Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Brazilian Journal of Microbiology]]> vol. 49 num. 3 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Variations in culturable bacterial communities and biochemical properties in the foreland of the retreating Tianshan No. 1 glacier]]> Abstract As a glacier retreats, barren areas are exposed, and these barren areas are ideal sites to study microbial succession. In this study, we characterized the soil culturable bacterial communities and biochemical parameters of early successional soils from a receding glacier in the Tianshan Mountains. The total number of culturable bacteria ranged from 2.19 × 105 to 1.30 × 106 CFU g-1 dw and from 9.33 × 105 to 2.53 × 106 CFU g-1 dw at 4 °C and 25 °C, respectively. The number of culturable bacteria in the soil increased at 25 °C but decreased at 4 °C along the chronosequence. The total organic carbon, total nitrogen content, and enzymatic activity were relatively low in the glacier foreland. The number of culturable bacteria isolated at 25 °C was significantly positively correlated with the TOC and TN as well as the soil urease, protease, polyphenoloxidase, sucrase, catalase, and dehydrogenase activities. We obtained 358 isolates from the glacier foreland soils that clustered into 35 groups using amplified ribosomal DNA restriction analysis. These groups are affiliated with 20 genera that belong to six taxa, namely, Alphaproteobacteria, Betaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroides, and Deinococcus-Thermus, with a predominance of members of Actinobacteria and Proteobacteria in all of the samples. A redundancy analysis showed that the bacterial succession was divided into three periods, an early stage (10a), a middle stage (25-74a), and a late stage (100-130a), with the total number of culturable bacteria mainly being affected by the soil enzymatic activity, suggesting that the microbial succession correlated with the soil age along the foreland. <![CDATA[Exopolysaccharide production from <em>Bacillus velezensis</em> KY471306 using statistical experimental design]]> Abstract Exopolysaccharide (EPS) biopolymers produced by microorganisms play a crucial role in the environment such as health and bio-nanotechnology sectors, gelling agents in food and cosmetic industries in addition to bio-flocculants in the environmental sector as they are degradable, nontoxic. This study focuses on the improvement of EPS production through manipulation of different culture and environmental conditions using response surface methodology (RSM). Plackett-Burman design indicated that; molasses, yeast extract and incubation temperature are the most effective parameters. Box-Behnken RSM indicated that; the optimum concentration for each parameter was 12% (w/v) for molasses, 6 g/L yeast extract and 30 °C for incubation temperature. The most potent bacterial isolate was identified as Bacillus velezensis KY498625. After production, EPS was extracted, purified using DEAE-cellulose, identified using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), gel permeation chromatography (GPC) and gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy (GC-MS). The result indicated that; it has molecular weight 1.14 × 105 D consisting of glucose, mannose and galactose. <![CDATA[<em>Trichoderma harzianum</em> MTCC 5179 impacts the population and functional dynamics of microbial community in the rhizosphere of black pepper (<em>Piper nigrum</em> L.)]]> Abstract Employing Illumina Hiseq whole genome metagenome sequencing approach, we studied the impact of Trichoderma harzianum on altering the microbial community and its functional dynamics in the rhizhosphere soil of black pepper (Piper nigrum L.). The metagenomic datasets from the rhizosphere with (treatment) and without (control) T. harzianum inoculation were annotated using dual approach, i.e., stand alone and MG-RAST. The probiotic application of T. harzianum in the rhizhosphere soil of black pepper impacted the population dynamics of rhizosphere bacteria, archae, eukaryote as reflected through the selective recruitment of bacteria [Acidobacteriaceae bacterium (p = 1.24e-12), Candidatus koribacter versatilis (p = 2.66e-10)] and fungi [(Fusarium oxysporum (p = 0.013), Talaromyces stipitatus (p = 0.219) and Pestalotiopsis fici (p = 0.443)] in terms of abundance in population and bacterial chemotaxis (p = 0.012), iron metabolism (p = 2.97e-5) with the reduction in abundance for pathogenicity islands (p = 7.30e-3), phages and prophages (p = 7.30e-3) with regard to functional abundance. Interestingly, it was found that the enriched functional metagenomic signatures on phytoremediation such as benzoate transport and degradation (p = 2.34e-4), and degradation of heterocyclic aromatic compounds (p = 3.59e-13) in the treatment influenced the rhizosphere micro ecosystem favoring growth and health of pepper plant. The population dynamics and functional richness of rhizosphere ecosystem in black pepper influenced by the treatment with T. harzianum provides the ecological importance of T. harzianum in the cultivation of black pepper. <![CDATA[Study of pandrug and heavy metal resistance among <em>E. coli</em> from anthropogenically influenced Delhi stretch of river Yamuna]]> Abstract Escalating burden of antibiotic resistance that has reached new heights present a grave concern to mankind. As the problem is no longer confined to clinics, we hereby report identification of a pandrug resistant Escherichia coli isolate from heavily polluted Delhi stretch of river Yamuna, India. E. coli MRC11 was found sensitive only to tobramycin against 21 antibiotics tested, with minimum inhibitory concentration values &gt;256 µg/mL for amoxicillin, carbenicillin, aztreonam, ceftazidime and cefotaxime. Addition of certain heavy metals at higher concentrations were ineffective in increasing susceptibility of E. coli MRC11 to antibiotics. Withstanding sub-optimal concentration of cefotaxime (10 µg/mL) and mercuric chloride (2 µg/mL), and also resistance to their combinatorial use, indicates better adaptability in heavily polluted environment through clustering and expression of resistance genes. Interestingly, E. coli MRC11 harbours two different variants of blaTEM (blaTEM-116 and blaTEM-1 with and without extended-spectrum activity, respectively), in addition to mer operon (merB, merP and merT) genes. Studies employing conjugation, confirmed localization of blaTEM-116, merP and merT genes on the conjugative plasmid. Understanding potentialities of such isolates will help in determining risk factors attributing pandrug resistance and strengthening strategic development of new and effective antimicrobial agents. <![CDATA[Rubber gloves biodegradation by a consortium, mixed culture and pure culture isolated from soil samples]]> Abstract An increasing production of natural rubber (NR) products has led to major challenges in waste management. In this study, the degradation of rubber latex gloves in a mineral salt medium (MSM) using a bacterial consortium, a mixed culture of the selected bacteria and a pure culture were studied. The highest 18% weight loss of the rubber gloves were detected after incubated with the mixed culture. The increased viable cell counts over incubation time indicated that cells used rubber gloves as sole carbon source leading to the degradation of the polymer. The growth behavior of NR-degrading bacteria on the latex gloves surface was investigated using the scanning electron microscope (SEM). The occurrence of the aldehyde groups in the degradation products was observed by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy analysis. Rhodococcus pyridinivorans strain F5 gave the highest weight loss of rubber gloves among the isolated strain and posses latex clearing protein encoded by lcp gene. The mixed culture of the selected strains showed the potential in degrading rubber within 30 days and is considered to be used efficiently for rubber product degradation. This is the first report to demonstrate a strong ability to degrade rubber by Rhodococcus pyridinivorans. <![CDATA[Bacterial communities in mining soils and surrounding areas under regeneration process in a former ore mine]]> Abstract Human activities on the Earth's surface change the landscape of natural ecosystems. Mining practices are one of the most severe human activities, drastically altering the chemical, physical and biological properties of the soil environment. Bacterial communities in soil play an important role in the maintenance of ecological relationships. This work shows bacterial diversity, metabolic repertoire and physiological behavior in five ecosystems samples with different levels of impact. These ecosystems belong to a historical area in Iron Quadrangle, Minas Gerais, Brazil, which suffered mining activities until its total depletion without recovery since today. The results revealed Proteobacteria as the most predominant phylum followed by Acidobacteria, Verrucomicrobia, Planctomycetes, and Bacteroidetes. Soils that have not undergone anthropological actions exhibit an increase ability to degrade carbon sources. The richest soil with the high diversity was found in ecosystems that have suffered anthropogenic action. Our study shows profile of diversity inferring metabolic profile, which may elucidate the mechanisms underlying changes in community structure in situ mining sites in Brazil. Our data comes from contributing to know the bacterial diversity, relationship between these bacteria and can explore strategies for natural bioremediation in mining areas or adjacent areas under regeneration process in iron mining areas. <![CDATA[Phenotypic, genetic and symbiotic characterization of <em>Erythrina velutina</em> rhizobia from Caatinga dry forest]]> Abstract Erythrina velutina ("mulungu") is a legume tree from Caatinga that associates with rhizobia but the diversity and symbiotic ability of "mulungu" rhizobia are poorly understood. The aim of this study was to characterize "mulungu" rhizobia from Caatinga. Bacteria were obteined from Serra Talhada and Caruaru in Caatinga under natural regeneration. The bacteria were evaluated to the amplification of nifH and nodC and to metabolic characteristics. Ten selected bacteria identified by 16S rRNA sequences. They were tested in vitro to NaCl and temperature tolerance, auxin production and calcium phosphate solubilization. The symbiotic ability were assessed in an greenhouse experiment. A total of 32 bacteria were obtained and 17 amplified both symbiotic genes. The bacteria showed a high variable metabolic profile. Bradyrhizobium (6), Rhizobium (3) and Paraburkholderia (1) were identified, differing from their geographic origin. The isolates grew up to 45 °C to 0.51 mol L-1 of NaCl. Bacteria which produced more auxin in the medium with l-tryptophan and two Rhizobium and one Bradyrhizobium were phosphate solubilizers. All bacteria nodulated and ESA 90 (Rhizobium sp.) plus ESA 96 (Paraburkholderia sp.) were more efficient symbiotically. Diverse and efficient rhizobia inhabit the soils of Caatinga dry forests, with the bacterial differentiation by the sampling sites. <![CDATA[Antioxidant response of cowpea co-inoculated with plant growth-promoting bacteria under salt stress]]> Abstract Soil salinity is an important abiotic stress worldwide, and salt-induced oxidative stress can have detrimental effects on the biological nitrogen fixation. We hypothesized that co-inoculation of cowpea plants with Bradyrhizobium and plant growth-promoting bacteria would minimize the deleterious effects of salt stress via the induction of enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidative protection. To test our hypothesis, cowpea seeds were inoculated with Bradyrhizobium or co-inoculated with Bradyrhizobium and plant growth-promoting bacteria and then submitted to salt stress. Afterward, the cowpea nodules were collected, and the levels of hydrogen peroxide; lipid peroxidation; total, reduced and oxidized forms of ascorbate and glutathione; and superoxide dismutase, catalase and phenol peroxidase activities were evaluated. The sodium and potassium ion concentrations were measured in shoot samples. Cowpea plants did not present significant differences in sodium and potassium levels when grown under non-saline conditions, but sodium content was strongly increased under salt stress conditions. Under non-saline and salt stress conditions, plants co-inoculated with Bradyrhizobium and Actinomadura or co-inoculated with Bradyrhizobium and Paenibacillus graminis showed lower hydrogen peroxide content in their nodules, whereas lipid peroxidation was increased by 31% in plants that were subjected to salt stress. Furthermore, cowpea nodules co-inoculated with Bradyrhizobium and plant growth-promoting bacteria and exposed to salt stress displayed significant alterations in the total, reduced and oxidized forms of ascorbate and glutathione. Inoculation with Bradyrhizobium and plant growth-promoting bacteria induced increased superoxide dismutase, catalase and phenol peroxidase activities in the nodules of cowpea plants exposed to salt stress. The catalase activity in plants co-inoculated with Bradyrhizobium and Streptomyces was 55% greater than in plants inoculated with Bradyrhizobium alone, and this value was remarkably greater than that in the other treatments. These results reinforce the beneficial effects of plant growth-promoting bacteria on the antioxidant system that detoxifies reactive oxygen species. We concluded that the combination of Bradyrhizobium and plant growth-promoting bacteria induces positive responses for coping with salt-induced oxidative stress in cowpea nodules, mainly in plants co-inoculated with Bradyrhizobium and P. graminis or co-inoculated with Bradyrhizobium and Bacillus. <![CDATA[Archaea diversity in vegetation gradients from the Brazilian Cerrado]]> Abstract We used 16S rRNA sequencing to assess the archaeal communities across a gradient of Cerrado. The archaeal communities differed across the gradient. Crenarcheota was the most abundant phyla, with Nitrosphaerales and NRPJ as the predominant classes. Euryachaeota was also found across the Cerrado gradient, including the classes Metanocellales and Methanomassiliicoccaceae. <![CDATA[Enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus (ERIC)-PCR analysis as a reliable evidence for suspected <em>Shigella</em> spp. outbreaks]]> Abstract Background Shigellosis remains a serious public health problem and an important cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. The aim of this study was to characterize fliC and the genetic relatedness of Shigella spp. isolated during a one-year period from children in a suspected outbreak in Tehran, Iran. Methods and results Fifty Shigella spp. were isolated from 3779 stool samples of children with diarrhea (prevalence rate: 1.32%). Among the isolates, 92% were characterized as Shigella sonnei, while 6% and 2% were identified as S. flexneri and S. boydii, respectively. S. dysenteriae was not recovered from the patients. All isolates were negative for fliC except for Shigella standard strains. The enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus-polymerase chain reaction (ERIC-PCR) profiles allowed differentiating the 50 isolates into 5 ERIC types, which were grouped into five clusters (ET1-ET5). Computer-assisted clustering of the strains showed a high degree of similarity among the isolates. Conclusion In conclusion, given the clonal correlation of the Shigella strains isolated in this study and the lack of fliC among them, we propose that probably a single or limited fliC-defected Shigella clone spread and caused the outbreak. <![CDATA[A broad-range PCR technique for the diagnosis of infective endocarditis]]> Abstract Infective endocarditis (IE) remains a severe and potentially fatal disease demanding sophisticated diagnostic strategies for detection of the causative microorganisms. The aim of the present study was to develop a broad-range 16S ribosomal RNA gene polymerase chain reaction in the routine diagnostic of IE for the early diagnosis of fatal disease. A broad-range PCR technique was selected and evaluated in terms of its efficiency in the diagnosis of endocarditis using 19 heart valves from patients undergoing cardiovascular surgeries at the Habib Bourguiba Hospital of Sfax, Tunisia, on the grounds of suspected IE. The results demonstrated the efficiency of this technique particularly in cases involving a limited number of bacteria since it helped to increase detection sensitivity. The technique proved to be efficient, particularly, in the bacteriological diagnosis of IE in contexts involving negative results from conventional culture methods and other contexts involving bacterial species that were not amenable to identification by phenotypic investigations. Indeed, the sequencing of the partial 16S ribosomal RNA gene revealed the presence of Bartonella henselae, Enterobacter sp., and Streptococcus pyogenes in three heart valves with the negative culture. It should be noted that the results obtained from the polymerase chain reaction-sequencing identification applied to the heart valve and the strain isolated from the same tissue were not consistent with the ones found by the conventional microbiological methods in the case of IE caused by Gemella morbillorum. In fact, the results from the molecular identification revealed the presence of Lactobacillus jensenii. Overall, the results have revealed that the proposed method is sensitive, reliable and might open promising opportunities for the early diagnosis of IE. <![CDATA[Primary antibiotic resistance and its relationship with <em>cagA</em> and <em>vacA</em> genes in <em>Helicobacter pylori</em> isolates from Algerian patients]]> Abstract The epidemiology of Helicobacter pylori resistance to antibiotics is poorly documented in Africa and especially in Algeria. The aim of our study was to determine the antibiotic resistance rates, as well as its possible relationship with VacA and CagA virulence markers of isolates from Algerian patients. One hundred and fifty one H. pylori isolate were obtained between 2012 and 2015 from 200 patients with upper abdominal pain. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed for amoxicillin, clarithromycin, metronidazole, ciprofloxacin, rifampicin and tetracycline. Molecular identification of H. pylori and the detection of vacA and cagA genes were performed using specific primers. We found that H. pylori was present in 83.5% of collected biopsies, 54.9% of the samples were cagA positive, 49.67% were vacA s1m1, 18.30% were vacA s1m2 and 25.49% were vacA s2m2. Isolates were characterized by no resistance to amoxicillin (0%), tetracycline (0%), rifampicin (0%), a high rate of resistance to metronidazole (61.1%) and a lower rate of resistance to clarithromycin (22.8%) and ciprofloxacin (16.8%). No statically significant relationship was found between vagA and cagA genotypes and antibiotic resistance results (p &gt; 0.5) except for the metronidazole, which had relation with the presence of cagA genotype (p = 0.001). <![CDATA[Changes in antimicrobial susceptibility of commonly clinically significant isolates before and after the interventions on surgical prophylactic antibiotics (SPAs) in Shanghai]]> Abstract Surveillances and interventions on antibiotics use have been suggested to improve serious drug-resistance worldwide. Since 2007, our hospital have proposed many measures for regulating surgical prophylactic antibiotics (carbapenems, third gen. cephalosporins, vancomycin, etc.) prescribing practices, like formulary restriction or replacement for surgical prophylactic antibiotics and timely feedback. To assess the impacts on drug-resistance after interventions, we enrolled infected patients in 2006 (pre-intervention period) and 2014 (post-intervention period) in a tertiary hospital in Shanghai. Proportions of targeted pathogens were analyzed: methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus spp. (VRE), imipenem-resistant Escherichia coli (IREC), imipenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae (IRKP), imipenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (IRAB) and imipenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (IRPA) isolates. Rates of them were estimated and compared between Surgical Department, ICU and Internal Department during two periods. The total proportions of targeted isolates in Surgical Department (62.44%, 2006; 64.09%, 2014) were more than those in ICU (46.13%, 2006; 50.99%, 2014) and in Internal Department (44.54%, 2006; 51.20%, 2014). Only MRSA has decreased significantly (80.48%, 2006; 55.97%, 2014) (p &lt; 0.0001). The percentages of VRE and IREC in 3 departments were all &lt;15%, and the slightest change were also both observed in Surgical Department (VRE: 0.76%, 2006; 2.03%, 2014) (IREC: 2.69%, 2006; 2.63%, 2014). The interventions on surgical prophylactic antibiotics can be effective for improving resistance; antimicrobial stewardship must be combined with infection control practices. <![CDATA[Isolation of <em>Salmonella</em> spp. in cattle egrets (<em>Bubulcus ibis</em>) from Fernando de Noronha Archipelago, Brazil]]> Abstract The growth of the population of cattle egrets (Bubulcus ibis) in the archipelago of Fernando de Noronha constitutes a threat to public health and biological diversity because of their competition with and predation on native species and the possibility of transmission of pathogens to human beings, livestock and native wildlife. The aim here was to search for, isolate and identify serovars of Salmonella in clinically healthy local cattle egrets. Cloacal swabs were obtained from 456 clinically healthy cattle egrets of both sexes and a variety of ages. The swabs were divided into 51 pools. Six of these (11.7%) presented four serovars of Salmonella enterica subspecies enterica: Salmonella serovar Typhimurium; Salmonella serovar Newport; Salmonella serovar Duisburg; and Salmonella serovar Zega. One sample was identified as S. enterica subspecies enterica O16:y:-. Results in this study suggest that cattle egrets may be reservoirs of this agent on Fernando de Noronha and represent a risk to public health and biological diversity. <![CDATA[Evaluation of dot-blot test for serological diagnosis of bovine brucellosis]]> Abstract The objective of this study was to standardize and validate the dot-blot test for the serological diagnosis of bovine brucellosis, compare the results with those found in the 2-mercaptoethanol (2-ME) and complement fixation test (CF), and estimate the relative sensitivity and specificity of the dot-blot compared to these tests. Fifty bovine blood serum samples were used for the test standardization, and 1315 samples were used for evaluation and comparison between the tests; the results were compared using the Kappa indicator. At the end of standardization, it was established as optimal for the antigen obtained from Brucella abortus B19 after passing through a microorganism rupture process, the blood serum samples diluted at 1:100, and the conjugate at 1:30,000. The comparison of the dot-blot results with 2-ME showed Kappa index of 0.9939, sensitivity of 99.48%, and specificity 99.91%, with CF, Kappa index of 0.8226, sensitivity 100% and specificity 95.32%. Using the combination of the test results 2-ME and CF to establish the true condition of the animal, the dot-blot showed relative sensitivity of 100%, and relative specificity of 99.91%. The evaluated test proved to be effective and reliable, besides being easy to handle and interpret the results. <![CDATA[pMEX01, a 70 kb plasmid isolated from <em>Escherichia coli</em> that confers resistance to multiple β-lactam antibiotics]]> Abstract Multidrug-resistant microorganisms are of great concern to public health. Genetic mobile elements, such as plasmids, are among the most relevant mechanisms by which bacteria achieve this resistance. We obtained an Escherichia coli strain CM6, isolated from cattle presenting severe diarrheic symptoms in the State of Querétaro, Mexico. It was found to contain a 70 kb plasmid (pMEX01) with a high similarity to the pHK01-like plasmids that were previously identified and described in Hong Kong. Analysis of the pMEX01 sequence revealed the presence of a blaCTX-M-14 gene, which is responsible for conferring resistance to multiple β-lactam antibiotics. Several genes putatively involved in the conjugative transfer were also identified on the plasmid. The strain CM6 is of high epidemiological concern because it not only displays resistance to multiple β-lactam antibiotics but also to other kinds of antibiotics. <![CDATA[Detection and genetic characterization of <em>Mamastrovirus 5</em> from Brazilian dogs]]> Abstract Mamastrovirus 5 (MAstV5), belonging to the Astroviridae (AstV) family, previously known as canine astrovirus or astrovirus-like particles, has been reported in several countries to be associated with viral enteric disease in dogs since the 1980s. Astroviruses have been detected in fecal samples from a wide variety of mammals and birds that are associated with gastroenteritis and extra enteric manifestations. In the present study, RT-PCR was used to investigate the presence of MAstV5 in 269 dog fecal samples. MAstV5 was detected in 26% (71/269) of the samples. Interestingly, all MAstV5-positive samples derived from dogs displaying clinical signs suggestive of gastroenteritis, other enteric viruses were simultaneously detected (canine parvovirus, canine distemper virus, canine coronavirus, canine adenovirus and canine rotavirus). Based on genomic sequence analysis of MAstV5 a novel classification of the species into four genotypes, MAstV5a-MAstV5d, is proposed. Phylogenetic analyses based on the ORF2 amino acid sequences, samples described herein grouped into the putative genotype ‘a' closed related with Chinese samples. Other studies are required to attempt the clinical and antigenic implications of these astrovirus genotypes in dogs. <![CDATA[Development and validation of a modified TaqMan based real-time PCR assay targeting the <em>lipl32</em> gene for detection of pathogenic <em>Leptospira</em> in canine urine samples]]> Abstract A modified TaqMan real-time polymerase chain reaction targeting a 138 bp fragment within the lipl32 gene was developed to identify exclusively pathogenic Leptospira spp. in dog urine samples. Thirty-five samples from dogs with suspected clinical leptospirosis and 116 samples from apparently healthy dogs were tested for presence of leptospiral DNA using the TaqMan-based assay. The results were compared with those from a well-established conventional PCR targeting the 16S RNA encoding gene associated with nucleotide sequencing analysis. The overall agreement between the assays was 94.8% (confidence interval [CI] 95% 88-100%). The newly developed assay presented 91.6% (CI 95% 71.5-98.5%) relative sensitivity (22[+] lipl32 PCR/24[+] 16S RNA and sequencing), 100% (CI 95% 96.3-100%) relative specificity and 98.7% accuracy (CI 95% 94.8-100%). The lipl32 assay was able to detect and quantify at least 10 genome equivalents/reaction. DNA extracted from 17 pathogenic Leptospira spp., 8 intermediate/saprophytic strains and 21 different pathogenic microorganisms were also tested using the lipl32 assay, resulting in amplification exclusively for pathogenic leptospiral strains. The results also demonstrated high intra and inter-assay reproducibility (coefficient of variation 1.50 and 1.12, respectively), thereby qualifying the newly developed assay as a highly sensitive, specific and reliable diagnostic tool for leptospiral infection in dogs using urine specimens. <![CDATA[<em>Histophilus somni</em>-associated syndromes in sheep from Southern Brazil]]> Abstract Histophilus somni is a Gram-negative bacterium that is associated with a disease complex (termed histophilosis) that can produce several clinical syndromes predominantly in cattle, but also in sheep. Histophilosis is well described in North America, Canada, and in some European countries. In Brazil, histophilosis has been described in cattle with respiratory, reproductive, and systemic disease, with only one case described in sheep. This report describes the occurrence of Histophilus somni-associated disease in sheep from Southern Brazil. Eight sheep with different clinical manifestations from five farms were investigated by a combination of pathological and molecular diagnostic methods to identify additional cases of histophilosis in sheep from Brazil. The principal pathological lesions were thrombotic meningoencephalitis, fibrinous bronchopneumonia, pulmonary abscesses, and necrotizing myocarditis. The main clinical syndromes associated with H. somni were thrombotic meningoencephalitis (n = 4), septicemia (n = 4), bronchopneumonia (n = 4), and myocarditis (n = 3). H. somni DNA was amplified from multiple tissues of all sheep with clinical syndromes of histophilosis; sequencing confirmed the PCR results. Further, PCR assays to detect Pasteurella multocida and Mannheimia haemolytica were negative. These findings confirmed the participation of H. somni in the clinical syndromes investigated during this study, and adds to the previous report of histophilosis in sheep from Brazil. <![CDATA[Inactivation of <em>phoPQ</em> genes attenuates <em>Salmonella</em> Gallinarum biovar Gallinarum to susceptible chickens]]> Abstract Salmonella Gallinarum is a host-restrict pathogen that causes fowl typhoid, a severe systemic disease that is one of the major concerns to the poultry industry worldwide. When infecting the bird, SG makes use of evasion mechanisms to survive and to replicate within macrophages. In this context, phoPQ genes encode a two-component regulatory system (PhoPQ) that regulates virulence genes responsible for adaptation of Salmonella spp. to antimicrobial factors such as low pH, antimicrobial peptides and deprivation of bivalent cations. The role of the mentioned genes to SG remains to be investigated. In the present study a phoPQ-depleted SG strain (SG ΔphoPQ) was constructed and its virulence assessed in twenty-day-old laying hens susceptible to fowl typhoid. SG ΔphoPQ did cause neither clinical signs nor mortality in birds orally challenged, being non-pathogenic. Furthermore, this strain was not recovered from livers or spleens. On the other hand, chickens challenged subcutaneously with the mutant strain had discreet to moderate pathological changes and also low bacterial counts in liver and spleen tissues. These findings show that SG ΔphoPQ is attenuated to susceptible chickens and suggest that these genes are important during chicken infection by SG. <![CDATA[Survival of <em>Salmonella</em> spp. in minced meat packaged under vacuum and modified atmosphere]]> Abstract The effect of different modified atmosphere packaging regimes on the behavior of Salmonella spp. on minced meat was studied. Minced meat was experimentally contaminated with a Salmonella spp. cocktail (S. Enteritidis, S. Typhimurium, S. Infantis and S. Arizonae), packaged under vacuum or modified atmosphere with initial headspaces containing 20%O2/50%CO2/30%N2 and 20%O2/30%CO2/50%N2) and stored at 3 ± 1 °C for 12 days. Samples were analyzed for Salmonella spp., viable and lactic acid bacteria count every third day. Salmonella spp. counts decreased during storage in all packaging types, with reductions of about 1.5 log CFU/g. A significant difference (p &lt; 0.01) was noted between Salmonella spp. counts in meat packaged in vacuum and modified atmospheres, although there was no significant difference in Salmonella spp. count between meat packaged in 50%CO2, and meat packaged in 30%CO2. At the end of the study, there were significant differences (p &lt; 0.01; p &lt; 0.05) in total viable and lactic acid bacterial counts between meat packaged in vacuum and modified atmosphere, and the lowest counts were noted in meat packaged in modified atmosphere with 50%CO2. <![CDATA[Use of modified Richards model to predict isothermal and non-isothermal microbial growth]]> Abstract Mathematical models are often used to predict microbial growth in food products. An important class of these models involves the adaptation of classical sigmoid functions, such as the Gompertz and logistic functions. This study aimed to validate the use of the modified Richards model in various situations, which have not previously been tested. The model was obtained through solving a system of two differential equations and could be applied to both isothermal and non-isothermal environments. To test and validate this model, we used published datasets containing data for the growth of Pseudomonas spp. in fish products. The results obtained after fitting the model showed that it could be effectively used to describe and predict the Pseudomonas growth curves under various temperature regimens. However, the influence of the shape parameter on the growth curve is an issue that needs further evaluation. <![CDATA[Optimization of liquid fermentation conditions for biotransformation zein by <em>Cordyceps militaris 202</em> and characterization of physicochemical and functional properties of fermentative hydrolysates]]> Abstract Cordyceps militaris 202 is a potential fungus for biotransformation zein, due to its various proteases, high tolerance and viability in nature. In this article, single factor experiment and response surface methodology were applied to optimize the liquid fermentation conditions and improve the ability of biotransformation zein. The optimized fermentation conditions were as follows: inoculum concentration of 19%, volume of liquor of 130 mL/500 mL and pH of 4.7. Under this condition, the degree of hydrolysis (DH) was 27.31%. The zein hydrolysates from fungi fermentation maintained a high thermal stability. Compared to the original zein, the zein hydrolysates were found to have high solubility, which most likely results in improved foaming and emulsifying properties. Overall, this research demonstrates that hydrolysis of zein by C. militaris 202 is a potential method for improving the functional properties of zein, and the zein hydrolysates can be used as functional ingredients with an increased antioxidant effect in both food and non-food applications. <![CDATA[Genetic characterization, evaluation of growth and production of biomass of strains from wild edible mushrooms of <em>Lyophyllum</em> of Central Mexico]]> Abstract The present study conducted a genetic characterization and determined growth rate and biomass production in solid and liquid media, using strains obtained from wild edible sporomes of Lyophyllum that grow in high mountains. Vegetative isolation was used to obtain a total of four strains, which were divided into two clades within the section Difformia: Lyophyllum sp. and Lyophyllum aff. shimeji. Growth rate and biomass production were influenced by both the culture media and the strains. In a potato dextrose agar medium, the strains presented a higher growth rate, while in a malt extract-peptone and yeast agar medium, the growth rate was lower, but with a higher biomass production that was equal to that in the malt extract-peptone and yeast liquid medium. <![CDATA[Comparative study of RFLP-IS6110 and MIRU-VNTR from <em>Mycobacterium tuberculosis</em> isolated in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil]]> Abstract DNA genotyping of Mycobacterium tuberculosis has been widely applied in the understanding of disease transmission in many countries. The purpose of this study was to genotype the strains of M. tuberculosis isolated in patients with new tuberculosis (TB) cases in Minas Gerais, as well as to compare the similarity, discriminatory power, and agreement of the clusters between the IS6110 Restriction Fragment Length Polymorfism (RFLP) and 12 loci Variable Number Tandem Repeat - Mycobacterial Interspersed Repetitive Units (MIRU-VNTR) techniques. It was observed that 32% (66/204) of the isolated strains in the RFLP-IS6110 and 50.9% (104/204) of the isolated strains in the MIRU-VNTR presented a similarity of equal to or above 85%. The RFLP-IS6110 and MIRU-VNTR proved to contain a high discriminatory power. The similarity index resulting from the RFLP showed no recent transmission. Good agreement was observed between the techniques when clusters were detected; however, the best epidemiological relationship was found when using the RFLP-IS6110. <![CDATA[Cloning and expression of an endoglucanase gene from the thermotolerant fungus <em>Aspergillus fumigatus</em> DBiNU-1 in <em>Kluyveromyces lactis</em>]]> Abstract An intronless endoglucanase from thermotolerant Aspergillus fumigatus DBINU-1 was cloned, characterized and expressed in the yeast Kluyveromyces lactis. The full-length open reading frame of the endoglucanase gene from A. fumigatus DBiNU-1, designated Cel7, was 1383 nucleotides in length and encoded a protein of 460 amino acid residues. The predicted molecular weight and the isoelectric point of the A. fumigatus Cel7 gene product were 48.19 kDa and 5.03, respectively. A catalytic domain in the N-terminal region and a fungal type cellulose-binding domain/module in the C-terminal region were detected in the predicted polypeptide sequences. Furthermore, a signal peptide with 20 amino acid residues at the N-terminus was also detected in the deduced amino acid sequences of the endoglucanase from A. fumigatus DBiNU-1. The endoglucanase from A. fumigatus DBiNU-1 was successfully expressed in K. lactis, and the purified recombinant enzyme exhibited its maximum activity at pH 5.0 and 60 °C. The enzyme was very stable in a pH range from 4.0 to 8.0 and a temperature range from 30 to 60 °C. These features make it suitable for application in the paper, biofuel, and other chemical production industries that use cellulosic materials. <![CDATA[Phenolic content and antibacterial activity of extracts of <em>Hamelia patens</em> obtained by different extraction methods]]> Abstract Hamelia patens, is a plant traditionally used to treat a variety of conditions among the Huastec people of Mexico. The objective of this study is to characterize the phenolic content and critically examine the antimicrobial activity of leaf extracts H. patens, obtained by maceration, Soxhlet and percolation, using ethanol as 70% solvent. Phenolic compounds are characterized by liquid chromatography, coupled to a High Resolution Mass Spectrometry, and the antimicrobial activity was studied from the inhibitory effect of each extract for Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella typhi and S. paratyphi, and by the Minimum Bactericidal Concentration, the percentage of activity and the Index of Bacterial Susceptibility of each extract. The phenolic compound identified in different concentrations in the three extracts was epicatechin. The extracts obtained by the three methods had antimicrobial activity, however, there was no significant difference (p &lt; 0.05) between the Minimum Bactericidal Concentration of the extracts obtained by maceration, percolation and Soxhlet. The results of this study contribute to the body of knowledge on the use of extracts in controlling microorganisms with natural antimicrobials. <![CDATA[Application of <em>n</em>-dodecane as an oxygen vector to enhance the activity of fumarase in recombinant <em>Escherichia coli</em>: role of intracellular microenvironment]]> Abstract The effect of the intracellular microenvironment in the presence of an oxygen vector during expression of a fusion protein in Escherichia coli was studied. Three organic solutions at different concentration were chosen as oxygen vectors for fumarase expression. The addition of n-dodecane did not induce a significant change in the expression of fumarase, while the activity of fumarase increased significantly to 124% at 2.5% n-dodecane added after 9 h induction. The concentration of ATP increased sharply during the first 6 h of induction, to a value 7600% higher than that in the absence of an oxygen-vector. NAD/NADH and NADP/NADPH ratios were positively correlated with fumarase activity. n-Dodecane can be used to increase the concentration of ATP and change the energy metabolic pathway, providing sufficient energy for fumarase folding. <![CDATA[Differential role of gpaB and sidA gene expressions in relation to virulence in <em>Aspergillus</em> species from patients with invasive aspergillosis]]> Abstract The virulence genes in invasive aspergillosis (IA) have not been analyzed adequately. The present study was designed to evaluate the expression of gpaB and sidA genes, which are important virulence genes in Aspergillus spp. from bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) samples. Direct examination and culture on Czapek Agar and Sabouraud Dextrose Agar media were performed for 600 BAL specimens isolated from patients with possible aspergillosis. A Galactomannan ELISA assay was also carried out. The expression levels of the gpaB and sidA genes in isolates were analyzed using quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). We identified 2 species, including Aspergillus flavus (A. flavus) and Aspergillus fumigatus (A. fumigatus) in 25 positive samples for invasive aspergillosis as validated using GM-ELISA. A. flavus is the main pathogen threatening transplant recipients and cancer patients worldwide. In this study, A. flavus had low levels of the gpaB gene expression compared to A. fumigatus (p = 0.006). The highest sidA expression was detected in transplant recipients (p = 0.05). There was no significant correlation between sidA expression and underlying disease (p = 0.15). The sidA and gpaB gene expression patterns may provide evidence that these virulence genes play important roles in the pathogenicity of Aspergillus isolates; however, there are several regulatory genes responsible for the unexpressed sidA and gpaB genes in the isolates. <![CDATA[Elastin increases biofilm and extracellular matrix production of <em>Aspergillus fumigatus</em>]]> Abstract Aspergillus fumigatus is an opportunistic saprobe fungus that accounts for 90% of cases of pulmonary aspergillosis in immunosuppressed patients and is known for its angiotropism. When it reaches the respiratory tract, A. fumigatus interacts with structural components and blood vessels of the lungs, such as elastin. To understand the effect of this structural component, we examined the effect of elastin on the production and development of the biofilm of A. fumigatus. In RPMI containing 10 mg/mL of elastin, a significant increase (absorbance p &lt; 0.0001; dry weight p &lt; 0.0001) in the production of biofilm was observed in comparison to when RPMI was used alone, reaching a maximum growth of 18.8 mg (dry weight) of biofilm in 72 h. In addition, elastin stimulates the production (p = 0.0042) of extracellular matrix (ECM) and decreases (p = 0.005) the hydrophobicity during the development of the biofilm. These results suggest that elastin plays an important role in the growth of A. fumigatus and that it participates in the formation of thick biofilm. <![CDATA[Is a dose of 17D vaccine in the current context of Yellow Fever enough?]]> Abstract Aspergillus fumigatus is an opportunistic saprobe fungus that accounts for 90% of cases of pulmonary aspergillosis in immunosuppressed patients and is known for its angiotropism. When it reaches the respiratory tract, A. fumigatus interacts with structural components and blood vessels of the lungs, such as elastin. To understand the effect of this structural component, we examined the effect of elastin on the production and development of the biofilm of A. fumigatus. In RPMI containing 10 mg/mL of elastin, a significant increase (absorbance p &lt; 0.0001; dry weight p &lt; 0.0001) in the production of biofilm was observed in comparison to when RPMI was used alone, reaching a maximum growth of 18.8 mg (dry weight) of biofilm in 72 h. In addition, elastin stimulates the production (p = 0.0042) of extracellular matrix (ECM) and decreases (p = 0.005) the hydrophobicity during the development of the biofilm. These results suggest that elastin plays an important role in the growth of A. fumigatus and that it participates in the formation of thick biofilm.