Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Brazilian Journal of Microbiology]]> vol. 43 num. 1 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Physiological studies on carboxymethyl cellulase formation by <i>Aspergillus terreus</i> DSM 826</b>]]> Physiological studies were conducted to determine the optimum cultural conditions for maximal carboxymethyl cellulase (CMCase) formation by Aspergillus terreus DSM 826. Shaking condition at 150 rpm is favorable for the production of CMCase from rice straw and sugar cane bagasse. The highest enzyme yield was obtained at the third day of incubation at 30ºC for both cases; however CMCase formation occurred at a broad range of pH values, with maximal formation of A. terreus DSM 826 CMCase at pH 4.5 and 5.0 when rice straw and sugar cane bagasse were used as sole carbon source, respectively. Carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) was found to be a good inducer for CMCase formation in both agricultural wastes with CMC concentrations of 0.5 and 1.0 % (w/v) in case of rice straw and sugar cane bagasse, respectively. High level of enzyme formation was obtained with the addition of ammonium chloride as nitrogen source in both cases and at a concentration of 0.4 % (v/v Tween-80) as an addition to medium containing rice straw. However this addition did not influence the production of CMCase in case of using sugar cane bagasse as carbon source. <![CDATA[<b>Aeration effect on<i> Spirulina platensis </i>growth and </b><b>γ</b><b>-linolenic acid production</b>]]> The influence of aeration on algal growth and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) production in a bubble column photobioreactor was investigated. Studies were performed in a 20-L reactor at different aeration rates (0.2-2.5 vvm). Static, continuous, and periodic operation of air resulted in 41.9%, 88.4%, and 108% air saturation of dissolved oxygen, for which the corresponding values of GLA were 2.3, 6.5, and 7.5 mg·g-1 dry cell weight, respectively. An increase in the aeration rate from 0.2 to 2.5 vvm enhanced both the specific growth rate and GLA content under periodic sparging in the bicarbonate medium. With a 6-fold increase in the aeration rate, the GLA content of the alga increased by 69.64% (5.6-9.5 mg· g-1 dry cell weight). In addition, the total fatty acid (TFA) content in dry biomass increased from 2.22% to 4.41%, whereas the algae maintained a constant GLA to TFA ratio within the aeration rate tested. The dependence of GLA production on the aeration rate was explained by interrelating the GLA production rate with the specific growth rate using the Luedeking and Piret mixed growth model. <![CDATA[<b>Production and characterization of tyrosinase activity in <i>Pycnoporus sanguineus</i> CCT-4518 crude extract</b>]]> Tyrosinase is an enzyme of industrial interest. The production and characterization of tyrosinase from P. sanguineus CCT-4518 were investigated. The selection of inductors, luminosity influence, inoculum size and type of culture medium on the production of tyrosinase and the effect of inhibitors on enzyme activity were performed. Optimum conditions for intracellular tyrosinase production was observed after 2 days using 0.15% L-tyrosine as inducer, in the presence of light, with inoculum size of 10 mycelium discs, using 2% malt extract broth medium, incubated at 30°C, and constant agitation of 150 rpm. Tyrosinase activity was completely inhibited by the addition of 6 mM salicylhydroxamic acid or phenylthiourea, however an inhibition of 4.15% was recorded by the addition of 0.1 mM sodium azide. No inhibition could be detected in case of 0.1 mM phenyl methanesulfonyl fluoride addition. Optimal conditions for intracellular tyrosinase activity using L-dopa as substrate were observed at pH 6.6 and 45°C. Thermal stability studies indicated that the enzyme is stable at 45°C for 15 minutes. Higher temperatures decreased tyrosinase activity. Enzyme production was confirmed by non-denaturing polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and the protein profile was investigated by denaturing polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. <![CDATA[<b>Optimization of extracellular thermophilic highly alkaline lipase from thermophilic <i>Bacillus</i> sp isolated from Hotspring of Arunachal Pradesh, India</b>]]> Studies on lipase production were carried out with a bacterial strain (Bacillus sp LBN 2) isolated from soil sample of hotspring of Arunachal Pradesh, India. The cells were cultivated in a mineral medium with maximum production at 1% groundnut oil. The optimum temperature and initial medium pH for lipase production by the organism were 50ºC and 9.0 respectively. The molecular mass was found to be 33KDa by SDS PAGE. The optimal pH and temperature for activity were 10 and 60ºC respectively. The enzyme was found to be stable in the pH range of 8-11 with 90% retention of activity at pH 11. The enzyme retained 90% activity at 60ºC and 70% of activity at 70ºC for 1h. The lipase was found to be stable in acetone followed by ethanol. The present findings suggested the enzyme to be thermophilic alkaline lipase. <![CDATA[<b>Production of lytic enzymes by<i> Trichoderma</i> isolates during <i>in vitro</i> antagonism with <i>Aspergillus niger</i>, the causal agent of collar rot of peanut</b>]]> Twelve isolates of Trichoderma (six of T. harzianum, five of T. viride, one of T. virens), which reduced variably the incidence of collar rot disease caused in peanut by Aspergillus niger Van Tieghem, were evaluated for their potential to produce lytic enzymes during in vitro antagonism. T. viride 60 inhibited highest (86.2%) growth of test fungus followed by T. harzianum 2J (80.4%) at 6 days after inoculation (DAI) on PDA media. The specific activities of chitinase, β-1,3-glucanase and protease were 11, 3.46 and 9 folds higher in T6 antagonist (T. viride 60 and A. niger interactions) followed by 8.72, 2.85 and 9 folds in T8 antagonist (T. harzianum 2J and A. niger interactions), respectively, compared to the activity produced by control petri plate T13 (A. niger alone) at 6 DAI. Activity of these lytic enzymes induced in antagonists' plates comprises the growth of Trichoderma isolates. However, cellulase and poly galacturonase were found least amount in these antagonists treatment. A significant positive correlation (p=0.01) between percentage growth inhibition of test fungus and lytic enzymes - (chitinase, β-1,3-glucanase and protease) in the culture medium of antagonist treatment established a relationship to inhibit growth of fungal pathogen by increasing the levels of these enzymes. Among the Trichoderma isolates, T. viride 60 was found best strain to be used in biological control of plant pathogen A. niger. <![CDATA[<b>Alkali pretreated of wheat straw and its enzymatic hydrolysis</b>]]> The efficiency of enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose can be improved by various pretreatments of the substrate. In order to increase the efficiency of enzymatic saccharification of the wheat straw, we determined the effect of different pretreatments on the physical structure, chemical components and enzymatic saccharification of wheat straw. Our results showed that combination of grinding and sodium hydroxide (NaOH) treatment had high effect on the enzymatic hydrolysis of wheat straws. The optimal pretreatment condition was to grind the wheat straws into the sizes of 120 meshes followed by treatment with 1.0% NaOH for 1.5 h (121°C/15psi). Under this condition, the cellulose content of wheat straw was increased by 44.52%, while the content of hemicellulose and lignin was decreased by 44.15% and 42.52%, respectively. Scanning Electronic Microscopy and infrared spectrum analyses showed that significant changes occurred in the structure of wheat straws after pretreatment, which is favorable for the hydrolysis and saccharification. Cellulase produced by Penicillium waksmanii F10-2 was used to hydrolyze the pretreated wheat straw and the optimal condition was determined to be 30 h of enzymatic reaction under the temperature of 55°C, pH 5.5 and substrate concentration of 3%. <![CDATA[<b>Production of inulinase from <i>Kluyveromyces marxianus</i> using Dahlia tuber extract</b>]]> Various carbon sources were evaluated for production of inulinase by yeast, Kluyveromyces marxianus MTCC 3995. Highest inulinase activity was observed with Dahlia extract (25.3 nkat mL-1) as carbon source. The enzyme activity was 1.4 folds higher than that observed in media containing pure chicory inulin (17.8 nkat mL-1). The yeast showed good growth on a simple medium containing dahlia extract (20% w/v) and yeast extract (2%w/v) as carbon and nitrogen source respectively, in 96 h. at 28°C and 120 rpm. Lowest inulinase yield (4.8 nkat mL-1) was seen in the medium containing glucose as C-source. Although varied inulinase levels were noticed on different C- sources, Inulinase: Sucrase (I/S) ratios were noticed to be similar. Among various protein sources tested, yeast extract was found to be the best source followed by beef extract (17.9 nkat mL-1) and peptone (13.8 nkat mL-1). The enzyme was optimally active at pH (4.0) and 50°C. TLC analysis of end product revealed that inulinase hydrolyzed inulin exclusively into fructose. Results suggest that the dahlia extract induced exoinulinase synthesis in Kluyveromyces marxianus and can be utilized as a potential substrate for inulinase production. <![CDATA[<b>Biosynthesis, purification and characterization of endoglucanase from a xylanase producing strain <i>Aspergillus niger</i> B03</b>]]> An extracellular endoglucanase was isolated from the culture liquid of xylanase producing strain Aspergillus niger B03. The enzyme was purified to a homogenous form, using consecutive ultrafiltration, anion exchange chromatography, and gel filtration. Endoglucanase was a monomer protein with a molecular weight of 26,900 Da determined by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, and 28,800 Da determined by gel filtration. The optimal pH and temperature values for the enzyme action were 3.5 and 65ºC respectively. Endoglucanase was stable at 40ºC, pH 3.0 for 210 min. The substrate specificity of the enzyme was determined with carboxymethyl cellulose, filter paper, and different glycosides. Endoglucanase displayed maximum activity in the case of carboxymethyl cellulose, with a Km value of 21.01 mg/mL. The substrate specificity and the pattern of substrate degradation suggested that the enzyme is an endoglucanase. Endoglucanase showed a synergism with endoxylanase in corn cobs hydrolysis. <![CDATA[<b>Systematic mutagenesis method for enhanced production of bacitracin by <i>Bacillus licheniformis</i> mutant strain UV-MN-HN-6</b>]]> The purpose of the current study was intended to obtain the enhanced production of bacitracin by Bacillus licheniformis through random mutagenesis and optimization of various parameters. Several isolates of Bacillus licheniformis were isolated from local habitat and isolate designated as GP-35 produced maximum bacitracin production (14±0.72 IU ml-1). Bacitracin production of Bacillus licheniformis GP-35 was increased to 23±0.69 IU ml-1 after treatment with ultraviolet (UV) radiations. Similarly, treatment of vegetative cells of GP-35 with chemicals like N-methyl N'-nitro N-nitroso guanidine (MNNG) and Nitrous acid (HNO2) increased the bacitracin production to a level of 31±1.35 IU ml-1 and 27±0.89 IU ml-1 respectively. Treatment of isolate GP-35 with combined effect of UV and chemical treatment yield significantly higher titers of bacitracin with maximum bacitracin production of 41.6±0.92 IU ml-1. Production of bacitracin was further enhanced (59.1±1.35 IU ml-1) by optimization of different parameters like phosphate sources, organic acids as well as temperature and pH. An increase of 4.22 fold in the production of bacitracin after mutagenesis and optimization of various parameters was achieved in comparison to wild type. Mutant strain was highly stable and produced consistent yield of bacitracin even after 15 generations. On the basis of kinetic variables, notably Yp/s (IU/g substrate), Yp/x (IU/g cells), Yx/s (g/g), Yp/s, mutant strain B. licheniformis UV-MN-HN-6 was found to be a hyperproducer of bacitracin. <![CDATA[<b>Fermentation and enzyme treatments for sorghum</b>]]> Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor Moench) is the fifth most produced cereal worldwide. However, some varieties of this cereal contain antinutritional factors, such as tannins and phytate that may form stable complexes with proteins and minerals which decreases digestibility and nutritional value. The present study sought to diminish antinutritional tannins and phytate present in sorghum grains. Three different treatments were studied for that purpose, using enzymes tannase (945 U/Kg sorghum), phytase (2640 U/Kg sorghum) and Paecilomyces variotii (1.6 X 10(7) spores/mL); A) Tannase, phytase and Paecilomyces variotii, during 5 and 10 days; B) An innovative blend made of tanase and phytase for 5 days followed by a Pv increase for 5 more days; C) a third treatment where the reversed order of B was used starting with Pv for 5 days and then the blend of tannase and phytase for 5 more days. The results have shown that on average the three treatments were able to reduce total phenols and both hydrolysable and condensed tannins by 40.6, 38.92 and 58.00 %, respectively. Phytase increased the amount of available inorganic phosphorous, on the average by 78.3 %. The most promising results concerning tannins and phytate decreases were obtained by the enzymes combination of tannase and phytase. The three treatments have shown effective on diminishing tannin and phytate contents in sorghum flour which leads us to affirm that the proposed treatments can be used to increase the nutritive value of sorghum grains destined for either animal feeds or human nutrition. <![CDATA[<b>Seasonality of viral respiratory infections in Southeast of Brazil</b>: <b>the influence of temperature and air humidity</b>]]> Viruses are the major cause of lower respiratory tract infections in childhood and the main viruses involved are Human Respiratory Syncytial Virus (HRSV), Human Metapneumovirus (HMPV), Influenzavirus A and B (FLUA and FLUB), Human Parainfluenza Virus 1, 2 and 3 (HPIV1, 2 and 3) and Human Rhinovirus (HRV). The purposes of this study were to detect respiratory viruses in hospitalized children younger than six years and identify the influence of temperature and relative air humidity on the detected viruses. Samples of nasopharyngeal washes were collected from hospitalized children between May/2004 and September/2005. Methods of viral detection were RT-PCR, PCR and HRV amplicons were confirmed by hybridization. Results showed 54% (148/272) of viral positivity. HRSV was detected in 29% (79/272) of the samples; HRV in 23.1% (63/272); HPIV3 in 5.1% (14/272); HMPV in 3.3% (9/272); HPIV1 in 2.9% (8/272); FLUB in 1.4% (4/272), FLUA in 1.1% (3/272), and HPIV2 in 0.3% (1/272). The highest detection rates occurred mainly in the spring 2004 and in the autumn 2005. It was observed that viral respiratory infections tend to increase as the relative air humidity decreases, showing significant association with monthly averages of minimal temperature and minimal relative air humidity. In conclusion, viral respiratory infections vary according to temperature and relative air humidity and viral respiratory infections present major incidences it coldest and driest periods. <![CDATA[<b>Statistical optimisation of cell growth and carotenoid production by <i>Rhodotorula mucilaginosa</i></b>]]> Sequential statistical methods were used to maximise carotenoid production by a strain of Rhodotorula mucilaginosa, isolated from the Brazilian ecosystem. Initially, a factorial 2(5-1) experimental design was used, and the variables were pH and the levels of glucose, yeast extract, MgSO4.7H2O and KH2PO4. The nitrogen source (yeast extract) was the most important variable in enhancing carotenoid production; MgSO4.7H2O and KH2PO4 had a negative influence. The initial pH had no significant effect on carotenoid and cell productions. We further investigated the effects of glucose and yeast extract effects, using a second-order central composite design (CCD) to optimise carotenoid production, which was adequately approximated with a full quadratic equation obtained from a two-factor-2-level design. The analysis of quadratic surfaces showed that after 5 days of cultivation at 25ºC, the maximum carotenoid concentration (745 µg l-1) was obtained with 15 g l-1 of yeast extract and 20 g l-1 of glucose. The maximum carotenoid production (152 µg g-1) was obtained with 5 g l-1 yeast extract and 10 g l-1 glucose. Carotenoid formation was more sensitive to changes in yeast extract concentration than to changes in glucose concentration. Maximum cell production was achieved with 15-17 g l-1 of yeast extract and 15-20 g l-1 of glucose. <![CDATA[<b>Biosurfactants production  by yeasts using  soybean oil and glycerol as low cost substrate</b>]]> Biosurfactants are bioactive agents that can be produced by many different microorganisms. Among those, special attention is given to yeasts, since they can produce many types of biosurfactants in large scale, using several kinds of substrates, justifying its use for industrial production of those products. For this production to be economically viable, the use of residual carbon sources is recommended. The present study isolated yeasts from soil contaminated with petroleum oil hydrocarbons and assessed their capacity for producing biosurfactants in low cost substrates. From a microbial consortium enriched, seven yeasts were isolated, all showing potential for producing biosurfactants in soybean oil. The isolate LBPF 3, characterized as Candida antarctica, obtained the highest levels of production - with a final production of 13.86 g/L. The isolate LBPF 9, using glycerol carbon source, obtained the highest reduction in surface tension in the growth medium: approximately 43% of reduction after 24 hours of incubation. The products obtained by the isolates presented surfactant activity, which reduced water surface tension to values that varied from 34 mN/m, obtained from the product of isolates LBPF 3 and 16 LBPF 7 (respectively characterized as Candida antarctica and Candida albicans) to 43 mN/m from the isolate LPPF 9, using glycerol as substrate. The assessed isolates all showed potential for the production of biosurfactants in conventional sources of carbon as well as in agroindustrial residue, especially in glycerol. <![CDATA[<b>Evaluation of biomass production, carotenoid level and antioxidant capacity produced by <i>Thermus filiformis</i> using fractional factorial design</b>]]> A fractional factorial design 2(5-1) was used to evaluate the effect of temperature, pH, and concentrations of yeast extract, tryptone and Nitsch's trace elements on the biomass, total carotenoids and protection against singlet oxygen by carotenoid extracts of the bacterium Thermus filiformis. In addition, the carotenoid composition was determined by high-performance liquid chromatography connected to a diode array and mass spectrometer detectors (HPLC-DAD-MS/MS). The production of biomass ranged from 0.113 to 0.658 g/L, the total carotenoid from 137.6 to 1,517.4 mg/g and the protection against singlet oxygen from 4.3 to 85.1 %. Results of the fractional factorial design showed that temperature had a negative effect on biomass production and a positive effect on carotenoid content and protection against singlet oxygen, besides, high levels of pH value, concentrations of yeast extract and tryptone had a positive effect on biomass production only at lower temperatures. The main carotenoids of T. filiformis were thermozeaxanthins. In the tested conditions, changes in the levels of the variables influenced the biomass, carotenoid production, and protection against singlet oxygen, although they did not influence the carotenoid profile. The results of this study provide a better understanding on the interactions among certain nutritional and cultivation conditions of a thermophile bacterium, Thermus filiformis, on biomass and carotenoid amounts, as well as on the antioxidant capacity. <![CDATA[<b>Molecular characterisation and biomass and metabolite production of <i>Lactobacillus reuteri</i> LPB P01-001</b>: <b>a potential probiotic</b>]]> Lactobacillus reuteri LPB P01-001 was isolated from the gastrointestinal tract of wild swine and was characterised by biochemical testing and sequencing of gene 16S rRNA. A simple and low-cost culture medium based on cane sugar (2.5% p/v) and yeast extract (1% p/v) was used in the production of this probiotic. The fermentative conditions were a) pH control at 6.5 and b) no pH control; both were set at 37°C in a 12 L slightly stirred tank bioreactor. Fermentation parameters such as the specific growth rate, productivity and yield of biomass, lactic and acetic acid levels were determined. L. reuteri LPB P01-001 behaves as an aciduric bacteria because it grows better in a low pH medium without pH control. However, the lactic acid production yield was practically half (9.22 g.L-1) of that obtained under a constant pH of 6.5, which reached 30.5 g.L-1 after 28 hours of fermentation. The acetic acid production was also higher under pH-controlled fermentation, reaching 10.09 g.L-1 after 28 hours of fermentation. These parameters may raise the interest of those committed to the efficient production of a probiotic agent for swine. <![CDATA[<b>Screening and characterization of a novel alkaline lipase from <i>Acinetobacter calcoaceticus</i> 1-7 isolated from Bohai Bay in China for detergent formulation</b>]]> A novel alkaline lipase-producing strain 1-7 identified as Acinetobacter calcoaceticus was isolated from soil samples collected from Bohai Bay, China, using an olive oil alkaline plate, which contained olive oil as the sole carbon source. The lipase from strain 1-7 showed the maximum activity at pH 9.0 under 40ºC. One interesting feature of this enzyme is that it exhibits lipase activity over a broad range of temperatures and good stability. It is also stable at a broad range of pHs from 4.0 to 10.0 for 24 h. Its catalytic activity was highly enhanced in the presence of Ca2+, Mg2+ and K+, but partially inhibited by Cu2+, Al3+, Fe3+ , Ba2+and Zn2+. The fact that it displays marked stability and activity in the presence of TritonX-100, Tween-20, Tween-80, SDS, Hydrogen peroxide, Sodium perborate, Sodium hypochlorite, Sodium citrate, Sodium taurocholate, Glycerine and NaCl suggests that this lipase is suitable as an additive in detergent formulations. <![CDATA[<b>Osmo-, thermo- and ethanol- tolerances of <i>Saccharomyces cerevisiae</i> S<sub>1</sub></b>]]> Saccharomyces cerevisiae S1, which is a locally isolated and improved strain showed viability at 40, 45 and 50ºC and produced ethanol at 40, 43 and 45ºC. When the cells were given heat shock at 45ºC for 30min and grown at 40ºC, 100% viability was observed for 60h, and addition of 200gl-1 ethanol has led to complete cell death at 30h. Heat shock given at 45ºC (for 30min) has improved the tolerance to temperature induced ethanol shock leading to 37% viability at 30h. when the cells were subjected to ethanol (200gl-1 for 30 min) and osmotic shock (sorbitol 300gl-1), trehalose contents in the cells were increased. The heat shocked cells showed better viability in presence of added ethanol. Soy flour supplementation has improved the viability of S. cerevisiae S1 to 80% in presence of 100gl-1 added ethanol and to 60% in presence of 300gl-1 sorbitol. In presence of sorbitol (200gl-1) and ethanol (50gl-1) at 40ºC, 46% viability was retained by S. cerevisiae S1 at 48h and it was improved to 80% by soy flour supplementation. <![CDATA[<b>Influence of phenolic compounds on the growth and arginine deiminase system in a wine lactic acid bacterium</b>]]> The influence of seven phenolic compounds, normally present in wine, on the growth and arginine deiminase system (ADI) of Lactobacillus hilgardii X1B, a wine lactic acid bacterium, was established. This system provides energy for bacterial growth and produces citrulline that reacts with ethanol forming the carcinogen ethyl carbamate (EC), found in some wines. The influence of phenolic compounds on bacterial growth was compound dependent. Growth and final pH values increased in presence of arginine. Arginine consumption decreased in presence of protocatechuic and gallic acids (31 and 17%, respectively) and increased in presence of quercetin, rutin, catechin and the caffeic and vanillic phenolic acids (between 10 and 13%, respectively). ADI enzyme activities varied in presence of phenolic compounds. Rutin, quercetin and caffeic and vanillic acids stimulated the enzyme arginine deiminase about 37-40%. Amounts of 200 mg/L gallic and protocatechuic acids inhibited the arginine deiminase enzyme between 53 and 100%, respectively. Ornithine transcarbamylase activity was not modified at all concentrations of phenolic compounds. As gallic and protocatechuic acids inhibited the arginine deiminase enzyme that produces citrulline, precursor of EC, these results are important considering the formation of toxic compounds. <![CDATA[<b>Optimization of nutrition factors on chitinase production from a newly isolated <i>Chitiolyticbacter meiyuanensis </i>SYBC-H1</b>]]> The present study reports statistical medial optimization for chitinase production by a novel bacterial strain isolated from soil recently, which the name Chitinolyticbacter meiyuanensis SYBC-H1 is proposed. A sequential statistical methodology comprising of Plackett-Burman and response surface methodology (RSM) was applied to enhance the fermentative production of chitinase, in which inulin was firstly used as an effective carbon source. As a result, maximum chitinase activity of 5.17 U/mL was obtained in the optimized medium, which was 15.5-fold higher than that in the basal medium. The triplicate verification experiments were performed under the optimized nutrients levels which indicated that it well agreed with the predicted value. <![CDATA[<b>Growth, fatty acid profile in major lipid classes and lipid fluidity of <i>Aurantiochytrium mangrovei</i> Sk-02 as a function of growth temperature</b>]]> Aurantiochytrium mangrovei Sk-02 was grown in a medium containing glucose (40 g/l), yeast extract (10 g/L) and sea salts (15 g/L) at temperatures ranging from 12 to 35°C. The fastest growth (µmax= 0.15 h-1) and highest fatty acid content of 415 mg/g-dry cell weight were found in the cells grown at 30°C. However, the cells grown at 12°C showed the highest percentage of polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) (48.6% of total fatty acid). The percentage of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and pentadecanoic acid (C15:0) decreased with an increase in the growth temperature, whereas, palmitic acid (C16:0), stearic acid (C18:0) and DPA (C22:5n6) increased with an increase in the growth temperature. The composition of the major lipid class (%w/w) was slightly affected by the growth temperature. The fluidity of the organelle membrane or intracellular lipid (by DPH measurement) decreased with an increase in the growth temperatures, while the plasma membrane fluidity (by TMA-DPH measurement) could still maintain its fluidity in a wide range of temperatures (15 - 37°C). Furthermore, the distribution of DHA was found to be higher (36 - 54%) in phospholipid (PL) as compared to neutral lipid (NL) (20 - 41%). <![CDATA[<b>Thermostability of xylanolytic enzymes produced by <i>Lentinula edodes</i> UFV70</b>]]> Xylanolytic enzymes produced by Lentinula edodes UFV70, cultivated in eucalyptus sawdust/rice bran medium, were stable at 50, 60 and 65ºC for 21 hours, losing only 15-25% activity. Fungus incubation at 50ºC for 12 hours and at 65ºC for 24 hours increased the amount of xylose produced. <![CDATA[<b>Screening of actinomycetes from earthworm castings for their antimicrobial activity and industrial enzymes</b>]]> Actinomycetes from earthworm castings were isolated and screened for their antimicrobial activity and industrial enzymes. A total of 48 isolates were obtained from 12 samples of earthworm castings. Highest numbers of isolates were recovered from forest site (58.33 %) as compared to grassland (25%) and agricultural land (16.66%). The growth patterns, mycelial coloration of abundance actinomycetes were documented. The dominant genera Identified by cultural, morphological and physiological characteristics were Streptomyces (60.41%) followed by Streptosporangium (10.41%), Saccharopolyspora (6.25%) and Nocardia (6.25%). Besides these, other genera like Micromonospora, Actinomadura, Microbispora, Planobispora and Nocardiopsis were also recovered but in low frequency. Among the 48 isolates, 52.08% were found active against one or more test organisms. Out of 25 active isolates 16% showed activity against bacterial, human fungal as well as phytopathogens. Among 48 isolates 38, 32, 21, 20, 16 and 14 produced enzyme amylase, caseinase, cellulase, gelatinase, xylanase and lipase respectively while 10 isolates produced all the enzymes. More interestingly 2, 3, and 1 isolates produced amylase, xylanase and lipase at 45°C respectively. In the view of its antimicrobial activity as well as enzyme production capability the genus Streptomyces was dominant. The isolate EWC 7(2) was most promising on the basis of its interesting antimicrobial activity and was identified as Streptomyces rochei. The results of these findings have increased the scope of finding industrially important actinomycetes from earthworm castings and these organisms could be promising sources for industrially important molecules or enzymes. <![CDATA[<b>Clinical importance and representation of toxigenic and non-toxigenic <i>Clostridium difficile</i> cultivated from stool samples of hospitalized patients</b>]]> The aim of this study was to fortify the clinical importance and representation of toxigenic and non-toxigenic Clostridium difficile isolated from stool samples of hospitalized patients. This survey included 80 hospitalized patients with diarrhea and positive findings of Clostridium difficile in stool samples, and 100 hospitalized patients with formed stool as a control group. Bacteriological examination of a stool samples was conducted using standard microbiological methods. Stool sample were inoculated directly on nutrient media for bacterial cultivation (blood agar using 5% sheep blood, Endo agar, selective Salmonella Shigella agar, Selenite-F broth, CIN agar and Skirrow's medium), and to selective cycloserine-cefoxitin-fructose agar (CCFA) (Biomedics, Parg qe tehnicologico, Madrid, Spain) for isolation of Clostridium difficile. Clostridium difficile toxin was detected by ELISA-ridascreen Clostridium difficile Toxin A/B (R-Biopharm AG, Germany) and ColorPAC ToxinA test (Becton Dickinson, USA). Examination of stool specimens for the presence of parasites (causing diarrhea) was done using standard methods (conventional microscopy), commercial concentration test Paraprep S Gold kit (Dia Mondial, France) and RIDA®QUICK Cryptosporidium/Giardia Combi test (R-Biopharm AG, Germany). Examination of stool specimens for the presence of fungi (causing diarrhea) was performed by standard methods. All stool samples positive for Clostridium difficile were tested for Rota, Noro, Astro and Adeno viruses by ELISA - ridascreen (R-Biopharm AG, Germany). In this research we isolated 99 Clostridium difficile strains from 116 stool samples of 80 hospitalized patients with diarrhea. The 53 (66.25%) of patients with diarrhea were positive for toxins A and B, one (1.25%) were positive for only toxin B. Non-toxigenic Clostridium difficile isolated from samples of 26 (32.5%) patients. However, other pathogenic microorganisms of intestinal tract cultivated from samples of 16 patients. Examination of cultivated colonies revealed that most of cultivated species belonged to genera of Campylobacter spp., Salmonella spp., and Candida spp.. In control group, toxigenic Clostridium difficile cultivated from stool samples of two patients (2%) and non-toxigenic Clostridium difficile from samples of five patients (5%). This research confirmed clinical importance of toxigenic Clostridium difficile found in liquid stool samples of hospitalized patient, and the possibility of asymptomatic carriage in 2% of patients with formed stool. <![CDATA[<b>Anti-<i>Mycobacterium tuberculosis</i> activity of fungus<i> Phomopsis stipata</i></b>]]> Our purpose was to determine the anti-Mycobacterium tuberculosis activity of the metabolites produced by the endophitic fungus Phomopsis stipata (Lib.) B. Sutton, (Diaporthaceae), cultivated in different media. The antimycobacterial activity was assessed through the Resazurin Microtiter Assay (REMA) and the cytotoxicity test performed on macrophage cell line. The extracts derived from fungi grown on Corn Medium and Potato Dextrose Broth presented the smallest values of Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) and low cytotoxicity, which implies a high selectivity index. This is the first report on the chemical composition and antitubercular activity of metabolites of P. stipata, as well as the influence of culture medium on these properties. <![CDATA[<b>Multiple organ dysfunction syndrome associated with <i>Mycoplasma pneumoniae</i> infection</b>]]> In this study, we report one case of a three-year-old boy infected with Mycoplasma pneumonia (MP) and presenting concomitant multiple organ damage of the heart, kidney, lung and liver, among others, together with a brief review for the diagnosis and treatment of MP infection with multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS). <![CDATA[<b>Farnesol in combination with <i>N</i>-acetylcysteine against <i>Staphylococcus epidermidis</i> planktonic and biofilm cells</b>]]> Staphylococcus epidermidis is the most frequent cause of nosocomial sepsis and catheter-related infections, in which biofilm formation is considered to be the main virulence mechanism. In biofilm environment, microbes exhibit enhanced resistance to antimicrobial agents. This fact boosted the search of possible alternatives to antibiotics. Farnesol and N-acetylcysteine (NAC) are non-antibiotic drugs that have demonstrated antibacterial properties. In this study, the effect of farnesol and NAC isolated or in combination (farnesol+NAC) was evaluated. NAC at 10 × MIC caused a total cell death in planktonic cells. On the other hand, S. epidermidis biofilms exhibited 4 log reduction in viable cell number after a 24h treatment with NAC at the former concentration. Our results demonstrated that there was a higher CFU log reduction of S. epidermidis planktonic cells when farnesol was combined with NAC at 1 × MIC relatively to each agent alone. However, these results were not relevant because NAC alone at 10 × MIC was always the condition which gave the best results, having a very high killing effect on planktonic cells and a significant bactericidal effect on biofilm cells. This study demonstrated that no synergy was observed between farnesol and NAC. However, the pronounced antibacterial effect of NAC against S. epidermidis, on both lifestyles, indicates the use of NAC as a potential therapeutic agent in alternative to antibiotics. <![CDATA[<b>First occurrence of <i>bla</i><sub>OXA-58 </sub>in <i>Acinetobacter baumannii </i>isolated from a clinical sample in Southern Brazil</b>]]> This is the first report of an Acinetobacter baumannii from clinical origin carrying the blaOXA-58 gene in Brazil. The isolate included in this study was from a patient during an outbreak in Porto Alegre, RS, Southern Brazil, in 2007. It was resistant to most of the beta-lactams tested, it has also the blaOXA-65 gene and the ISAba1 sequence located upstream to both blaOXA genes detected and it has a MIC of imipenem of 64 μg/mL. <![CDATA[<b>Rodentborne fungal pathogens in wetland agroecosystem</b>]]> The past few decades have witnessed an overwhelming increase in the incidence of fungal infections, particularly in immunocompromised individuals. Consequently, zoonotic diseases, especially through rodents constitute a prominent group among the emerging diseases. Rodents are commensal to man and related health risks are common. Water rats (Rattus norvegicus) are typical to Vembanadu-Kol wetland agroecosystems, where they can act as a good carrier nexus for pathogens. The present study evaluates the carrier status of water rats with respect to fungal pathogens. A total of fifty two fungi covering eighteen families were isolated. Among the isolates, eight were dermaptophytes and Chrysosporium sp. (89.18%) was the frequent isolate. The source-wise analyses showed an increased isolation from ventral hair (67 isolates). Water rats of Vembanadu-Kol wetland agroecosystem are potent carrier of dermaptophytes and other opportunistic fungi, and strong carrier paths are existing too. <![CDATA[<b>A combined enrichment/polymerase chain reaction based method for the routine screening of <i>Streptococcus agalactiae </i>in pregnant women</b>]]> Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is the most common cause of life-threatening infection in neonates. Guidelines from CDC recommend universal screening of pregnant women for rectovaginal GBS colonization. The objective of this study was to compare the performance of a combined enrichment/PCR based method targeting the atr gene in relation to culture using enrichment with selective broth medium (standard method) to identify the presence of GBS in pregnant women. Rectovaginal GBS samples from women at ≥36 weeks of pregnancy were obtained with a swab and analyzed by the two methods. A total of 89 samples were evaluated. The prevalence of positive results for GBS detection was considerable higher when assessed by the combined enrichment/PCR method than with the standard method (35.9% versus 22.5%, respectively). The results demonstrated that the use of selective enrichment broth followed by PCR targeting the atr gene is a highly sensitive, specific and accurate test for GBS screening in pregnant women, allowing the detection of the bacteria even in lightly colonized patients. This PCR methodology may provide a useful diagnostic tool for GBS detection and contributes for a more accurate and effective intrapartum antibiotic and lower newborn mortality and morbidity. <![CDATA[<b>Diagnosis of the pulmonary tuberculosis by polymerase chain reaction</b>: <b>a comparative study between HIV - positive and - negative individuals</b>]]> This study was performed to assess the efficiency of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) directly from sputum for the diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis by comparison between HIV-positive and HIV-negative individuals. Sputum samples were collected from hospitalized patients admitted with a clinical diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis, and subjected to smear microscopy, culture on LJ medium and detection of M. tuberculosis by PCR. Sensitivity, specificity, and predictive values (positive and negative) were calculated using smear and/or culture at day 42 as the gold standard, by comparing the yield in HIV-positive and HIV-negative individuals. Regardless of serostatus, the technique's yield had 62% sensitivity, 70% specificity, 79% positive predictive value, 50% negative predictive value, and 65% accuracy. HIV-negative had 64% sensitivity, 74% specificity, 75% positive predictive value, 63% negative predictive value, and 68% accuracy. HIV-positive had 59% sensitivity, 33% specificity, 87% positive predictive value, 10% negative predictive value, and 56% accuracy. The PCR showed a higher yield in HIV-negative individuals compared to HIV-positive individuals. <![CDATA[<b>Susceptibility tests of oropharyngeal <i>Candida albicans</i> from Egyptian patients to fluconazole determined by three methods </b>]]> Candida albicans frequently cause oropharyngeal candidiasis in immunocompromised patients. As some of these isolates show resistance against azoles, the clinician is wary of initiating therapy with fluconazole (FZ) until a final susceptibility report is generated. We aimed to evaluate the efficacy of rapid flow cytometry (FCM) and disc diffusion (DD) methods in comparison to reference microdilution (MD) of Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) method for FZ. Thirty seven Candida albicans isolates were tested by the three methods. By both MD and FCM, 26/37 (70.3%) were sensitive with minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) ≤ 8μg/ml, 5/37 (13.5%) were susceptible dose dependant (S-DD) with MIC 16-32 μg/ml and 6/37 (16.2%) were resistant with MIC ≥64μg/ml. More than 92% of isolates susceptible to FZ by the MD were susceptible by the DD methods with good agreement (81.08%, P = 0.000). However, 4/5 isolates diagnosed as S-DD by MD were resistant by DD. Interestingly, the MIC by FCM at 4 h showed excellent agreement (95.59%, P = 0.000) to that obtained by MD method at 24 h. Overall, FCM antifungal susceptibility testing provided rapid, reproducible results that are valuable alternative to MD. The DD test is recommended as a simple and reliable screening test for the detection of susceptible Candida albicans isolates to FZ. <![CDATA[<b>Phenotypic and genotypic diversity of <i>Pseudomonas aeruginosa</i> strains isolated from hospitals in siedlce (Poland)</b>]]> A total of 62 Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains isolated from two hospitals in Siedlce (Poland) were studied by repetitive element based PCR (rep-PCR) using BOX primer. BOX-PCR results revealed the presence of 7 numerous genotypes and 31 unique patterns among isolates. Generally, the strains of P. aeruginosa were characterized by resistance to many antibiotics tested and by differences in serogroups and types of growth on cetrimide agar medium. However, the P. aeruginosa strains isolated from faeces showed much lower phenotypic and genotypic variations in comparison with strains obtained from other clinical specimens. It was observed that genetic techniques supported by phenotypic tests have enabled to conduct a detailed characterization of P. aeruginosa strains isolated from a particular environment at a particular time. <![CDATA[<b>16S rRNA gene-based identification of bacteria in postoperative endophthalmitis by PCR- Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) fingerprinting</b>]]> Conventional microbiological culture techniques are frequently insufficient to confirm endophthalmitis clinical cases which could require urgent medical attention because it could lead to permanent vision loss. We are proposing PCR-DGGE and 16S rRNA gene libraries as an alternative to improve the detection and identification rate of bacterial species from endophthalmitis cases. <![CDATA[<b>Microbiological biodiversity in poultry and paddy straw wastes in composting systems</b>]]> Immense quantity of waste is generated in association with poultry meat egg and crop production. The potential risks due to disposal of these wastes are magnified as a result of dense refinement of poultry production and the decreasing amount of land available for waste disposal. The study aims at studying the microbiological biodiversity of poultry waste and paddy straw based co-composting system. The predominant microflora of the poultry manure were bacteria, fungi, enteric bacteria and spore forming bacteria whose population was high at the initiation of composting but decreased significantly as the compost approached maturity. The initial load of inherent enteric groups of bacteria in poultry waste, that also includes some pathogenic ones, is considerably reduced and some new vital groups contributed to compost quality as the microbiological biodiversity sets in the system and becomes stable. Major fraction of nitrogen of poultry waste was subjected to ammonia volatilization and a fraction of it conserved by co-composting it in conjunction with wastes having low nitrogen contents. In the treatment T1 and T5, where poultry manure and paddy straws alone were composted, 60 and 30 percent of organic carbon, respectively, was lost over a period of six months. Whereas in treatments T2,T3 and T4, poultry manure and paddy straw were co-composted in the ratio of 3:1, 2:2 and 1:3, respectively, 51.4,45.0 and 37.0 percent of carbon, respectively, was lost during decomposition. The C: N ratio in all the treatments decreased significantly to 18.3 for T1, 24.7 for T2, 27.0 for T3, 34.9 for T4 and 38.5 for T5 at the end of composting period. <![CDATA[<b>Biological control of rice brown spot with native isolates of three <i>Trichoderma</i> species</b>]]> Brown spot caused by Bipolaris oryzae is an important rice disease in Southern coast of Caspian Sea, the major rice growing region in Iran. A total of 45 Trichoderma isolates were obtained from rice paddy fields in Golestan and Mazandaran provinces which belonged to Trichoderma harzianum, T. virens and T. atroviride species. Initially, they were screened against B. oryzae by antagonism tests including dual culture, volatile and nonvolatile metabolites and hyperparasitism. Results showed that Trichoderma isolates can significantly inhibit mycelium growth of pathogen in vitro by producing volatile and nonvolatile metabolites Light microscopic observations showed no evidence of mycoparasitic behaviour of the tested isolates of Trichoderma spp. such as coiling around the B. oryzae. According to in vitro experiments, Trichoderma isolates were selected in order to evaluate their efficacy in controlling brown spot in glasshouse using seed treatment and foliar spray methods. Concerning the glasshouse tests, two strains of T. harzianum significantly controlled the disease and one strain of T. atroviride increased the seedling growth. It is the first time that the biological control of rice brown spot and increase of seedling growth with Trichoderma species have been studied in Iran. <![CDATA[<b>Occurrence of white rust (<i>Albugo ipomoeae-panduratae</i>) on <i>Ipomoea acuminata</i> in the brazilian mid-west</b>]]> Spontaneous plants of Ipomoea acuminata ("morning glory") exhibiting white rust pustules were found in a field crop area of Planaltina, DF, in the fall season of 2010 and the disease causal agent was identified as Albugo ipomoea-panduratae (Oomycota). No reports of the association between A. ipomoea-panduratae and I. acuminata were known in Brazil previously to 2010. A reference specimen was deposited at the University of Brasilia Mycological Reference Collection. <![CDATA[<b>The genetic diversity of genus <i>Bacillus</i> and the related genera revealed by 16S rRNA gene sequences and ardra analyses isolated from geothermal regions of turkey </b>]]> Previously isolated 115 endospore-forming bacilli were basically grouped according to their temperature requirements for growth: the thermophiles (74%), the facultative thermophiles (14%) and the mesophiles (12%). These isolates were taken into 16S rRNA gene sequence analyses, and they were clustered among the 7 genera: Anoxybacillus, Aeribacillus, Bacillus, Brevibacillus, Geobacillus, Paenibacillus, and Thermoactinomycetes. Of these bacilli, only the thirty two isolates belonging to genera Bacillus (16), Brevibacillus (13), Paenibacillus (1) and Thermoactinomycetes (2) were selected and presented in this paper. The comparative sequence analyses revealed that the similarity values were ranged as 91.4-100 %, 91.8- 99.2 %, 92.6- 99.8 % and 90.7 - 99.8 % between the isolates and the related type strains from these four genera, respectively. Twenty nine of them were found to be related with the validly published type strains. The most abundant species was B. thermoruber with 9 isolates followed by B. pumilus (6), B. lichenformis (3), B. subtilis (3), B. agri (3), B. smithii (2), T. vulgaris (2) and finally P. barengoltzii (1). In addition, isolates of A391a, B51a and D295 were proposed as novel species as their 16S rRNA gene sequences displayed similarities ≤ 97% to their closely related type strains. The AluI-, HaeIII- and TaqI-ARDRA results were in congruence with the 16S rRNA gene sequence analyses. The ARDRA results allowed us to differentiate these isolates, and their discriminative restriction fragments were able to be determined. Some of their phenotypic characters and their amylase, chitinase and protease production were also studied and biotechnologically valuable enzyme producing isolates were introduced in order to use in further studies. <![CDATA[<b>Winter prevalence of obligate aphid pathogen <i>Pandora neoaphidis</i> mycosis in the host <i>Myzus persicae</i> populations in southern China</b>: <b>modeling description and biocontrol implication</b>]]> Pandora neoaphidis overwintering had been investigated by monitoring its prevalence in Myzus persicae populations in open fields. Cabbage plants in field plots were weekly taken after mycosis initiation, to count and examine the living and dead aphids infected by P. neoaphidis. Based on the field data, infection levels (I) varied with field temperature (T), relative humidity (RH) and aphid count (numbers of living aphids per plant, N) over days (D), fitting well to the modified logistic equation I=0.91/[1+exp(8.5+(2.0H T H RH-20.2NI0)D)] (r²=0.897), where H T indicated daily hours of low temperature (<4°C), H RH daily hours of high air humidity (&gt;90% RH) and I0 primary infection level. The model demonstrated the abiotic and biotic factors influencing P. neoaphidis mycosis development in winter, and also verifies the fungal overwintering by infecting available host aphids without a resting stage. Ultimately, P. neoaphidis mycosis reduced 81.4% of aphid populations, presenting great potential for biocontrol. <![CDATA[<b>Growth and enzymatic responses of phytopathogenic fungi to glucose in culture media and soil</b>]]> The effect of inoculation of Aspergillus flavus, Fusarium verticillioides, and Penicillium sp. in Dystrophic Red Latosol (DRL) and Eutroferric Red Latosol (ERL) soils with or without glucose on the total carbohydrate content and the dehydrogenase and amylase activities was studied. The fungal growth and spore production in culture medium with and without glucose were also evaluated. A completely randomized design with factorial arrangement was used. The addition of glucose in the culture medium increased the growth rate of A. flavus and Penicillium sp. but not of F. verticillioides. The number of spores increased 1.2 for F. verticillioides and 8.2 times for A. flavus in the medium with glucose, but was reduced 3.5 times for Penicillium sp. The total carbohydrates contents reduced significantly according to first and second degree equations. The consumption of total carbohydrates by A. flavus and Penicillium sp. was higher than the control or soil inoculated with F. verticillioides. The addition of glucose to soils benefited the use of carbohydrates, probably due to the stimulation of fungal growth. Dehydrogenase activity increased between 1.5 to 1.8 times (p <0.05) in soils with glucose and inoculated with the fungi (except F. verticillioides), in relation to soil without glucose. Amylase activity increased 1.3 to 1.5 times due to the addition of glucose in the soil. Increased amylase activity was observed in the DRL soil with glucose and inoculated with A. flavus and Penicillium sp. when compared to control. <![CDATA[<b>Measuring bacterial cells size with AFM</b>]]> Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) can be used to obtain high-resolution topographical images of bacteria revealing surface details and cell integrity. During scanning however, the interactions between the AFM probe and the membrane results in distortion of the images. Such distortions or artifacts are the result of geometrical effects related to bacterial cell height, specimen curvature and the AFM probe geometry. The most common artifact in imaging is surface broadening, what can lead to errors in bacterial sizing. Several methods of correction have been proposed to compensate for these artifacts and in this study we describe a simple geometric model for the interaction between the tip (a pyramidal shaped AFM probe) and the bacterium (Escherichia coli JM-109 strain) to minimize the enlarging effect. Approaches to bacteria immobilization and examples of AFM images analysis are also described. <![CDATA[<b>Statistical evaluation of nutritional components impacting phycocyanin production in <i>Synechocystis </i>SP</b>]]> Alkaliphilic cyanobacterial cultures were isolated from Lonar lake (MS, India). Among the set of cultures, Synechocystis sp, was studied for phycocyanin production. A maximum yield was obtained in BG-11 medium at optimized conditions (pH 10 and 16 h light). In order to increase the phycocyanin yield media optimization based on the eight media components a Plackett-Burman design of the 12 experimental trials was used. As per the analysis CaCl2.2H2O and Na2CO3 have been found to be the most influencing media components at 95% significance. Further the optimum concentrations of these components were estimated following a Box Wilson Central Composite Design (CCD) with four star points and five replicates at the center points for each of two factors was adopted for optimization of these two media components. The results indicated that there was an interlinked influence of CaCl2.2H2O and Na2CO3 on 98% significance. The maximum yield of phycocyanin (12% of dry wt) could be obtained at 0.058 g/l and 0.115 g/l of CaCl2.2H2O and Na2CO3, respectively. <![CDATA[<b>Characterization and lytic activity of <i>Pseudomonas fluorescens </i>phages from sewage</b>]]> Pseudomonas fluorescens phages from sewage were tested against P. fluorescens isolates of soil and sewage. The phages were characterized as to host range, morphology, structural proteins and genome fingerprint. Of the seven phages isolated, one was found to be abundant in sewage (5.9×10(7) pfu/mL), having broad host range, and distinct protein and DNA profile when compared to the other six phages. DNA restriction and protein profiles of the phages and their morphology indicate the diversity in the sewage environment. None of the isolates from the rhizosphere regions of various cultivated soils were susceptible to phages isolated from sewage. <![CDATA[<b>Assessment of immunity against avian colibacillosis induced by an <i>aroA</i> mutant containing increased serum survival gene in broilers</b>]]> Colibacillosis is an important disease in the poultry industry which causes serious economic damages. As it is suggested that vaccination is one of the means to control colibacillosis, we tried to investigate the vaccine potential of a ΔaroA derivative of an O78:K80 avian pathogenic Escherichia coli containing increased serum survival gene. 490 chicks were selected as follows: For assessment of virulence of ΔaroA mutant, 30 chicks were divided into three groups and injected with 0.5ml of PBS or bacterial suspension containing either10(7)colony forming units (CFU) of mutant or parent strains via subcutaneous route. Macroscopic lesions and mortality rate were recorded in different groups during the week after challenge. For assessment of safety and immunogenicity of the ΔaroA mutant, three groups of 20 chicks were vaccinated by aerosol administration of 250 ml of suspension containing 10(8) CFU of mutant strain at days 1 and 14, while the two other groups received PBS or wild type strain. Macroscopic lesions and mortality rate were recorded in different groups until day 21. To determine whether the vaccination is protective against challenges or not, the chickens were vaccinated at days 1 and 14 and challenged intramuscularly with either a homologous or heterologous strains at day 21. Macroscopic lesions and mortality rate were recorded in different groups during the week after challenge. The results revealed that the ΔaroA mutant was slightly virulent, however it was safe and did not cause mortality, lesions or weight loss after vaccination. Antibody responses were similar in the control and mutant groups and vaccination did not induce a significant humoral immunity. The mutant could not protect chickens against both homologous and heterologous challenges. This could be due to several factors such as the high amount of maternal antibodies in the first two weeks of life, and the vaccination procedure. <![CDATA[<b>Biofilm production by clinical Staphylococci strains from canine otitis</b>]]> This study determined the species of 54 staphylococci isolates from canine otitis and their ability to produce biofilm through the Congo red agar method, confirmed by scanning electron microscopy. The most frequently identified species were S. intermedius and S. simulans. Results showed that 30% of the strains were biofilm producers. <![CDATA[<b>Phenotypical characterization and adhesin identification in <i>Escherichia coli</i> strains isolated from dogs with urinary tract infections </b>]]> Pathogenic strains of Escherichia coli are the most common bacteria associated with urinary tract infections in both humans and companion animals. Standard biochemical tests may be useful in demonstrating detailed phenotypical characteristics of these strains. Thirteen strains of E. coli isolated from dogs with UTIs were submitted to biochemical tests, serotyping for O and H antigens and antimicrobial resistance testing. Furthermore, the presence of papC, sfa, and afa genes was evaluated by PCR, and genetic relationships were established using enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus PCR (ERIC-PCR). The antimicrobial that showed the highest resistance rate among the isolates was nalidixic acid (76.9%), followed by cephalotin (69.2%), sulfamethoxazole + trimethoprim (61.5%), tetracycline (61.5%), streptomycin (53.8%), ciprofloxacin (53.8%), ampicillin (46.2%), gentamicin (30.8%) and chloramphenicol (23.1%). No isolate was resistant either to meropenem or nitrofurantoin. Among the five clusters that were identified using ERIC-PCR, one cluster (A) had only one strain, which belonged to a serotype with zoonotic potential (O6:H31) and showed the genes papC+, sfa+, afa-. Strains with the genes papC-, sfa+, afa- were found in two other clusters (C and D), whereas all strains in clusters B and E possessed papC-, sfa-, afa- genes. Sucrose and raffinose phenotypic tests showed some ability in discriminating clusters A, B and C from clusters D and E. <![CDATA[<b>Characterization of pathogenic <i>Aeromonas veronii</i> bv. <i>veronii</i> associated with ulcerative syndrome from Chinese longsnout catfish (<i>Leiocassis longirostris</i> Günther)</b>]]> 273 bacterial strains were isolated from 20 Chinese longsnout catfish samples. The biochemical characteristics of all strains conformed to the species description of Aeromonas veronii bv. veronii on the basis of Vitek GNI+ card. Furthermore, 16S rDNA, gyrB and rpoD sequences of the representative strain PY50 were sequenced and showed high similarity with A. veronii bv. veronii in Genbank. Antibiotic-resistance of the representative strain PY50 was assessed by the Kirby-Bauer disk diffusion method, and the results showed it was susceptible and moderately susceptible to 13 and 4 of the 21 antimicrobial agents tested. Extracellular products of strain PY50 contained gelatinase, lecithinase, elastase, most of lipase and lipopolysaccharide. Virulence of strain PY50 and extracellular products to Chinese longsnout catfish were also tested, and LD50 were about 3.47×10(4) CFU per fish and 11.22 μg per fish in intraperitoneal injection respectively. This is the first report that A. veronii bv. veronii was the pathogenic agent of ulcerative syndrome in Chinese longsnout catfish. <![CDATA[<b>Use of FTA elute card impregnated with cervicovaginal sample directly into the amplification reaction increases the detection of human papillomavirus DNA</b>]]> This study aimed to evaluate the use of the FTA elute cardTM impregnated with cervicovaginal sample directly in the PCR amplification for detection of HPV-DNA. The results were compared to a reference technique. This method was more efficient than the protocol indicated by the manufacturer, identifying 91.7% against 54.2% of the positive samples. <![CDATA[<b>Epstein-Barr virus-associated gastric carcinoma in Brazil</b>: <b>comparison between <i>in situ</i> hybridization and polymerase chain reaction detection</b>]]> Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) has been associated with 10% of gastric carcinomas. The aim of this study was to determine the frequency of EBV in gastric carcinomas in Brazil assessed by in situ hybridization (ISH) and PCR, which would contribute to the characterization of the clinical and pathological aspects of EBV-associated gastric carcinomas. One hundred and ninety-two gastric carcinoma cases were collected at hospitals in two Brazilian states. Seventy-three out of 151 cases were PCR(+), while 11/160 cases were ISH(+). Nine out of eleven ISH(+) cases displayed a diffuse staining pattern and 2 out of 11 a focal pattern. Both techniques showed that the EBV(+) cases were characterized by their association with males, older patients, lower gastric region, intestinal type, advanced stage and poorly to moderately differentiated tumors. The concordance between the two techniques was 55.8% (Cohen's kappa index = 0.034). Four cases were ISH(+)/PCR(-), while 49 cases were PCR(+)/ISH(-). Only two cases showed stained lymphocytes by ISH and one of them was PCR(-). The observed discrepancy between the two techniques could not be explained just by the elevated accuracy of PCR. ISH(+)/PCR(-) carcinomas may be encountered if EBV is not present in the whole tumor tissue or if there are polymorphisms in the sequences of the viral genome amplified. On the other hand, the high frequency of PCR(+) results associated with the absence of ISH staining in lymphocytes and/or tumors cells suggests that the virus may be present in tumor cells or other cell types without expressing EBER1, the target of the ISH technique. <![CDATA[<b>Cloning of a novel xylanase gene from a newly isolated <i>Fusarium</i> sp. Q7-31 and its expression in <i>Escherichia coli</i></b>]]> A strain of Q7-31 was isolated from Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and was identified as Fusarium sp. based on its morphological characteristics and ITS rDNA gene sequence analysis. It has the highest capacity of degrading cell wall activity compared with other 11 strains. To do research on its xylanase activity of Fusarium sp. Q7-31 while the degrading the rice cell walls, the complete gene xyn8 that encodes endo-1, 4-β-xylanase secreted by Fusarium sp. Q7-31 was cloned and sequenced. The coding region of the gene is separated by two introns of 56bp and 55bp. It encodes 230 amino acid residues of a protein with a calculated molecular weight of 25.7 kDa. The animo acids sequence of xyn8 gene has higher similarity with those of family 11 of glycosyl hydrolases reported from other microorganisms. The nature peptide encodeing cDNA was subcloned into pGEX5x-1 expression vector. The recombinant plasmid was expressed in Escherichia coli BL21-CodonPlus (DE3)-RIL, and xylanase activity was measured. The expression fusion protein was identified by SDS-PAGE and Western blotting, a new specific band of about 52kDa was identified when induced by IPTG. Enzyme activity assay verified the recombinants proteins as a xylanase. A maxium activity of 2.34U/ mg, the xylanase had optimal activity at pH 6.0 and temperature 40ºC . <![CDATA[<b>Probiotic features of two oral <i>Lactobacillus </i>isolates</b>]]> In this study, we checked lactobacilli strains of human origin for their potential as probiotic. Samples were collected from oral mucosa of 16 healthy individuals, out of which twenty isolates were obtained and two of them were selected and identified as Lactobacillus plantarum (G1) and L. casei (G3). Both isolates exhibited antagonistic action towards pathogenic microorganisms such as Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, Salmonella abony, and Clostridium sporogenes, but not on the growth of Candida albicans. The bacteriocin activity against Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 6358-P was shown only by L. plantarum G1. Moreover, the isolates G1 and G3 showed good viability in the acid gastric environment and in the gut environment containing bovine bile salts. The viability of G1 and G3 isolates in the gastrointestinal tract, and the adhesion to the intestinal mucosa were also confirmed in vivo. The biochemical tests of blood samples revealed lower levels of serum triglycerides and cholesterol, as well as reduced activity of alkaline phosphatase in all lactobacilli-treated Wistar rats, compared to control ones. No toxicity for NMRI Ham mice was observed. According to our experimental results, these findings imply that L. plantarum G1 and L. casei G3 could be characterized as potential probiotics.