REP-PCR markers and 16S rRNA sequencing. An evaluation of symbiotic efficiency was carried out under greenhouse conditions in autoclaved Leonard jars. Among 98 isolates about 45% of them and Rhizobium freirei PRF81 showed a high tolerance to temperature, while 24 isolates and Rhizobium tropici CIAT899 were able to use all of the carbon sources studied. Clustering analysis based on the ability to use carbon sources and on the tolerance to salinity and temperature grouped 49 isolates, R. tropici CIAT899 and R. tropici H12 with a similarity level of 76%. Based on genotypic characterization, 65% of the isolates showed an approximately 66% similarity with R. tropici CIAT899 and R. tropici H12. About 20% of the isolates showed symbiotic efficiency similar to or better than the best Rhizobium reference strain (R. tropici CIAT899). Phylogenetic analysis of the 16S rRNA revealed that two efficient isolates (ALSG5A1 and JPrG6A8) belong to the group of strains used as commercial inoculant for common bean in Brazil and must be assayed in field experiments. <![CDATA[Diversity of retrievable heterotrophic bacteria in Kongsfjorden, an Arctic fjord]]> Abstract The diversity and abundance of retrievable pelagic heterotrophic bacteria in Kongsfjorden, an Arctic fjord, was studied during the summer of 2011 (June, August, and September). Retrievable bacterial load ranged from 103 to 107 CFU L−1 in June, while it was 104-106 CFU L−1 in August and September. Based on 16S rRNA gene sequence similarities, a higher number of phylotypes was observed during August (22 phylotypes) compared to that during June (6 phylotypes) and September (12 phylotypes). The groups were classified into four phyla: Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, Proteobacteria, and Bacteroidetes. Bacteroidetes was represented only by a single member Leewenhoekiella aequorea during the three months and was dominant (40%) in June. However, this dominance changed in August to a well-known phytopathogenic species Rhodococcus fascians (32%), which could be a result of decrease in the phytoplankton biomass following the secondary bloom. It is the first report of Halomonas titanicae isolation from the Arctic waters. It showed an increase in its abundance with the intrusion of Atlantic water into Kongsfjorden. Increased abundance of Psychrobacter species in the late summer months coincided with the presence of cooler waters. Thus, the composition and function of heterotrophic bacterial community was fundamentally different in different months. This could be linked to the changes in the water masses and/or phytoplankton bloom dynamics occurring in Arctic summer. <![CDATA[Bacterial selection for biological control of plant disease: criterion determination and validation]]> Abstract This study aimed to evaluate the biocontrol potential of bacteria isolated from different plant species and soils. The production of compounds related to phytopathogen biocontrol and/or promotion of plant growth in bacterial isolates was evaluated by measuring the production of antimicrobial compounds (ammonia and antibiosis) and hydrolytic enzymes (amylases, lipases, proteases, and chitinases) and phosphate solubilization. Of the 1219 bacterial isolates, 92% produced one or more of the eight compounds evaluated, but only 1% of the isolates produced all the compounds. Proteolytic activity was most frequently observed among the bacterial isolates. Among the compounds which often determine the success of biocontrol, 43% produced compounds which inhibit mycelial growth of Monilinia fructicola, but only 11% hydrolyzed chitin. Bacteria from different plant species (rhizosphere or phylloplane) exhibited differences in the ability to produce the compounds evaluated. Most bacterial isolates with biocontrol potential were isolated from rhizospheric soil. The most efficient bacteria (producing at least five compounds related to phytopathogen biocontrol and/or plant growth), 86 in total, were evaluated for their biocontrol potential by observing their ability to kill juvenile Mesocriconema xenoplax. Thus, we clearly observed that bacteria that produced more compounds related to phytopathogen biocontrol and/or plant growth had a higher efficacy for nematode biocontrol, which validated the selection strategy used. <![CDATA[The effect of heavy metal contamination on the bacterial community structure at Jiaozhou Bay, China]]> Abstract In this study, determination of heavy metal parameters and microbiological characterization of marine sediments obtained from two heavily polluted sites and one low-grade contaminated reference station at Jiaozhou Bay in China were carried out. The microbial communities found in the sampled marine sediments were studied using PCR-DGGE (denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis) fingerprinting profiles in combination with multivariate analysis. Clustering analysis of DGGE and matrix of heavy metals displayed similar occurrence patterns. On this basis, 17 samples were classified into two clusters depending on the presence or absence of the high level contamination. Moreover, the cluster of highly contaminated samples was further classified into two sub-groups based on the stations of their origin. These results showed that the composition of the bacterial community is strongly influenced by heavy metal variables present in the sediments found in the Jiaozhou Bay. This study also suggested that metagenomic techniques such as PCR-DGGE fingerprinting in combination with multivariate analysis is an efficient method to examine the effect of metal contamination on the bacterial community structure. <![CDATA[Coprophilous Mucorales (ex Zygomycota) from three areas in the semi-arid of Pernambuco, Brazil]]> Abstract Mucorales comprises fungi commonly isolated as saprobes from soil, dung, stored grains and plants. Although these fungi have been studied in several countries, there are relatively a few reports of them in semi-arid areas. Therefore, the aims of the present study were to assess and compare the Mucorales communities in dung from different species and breeds of herbivores in the semi-arid of Pernambuco, based on the frequency of occurrence and species richness of these fungi. Samples of dung collected in the cities of Arcoverde, Serra Talhada and Sertânia were incubated in moist chambers in triplicate. Altogether, 24 taxa of Mucorales distributed in the genera Absidia, Circinella, Cunninghamella, Lichtheimia, Mucor, Pilobolus, Rhizopus and Syncephalastrum were identified. The highest species richness was found in sheep excrement. Mucor circinelloides f. griseo-cyanus was the most common taxon, followed by M. ramosissimus. The similarity of the composition of Mucorales species was greatest between the excrements of Guzerá and Sindi breeds (bovine). All mucoralean species isolated are being cited for the first time from animal dung found in Caatinga and a new species of Mucor was recorded. An identification key for species of Mucorales from dung in the semi-arid region of Brazil is provided. <![CDATA[Production of native arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi inoculum under different environmental conditions]]> Abstract In order to obtain an arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) native inoculum from Sierra de Moa and determine the most appropriate conditions for its big scale production, four light and temperature combinations were tested in three plant species (Calophyllum antillanum, Talipariti elatum and Paspalum notatum). Growth and development parameters, as well as the mycorrhizal functioning of the seedlings were evaluated. The natural light treatment under high temperatures (L-H) was the most suitable for the growth and development of the three plant species, showing the highest total biomass values, mainly of root, and a positive root-shoot ratio balance. This treatment also promoted higher values of root mycorrhizal colonization, external mycelium and AMF spore density. A total of 38 AMF species were identified among the plants and environmental conditions tested. Archaeospora sp.1, Glomus sp.5, Glomus brohultii and G. glomerulatum were observed in all the treatments. The L-H condition can be recommended for native inoculum production, as it promotes a better expression of the AM symbiosis and an elevated production of mycorrhizal propagules. <![CDATA[Nitrogen-fixing bacteria and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in <em>Piptadenia gonoacantha</em> (Mart.) Macbr.]]> Abstract The family Leguminosae comprises approximately 20,000 species that mostly form symbioses with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and nitrogen-fixing bacteria (NFB). This study is aimed at investigating and confirming the dependence on nodulation and biological nitrogen fixation in the specie Piptadenia gonoacantha (Mart.) Macbr., which belongs to the Piptadenia group. Two consecutive experiments were performed in a greenhouse. The experiments were fully randomized with six replicates and a factorial scheme. For the treatments, the two AMF species and three NFB strains were combined to nodulate P. gonoacantha in addition to the control treatments. The results indicate this species’ capacity for nodulation without the AMF; however, the AMF + NFB combinations yielded a considerable gain in P. gonoacantha shoot weight compared with the treatments that only included inoculating with bacteria or AMF. The results also confirm that the treatment effects among the AMF + NFB combinations produced different shoot dry weight/root dry weight ratios. We conclude that AMF is not necessary for nodulation and that this dependence improves species development because plant growth increases upon co-inoculation. <![CDATA[Selection, isolation, and identification of fungi for bioherbicide production]]> Abstract Production of a bioherbicide for biological control of weeds requires a series of steps, from selection of a suitable microbial strain to final formulation. Thus, this study aimed to select fungi for production of secondary metabolites with herbicidal activity using biological resources of the Brazilian Pampa biome. Phytopathogenic fungi were isolated from infected tissues of weeds in the Pampa biome. A liquid synthetic culture medium was used for production of metabolites. The phytotoxicity of fungal metabolites was assessed via biological tests using the plant Cucumis sativus L., and the most promising strain was identified by molecular analysis. Thirty-nine fungi were isolated, and 28 presented some phytotoxic symptoms against the target plant. Fungus VP51 belonging to the genus Diaporthe showed the most pronounced herbicidal activity. The Brazilian Pampa biome is a potential resource for the development of new and sustainable chemical compounds for modern agriculture. <![CDATA[Infection by <em>Mycobacterium bovis</em> in a dog from Brazil]]> Abstract Tuberculosis (TB) is a chronic disease caused by bacteria belonging to the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MtbC). This disease rarely affects dogs. Canine infections are usually caused by M. tuberculosis. Mycobacterium bovis infections are rare in dogs and associated with consumption of raw milk or contaminated products. Here, we report a Boxer dog who had a M. bovis infection and was admitted to a Brazilian veterinary hospital with a presumptive diagnosis of chronic ehrlichiosis. Despite receiving treatment for chronic ehrlichiosis, it progressed to death. TB was diagnosed during post-mortem examinations using histopathological analysis. Ziehl-Neelsen staining revealed acid-fast bacilli in the kidneys, liver, mesentery, and a mass adhered to the liver. Further, PCR-restriction analysis was performed to identify mycobacteria in the samples. A restriction profile compatible with MtbC was found in the lungs. In addition, PCR-based MtbC typing deletions at different loci of chromosome 9 enabled the identification of M. bovis in the lungs. Therefore, it is very essential to perform differential diagnosis of TB in dogs with non-specific clinical signs and who do not respond to treatment, particularly those who had been in contact with TB-infected cattle or owners. Further, we highlight the use of molecular methods for the identification of bacilli, improving the diagnosis and aiding epidemiological studies. <![CDATA[Detection of <em>Mycobacterium avium</em> subsp. <em>paratuberculosis</em> in bovine milk from the state of Pernambuco, Brazil]]> Abstract The aim of this study was to detect the IS900 region of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) in bovine milk samples using real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and conventional PCR, and to study the agreement between these tests. A total of 121 bovine milk samples were collected from herds considered positive for MAP, from the State of Pernambuco, Brazil. MAP DNA was detected in 20 samples (16.5%) using conventional PCR and in 34 samples (28.1%) using qPCR. MAP DNA was detected in all of the 6 animal farms studied. Moderate agreement was found between qPCR and conventional PCR results, where the sensitivity and specificity of conventional PCR in relation to qPCR were 50% and 96.6%, respectively. Thus, the IS900 region of MAP was found in bovine milk samples from the State of Pernambuco. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of MAP DNA found in bovine milk in Northeast Brazil. We also demonstrated the qPCR technique is more sensitive than conventional PCR with respect to detection of MAP in milk samples. <![CDATA[Biofilm production and beta-lactamic resistance in Brazilian <em>Staphylococcus aureus</em> isolates from bovine mastitis]]> Abstract Staphylococcus spp. play an important role in the etiology of bovine mastitis. Staphylococcus aureus is considered the most relevant species due to the production of virulence factors such as slime, which is required for biofilm formation. This study aimed to evaluate biofilm production and its possible relation to beta-lactamic resistance in 20 S. aureus isolates from bovine mastitic milk. The isolates were characterized by pheno-genotypic and MALDI TOF-MS assays and tested for genes such as icaA, icaD, bap, agr RNAIII, agr I, agr II, agr III, and agr IV, which are related to slime production and its regulation. Biofilm production in microplates was evaluated considering the intervals determined along the bacterial growth curve. In addition, to determine the most suitable time interval for biofilm analysis, scanning electron microscopy was performed. Furthermore, genes such as mecA and blaZ that are related to beta-lactamic resistance and oxacillin susceptibility were tested. All the studied isolates were biofilm producers and mostly presented icaA and icaD. The Agr type II genes were significantly prevalent. According to the SEM, gradual changes in the bacterial arrangement were observed during biofilm formation along the growth curve phases, and the peak was reached at the stationary phase. In this study, the penicillin resistance was related to the production of beta-lactamase, and the high minimal bactericidal concentration for cefoxitin was possibly associated with biofilm protection. Therefore, further studies are warranted to better understand biofilm formation, possibly contributing to our knowledge about bacterial resistance in vivo. <![CDATA[Goat umbilical cord cells are permissive to small ruminant lentivirus infection <em>in vitro</em>]]> Abstract Small ruminant lentiviruses isolated from peripheral blood leukocytes and target organs can be propagated in vitro in fibroblasts derived from goat synovial membrane cells. These cells are obtained from tissues collected from embryos or fetuses and are necessary for the establishment of the fibroblast primary culture. A new alternative type of host cells, derived from goat umbilical cord, was isolated and characterized phenotypically with its main purpose being to obtain cell monolayers that could be used for the diagnosis and isolation of small ruminant lentiviruses in cell culture. To accomplish this goal, cells were isolated from umbilical cords; characterized phenotypically by flow cytometry analysis; differentiate into osteogenic, chondrogenic and adipogenic lineage; and submitted to viral challenge. The proliferation of goat umbilical cord cells was fast and cell monolayers formed after 15 days. These cells exhibited morphology, immunophenotype, growth characteristics, and lineage differentiation potential similar to mesenchymal stem cells of other origins. The goat umbilical cord derived cells stained positive for vimentin and CD90, but negative for cytokeratin, CD34 and CD105 markers. Syncytia and cell lysis were observed in cell monolayers infected by CAEV-Cork and MVV-K1514, showing that the cells are permissive to small ruminant lentivirus infection in vitro. These data demonstrate the proliferative competence of cells derived from goat umbilical cords and provide a sound basis for future research to standardize this cell lineage. <![CDATA[The Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization-Time of Flight Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) identification <em>versus</em> biochemical tests: a study with enterobacteria from a dairy cattle environment]]> Abstract Mastitis adversely affects milk production and in general cows do not regain their full production levels post recovery, leading to considerable economic losses. Moreover the percentage decrease in milk production depends on the specific pathogen that caused the infection and enterobacteria are responsible for this greater reduction. Phenotypic tests are among the currently available methods used worldwide to identify enterobacteria; however they tend to misdiagnose the species despite the multiple tests carried out. On the other hand The Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization-Time of Flight Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) technique has been attracting attention for its precise identification of several microorganisms at species level. In the current study, 183 enterobacteria were detected in milk (n = 47) and fecal samples (n = 94) from cows, and samples from water (n = 23) and milk lines (n = 19). All these samples were collected from a farm in Rio de Janeiro with the specific purpose of presenting the MALDI-TOF MS technique as an efficient methodology to identify Enterobacteriaceae from bovine environments. The MALDI-TOF MS technique results matched the biochemical test results in 92.9% (170/183) of the enterobacteria species and the gyrB sequencing confirmed 100% of the proteomic technique results. The amino acid decarboxylation test made the most misidentifications and Enterobacter spp. was the most misidentified genus (76.9%, 10/13). These results aim to clarify the current biochemical errors in enterobacteria identification, considering isolates from a bovine environment, and show the importance for more careful readings of phenotypic tests which are often used in veterinary microbiology laboratories. <![CDATA[Comparative study of <em>Mycobacterium bovis</em> primary isolation methods]]> Abstract For the definitive diagnosis of bovine tuberculosis, isolation of the etiologic agent is required. However, there is no consensus on the best methodology for isolation of Mycobacterium bovis in Brazil. This study evaluated the most used decontaminants and culture media in the country, in order to identify the best combination for the Brazilian samples. Three decontaminants - 2% sodium hydroxide (w/v), 0.75% hexadecylpiridinium chloride (w/v) and 5% sulphuric acid (v/v) and four culture media - 7H11 Middlebrook with additives and OADC supplement “A” (7H11 A), the same media with another supplement trademark (7H11 B), tuberculosis blood agar (B83) and Stonebrink's medium were compared. Regarding the isolation, there were no significant differences between the decontaminants and media combinations, except 7H11A combined to any decontaminant. However, the mean colonies score was significantly greater when the samples were decontaminated with 5% sulphuric acid and inoculated in 7H11 B or SB, without significant difference between them, although colonies appeared earlier on 7H11B than on SB. The trademark of OADC supplement influenced the isolation rate and the number of isolated colonies in Middlebrook 7H11. An incubation time of four weeks was required to detect all positive samples in 7H11 B after decontamination with 5% sulphuric acid but there was an increase in the number of colonies until the sixth week of incubation. Overall, the best strategy for the primary isolation of M. bovis from Brazilian samples was the decontamination with 5% sulphuric acid (final concentration) and inoculation in Middlebrook 7H11 medium formulated with OADC supplement “B”. <![CDATA[Prevalence of <em>Candida</em> spp. in cervical-vaginal samples and the <em>in vitro</em> susceptibility of isolates]]> Abstract Vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) is an infection of the genital mucosa caused by different species of the genus Candida. Considering the lack of data on this topic in the south of Brazil, this study aimed to assess the prevalence of Candida spp. in the cervical-vaginal mucosa of patients treated at a university hospital in southern Rio Grande do Sul, as well as the etiology and the susceptibility of the isolates against fluconazole, itraconazole, miconazole and nystatin. Samples were collected at the gynecology clinic of the Federal Hospital of the University of Rio Grande, and the isolates were identified using phenotypic and biochemical tests. The susceptibility analysis was performed according to the CLSI M27-A2 protocol. Of the 263 patients included, Candida spp. was isolated in 27%, corresponding to a prevalence of approximately 15% for both VVC and colonization. More than 60% of the isolates were identified as Candida albicans; C. non-albicans was isolated at a rate of 8.6% in symptomatic patients and 14.3% in asymptomatic patients. The prevalence of resistance against fluconazole and itraconazole was 42% and 48%, respectively; the minimal inhibitory concentration of miconazole ranged from 0.031 to 8 µg/mL, and that of nystatin ranged from 2 to &gt;16 µg/mL. The high rate of resistance to triazoles observed in our study suggests the necessity of the association of laboratory exams to clinical diagnosis to minimize the practice of empirical treatments that can contribute to the development of resistance in the isolates. <![CDATA[Use of green fluorescent protein labeled non-tuberculous mycobacteria to evaluate the activity quaternary ammonium compound disinfectants and antibiotics]]> Abstract Although infections with NonTuberculous Mycobacteria have become less common in AIDS patients, they are important opportunistic infections after surgical procedures, likely because they are ubiquitous and not efficiently killed by many commonly used disinfectants. In Venezuela there have recently been many non-tuberculous mycobacteria soft tissue infections after minor surgical procedures, some apparently related to the use of a commercial disinfectant based on a Quaternary Ammonium Compound. We studied the activity of this and other quaternary ammonium compounds on different non-tuberculous mycobacteria by transforming the mycobacteria with a dnaA-gfp fusion and then monitoring fluorescence to gauge the capacity of different quaternary ammonium compounds to inhibit bacterial growth. The minimum inhibitory concentration varied for the different quaternary ammonium compounds, but M. chelonae and M. abscessus were consistently more resistant than M. smegmatis, and M. terrae more resistant than M. bovis BCG. <![CDATA[Correlation of phenotypic tests with the presence of the <em>bla</em>Z gene for detection of beta-lactamase]]> Abstract Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus saprophyticus are the most common and most important staphylococcal species associated with urinary tract infections. The objective of the present study was to compare and to evaluate the accuracy of four phenotypic methods for the detection of beta-lactamase production in Staphylococcus spp. Seventy-three strains produced a halo with a diameter ≤28 mm (penicillin resistant) and all of them were positive for the blaZ gene. Among the 28 susceptible strain (halo ≥29 mm), 23 carried the blaZ gene and five did not. The zone edge test was the most sensitive (90.3%), followed by MIC determination (85.5%), but the specificity of the former was low (40.0%). The nitrocefin test was the least sensitive (28.9%). However, the nitrocefin test together with the disk diffusion method showed the highest specificity (100%). The present results demonstrated that the zone edge test was the most sensitive phenotypic test for detection of beta-lactamase, although it is still not an ideal test to detect this type of resistance since its specificity was low. However, the inhibition halo diameter of the penicillin disk can be used together with the zone edge test since the same disk is employed in the two tests. Combined analysis of the two tests shows a sensitivity of 90.3% and specificity of 100%, proving better sensitivity, especially for S. saprophyticus. This is a low-cost test of easy application and interpretation that can be used in small and medium-sized laboratories where susceptibility testing is usually performed by the disk diffusion method. <![CDATA[Brazilian borreliosis with special emphasis on humans and horses]]> Abstract Borreliosis caused by Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato is a cosmopolitan zoonosis studied worldwide; it is called Lyme disease in many countries of the Northern Hemisphere and Lyme-like or Baggio-Yoshinari Syndrome in Brazil. However, despite the increasing number of suspect cases, this disease is still neglected in Brazil by the medical and veterinary communities. Brazilian Lyme-like borreliosis likely involves capybaras as reservoirs and Amblyomma and Rhipicephalus ticks as vectors. Thus, domestic animals can serve as key carriers in pathogen dissemination. This zoonosis has been little studied in horses in Brazil. The first survey was performed in the state of Rio de Janeiro, and this Brazilian Borreliosis exhibits many differences from the disease widely described in the Northern Hemisphere. The etiological agent shows different morphological and genetic characteristics, the disease has a higher recurrence rate after treatment with antibiotics, and the pathogen stimulates intense symptoms such as a broader immune response in humans. Additionally, the Brazilian zoonosis is not transmitted by the Ixodes ricinus complex. With respect to clinical manifestations, Baggio-Yoshinari Syndrome has been reported to cause neurological, cardiac, ophthalmic, muscle, and joint alterations in humans. These symptoms can possibly occur in horses. Here, we present a current panel of studies involving the disease in humans and equines, particularly in Brazil. <![CDATA[Characterization of <em>Vibrio cholerae</em> isolates from 1976 to 2013 in Shandong Province, China]]> Abstract Cholera continues to be a serious public health issue in developing countries. We analyzed the epidemiological data of cholera from 1976 to 2013 in Shandong Province, an eastern coastal area of China. A total of 250 Vibrio cholerae isolates were selected for PCR analysis of virulence genes and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). The analysis of the virulence genes showed that the positive rates for tcpA and tcpI were the highest among strains from the southwest region, which had the highest incidence rate of cholera. Low positive rates for tcpA, tcpI and ctxAB among isolates from after 2000 may be an influencing factor contributing to the contemporary decline in cholera incidence rates. Spatiotemporal serotype shifts (Ogawa, Inaba, Ogawa, Inaba and O139) generally correlated with the variations in the PFGE patterns (PIV, PIIIc, PIa, PIIIb, PIIIa, PIb, and PII). O1 strains from different years or regions also had similar PFGE patterns, while O139 strains exclusively formed one cluster and differed from all other O1 strains. These data indicate that V. cholerae isolates in Shandong Province have continually undergone spatiotemporal changes. The serotype switching between Ogawa and Inaba originated from indigenous strains, while the emergence of serogroup O139 appeared to be unrelated to endemic V. cholerae O1 strains. <![CDATA[Efficient production of pullulan by <em>Aureobasidium pullulans</em> grown on mixtures of potato starch hydrolysate and sucrose]]> Abstract Pullulan is a natural exopolysaccharide with many useful characteristics. However, pullulan is more costly than other exopolysaccharides, which limits its effective application. The purpose of this study was to adopt a novel mixed-sugar strategy for maximizing pullulan production, mainly using potato starch hydrolysate as a low-cost substrate for liquid-state fermentation by Aureobasidium pullulans. Based on fermentation kinetics evaluation of pullulan production by A. pullulans 201253, the pullulan production rate of A. pullulans with mixtures of potato starch hydrolysate and sucrose (potato starch hydrolysate:sucrose = 80:20) was 0.212 h−1, which was significantly higher than those of potato starch hydrolysate alone (0.146 h−1) and mixtures of potato starch hydrolysate, glucose, and fructose (potato starch hydrolysate:glucose:fructose = 80:10:10, 0.166 h−1) with 100 g L−1 total carbon source. The results suggest that mixtures of potato starch hydrolysate and sucrose could promote pullulan synthesis and possibly that a small amount of sucrose stimulated the enzyme responsible for pullulan synthesis and promoted effective potato starch hydrolysate conversion effectively. Thus, mixed sugars in potato starch hydrolysate and sucrose fermentation might be a promising alternative for the economical production of pullulan.