Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Brazilian Journal of Microbiology]]> vol. 46 num. 2 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Psychrotrophic bacteria in milk: How much do we really know?]]> The occurrence of psychrotrophic bacteria in raw milk is studied worldwide due to the difficulties associated with controlling their growth during cold storage and the consequent negative effects upon fluid milk or dairy products. Among the psychrotrophic bacteria, the genus Pseudomonas (represented primarily by P. fluorescens) has been highlighted as the cause of numerous defects in dairy products. In light of its perceived predominance, this species has frequently been chosen as a model organism to assess the effects of psychrotrophic bacteria on milk or to evaluate the efficacy of control measures. However, recent findings derived from the application of molecular biological techniques have exposed a number of deficiencies in our knowledge of the biology of milk-associated psychrotrophs. Furthermore, it has been revealed that microbe to microbe communication plays a significant role in determining both the identities and the extent to which different groups of microbes develop during cold storage. The application of molecular identification methods has exposed errors in the classification of members of the genus Pseudomonas isolated from cold stored milk and has stimulated a reevaluation of the presumed status of P. fluorescens as the predominant milk-associated psychrotrophic species. This article presents a succinct review of data from studies on psychrotrophic bacteria in milk, some of which contest established theories in relation to the microbiology of cold stored raw milk, and poses the question: how much do we really know? <![CDATA[Fermentative hydrogen production from agroindustrial lignocellulosic substrates]]> To achieve economically competitive biological hydrogen production, it is crucial to consider inexpensive materials such as lignocellulosic substrate residues derived from agroindustrial activities. It is possible to use (1) lignocellulosic materials without any type of pretreatment, (2) lignocellulosic materials after a pretreatment step, and (3) lignocellulosic materials hydrolysates originating from a pretreatment step followed by enzymatic hydrolysis. According to the current literature data on fermentative H2 production presented in this review, thermophilic conditions produce H2 in yields approximately 75% higher than those obtained in mesophilic conditions using untreated lignocellulosic substrates. The average H2 production from pretreated material is 3.17 ± 1.79 mmol of H2/g of substrate, which is approximately 50% higher compared with the average yield achieved using untreated materials (2.17 ± 1.84 mmol of H2/g of substrate). Biological pretreatment affords the highest average yield 4.54 ± 1.78 mmol of H2/g of substrate compared with the acid and basic pretreatment - average yields of 2.94 ± 1.85 and 2.41 ± 1.52 mmol of H2/g of substrate, respectively. The average H2 yield from hydrolysates, obtained from a pretreatment step and enzymatic hydrolysis (3.78 ± 1.92 mmol of H2/g), was lower compared with the yield of substrates pretreated by biological methods only, demonstrating that it is important to avoid the formation of inhibitors generated by chemical pretreatments. Based on this review, exploring other microorganisms and optimizing the pretreatment and hydrolysis conditions can make the use of lignocellulosic substrates a sustainable way to produce H2. <![CDATA[A biotechnology perspective of fungal proteases]]> Proteases hydrolyze the peptide bonds of proteins into peptides and amino acids, being found in all living organisms, and are essential for cell growth and differentiation. Proteolytic enzymes have potential application in a wide number of industrial processes such as food, laundry detergent and pharmaceutical. Proteases from microbial sources have dominated applications in industrial sectors. Fungal proteases are used for hydrolyzing protein and other components of soy beans and wheat in soy sauce production. Proteases can be produced in large quantities in a short time by established methods of fermentation. The parameters such as variation in C/N ratio, presence of some sugars, besides several other physical factors are important in the development of fermentation process. Proteases of fungal origin can be produced cost effectively, have an advantage faster production, the ease with which the enzymes can be modified and mycelium can be easily removed by filtration. The production of proteases has been carried out using submerged fermentation, but conditions in solid state fermentation lead to several potential advantages for the production of fungal enzymes. This review focuses on the production of fungal proteases, their distribution, structural-functional aspects, physical and chemical parameters, and the use of these enzymes in industrial applications. <![CDATA[Halotolerant bacteria in the São Paulo Zoo composting process and their hydrolases and bioproducts]]> Halophilic microorganisms are able to grow in the presence of salt and are also excellent source of enzymes and biotechnological products, such as exopolysaccharides (EPSs) and polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs). Salt-tolerant bacteria were screened in the Organic Composting Production Unit (OCPU) of São Paulo Zoological Park Foundation, which processes 4 ton/day of organic residues including plant matter from the Atlantic Rain Forest, animal manure and carcasses and mud from water treatment. Among the screened microorganisms, eight halotolerant bacteria grew at NaCl concentrations up to 4 M. These cultures were classified based on phylogenetic characteristics and comparative partial 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis as belonging to the genera Staphylococcus, Bacillus and Brevibacterium. The results of this study describe the ability of these halotolerant bacteria to produce some classes of hydrolases, namely, lipases, proteases, amylases and cellulases, and biopolymers. The strain characterized as of Brevibacterium avium presented cellulase and amylase activities up to 4 M NaCl and also produced EPSs and PHAs. These results indicate the biotechnological potential of certain microorganisms recovered from the composting process, including halotolerant species, which have the ability to produce enzymes and biopolymers, offering new perspectives for environmental and industrial applications. <![CDATA[A new culture medium for recovering the agents of Cryptococcosis from environmental sources]]> The isolation of Cryptococcosis agents from environmental samples may be difficult due to the presence of groups of fast-growing fungi. We propose a new culture medium based on a modification of Dichloran Rose-Bengal Chloramphenicol Medium (DRBCm) to detect colonies of Cryptococcus neoformans. Our results indicate that DRBCm is superior to the classical Bird Seed Agar in its ability to detect colonies of C. neoformans. <![CDATA[Antifungal and proteolytic activities of endophytic fungi isolated from <em>Piper hispidum</em> Sw]]> Endophytes are being considered for use in biological control, and the enzymes they secrete might facilitate their initial colonization of internal plant tissues and direct interactions with microbial pathogens. Microbial proteases are also biotechnologically important products employed in bioremediation processes, cosmetics, and the pharmaceutical, photographic and food industries. In the present study, we evaluated antagonism and competitive interactions between 98 fungal endophytes and Alternaria alternata, Colletotrichum sp., Phyllosticta citricarpa and Moniliophthora perniciosa. We also examined the proteolytic activities of endophytes grown in liquid medium and conducted cup plate assays. The results showed that certain strains in the assemblage of P. hispidum endophytes are important sources of antifungal properties, primarily Lasiodiplodia theobromae JF766989, which reduced phytopathogen growth by approximately 54 to 65%. We detected 28 endophytes producing enzymatic halos of up to 16.40 mm in diameter. The results obtained in the present study highlight the proteolytic activity of the endophytes Phoma herbarum JF766995 and Schizophyllum commune JF766994, which presented the highest enzymatic halo diameters under at least one culture condition tested. The increased activities of certain isolates in the presence of rice or soy flour as a substrate (with halos up to 17.67 mm in diameter) suggests that these endophytes have the potential to produce enzymes using agricultural wastes. <![CDATA[Initial pH of medium affects organic acids production but do not affect phosphate solubilization]]> The pH of the culture medium directly influences the growth of microorganisms and the chemical processes that they perform. The aim of this study was to assess the influence of the initial pH of the culture medium on the production of 11 low-molecular-weight organic acids and on the solubilization of calcium phosphate by bacteria in growth medium (NBRIP). The following strains isolated from cowpea nodules were studied: UFLA03-08 (Rhizobium tropici), UFLA03-09 (Acinetobacter sp.), UFLA03-10 (Paenibacillus kribbensis), UFLA03-106 (Paenibacillus kribbensis) and UFLA03-116 (Paenibacillus sp.). The strains UFLA03-08, UFLA03-09, UFLA03-10 and UFLA03-106 solubilized Ca3(PO4)2 in liquid medium regardless of the initial pH, although without a significant difference between the treatments. The production of organic acids by these strains was assessed for all of the initial pH values investigated, and differences between the treatments were observed. Strains UFLA03-09 and UFLA03-10 produced the same acids at different initial pH values in the culture medium. There was no correlation between phosphorus solubilized from Ca3(PO4)2 in NBRIP liquid medium and the concentration of total organic acids at the different initial pH values. Therefore, the initial pH of the culture medium influences the production of organic acids by the strains UFLA03-08, UFLA03-09, UFLA03-10 and UFLA03-106 but it does not affect calcium phosphate solubilization. <![CDATA[Biodegradation of crude oil by individual bacterial strains and a mixed bacterial consortium]]> Three bacterial isolates identified as Alcanivorax borkumensis SK2, Rhodococcus erythropolis HS4 and Pseudomonas stutzeri SDM, based on 16S rRNA gene sequences, were isolated from crude oil enrichments of natural seawater. Single strains and four bacterial consortia designed by mixing the single bacterial cultures respectively in the following ratios: (Alcanivorax: Pseudomonas, 1:1), (Alcanivorax: Rhodococcus, 1:1), (Pseudomonas: Rhodococcus, 1:1), and (Alcanivorax: Pseudomonas: Rhodococcus, 1:1:1), were analyzed in order to evaluate their oil degrading capability. All experiments were carried out in microcosms systems containing seawater (with and without addition of inorganic nutrients) and crude oil (unique carbon source). Measures of total and live bacterial abundance, Card-FISH and quali-, quantitative analysis of hydrocarbons (GC-FID) were carried out in order to elucidate the co-operative action of mixed microbial populations in the process of biodegradation of crude oil. All data obtained confirmed the fundamental role of bacteria belonging to Alcanivorax genus in the degradation of linear hydrocarbons in oil polluted environments. <![CDATA[Hypocholesterolemic effects of <em>Kluyveromyces marxianus</em> M3 isolated from Tibetan mushrooms on diet-induced hypercholesterolemia in rat]]> To investigate the effects of Kluyveromyces marxianus M3 isolated from Tibetan mushrooms on diet-induced hypercholesterolemia in rats, female Wistar rats were fed a high-cholesterol diet (HCD) for 28 d to generate hyperlipidemic models. Hyperlipidemic rats were assigned to four groups, which were individually treated with three different dosages of K. marxianus M3+HCD or physiological saline+HCD via oral gavage for 28 d. The total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides (TG), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels in the serum and liver of the rats were measured using commercially available enzyme kits. In addition, the liver morphology was also examined using hematoxylin and eosin staining and optical microscopy. According to our results, the serum and liver TC, TG, LDL-C levels and atherogenic index (AI) were significantly decreased in rats orally administered K. marxianus M3 (p &lt;0.01), and the HDL-C levels and anti atherogenic index (AAI) were significantly increased (p &lt;0.01) compared to the control group. Moreover, K. marxianus M3 treatment also reduced the build-up of lipid droplets in the liver and exhibited normal hepatocytes, suggesting a protective effect of K. marxianus M3 in hyperlipidemic rats. <![CDATA[Biodegradation of kerosene: Study of growth optimization and metabolic fate of <em>P. janthinellum</em> SDX7]]> Penicillum janthinellum SDX7 was isolated from aged petroleum hydrocarbon-affected soil at the site of Anand, Gujarat, India, and was tested for different pH, temperature, agitation and concentrations for optimal growth of the isolate that was capable of degrading upto 95%, 63% and 58% of 1%, 3% and 5% kerosene, respectively, after a period of 16 days, at optimal growth conditions of pH 6.0, 30 °C and 180 rpm agitation. The GC/MS chromatograms revealed that then-alkane fractions are easily degraded; however, the rate might be lower for branched alkanes, n-alkylaromatics, cyclic alkanes and polynuclear aromatics. The test doses caused a concentration-dependent depletion of carbohydrates of P. janthinellum SDX7 by 3% to 80%, proteins by 4% to 81% and amino acids by 8% to 95% upto 16 days of treatment. The optimal concentration of 3% kerosene resulted in the least reduction of the metabolites of P. janthinellum such as carbohydrates, proteins and amino acids with optimal growth compared to 5% and 1% (v/v) kerosene doses on the 12th and 16th day of exposure. Phenols were found to be mounted by 43% to 66% at lower and higher concentrations during the experimental period. Fungal isolate P. janthinellum SDX7 was also tested for growth on various xenobiotic compounds. <![CDATA[Industrial wastewater as raw material for exopolysaccharide production by <em>Rhizobium leguminosarum</em>]]> The objective of this study was to evaluate the exopolysaccharide (EPS) production by Rhizobium leguminosarum cultivated in wastewater generated by oil companies (WWOC1 and WWOC2) and fish processing industry (WWFP). The results obtained in Erlenmeyer flasks indicated that the rhizobial strain grew well in industrial wastewater. Generally, wastewater composition affected the growth and the EPS production. WWFP allowed good bacterial growth similar to that obtained with the standard medium (YMB). During growth, various quantities of EPS were produced and yields varied depending on the media. Growing in YMB, EPS production did not exceed 9.7 g/L obtained after 72 h of growth. In wastewater, the maximum EPS value reached 11.1 g/L obtained with the fish processing wastewater, after 72 h of growth. The use of a mixture of the oil company wastewater (WWOC2) and the fish processing wastewater (WWFP) as culture medium affected not only the rhizobial strain growth, but also EPS production. The highest EPS (42.4 g/L, after 96 h of culture) was obtained using a ratio of WWFP and WWOC2 of 50:50 (v:v). Therefore, this work shows the ability of Rhizobium leguminosarum, growing in industrial wastewater as new economic medium, to produce EPS. This biopolymer could be applied in enormous biotechnological areas. <![CDATA[Efficacy of fungal decolorization of a mixture of dyes belonging to different classes]]> Dyes are the most difficult constituents to remove by conventional biological wastewater treatment. Colored wastewater is mainly eliminated by physical and chemical procedures, which are very expensive and have drawbacks. Therefore, the advantage of using biological processes, such as the biotransformation of dyes, is that they may lead to complete mineralization or formation of less toxic products. To prove the possibility of using fungal processes for decolorization and other applications, the analysis of the toxicity of the processes' products is required. The decolorization of the mixture of two dyes from different classes - triphenylmethane brilliant green and azo Evans blue (GB - total concentration 0.08 g/L, proportion 1:1 w/w) - by Pleurotus ostreatus (BWPH and MB), Gloeophyllum odoratum (DCa), RWP17 (Polyporus picipes) and Fusarium oxysporum (G1) was studied. Zootoxicity (Daphnia magna) and phytotoxicity (Lemna minor) changes were estimated at the end of the experiment. The mixture of dyes was significantly removed by all the strains that were tested with 96 h of experimental time. However, differences among strains from the same species (P. ostreatus) were noted. Shaking improved the efficacy and rate of the dye removal. In static samples, the removal of the mixture reached more than 51.9% and in shaken samples, more than 79.2%. Tests using the dead biomass of the fungi only adsorbed up to 37% of the dye mixture (strain BWPH), which suggests that the process with the living biomass involves the biotransformation of the dyes. The best results were reached for the MB strain, which removed 90% of the tested mixture under shaking conditions. Regardless of the efficacy of the dye removal, toxicity decreased from class V to class III in tests with D. magna. Tests with L. minor control samples were classified as class IV, and samples with certain strains were non-toxic. The highest phytotoxicity decrease was noted in shaken samples where the elimination of dye mixture was the best. <![CDATA[Isolation of an aryloxyphenoxy propanoate (AOPP) herbicide-degrading strain <em>Rhodococcus ruber</em> JPL-2 and the cloning of a novel carboxylesterase gene (<em>feh</em>)]]> The strain JPL-2, capable of degrading fenoxaprop-P-ethyl (FE), was isolated from the soil of a wheat field and identified as Rhodococcus ruber. This strain could utilize FE as its sole carbon source and degrade 94.6% of 100 mg L−1 FE in 54 h. Strain JPL-2 could also degrade other aryloxyphenoxy propanoate (AOPP) herbicides. The initial step of the degradation pathway is to hydrolyze the carboxylic acid ester bond. A novel esterase gene feh, encoding the FE-hydrolyzing carboxylesterase (FeH) responsible for this initial step, was cloned from strain JPL-2. Its molecular mass was approximately 39 kDa, and the catalytic efficiency of FeH followed the order of FE &gt; quizalofop-P-ethyl &gt; clodinafop-propargyl &gt; cyhalofop-butyl &gt; fluazifop-P-butyl &gt; haloxyfop-P-methyl &gt; diclofop-methy, which indicated that the chain length of the alcohol moiety strongly affected the hydrolysis activity of the FeH toward AOPP herbicides. <![CDATA[Isolation and 2,4-D-degrading characteristics of <em>Cupriavidus campinensis</em> BJ71]]> An indigenous bacterial strain capable of utilizing 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid as the sole carbon and energy source was isolated from a soil used for grown wheat with a long-term history of herbicide use in Beijing, China. The strain BJ71 was identified as Cupriavidus campinensis based on its 16S rRNA sequence analysis and morphological, physiological, and biochemical characteristics. The degradation characteristics of strain BJ71 were evaluated. The optimal conditions for 2,4-D degradation were as follows: pH 7.0, 30 °C, 3% (v/v) inoculum size, and an initial 2,4-D concentration of 350 mg L−1. Up to 99.57% of the 2,4-D was degraded under optimal conditions after 6 days of incubation. Strain BJ71 was also able to degrade quizalofop and fluroxypyr. This is the first report of a 2,4-D-degrader containing tfdA gene that can utilize these two herbicides. In a biodegradation experiment, 87.13% and 42.53% of 2,4-D (initial concentration, 350 mg kg−1) was degraded in non-sterile and sterilized soil inoculated with BJ71, respectively, after 14 days. The 2,4-D degradation was more rapid in a soil microcosm including BJ71 than in a soil microcosm without BJ71. These results indicate that strain BJ71 is a potential candidate for the bioremediation of soil contaminated with the herbicide 2,4-D. <![CDATA[Thermophilic bacteria in Moroccan hot springs, salt marshes and desert soils]]> The diversity of thermophilic bacteria was investigated in four hot springs, three salt marshes and 12 desert sites in Morocco. Two hundred and forty (240) thermophilic bacteria were recovered, identified and characterized. All isolates were Gram positive, rod-shaped, spore forming and halotolerant. Based on BOXA1R-PCR and 16S rRNA gene sequencing, the recovered isolates were dominated by the genus Bacillus (97.5%) represented by B. licheniformis (119), B. aerius (44), B. sonorensis (33), B. subtilis (subsp. spizizenii (2) and subsp. inaquosurum (6)), B. amyloliquefaciens (subsp. amyloliquefaciens (4) and subsp. plantarum (4)), B. tequilensis (3), B. pumilus (3) and Bacillus sp. (19). Only six isolates (2.5%) belonged to the genus Aeribacillus represented by A. pallidus (4) and Aeribacillus sp. (2). In this study, B. aerius and B. tequilensis are described for the first time as thermophilic bacteria. Moreover, 71.25%, 50.41% and 5.41% of total strains exhibited high amylolytic, proteolytic or cellulolytic activity respectively. <![CDATA[Biomineralization processes of calcite induced by bacteria isolated from marine sediments]]> Biomineralization is a known natural phenomenon associated with a wide range of bacterial species. Bacterial-induced calcium carbonate precipitation by marine isolates was investigated in this study. Three genera of ureolytic bacteria, Sporosarcina sp., Bacillus sp. and Brevundimonas sp. were observed to precipitate calcium carbonate minerals. Of these species, Sporosarcina sp. dominated the cultured isolates. B. lentus CP28 generated higher urease activity and facilitated more efficient precipitation of calcium carbonate at 3.24 ± 0.25 × 10−4 mg/cell. X-ray diffraction indicated that the dominant calcium carbonate phase was calcite. Scanning electron microscopy showed that morphologies of the minerals were dominated by cubic, rhombic and polygonal plate-like crystals. The dynamic process of microbial calcium carbonate precipitation revealed that B. lentus CP28 precipitated calcite crystals through the enzymatic hydrolysis of urea, and that when ammonium ion concentrations reached 746 mM and the pH reached 9.6, that favored calcite precipitation at a higher level of 96 mg/L. The results of this research provide evidence that a variety of marine bacteria can induce calcium carbonate precipitation, and may influence the marine carbonate cycle in natural environments. <![CDATA[Identification of <em>Leptospira</em> serovars by RFLP of the RNA polymerase beta subunit gene (<em>rpo</em>B)]]> Leptospires are usually classified by methods based on DNA-DNA hybridization and the conventional cross-agglutination absorption test, which uses polyclonal antibodies against lipopolysaccharides. In this study, the amplification of the rpoB gene, which encodes the beta-subunit of RNA polymerase, was used as an alternative tool to identify Leptospira. DNA extracts from sixty-eight serovars were obtained, and the hypervariable region located between 1990 and 2500-bp in the rpoB gene was amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The 600-bp amplicons of the rpoB gene were digested with the restriction endonucleases TaqI, Tru1I, Sau3AI and MslI, and the restriction fragments were separated by 6% polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Thirty-five fragment patters were obtained from the combined data of restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) analysis and used to infer the phylogenetic relationships among the Leptospira species and serovars. The species assignments obtained were in full agreement with the established taxonomic classifications. Twenty-two serovars were effectively identified based on differences in their molecular profiles. However, the other 46 serovars remained clustered in groups that included more than one serovar of different species. This study demonstrates the value of RFLP analysis of PCR-amplified rpoB as an initial method for identifying Leptospira species and serovars. <![CDATA[Nosocomial candidiasis in Rio de Janeiro State: Distribution and fluconazole susceptibility profile]]> One hundred and forty-one Candida species isolated from clinical specimens of hospitalized patients in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, during 2002 to 2007, were analized in order to evaluate the distribution and susceptibility of these species to fluconazole. Candida albicans was the most frequent species (45.4%), followed by C. parapsilosis sensu lato (28.4%), C. tropicalis (14.2%), C. guilliermondii (6.4%), C. famata (2.8%), C. glabrata (1.4%), C. krusei (0.7%) and C. lambica (0.7%). The sources of fungal isolates were blood (47.5%), respiratory tract (17.7%), urinary tract (16.3%), skin and mucous membrane (7.1%), catheter (5.6%), feces (2.1%) and mitral valve tissue (0.7%). The susceptibility test was performed using the methodology of disk-diffusion in agar as recommended in the M44-A2 Document of the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI). The majority of the clinical isolates (97.2%) was susceptible (S) to fluconazole, although three isolates (2.1%) were susceptible-dose dependent (S-DD) and one of them (0.7%) was resistant (R). The S-DD isolates were C. albicans, C. parapsilosis sensu lato and C. tropicalis. One isolate of C. krusei was resistant to fluconazole. This work documents the high susceptibility to fluconazole by Candida species isolated in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. <![CDATA[Descriptive study of onychomycosis in a hospital in São Paulo]]> Onychomychosis, a nail fungus infection is the most frequent nail ailment, constituting about half of all nail disorders. It can be caused by dermatophytes, non-dermatophytes, yeasts and Prothoteca spp. Methods include 5407 samples of patients with suspected onychomycosis, studied from January 2002 to December 2006, by direct mycological examination and fungi culture. The diagnosis of onychomycosis was confirmed in samples from 3822 direct mycological and/or culture positive. The diagnosis was established by culture for fungi. Among the 1.428 identified agents, the dermatophytes were responsible for 68.6% (N = 980) of cases, followed by yeasts with 27.6% (N = 394), non-dermatophytes fungi with 2.2% (N = 31), Prothoteca spp with 0.1% (N = 2), and associations with 1.5% (N = 22). Females were more affected, with 66% (N = 2527) of cases, and the most affected age group ranged from 31 to 60 years of age (median 47 years). Fungal microbiota is often changed in the world, both quantitatively and qualitatively, and is affected by several environmental factors. Thus, the periodic review of the composition of this microbiota is important to evaluate the epidemiology and thus proportion a better therapeutic response. <![CDATA[Long-term evaluation of the antimicrobial susceptibility and microbial profile of subgingival biofilms in individuals with aggressive periodontitis]]> This study evaluates the antimicrobial susceptibility and composition of subgingival biofilms in generalized aggressive periodontitis (GAP) patients treated using mechanical/antimicrobial therapies, including chlorhexidine (CHX), amoxicillin (AMX) and metronidazole (MET). GAP patients allocated to the placebo (C, n = 15) or test group (T, n = 16) received full-mouth disinfection with CHX, scaling and root planning, and systemic AMX (500 mg)/MET (250 mg) or placebos. Subgingival plaque samples were obtained at baseline, 3, 6, 9 and 12 months post-therapy from 3–4 periodontal pockets, and the samples were pooled and cultivated under anaerobic conditions. The minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of AMX, MET and CHX were assessed using the microdilution method. Bacterial species present in the cultivated biofilm were identified by checkerboard DNA-DNA hybridization. At baseline, no differences in the MICs between groups were observed for the 3 antimicrobials. In the T group, significant increases in the MICs of CHX (p &lt; 0.05) and AMX (p &lt; 0.01) were detected during the first 3 months; however, the MIC of MET decreased at 12 months (p &lt; 0.05). For several species, the MICs significantly changed over time in both groups, i.e., Streptococci MICs tended to increase, while for several periodontal pathogens, the MICs diminished. A transitory increase in the MIC of the subgingival biofilm to AMX and CHX was observed in GAP patients treated using enhanced mechanical therapy with topical CHX and systemic AMX/MET. Both protocols presented limited effects on the cultivable subgingival microbiota. <![CDATA[KPC-2-producing <em>Klebsiella pneumonia</em>e in a hospital in the Midwest region of Brazil]]> The emergence of β-lactamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae in the last few decades has become major challenge faced by hospitals. In this study, isolates of Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase-2 (KPC-2)-producing K. pneumoniae from a tertiary hospital in Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil, were characterized. Bacterial identification was performed by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF; Bruker Daltonics, Germany) mass spectrometry. The minimum inhibitory concentrations of carbapenems were determined using the agar dilution method as recommended by the Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute guidelines. Carbapenemase production was detected using the modified Hodge test (MHT) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR), followed by DNA sequencing. Of 360 (12.2%) K. pneumoniae isolates obtained between May 2009 and May 2010, 44 (12.2%) were carbapenem nonsusceptible. Of these 44 isolates, thirty-six K. pneumoniae isolates that were positive by MHT and PCR carried the blaKPC-2 gene. Thus, KPC-2producing Klebsiella pneumoniae has been present in a Brazilian hospital located in the Midwest region since at least 2009. <![CDATA[Prevalence of <em>Helicobacter pylori</em> in children in eastern Turkey and molecular typing of isolates]]> The objectives of the present study were to determine Helicobacter pylori via culture, polymerase chain reaction and histopathological diagnosis in 101 children ranging in age from 4 to 18 years, to identify the association among restriction fragment length polymorphism types and clinical disease and to investigate the relationships among different isolates of H. pylori in different age groups. We observed a high prevalence of H. pylori infections in children between the ages of 13 and 18 (75.8%), while children aged 4 to 6 years had the lowest prevalence of infection (40%). H. pylori was detected in 30.7% (31 of 101), 66.3% (67 of 101) and 63.2% (60 of 95) of children as determined by culture methods, PCR and histological examination, respectively. H. pylori isolates with RFLP types I and III were the most common among children with antral nodularity, whereas RFLP types II and IV were the least detected types. Interestingly, all isolates from peptic ulcer patients were type III. Although our results show a high prevalence of H. pylori infections in the pediatric population in eastern Turkey, no association was identified between H. pylori infection with antral nodularity and recurring abdominal pain. In addition, we found low genetic variation among H. pylori isolates from children and no association between RFLP types and antral nodularity (p &gt; 0.05). Additionally, we found that H. pylori isolates with specific RFLP types were predominant in different age groups. <![CDATA[Seroepidemiology of <em>Paracoccidioides brasiliensis</em> infection in horses from Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil]]> Paracoccidioides brasiliensis is the etiological agent of the major systemic mycosis in Brazil, called paracoccidioidomycosis. Although the Rio Grande do Sul is considered an endemic area of the disease, there are few studies on the ecology of P. brasiliensis in the state. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the infection of P. brasiliensis in horses from the mesoregion of Southwest Riograndense, using these animals as sentinels. Serological techniques, such as double immunodiffusion in agar gel (AGID) and indirect ELISA, were performed to detect the anti-gp43 P. brasiliensis antibody in horses from five different farms in the region of Bagé, RS, Brazil. Serology was performed in 200 Pure Blood English horses up to two years of age that were born and raised exclusively at the farms. Of these horses, 12% had anti-gp43 antibodies according to the ELISA results, with rates ranging from 0 to 30% according to the farm of origin (p &lt; 0.001). Based on the immunodiffusion results, all equine serum samples were negative. These results indicate the presence of the fungus P. brasiliensis in the middle region of the southwestern state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. <![CDATA[Antimicrobial activity of the essential oil of <em>Tetradenia riparia</em> (Hochst.) Codd. (Lamiaceae) against cariogenic bacteria]]> In Brazilian folk medicine, Tetradenia riparia (Hochst.) Codd. (Lamiaceae) is used to treat toothaches and dental abscesses and diseases induced by worms, bacteria, or fungi. This paper aims to investigate the chemical composition and the antibacterial effects of the essential oil obtained from Tetradenia riparia leaves (TR-EO) grown in Southeastern Brazil against a representative panel of oral pathogens. We evaluated the antibacterial activity of TR-EO in terms of the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC). We identified aromadendrene oxide (14.0%), (E,E)-farnesol (13.6%), dronabinol (12.5%), and fenchone (6.2%) as the major constituents of TR-EO. TR-EO displayed MIC values between 31.2 and 500 μg/mL, with the lowest MIC value being obtained against Streptococcus mitis (31.2 μg/mL), S. mutans (62.5 μg/mL), S. sobrinus (31.2 μg/mL), and Lactobacillus casei (62.5 μg/mL). In time-kill experiments, TR-EO demonstrated bactericidal activity against S. mutans within the first 12 h, resulting in a curve profile similar to that of chlorhexidine. These results revealed that the essential oil of Tetradenia riparia displays promising activity against most of the selected cariogenic bacteria, including Streptococcus mutans. <![CDATA[Invasive infection due to <em>Saprochaete capitata</em> in a young patient with hematological malignancies]]> We report a case of invasive infection due to Saprochaete capitata in a patient with hematological malignancies after chemotherapy treatment and empiric antifungal therapy with caspofungin. Although severely immunocompromised the patient survived been treated with amphotericin B lipid complex associated with voriconazole. <![CDATA[Mannitol-negative methicillin-resistant <em>Staphylococcus aureus</em> from nasal swab specimens in Brazil]]> The isolation of mannitol-negative methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus from nasal swabs is reported. Among the 59 isolates, 9 (15%) isolates were mannitol-negative; all of these isolates were categorized as staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) type IVa. This report emphasizes that mannitol fermentation on mannitol salt agar should not be used as the sole criterion when screening nasal swab specimens for S. aureus. <![CDATA[Clonal profile, virulence and resistance of <em>Staphylococcus aureus</em> isolated from sheep milk]]> The objective of this study was to characterize the clonal profile, virulence factors and antimicrobial resistance, particularly oxacillin resistance, of Staphylococcus aureus isolated from sheep milk. Milk samples were collected from all teats for the California Mastitis Test (CMT), somatic cell count, identification of S. aureus, investigation in these strains of genes encoding toxins (sea, seb, sec, sed, tst), biofilm (icaA, icaC, icaD, bap), leukocidin (luk-PV) oxacillin resistance by mecA gene detection and susceptibility testing (12 antibiotics). Messenger RNA expression was evaluated by RT-PCR in isolates carrying toxin and biofilm genes. Biofilm formation was also evaluated phenotypically by adherence to polystyrene plates. The clonal profile of S. aureus was investigated by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. A total of 473 milk samples were collected from 242 animals on three farms and 20 S. aureus strains were isolated and none carried the mecA gene. The two sec gene-positive isolates and the isolates carrying the tst and luk-PV genes were positive by RT-PCR. Staphylococcus aureus isolated from the three flocks studied showed high susceptibility to the drugs tested and none was biofilm producer, indicating that biofilm formation was not a virulence factor causing infection by these strains. The typing of 17 S. aureus isolates revealed the presence of a common clone on the three farms studied, and the presence and expression of the sec and tst genes in one strain of this clone suggest the possible acquisition of virulence genes by this clone, a fact that is important for animal health and food hygiene. <![CDATA[Differences in the antimicrobial susceptibility profiles of <em>Moraxella bovis</em>, <em>M. bovoculi</em> and <em>M. ovis</em>]]> The aim of this study was to determine the differences in the antimicrobial susceptibility profiles of Moraxella bovis, M. bovoculi and M. ovis. Thirty-two strains of Moraxella spp. isolated from cattle and sheep with infectious keratoconjunctivitis were tested via broth microdilution method to determine their susceptibility to ampicillin, cefoperazone, ceftiofur, cloxacillin, enrofloxacin, florfenicol, gentamicin, neomycin, oxytetracycline and penicillin. The results demonstrated that Moraxella spp. strains could be considered sensitive for most of the antimicrobials tested in this study, but differences between the antimicrobial susceptibility profiles of these three Moraxella species were found. M. bovis might differ from other species due to the higher MIC and MBC values it presented. <![CDATA[The use of singleplex and nested PCR to detect <em>Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis</em> in free-living frogs]]> Many microorganisms are able to cause diseases in amphibians, and in the past few years one of the most reported has been Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. This fungus was first reported in Brazil in 2005; following this, other reports were made in specimens deposited in museum collections, captive and free-living frogs. The aim of this study was to compare singleplex and nested-PCR techniques to detect B. dendrobatidis in free-living and apparently healthy adult frogs from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. The sample collection area was a protected government park, with no general entrance permitted and no management of the animals there. Swabs were taken from the skin of 107 animals without macroscopic lesions and they were maintained in ethanol p.a. Fungal DNA was extracted and identification of B. dendrobatidis was performed using singleplex and nested-PCR techniques, employing specific primers sequences. B. dendrobatidis was detected in 61/107 (57%) and 18/107 (17%) animals, respectively by nested and singleplex-PCR. Nested-PCR was statistically more sensible than the conventional for the detection of B. dendrobatidis (Chi-square = 37.1; α = 1%) and the agreement between both techniques was considered just fair (Kappa = 0.27). The high prevalence obtained confirms that these fungi occur in free-living frogs from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest with no macroscopic lesions, characterizing the state of asymptomatic carrier. We concluded that the nested-PCR technique, due to its ease of execution and reproducibility, can be recommended as one of the alternatives in epidemiological surveys to detect B. dendrobatidis in healthy free-living frog populations. <![CDATA[Molecular typing of Argentinian <em>Mycobacterium avium</em> subsp. <em>paratuberculosis</em> isolates by multiple-locus variable number-tandem repeat analysis]]> Multiple-locus variable number-tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) of Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) isolates may contribute to the knowledge of strain diversity in Argentina. Although the diversity of MAP has been previously investigated in Argentina using IS900-RFLP, a small number of isolates were employed, and a low discriminative power was reached. The aim of the present study was to test the genetic diversity among MAP isolates using an MLVA approach based on 8 repetitive loci. We studied 97 isolates from cattle, goat and sheep and could describe 7 different patterns: INMV1, INMV2, INMV11, INMV13, INMV16, INMV33 and one incomplete pattern. INMV1 and INMV2 were the most frequent patterns, grouping 76.3% of the isolates. We were also able to demonstrate the coexistence of genotypes in herds and co-infection at the organism level. This study shows that all the patterns described are common to those described in Europe, suggesting an epidemiological link between the continents. <![CDATA[Molecular characterization of Brazilian equid herpesvirus type 1 strains based on neuropathogenicity markers]]> Partial nucleotide sequences of ORF72 (glycoprotein D, gD), ORF64 (infected cell protein 4, ICP4) and ORF30 (DNA polymerase) genes were compared with corresponding sequences of EHV-1 reference strains to characterize the molecular variability of Brazilian strains. Virus isolation assays were applied to 74 samples including visceral tissue, total blood, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and nasal swabs of specimens from a total of 64 animals. Only one CSF sample (Iso07/05 strain) was positive by virus isolation in cell culture. EHV-1 Iso07/05 neurologic strain and two abortion visceral tissues samples (Iso11/06 and Iso33/06) were PCR-positive for ORF33 (glycoprotein B, gB) gene of EHV-1. A sequence analysis of the ORF72, ORF64 and ORF30 genes from three EHV-1 archival strains (A3/97, A4/72, A9/92) and three clinical samples (Iso07/05, Iso11/06 and Iso33/06) suggested that among Brazilian EHV-1 strains, the amplified region of the gD gene sequence is highly conserved. Additionally, the analysis of ICP4 gene showed high nucleotide and amino acid identities when compared with genotype P strains, suggesting that the EHV-1 Brazilian strains belonged to the same group. All the EHV-1 Brazilian strains were classified as non-neuropathogenic variants (N752) based on the ORF30 analysis. These findings indicate a high conservation of the gD-, ICP4- and ORF30-encoding sequences. Different pathotypes of the EHV-1 strain might share identical genes with no specific markers, and tissue tropism is not completely dependent on the gD envelope, immediate-early ICP4 and DNA polymerase proteins. <![CDATA[<em>Borrelia burgdorferi</em> sensu lato in humans in a rural area of Paraná State, Brazil]]> This study describes the detection of Borrelia garinii and Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto (s.s.) in Brazilian individuals using PCR and DNA sequencing. Our results suggest that these species are emerging pathogens in this country, and additional studies are necessary to determine the epidemiological characteristics of this disease in Brazil. <![CDATA[<em>In vitro</em> ability of beer fermentation residue and yeast-based products to bind aflatoxin B<sub>1</sub>]]> This study aimed to verify the in vitro ability of beer fermentation residue (BFR) containing Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells and five commercial products that differed in the viability and integrity of S. cerevisiae cells to remove aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) from a citrate-phosphate buffer solution (CPBS). BFR was collected at a microbrewery and prepared by drying and milling. The commercial yeast-based products were as follows: inactive intact yeast cells from beer alcoholic fermentation, inactive intact yeast cells from sugarcane alcoholic fermentation, hydrolyzed yeast cells, yeast cell walls and active yeast cells. Adsorption assays were performed in CPBS spiked with 1.0 μg AFB1/mL at pH 3.0 and 6.0 for a contact time of 60 min at room temperature. Analysis of AFB1 in the samples was performed by high performance liquid chromatography. AFB1 adsorption by the products ranged from 45.5% to 69.4% at pH 3.0 and from 24.0% to 63.8% at pH 6.0. The higher percentages (p &lt; 0.05) of AFB1 binding at both pH values were achieved with products containing hydrolyzed yeast cells or yeast cell walls rather than intact cells. The AFB1 binding percentages of BFR were 55.0 ± 5.0% at pH 3.0 and 49.2 ± 4.5% at pH 6.0, which was not significantly different (p &gt; 0.05) from commercial products containing inactive intact yeast cells. The results of this trial indicate that the yeast-based products tested, especially the BFR, have potential applications in animal feeds as a suitable biological method for reducing the adverse effects of aflatoxins. <![CDATA[Microbiological quality and safe handling of enteral diets in a hospital in Minas Gerais, Brazil]]> Contamination of enteral diets represents a high risk of compromising the patient's medical condition. To assess the microbiological quality and aseptic conditions in the preparation and administration of handmade and industrialized enteral diets offered in a hospital in the Valley of Jequitinhonha, MG, Brazil, we performed a microbiological analysis of 50 samples of diets and 27 samples of surfaces, utensils, and water used in the preparation of the diets. In addition, we assessed the good handling practices of enteral diets according to the requirements specified by the Brazilian legislation. Both kinds of enteral diets showed contamination by coliforms and Pseudomonas spp. No sample was positive for Staphylococcus aureus and Salmonella spp. On the other hand, Listeria spp. was detected in only one sample of handmade diets. Contamination was significantly higher in the handmade preparations (p &lt; 0.05). Nonconformities were detected with respect to good handling practices, which may compromise the diet safety. The results indicate that the sanitary quality of the enteral diets is unsatisfactory, especially handmade diets. Contamination by Pseudomonas spp. is significant because it is often involved in infection episodes. With regard to aseptic practices, it was observed the need of implementing new procedures for handling enteral diets. <![CDATA[Effect of rosemary essential oil and modified-atmosphere packaging (MAP) on meat quality and survival of pathogens in poultry fillets]]> The effect of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) essential oil (REO) and modified-atmosphere packaging (MAP) on the survival of certain pathogens (Salmonella Typhimurium and Listeria monocytogenes) in poultry fillets and on their meat quality during 7 days of refrigerated storage were investigated. Because REO at 0.05% and 0.1% had weak antibacterial activity and REO at 0.3%, 0.5% and 1.0% imparted unacceptable organoleptic properties, only REO at 0.2% was used to treat the poultry meat. The results showed that adding 0.2% REO to poultry fillets did not reduce the size of the population of S. Typhimurium and L. monocytogenes. However, REO treatment significantly decreased the L* (lightness) value and increased the a* (redness) value of stored fillets, and adding REO in combination with MAP reduced the level of lipid oxidation. In conclusion, in a suitable combination, REO can be applied to improve the quality of meat, but further studies should be conducted to determine the appropriate commercial level for different meat products. <![CDATA[Characteristics of <em>dr1790</em> disruptant and its functional analysis in <em>Deinococcus radiodurans</em>]]> Deinococcus radiodurans (DR) is an extremophile that is well known for its resistance to radiation, oxidants and desiccation. The gene dr1790 of D. radiodurans was predicted to encode a yellow-related protein. The primary objective of the present study was to characterize the biological function of the DR1790 protein, which is a member of the ancient yellow/major royal jelly (MRJ) protein family, in prokaryotes. Fluorescence labeling demonstrated that the yellow-related protein encoded by dr1790 is a membrane protein. The deletion of the dr1790 gene decreased the cell growth rate and sensitivity to hydrogen peroxide and radiation and increased the membrane permeability of D. radiodurans. Transcript profiling by microarray and RT-PCR analyses of the dr1790 deletion mutant suggested that some genes that are involved in protein secretion and transport were strongly suppressed, while other genes that are involved in protein quality control, such as chaperones and proteases, were induced. In addition, the expression of genes with predicted functions that are involved in antioxidant systems, electron transport, and energy metabolism was significantly altered through the disruption of dr1790. Moreover, the results of proteomic analyses using 2-DE and MS also demonstrated that DR1790 contributed to D. radiodurans survival. Taken together, these results indicate that the DR1790 protein from the ancient yellow protein family plays a pleiotropic role in the survival of prokaryotic cells and contributes to the extraordinary resistance of D. radiodurans against oxidative and radiation stresses. <![CDATA[Oleanolic acid and ursolic acid inhibit peptidoglycan biosynthesis in <em>Streptococcus mutans</em> UA159]]> In this study, we revealed that OA and UA significantly inhibited the expression of most genes related to peptidoglycan biosynthesis in S. mutans UA159. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report to introduce the antimicrobial mechanism of OA and UA against S. mutans. <![CDATA[LAMP technology: Rapid identification of <em>Brucella</em> and <em>Mycobacterium avium</em> subsp. <em>paratuberculosis</em>]]> In this study, we developed new sets of primers to detect Brucella spp. and M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) through isothermal amplification. We selected a previously well-characterized target gene, bscp31, specific for Brucella spp. and IS900 for MAP. The limits of detection using the loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) protocols described herein were similar to those of conventional PCR targeting the same sequences. Hydroxynaphtol blue and SYBR GreenTM allowed direct naked-eye detection with identical sensitivity as agarose gel electrophoresis. We included the LAMP-based protocol in a rapid identification scheme of the respective pathogens, and all tested isolates were correctly identified within 2 to 3 h. In addition, both protocols were suitable for specifically identifying the respective pathogens; in the case of Brucella, it also allowed the identification of all the biovars tested. We conclude that LAMP is a suitable rapid molecular typing tool that could help to shorten the time required to identify insidious bacteria in low-complexity laboratories, mainly in developing countries. <![CDATA[Platelets can be a biological compartment for the Hepatitis C Virus]]> Although HCV has hepatic tropism, the presence of the virus in extra-hepatic compartments has been well documented. Platelets have been described as carriers of the virus in the circulation and may be a natural reservoir for the virus. However, few studies have been performed to evaluate the levels of HCV RNA in plasma and platelets are equal or differ in some way. Therefore, the aim of this study was to perform a comparative evaluation of the stability of HCV RNA in plasma and isolated platelets. Four aliquots of whole plasma obtained from patients infected with HCV were incubated at 37 °C for 0, 48, 96 and 144 h. After incubation, the plasma and platelet pellet was obtained from each aliquot. Viral RNA in plasma and platelets was quantified by q-PCR. The results showed a decrease in HCV RNA levels in plasma with incubation time. However, platelet HCV RNA levels were stable up to 144 h incubation. The results of this study showed that HCV RNA in platelets, although at lower concentrations than in plasma, is preserved from degradation over time, suggesting that the virus may persist longer in the body when associated with platelets, which could have an impact on the efficiency of antiviral therapy. <![CDATA[Enhanced production of prodigiosin by <em>Serratia marcescens</em> MO-1 using ram horn peptone]]> This work addresses the production of prodigiosin from ram horn peptone (RHP) using MO-1, a local isolate in submerged culture. First, a novel gram-negative and rod-shaped bacterial strain, MO-1, was isolated from the body of the grasshopper (Poecilemon tauricola Ramme 1951), which was collected from pesticide-contaminated fields. Sequence analysis of 16S rDNA classified the microbe as Serratia marcescens. The substrate utilization potential (BIOLOG) and fatty acid methyl ester profile (FAME) of S. marcescens were also determined. The effect of RHP on the production of prodigiosin by S. marcescens MO-1 was investigated, and the results showed that RHP supplementation promoted the growth of MO-1 and increased the production of prodigiosin. A concentration of 0.4% (w/v) RHP resulted in the greatest yield of prodigiosin (277.74 mg/L) after 48 h when mannitol was used as the sole source of carbon. The pigment yield was also influenced by the types of carbon sources and peptones. As a result, RHP was demonstrated to be a suitable substrate for prodigiosin production. These results revealed that prodigiosin could be produced efficiently by S. marcescens using RHP.