Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Brazilian Journal of Microbiology]]> vol. 46 num. 1 lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Antibiotic resistance and integrons in Shiga toxin-producing <em>Escherichia coli</em> (STEC)]]> Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) cause hemorrhagic colitis (HC) and hemolytic-uremic syndrome in humans (HUS). Cattle are the main reservoir of STEC and transmission to humans occurs through contaminated food and water. Antibiotics are used in pig production systems to combat disease and improve productivity and play a key role in the dissemination of antibiotic resistance genes to the bacteria. Integrons have been identified in resistant bacteria allowing for the acquisition and dissemination of antibiotic resistance genes. STEC strains isolated from humans and animals have developed antibiotic resistance. In our laboratory, 21 non-157 STEC strains isolated from pigs were analyzed to detect class 1 and 2 integrons by PCR. Eight carried integrons, 7 of them harbored intl2. In another study 545 STEC strains were also analyzed for the presence of intl1 and intl2. Strains carrying intl1 belonged to isolates from environment (n = 1), chicken hamburger (n = 2), dairy calves (n = 4) and pigs (n = 8). Two strains isolated from pigs harbored intl2 and only one intl1/intl2, highlighting the presence of intl2 in pigs. The selection for multiresistant strains may contribute to the emergence of antibiotic resistant pathogens and facilitate the spreading of the mobile resistance elements to other bacteria. <![CDATA[Bioremediation of polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) using rhizosphere technology]]> The remediation of polluted sites has become a priority for society because of increase in quality of life standards and the awareness of environmental issues. Over the past few decades there has been avid interest in developing in situ strategies for remediation of environmental contaminants, because of the high economic cost of physicochemical strategies, the biological tools for remediation of these persistent pollutants is the better option. Major foci have been considered on persistent organic chemicals i.e.polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) due to their ubiquitous occurrence, recalcitrance, bioaccumulation potential and carcinogenic activity. Rhizoremediation, a specific type of phytoremediation that involves both plants and their associated rhizospheric microbes is the creative biotechnological approach that has been explored in this review. Moreover, in this review we showed the significance of rhizoremediation of PAHs from other bioremediation strategies i.e. natural attenuation, bioaugmentation and phytoremediation and also analyze certain environmental factor that may influence the rhizoremediation technique. Numerous bacterial species were reported to degrade variety of PAHs and most of them are isolated from contaminated soil, however few reports are available from non contaminated soil. Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Pseudomons fluoresens, Mycobacterium spp., Haemophilus spp., Rhodococcus spp., Paenibacillus spp. are some of the commonly studied PAH-degrading bacteria. Finally, exploring the molecular communication between plants and microbes, and exploiting this communication to achieve better results in the elimination of contaminants, is a fascinating area of research for future perspective. <![CDATA[Chemical modification of <em>Aspergillus niger</em>β-glucosidase and its catalytic properties]]> Aspergillus niger β-glucosidase was modified by covalent coupling to periodate activated polysaccharides (glycosylation). The conjugated enzyme to activated starch showed the highest specific activity (128.5 U/mg protein). Compared to the native enzyme, the conjugated form exhibited: a higher optimal reaction temperature, a lower Ea (activation energy), a higher Km (Michaelis constant) and Vmax (maximal reaction rate), and improved thermal stability. The calculated t1/2 (half-life) values of heat in-activation at 60 °C and 70 °C were 245.7 and 54.5 min respectively, whereas at these temperatures the native enzyme was less stable (t1/2of 200.0 and 49.5 min respectively). The conjugated enzyme retained 32.3 and 29.7%, respectively from its initial activity in presence of 5 mM Sodium Dodecyl Sulphate (SDS) and p-Chloro Mercuri Benzoate (p-CMB), while the native enzyme showed a remarkable loss of activity (retained activity 1.61 and 13.7%, respectively). The present work has established the potential of glycosylation to enhance the catalytic properties of β-glucosidase enzyme, making this enzyme potentially feasible for biotechnological applications. <![CDATA[Epiphytic marine pigmented bacteria: A prospective source of natural antioxidants]]> Awareness on antioxidants and its significance in human healthcare has increased many folds in recent time. Increased demand requisite on welcoming newer and alternative resources for natural antioxidants. Seaweed associated pigmented bacteria screened for its antioxidant potentials reveals 55.5% of the organisms were able to synthesize antioxidant compounds. DPPH assay showed 20% of the organisms to reach a antioxidant zone of 1 cm and 8.3% of the strains more than 3 cm. Pseudomonas koreensis (JX915782) a Sargassum associated yellowish brown pigmented bacteria have better activity than known commercial antioxidant butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) against DPPH scavenging. Serratia rubidaea (JX915783), an associate of Ulva sp. and Pseudomonas argentinensis (JX915781) an epiphyte of Chaetomorpha media, were also contributed significantly towards ABTS (7.2% ± 0.03 to 15.2 ± 0.09%; 1.8% ± 0.01 to 15.7 ± 0.22%) and FRAP (1.81 ± 0.01 to 9.35 ± 0.98; 7.97 ± 0.12 to 18.70 ± 1.84 μg/mL of AsA Eq.) respectively. 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis revealed bacteria that have higher antioxidant activity belongs to a bacterial class Gammaproteobacteria. Statistical analysis of phenolic contents in relation with other parameters like DPPH, ABTS, reducing power and FRAP are well correlated (p &lt; 0.05). Results obtained from the current study inferred that the seaweed associated pigmented bacteria have enormous potential on antioxidant compounds and need to be extracted in a larger way for clinical applications. <![CDATA[Characterization and antimicrobial performance of nano silver coatings on leather materials]]> In this study, the characterization and the antimicrobial properties of nano silver (nAg) coating on leather were investigated. For this purpose, turbidity, viscosity and pH of nAg solutions prepared by the sol-gel method were measured. The formation of films from these solutions was characterized according to temperature by Differential Thermal Analysis-Thermogravimetry (DTA-TG) equipment. The surface morphology of treated leathers was observed using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). The antimicrobial performance of nAg coatings on leather materials to the test microorganisms as Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Candida albicans and Aspergillius niger was evaluated by the application of qualitative (Agar overlay method) and quantitative (percentage of microbial reduction) tests. According to qualitative test results it was found that 20 μg/cm2 and higher concentrations of nAg on the leather samples were effective against all microorganisms tested. Moreover, quantitative test results showed that leather samples treated with 20 μg/cm2 of nAg demonstrated the highest antibacterial activity against E. coli with 99.25% bacterium removal, whereas a 10 μg/cm2 concentration of nAg on leather was enough to exhibit the excellent percentage reduction against S. aureus of 99.91%. The results are promising for the use of colloidal nano silver solution on lining leather as antimicrobial coating. <![CDATA[Endophytic fungi from medicinal plant <em>Bauhinia forficata</em>: Diversity and biotechnological potential]]> Bauhinia forficata is native to South America and used with relative success in the folk medicine in Brazil. The diversity, antibacterial activity, and extracellular hydrolytic enzymes of endophytic fungi associated with this plant were studied. Plant samples, which included leaves, sepals, stems, and seeds, were used. Ninety-five endophytic fungal were isolated (18 from leaves, 22 from sepals, 46 from stems, and nine from seeds), comprising 28 species. The most frequently isolated species were Acremonium curvulum (9.5%), Aspergillus ochraceus (7.37%), Gibberella fujikuroi (10.53%), Myrothecium verrucaria (10.53%) and Trichoderma piluliferum(7.37%). Diversity and species richness were higher in stem tissues, and Sorensen’s index of similarity between the tissues was low. Eleven fungi showed antibacterial activity. Aspergillus ochraceus, Gibberella baccata, Penicillium commune, and P. glabrum were those with the greatest antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and/or Streptococcus pyogenes. Thirteen species showed proteolytic activity, particularly Phoma putaminum. Fourteen species were cellulase positive, particularly the Penicillium species and Myrmecridium schulzeri. All isolates tested were xylanase positive and 10 showed lipolytic activity, especially Penicillium glabrum. It is clear that the endophytic fungi from B. forficata have potential for the production of bioactive compounds and may be a source of new therapeutic agents for the effective treatment of diseases in humans, other animals, and plants. To our knowledge, this is the first study of endophytic fungi from different tissues of B. forficata and their biotechnological potential. <![CDATA[Laccase produced by a thermotolerant strain of <em>Trametes trogii</em> LK13]]> Thermophilic and thermotolerant micro-organisms strains have served as the natural source of industrially relevant and thermostable enzymes. Although some strains of the Trametes genus are thermotolerant, few Trametes strains were studied at the temperature above 30 °C until now. In this paper, the laccase activity and the mycelial growth rate for Trametes trogii LK13 are superior at 37 °C. Thermostability and organic cosolvent tolerance assays of the laccase produced at 37 °C indicated that the enzyme possessed fair thermostability with 50% of its initial activity at 80 °C for 5 min, and could remain 50% enzyme activity treated with organic cosolvent at the concentration range of 25%–50% (v/v). Furthermore, the test on production of laccase and lignocellulolytic enzymes showed the crude enzymes possessed high laccase level (1000 U g−1) along with low cellulose (2 U g−1) and xylanase (140 U g−1) activity. Thus, T. trogii LK13 is a potential strain to be applied in many biotechnological processes. <![CDATA[Effect of surfactants and temperature on germination and vegetative growth of <em>Beauveria bassiana</em>]]> Three non-ionic surfactants: Tween20, Tween80 and Breakthru® were screened for their effects on spore germination and mycelial growth rates and for their influence on three isolates of Beauveria bassianaspore germination at various temperatures. Tween20 and Tween80 were compatible with all the B. bassiana isolates in the germination studies, but inhibited germination at higher surfactant concentrations, irrespective of the conidial concentrations. Breakthru® had an inhibitory effect on germination even at the lowest concentration of 0.1% on all the B. bassiana isolates. The effects of the surfactants on spore germination did not correspond with their effects on colony growth. Conidial viability within the same formulation declined significantly with increases in temperature, irrespective of the surfactant. The optimal temperature for conidial germination of B. bassiana isolates was approximately 25 °C with an upper limit at 30 °C. Isolate 7320 was identified as the least affected by the different surfactants. This isolate was able to germinate rapidly in a broad temperature range of 25–30 °C after 24 h, this characteristic being an essential factor in controlling house fly populations in poultry houses. <![CDATA[Microalgae population dynamics in photobioreactors with secondary sewage effluent as culture medium]]> Nitrogen and phosphorus present in sewage can be used for microalgae growth, possibiliting cost reduction in the production of microalgae at the same time that it decreases the eutrophication potential of the effluent. This research aimed at monitoring the native community of microalgae and coliform bacteria in a secondary effluent from anaerobic municipal sewage treatment. Two treatments (aerated and non-aerated) were performed to grow microalgae under semi-controlled conditions in semi-closed photobioreactors in a greenhouse. The results showed no significant pH and coliforms (total and Escherichia coli) variation between treatments. Nutrient concentrations were reduced supporting microalgae growth up to 107 cells.mL−1independent of aeration. Exponential growth was obtained from the first day for the non-aerated, but a 5 day lag phase of growth was obtained for the aerated. Chlorella vulgaris was the dominant microalgae (99.9%) in both treatments. In the aerated, 5 algae classes were detected (Chlorophyceae, Cyanophyceae, Chrysophyceae, Bacillariophyceae and Euglenophyceae), with 12 taxa, whereas in the non-aerated, 2 classes were identified (Chlorophyceae and Cyanophyceae), with 5 taxa. We concluded that effluent is viable for microalgae growth, especially Chlorella vulgaris, at the same time that the eutrophication potential and coliforms are decreased, contributing for better quality of the final effluent. <![CDATA[Occurrence of culturable soil fungi in a tropical moist deciduous forest Similipal Biosphere Reserve, Odisha, India]]> Similipal Biosphere Reserve (SBR) is a tropical moist deciduous forest dominated by the species Shorea robusta. To the best of our knowledge their rich biodiversity has not been explored in term of its microbial wealth. In the present investigation, soil samples were collected from ten selected sites inside SBR and studied for their physicochemical parameters and culturable soil fungal diversity. The soil samples were found to be acidic in nature with a pH ranging from of 5.1–6.0. Highest percentage of organic carbon and moisture content were observed in the samples collected from the sites, Chahala-1 and Chahala-2. The plate count revealed that fungal population ranged from 3.6 × 104–2.1 × 105 and 5.1 × 104–4.7 × 105 cfu/gm of soil in summer and winter seasons respectively. The soil fungus, Aspergillus niger was found to be the most dominant species and Species Important Values Index (SIVI) was 43.4 and 28.6 in summer and winter seasons respectively. Among the sites studied, highest fungal diversity indices were observed during summer in the sites, Natto-2 and Natto-1. The Shannon-Wiener and Simpson indices in these two sites were found to be 3.12 and 3.022 and 0.9425 and 0.9373 respectively. However, the highest Fisher’s alpha was observed during winter in the sites Joranda, Natto-2, Chahala-1 and Natto-1 and the values were 3.780, 3.683, 3.575 and 3.418 respectively. Our investigation revealed that, fungal population was dependent on moisture and organic carbon (%) of the soil but its diversity was found to be regulated by sporulating species like Aspergillus and Penicillium. <![CDATA[Bacteria in combination with fertilizers promote root and shoot growth of maize in saline-sodic soil]]> Salinity is the leading abiotic stress hampering maize (Zea maysL.) growth throughout the world, especially in Pakistan. During salinity stress, the endogenous ethylene level in plants increases, which retards proper root growth and consequent shoot growth of the plants. However, certain bacteria contain the enzyme 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) deaminase, which converts 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (an immediate precursor of ethylene biosynthesis in higher plants) into ammonia and α-ketobutyrate instead of ethylene. In the present study, two Pseudomonas bacterial strains containing ACC-deaminase were tested separately and in combinations with mineral fertilizers to determine their potential to minimize/undo the effects of salinity on maize plants grown under saline-sodic field conditions. The data recorded at 30, 50 and 70 days after sowing revealed that both the Pseudomonas bacterial strains improved root and shoot length, root and shoot fresh weight, and root and shoot dry weight up to 34, 43, 35, 71, 55 and 68%, respectively, when applied without chemical fertilizers: these parameter were enhanced up to 108, 95, 100, 131, 100 and 198%, respectively, when the strains were applied along with chemical fertilizers. It can be concluded that ACC-deaminase Pseudomonas bacterial strains applied alone and in conjunction with mineral fertilizers improved the root and shoot growth of maize seedlings grown in saline-sodic soil. <![CDATA[Degradation of 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene by <em>P. aeruginosa</em> and characterization of some metabolites]]> Degradation of 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT), a nitroaromatic explosive found in the soil and ground water, was investigated using Pseudomonas aeruginosa in in vitroexperiments. Biodegradable abilitiy of this bacteria was performed with 50 and 75 mg L−1 TNT concentrations in a defined liquid medium for 96 h time period. Treatment of TNT in supernatant samples taken at 0, 6, 12, 24, 48, 72 and 96 h from agitated vessels was followed by reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). In cultures supplemented with 50 and 75 mgL−1 TNT, after 96 h of incubation 46% and 59% reduction were detected respectively. Two metabolites as degradation intermediates with nitrite release into the medium, 2,4-dinitrotoluene (2,4-DNT) and 4-aminodinitrotoluene (4-ADNT), were elucidated by thin layer chromatography (TLC) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). These findings clearly indicate that Pseudomonas aeruginosa can be used in bioremediation of TNT contaminated sites. <![CDATA[A high-throughput screening assay for distinguishing nitrile hydratases from nitrilases]]> A modified colorimetric high-throughput screen based on pH changes combined with an amidase inhibitor capable of distinguishing between nitrilases and nitrile hydratases. This enzymatic screening is based on a binary response and is suitable for the first step of hierarchical screening projects. <![CDATA[Clinical significance of the isolation of <em>Candida</em>species from hospitalized patients]]> In this study, we isolated and phenotypically identified 108 yeast strains from various clinical specimens collected from 100 hospitalized patients at three tertiary hospitals in São Luís-Maranhão, Brazil, from July to December 2010. The isolates were analyzed for their susceptibility to four of the most widely used antifungal agents in the surveyed hospitals, amphotericin B, fluconazole, 5-flucytosine and voriconazole. The species identified were Candida albicans (41.4%), Candida tropicalis (30.1%), C. glabrata (7.4%), Candida parapsilosis(5.5%), Candida krusei (4.6%), Cryptococcus neoformans (4.6%), Trichosporonspp. (3.7%), Candida norvegensis (0.9%), Rhodotorula glutinis (0.9%) and Pichia farinosa (0.9%). A higher isolation rate was observed in the following clinical specimens: urine (54 isolates; 50%), respiratory tract samples (21 isolates; 19.4%) and blood (20 isolates; 18.6%). Candida albicans isolates were 100% sensitive to all antifungal agents tested, whereas Candida krusei and Crytococcus neoformans displayed intermediate resistance to 5-flucytosine, with Minimal Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) values of 8 mg/mL and 16 mg/mL, respectively. Both strains were also S-DD to fluconazole with an MIC of 16 mg/mL. C. tropicalis was resistant to 5-flucytosine with an MIC of 32 μg/mL. This study demonstrates the importance of identifying the yeast species involved in community and nosocomial infections. <![CDATA[Synergistic effects of tacrolimus and azole antifungal compounds in fluconazole-susceptible and fluconazole-resistant <em>Candida glabrata</em> isolates]]> In vitro interaction between tacrolimus (FK506) and four azoles (fluconazole, ketoconazole, itraconazole and voriconazole) against thirty clinical isolates of both fluconazole susceptible and -resistant Candida glabrata were evaluated by the checkerboard microdilution method. Synergistic, indifferent or antagonism interactions were found for combinations of the antifungal agents and FK506. A larger synergistic effect was observed for the combinations of FK506 with itraconazole and voriconazole (43%), followed by that of the combination with ketoconazole (37%), against fluconazole-susceptible isolates. For fluconazole-resistant C. glabrata, a higher synergistic effect was obtained from FK506 combined with ketoconazole (77%), itraconazole (73%), voriconazole (63%) and fluconazole (60%). The synergisms that we observed in vitro, notably against fluconazole-resistant C. glabrata isolates, are promising and warrant further analysis of their applications in experimental in vivo studies. <![CDATA[Adherence and virulence genes of <em>Escherichia coli</em>from children diarrhoea in the Brazilian Amazon]]> The bacterial pathogen most commonly associated with endemic forms of childhood diarrhoea is Escherichia coli. Studies of epidemiological characteristics of HEp-2 cell-adherent E. coli in diarrhoeal disease are required, particularly in developing countries. The aim of this study was evaluate the presence and significance of adherent Escherichia coli from diarrhoeal disease in children. The prevalence of LA, AA, and DA adherence patterns were determined in HEp-2 cells, the presence of virulence genes and the presence of the O serogroups in samples obtained from 470 children with acute diarrhoea and 407 controls in Porto Velho, Rondônia, Brazil. E. coli isolates were identified by PCR specific for groups of adherent E. coli. Out of 1,156 isolates obtained, 128 (11.0%) were positive for eae genes corresponding to EPEC, however only 38 (29.6%) of these amplified bfpAgene. EAEC were isolated from 164 (14.1%) samples; of those 41(25%), 32 (19%) and 16 (9.7%) amplified eagg, aggA or aafA genes, respectively and aggA was significantly associated with diarrhoea (P = 0.00006). DAEC identified by their adhesion pattern and there were few isolates. In conclusion, EAEC was the main cause of diarrhoea in children, especially when the aggA gene was present, followed by EPEC and with a negligible presence of DAEC. <![CDATA[Evaluation of some pharmacological activities of Budmunchiamine - A isolated from <em>Albizia amara</em>]]> The present investigations were aimed to evaluate the antimicrobial and antioxidant efficacies of budmunchiamine-A (BUA) of Albizia amara. The activity-guided isolation leaded to isolate the bioactive compound budmunchiamine-A from alkaloid extract of A. amara. The budmunchiamine-A showed significant broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity with zone of inhibition (ZOI), minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum bactericidal/fungicidal concentration (MBC/MFC) values varied from 7.3 to 24.5 mm, 0.95 to 62.5 μg/mL, and 1.9 to 250 μg/mL, respectively. The budmunchiamine-A exhibited moderate antioxidant activity with inhibitory concentration 50% (IC50) value of 400 μg/mL in 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assay and percent inhibition of β-carotene/linoleic acid was 67.8%. The results suggest the possible use of budmunchiamine-A as a molecular entity for drug development in pharmaceutical industry. <![CDATA[<em>Arcobacter butzleri</em> and <em>A. cryaerophilus</em> in human, animals and food sources, in southern Chile]]> The isolation frequency of Arcobacter species in children with diarrhea, fowls, mammals and food of avian and marine origin was established. In all the samples it was possible to isolate Arcobacter species corresponding 201 (39.4%) to A. butzleri and 24 (4.7) to A. cryaerophilus. Both species were simultaneously isolated in 19 (3.7%) being A. butzleri the most frequently isolated species. <![CDATA[Sub-MIC of antibiotics induced biofilm formation of <em>Pseudomonas aeruginosa</em> in the presence of chlorhexidine]]> Public health is facing a new challenge due to the alarming increase in bacterial resistance to most of the conventional antibacterial agents. It has been found that only minor cell damage is caused when exposed to sub-lethal levels of antimicrobial. Biofilms can play an important role in producing resistance, which is developed to reservoirs of pathogens in the hospital and cannot be easily removed. The aim of this study was to test whether the sub-lethal dose of antibiotics can induce biofilm formation of P. aeruginosafollowing incubating in the presence and absence of chlorhexidine. Standard antibiotic-micro broth 96-flat well plates were used for determination of MIC and biofilm assay. The adherence degree of biofilm was determined by estimation of OD630 nm values using ELISA reader. The mean 22 isolates of P. aeruginosa growing in culture with presence and absence of chlorhexidine, could exhibited the significant (p &lt; 0.001) proportion of adherence followed incubation in sub minimal inhibitory concentrations (Sub-MIC) of cefotaxim, amoxicillin, and azithromycin in comparison with control (antibiotic-free broth), while the sub-MIC of ciprofloxacin revealed significant inhibition of biofilm. Conclusion: Incubating the isolates of P. aeruginosa to sub-MIC of antibiotics exhibited induction of biofilm in the presence of chlorhexidine. <![CDATA[Occurrence of genes encoding enterotoxins in uropathogenic <em>Escherichia coli</em> isolates]]> To determine the presence of some toxins of diarrheagenic Escherichia coli (DEC) in uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC), 138 urinary tract infection (UTI)-causing UPECs were analyzed. The astA, set, sen and cdtB genes were detected in 13 (9.4%), 2 (1.3%), 13 (9.4%) and 0 (0%) of UPEC isolates respectively. The results show that some genes encoding toxins can be transferred from DEC pathotypes to UPECs therefore these isolates can transform into potential diarrhea-causing agents. <![CDATA[Detection of both <em>vanA</em> & <em>vanB</em>genes in <em>vanA</em> phenotypes of <em>Enterococci</em> by Taq Man RT-PCR]]> Twenty seven isolates of vancomycin resistant Enterococci based on the disk diffusion and E- test have been screened; being found eight (0.3%) clinical isolates of vanA &amp; vanB through Taq Man Real Time PCR assay. This study shows the presence of both vanA &amp; vanB genotypes in vanA phenotypes clinical isolates in the three hospitals in Iran. <![CDATA[Adhesion, biofilm and genotypic characteristics of antimicrobial resistant <em>Escherichia coli</em> isolates]]> Aggregative adherence to human epithelial cells, most to renal proximal tubular (HK-2) cells, and biofilm formation was identified among antimicrobial resistant Escherichia coli strains mainly isolated from bacteremia. The importance of these virulence properties contributing to host colonization and infection associated with multiresistant E. coli should not be neglected. <![CDATA[Characterization of the spoilage lactic acid bacteria in “sliced vacuum-packed cooked ham”]]> The lactic acid bacteria are involved with food fermentation and in such cases with food spoilage. Considering the need to reduce the lactic acid bacteria growth in meat products, the aim of this work was to enumerated and investigated the lactic acid bacteria present on sliced vacuum-packed cooked ham stored at 4 °C and 8 °C for 45 days by phenotypic and molecular techniques. The quantification showed that the lactic acid bacteria were present from the first day with mean count of 1.98 log cfu/g for the four batches analyzed. The lactic acid bacteria grew rapidly on the samples, and plate counts around 7.59 log cfu/g and 8.25 log cfu/g were detected after 45 days of storage at 4 °C and 8 °C, respectively; storage temperatures studied showed significant influence on the microorganism in study growth. The predominant lactic acid bacteria associated with the spoilage samples at one day of storage includes Lactobacillus sp., the phenotypic overlap Leuconostoc/Weissella sp. and Enterococcus sp. At 45 days of storage at 4 and 8 °C the mainly specie was Lactobacillus curvatus, following by Lactobacillus sakei and Leuconostoc mesentereoides; the Enterococcus sp. was not present in the samples. <![CDATA[Binding effect of proline-rich-proteins (PRPs) on <em>in vitro</em> antimicrobial activity of the flavonoids]]> The interaction of the cyanidin, pelargonidin, catechin, myrecetin and kaempferol with casein and gelatin, as proline rich proteins (PRPs), was studied. The binding constants calculated for both flavonoid-casein and flavonoid-gelatin were fairly large (105–107 M−1) indicating strong interaction. Due to higher proline content in gelatin, the binding constants of flavonoid-gelatin (2.5 × 105–6.2 × 107M−1) were found to be higher than flavonoid-casein (1.2 × 105–5.0 × 107 M−1). All the flavonoids showed significant antibacterial activity against the tested strains. Significant loss in activity was observed due to the complexation with PRPs confirming that binding effectively reduced the concentration of the free flavonoids to be available for antibacterial activity. The decline in activity was corresponding to the values of the binding constants. Though the activities of free catechin and myrecetin were higher compared to pelargonidin, cyanidin and kaempferol yet the decline in activity of catechin and myrecetin due to complexation with casein and gelatin was more pronounced. <![CDATA[Biological activity of the essential oils from <em>Cinnamodendron dinisii</em> and <em>Siparuna guianensis</em>]]> This study had analyzed the antibacterial, antifungal and trypanocidal activity of the essential oils from Cinnamodendron dinisii Schwacke (Canellaceae) and Siparuna guianensis Aublet (Siparunaceae). The essential oils were obtained from fresh leaves by hydrodistillation, using a modified Clevenger apparatus. Chemical analysis by gas-liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC-MS) showed that these essential oils are rich in monoterpene and sesquiterpene hydrocarbons. Activity against the pathogenic bacteria Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella choleraesuis and Staphylococcus aureus was evaluated with the agar cavity diffusion method, while activity on the filamentous fungi Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus carbonariusand Penicillium commune was evaluated by the disk diffusion technique. Trypanocidal activity was tested against Trypanosoma cruzi epimastigotes, using the Tetrazolium salt (MTT) colorimetric assay. Both essential oils exhibited low inhibitory effect towards bacteria, showing high MIC values (125–500 μg mL−1), with Gram positive bacteria being more susceptible. Better inhibitory effect was obtained for the evaluated fungi, with lower MIC values (7.81–250 μg mL−1), being A. flavus the most susceptible species. Both essential oils presented low trypanocidal activity, with IC50/24 h values of 209.30 μg mL−1 for S. guianensis and 282.93 μg mL−1 for C. dinisii. Thus, the high values observed for the MIC of evaluated bacteria and for IC50/24 h of T. cruzi, suggest that the essential oils have a low inhibitory activity against these microorganisms. In addition, the low MIC values observed for the tested fungi species indicate good inhibitory activity on these microorganisms’s growth. <![CDATA[Iron bioaccumulation in mycelium of <em>Pleurotus ostreatus</em>]]> Pleurotus ostreatus is able to bioaccumulate several metals in its cell structures; however, there are no reports on its capacity to bioaccumulate iron. The objective of this study was to evaluate cultivation variables to increase iron bioaccumulation in P. ostreatusmycelium. A full factorial design and a central composite design were utilized to evaluate the effect of the following variables: nitrogen and carbon sources, pH and iron concentration in the solid culture medium to produce iron bioaccumulated in mycelial biomass. The maximum production of P. ostreatus mycelial biomass was obtained with yeast extract at 2.96 g of nitrogen L−1 and glucose at 28.45 g L−1. The most important variable to bioaccumulation was the iron concentration in the cultivation medium. Iron concentration at 175 mg L−1 or higher in the culture medium strongly inhibits the mycelial growth. The highest iron concentration in the mycelium was 3500 mg kg−1 produced with iron addition of 300 mg L−1. The highest iron bioaccumulation in the mycelium was obtained in culture medium with 150 mg L−1 of iron. Iron bioaccumulation in P. ostreatus mycelium is a potential alternative to produce non-animal food sources of iron. <![CDATA[Bacteriocinogenic <em>Lactococcus lactis</em> subsp. <em>lactis</em> DF04Mi isolated from goat milk: Application in the control of <em>Listeria monocytogenes</em> in fresh Minas-type goat cheese]]> Listeria monocytogenes is a pathogen frequently found in dairy products. Its control in fresh cheeses is difficult, due to the psychrotrophic properties and salt tolerance. Bacteriocinogenic lactic acid bacteria (LAB) with proven in vitro antilisterial activity can be an innovative technological approach but their application needs to be evaluated by means of in situ tests. In this study, a novel bacteriocinogenic Lactococcus lactis strain (Lc. lactis DF4Mi), isolated from raw goat milk, was tested for control of growth of L. monocytogenes in artificially contaminated fresh Minas type goat cheese during storage under refrigeration. A bacteriostatic effect was achieved, and counts after 10 days were 3 log lower than in control cheeses with no added LAB. However, this effect did not differ significantly from that obtained with a non-bacteriocinogenic Lc. lactis strain. Addition of nisin (12.5 mg/kg) caused a rapid decrease in the number of viable L. monocytogenes in the cheeses, suggesting that further studies with the purified bacteriocin DF4Mi may open new possibilities for this strain as biopreservative in dairy products. <![CDATA[Milk-deteriorating exoenzymes from <em>Pseudomonas fluorescens</em> 041 isolated from refrigerated raw milk]]> The practice of refrigerating raw milk at the farm has provided a selective advantage for psychrotrophic bacteria that produce heat-stable proteases and lipases causing severe quality problems to the dairy industry. In this work, a protease (AprX) and a lipase (LipM) produced by Pseudomonas fluorescens 041, a highly proteolytic and lipolytic strain isolated from raw milk obtained from a Brazilian farm, have been purified and characterized. Both enzymes were purified as recombinant proteins from Escherichia coli. The AprX metalloprotease exhibited activity in a broad temperature range, including refrigeration, with a maximum activity at 37 °C. It was active in a pH range of 4.0 to 9.0. This protease had maximum activity with the substrates casein and gelatin in the presence of Ca+2. The LipM lipase had a maximum activity at 25 °C and a broad pH optimum ranging from 7.0 to 10. It exhibited the highest activity, in the presence of Ca+2, on substrates with long-chain fatty acid residues. These results confirm the spoilage potential of strain 041 in milk due to, at least in part, these two enzymes. The work highlights the importance of studies of this kind with strains isolated in Brazil, which has a recent history on the implementation of the cold chain at the dairy farm. <![CDATA[Determining the minimum ripening time of artisanal Minas cheese, a traditional Brazilian cheese]]> Physical, physicochemical, and microbiological changes were monitored in 256 samples of artisanal Minas cheese from eight producers from Serro region (Minas Gerais, Brazil) for 64 days of ripening to determine the minimum ripening time for the cheese to reach the safe microbiological limits established by Brazilian legislation. The cheeses were produced between dry season (April–September) and rainy season (October–March); 128 cheeses were ripened at room temperature (25 ± 4 °C), and 128 were ripened under refrigeration (8 ± 1 °C), as a control. No Listeria monocytogenes was found, but one cheese under refrigeration had Salmonella at first 15 days of ripening. However, after 22 days, the pathogen was not detected. Seventeen days was the minimum ripening time at room temperature to reduce at safe limits of total coliforms &gt; 1000 cfu.g−1), Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus (&gt; 100 cfu.g−1) in both periods of manufacture. Otherwise under refrigeration, as expected, the minimum ripening time was longer, 33 days in the dry season and 63 days in the rainy season. To sum up, we suggest that the ripening of artisanal Minas cheese be done at room temperature, since this condition shortens the time needed to reach the microbiological quality that falls within the safety parameters required by Brazilian law, and at the same time maintain the appearance and flavor characteristics of this traditional cheese. <![CDATA[Different methods to quantify <em>Listeria monocytogenes</em>biofilms cells showed different profile in their viability]]> Listeria monocytogenes is a foodborne pathogen able to adhere and to form biofilms in several materials commonly present in food processing plants. The aim of this study was to evaluate the resistance of Listeria monocytogenes attached to abiotic surface, after treatment with sanitizers, by culture method, microscopy and Quantitative Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR). Biofilms of L. monocytogenes were obtained in stainless steel coupons immersed in Brain Heart Infusion Broth, under agitation at 37 °C for 24 h. The methods selected for this study were based on plate count, microscopic count with the aid of viability dyes (CTC-DAPI), and qPCR. Results of culture method showed that peroxyacetic acid was efficient to kill sessile L. monocytogenes populations, while sodium hypochlorite was only partially effective to kill attached L. monocytogenes (p &lt; 0.05). When, viability dyes (CTC/DAPI) combined with fluorescence microscopy and qPCR were used and lower counts were found after treatments (p &lt; 0.05). Selective quantification of viable cells of L. monocytogenes by qPCR using EMA revelead that the pre-treatment with EMA was not appropriate since it also inhibited amplification of DNA from live cells by ca. 2 log. Thus, the use of CTC counts was the best method to count viable cells in biofilms. <![CDATA[Safety, beneficial and technological properties of <em>Enterococcus faecium</em> isolated from Brazilian cheeses]]> This study aimed to characterize the safety and technological properties of Enterococcus faecium strains isolated from Brazilian Coalho cheeses. High levels of co-aggregation were observed between Enterococcus faecium strains EM485 and EM925 and both Escherichia coli and Clostridium perfringens. Both strains presented low levels of hydrophobicity. E. faecium EM485 and EM925 were both able to grow in the presence of 0.5% of the sodium salts of taurocholic acid (TC), taurodeoxycholic acid (TDC), glycocholic acid (GC), and glycodeoxycholic acid (GDC), although they showed the ability to deconjugate only GDC and TDC. Both strains showed good survival when exposed to conditions simulating the gastro intestinal tract (GIT). When tested for the presence of virulence genes, only tyrosine decarboxylase and vancomycin B generated positive PCR results. <![CDATA[Isolation of a thermostable acid phytase from <em>Aspergillus niger</em> UFV-1 with strong proteolysis resistance]]> An Aspergillus niger UFV-1 phytase was characterized and made available for industrial application. The enzyme was purified via ultrafiltration followed by acid precipitation, ion exchange and gel filtration chromatography. This protein exhibited a molecular mass of 161 kDa in gel filtration and 81 kDa in sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE), indicating that it may be a dimer. It presented an optimum temperature of 60 °C and optimum pH of 2.0. The KM for sodium phytate hydrolysis was 30.9 mM, while the kcat and kcat/KM were 1.46 ×105 s−1 and 4.7 × 106s−1.M−1, respectively. The purified phytase exhibited broad specificity on a range of phosphorylated compounds, presenting activity on sodium phytate, p-NPP, 2- naphthylphosphate, 1- naphthylphosphate, ATP, phenyl-phosphate, glucose-6-phosphate, calcium phytate and other substrates. Enzymatic activity was slightly inhibited by Mg2+, Cd2+, K+ and Ca2+, and it was drastically inhibited by F−. The enzyme displayed high thermostability, retaining more than 90% activity at 60 °C during 120 h and displayed a t1/2 of 94.5 h and 6.2 h at 70 °C and 80 °C, respectively. The enzyme demonstrated strong resistance toward pepsin and trypsin, and it retained more than 90% residual activity for both enzymes after 1 h treatment. Additionally, the enzyme efficiently hydrolyzed phytate in livestock feed, liberating 15.3 μmol phosphate/mL after 2.5 h of treatment. <![CDATA[Hydroxylation of 1,8-cineole by <em>Mucor ramannianus</em>and <em>Aspergillus niger</em>]]> The monoterpenoid 1,8-cineole is obtained from the leaves of Eucalyptus globulus and it has important biological activities. It is a cheap natural substrate because it is a by-product of the Eucalyptuscultivation for wood and pulp production. In this study, it was evaluated the potential of three filamentous fungi in the biotransformation of 1,8-cineole. The study was divided in two steps: first, reactions were carried out with 1,8-cineole at 1 g/L for 24 h; afterwards, reactions were carried out with substrate at 5 g/L for 5 days. The substrate was hydroxylated into 2-exo-hydroxy-1,8-cineole and 3-exo-hydroxy-1,8-cineole by fungi Mucor ramannianus and Aspergillus niger with high stereoselectivity. Trichoderma harzianum was also tested but no transformation was detected. M. ramannianus led to higher than 99% of conversion within 24 h with a starting high substrate concentration (1 g/L). When substrate was added at 5 g/L, only M. ramannianuswas able to catalyze the reaction, but the conversion level was 21.7% after 5 days. Both products have defined stereochemistry and could be used as chiral synthons. Furthermore, biological activity has been described for 3-exo-hydroxy-1,8-cineol. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on the use of M. ramannianus in this reaction. <![CDATA[Different resistance patterns of reference and field strains of <em>Brucella abortus</em>]]> The aim of this study was to evaluate the growth of the B. abortus reference strains and field isolates on media containing different inhibitor agents. Reference strains were seeded on tryptose agar containing: i-erythritol (1.0 mg/mL), fuchsin (20 μg/mL and 80 μg/mL), thionin (2.5 μg/mL and 10 μg/mL), rifampicin (200 μg/mL) and safranin O (200 μg/mL). Field isolates were tested only on media containing i-erythritol, rifampicin and thionin. Furthermore, each suspension was also inoculated on tryptose agar incubated in air, to test its ability to grow without CO2. Sensitivity to fuchsin was similar among reference strains evaluated. Growth of S19, 544 and 2308 but not RB51 were inhibited on media containing rifampicin. Medium with safranin O showed no inhibition for RB51, 544 and 2308, but it partially inhibited the S19 growth as well as medium containing i-erythritol. Treatment/control growth ratio for 2308 on tryptose agar containing thionin (2.5 μg/mL) was approximatelly 1.0, whereas S19 and RB51 showed 0.85 and 0.89 ratios, respectively. Growth of 544, S19 and RB51 but not 2308 was completely inhibited on medium with thionin (10 μg/mL). All field strains grew on medium containing i-erythritol, but were completelly inhibited by rifampicin. With exception of A1 (B. abortus biovar 3) all field isolates grew on medium with thionin, although some strains showed a treatment/control growth ratio of 0.75–0.80 (10 μg/mL). These results showed that tryptose agar with thionin, i-erythritol or rifampicin could be useful for differentiating vaccine, challenge and field strains of B. abortus. <![CDATA[Antimicrobial resistance and virulence gene profiles in <em>P. multocida</em> strains isolated from cats]]> Cats are often described as carriers of Pasteurella multocida in their oral microbiota. This agent is thought to cause pneumonia, conjunctivitis, rhinitis, gingivostomatitis, abscess and osteonecrosis in cats. Human infection with P. multocida has been described in several cases affecting cat owners or after cat bites. In Brazil, the cat population is approximately 21 million animals and is increasing, but there are no studies of the presence of P. multocida in the feline population or of human cases of infection associated with cats. In this study, one hundred and ninety-one healthy cats from owners and shelters in São Paulo State, Brazil, were evaluated for the presence of P. multocida in their oral cavities. Twenty animals were positive for P. multocida, and forty-one strains were selected and characterized by means of biochemical tests and PCR. The P. multocida strains were tested for capsular type, virulence genes and resistance profile. A total of 75.6% (31/41) of isolates belonged to capsular type A, and 24.4% (10/41) of the isolates were untypeable. None of the strains harboured toxA, tbpA or pfhA genes. The frequencies of the other genes tested were variable, and the data generated were used to build a dendrogram showing the relatedness of strains, which were clustered according to origin. The most common resistance profile observed was against sulfizoxazole and trimethoprim-sulphamethoxazole. <![CDATA[Bovine Herpesvirus 4 in Parana State, Brazil: case report, viral isolation, and molecular identification]]> Bovine Herpesvirus 4 (BoHV-4) is a member of Gammaherpesvirinaesub-family and belongs to genus Rhadinovirus. This virus has been associated with different clinical manifestations and research activity has put forward a strong correlation among virus infection, postpartum metritis, and abortion. The goal of this work was to characterize a virus strain isolate from a cow’s uterine outflow. From swabs drawn of uterine secretion, a virus strain was isolated and characterized by its cytopathology, morphology, and molecular biology approaches. In culture there was CPE development, characterized mainly by long strands with several small balloons along them, radiated from infected cells. Electron microscopy analysis revealed virus particles that had icosahedrical capsid symmetry surrounded by a loose envelope, typical of a herpesvirus. A 2,571 bp PCR product after HindIII digestion generated four fragments, whose base pair composition were 403, 420, 535, and 1,125 bp. Restriction enzymes HindIII and BamHI generated the expected diagnostic bands as well as a 2,350 bp hypermolar fragment as a result of BamHI treatment to demonstrate that agent was a bovine herpesvirus 4, appertaining to DN-599 group. <![CDATA[Copper induction and differential expression of laccase in <em>Aspergillus flavus</em>]]> Aspergillus flavus was isolated from soil and exhibited laccase activity under both constitutive and copper induced conditions. Spiking the medium with 1 mM copper sulfate resulted in an increase in the activity which reached 51.84 U/mL, a distinctive protein band was detected at 60 kDa. The extracellular enzyme was purified 81 fold using gel filtration chromatography and resulted in two different laccase fractions L1 and L2, the latter had a higher enzymatic activity which reached 79.57 U/mL and specific activity of 64.17 U/μg protein. The analysis of the spectrum of the L2 fraction showed a shoulder at 330 nm which is characteristic for T2/T3 copper centers; both copper and zinc were detected suggesting that this is an unconventional white laccase. Primers of laccase gene were designed and synthesized to recover specific gene from A. flavus. Sequence analysis indicated putative laccase (Genbank ID: JF683612) at the amino acid level suggesting a close identity to laccases from other genera containing the copper binding site. Decolorization of textile waste water under different conditions showed possible application in bioremediation within a short period of time. The effect of copper on A. flavus was concentration dependent. <![CDATA[Effect of fungicide on <em>Fusarium verticillioides</em>mycelial morphology and fumonisin B<sub>1</sub> production]]> The effect of fludioxonil + metalaxyl-M on the mycelial morphology, sporulation and fumonisin B1 production by Fusarium verticillioides 103 F was evaluated. Scanning electron microscopy analysis showed that the fungicide caused inhibition of hyphal growth and defects on hyphae morphology such as cell wall disruption, withered hyphae, and excessive septation. In addition, extracellular material around the hyphae was rarely observed in the presence of fludioxonil + metalaxyl-M. While promoting the reduction of mycelial growth, the fungicide increased sporulation of F. verticillioides compared to the control, and the highest production occurred on the 14th day in the treatments and on the 10th day in the control cultures. Fumonisin B1production in the culture media containing the fungicide (treatment) was detected from the 7th day incubation, whereas in cultures without fungicide (control) it was detected on the 10th day. The highest fumonisin B1 production occurred on the 14th day, both for the control and for the treatment. Fludioxonil + metalaxyl - M can interfere in F. verticillioides mycelial morphology and sporulation and increase fumonisin B1 levels. These data indicate the importance of understanding the effects of fungicide to minimize the occurrence of toxigenic fungi and fumonisins. <![CDATA[Epidemiology of oral HPV in the oral mucosa in women without signs of oral disease from Yucatan, Mexico]]> High-risk human papillomaviruses (HR-HPV) are considered necessary for the development of cervical cancer. Furthermore, there is no doubt that some types of oral squamous cell carcinoma are associated with HR-HPV. The epidemiology of oral HPV infections in healthy subjects remains unclear due to a lack of knowledge. The objective of this study was to investigate the epidemiology of human papillomavirus infections of the oral mucosa without pathology. A cross-sectional study was performed; samples from 390 women seeking prenatal care, Pap smears, family planning or gynecological diseases were studied. Oral cells were collected by direct swab sampling. Information regarding sociodemographic status, sexual behavior, infectious diseases, contraceptive history and tobacco and alcohol consumption were obtained through direct interviews. HPV and genotypes were detected by type-specific polymerase chain reaction. Our results revealed that 14% of the women studied had an oral HPV infection. Women ≤ 20 years of age had the highest HPV prevalence (24.5%). In total, seven genotypes were identified, including the high-risk genotypes 16, 18, 58 and 59 and the low-risk genotypes 6, 81 and 13, the latter of which is a type exclusive to oral mucosa. Sexual behavior was not associated with the presence of genital HPV types in the oral mucosa. Genital HPV types were present in the oral mucosa of women without associated clinical manifestations; however, sexual behavior was not associated with infection, and therefore others routes of transmission should be explored. <![CDATA[Torque teno virus among dialysis and renal-transplant patients]]> Patients who undergo dialysis treatment or a renal transplant have a high risk of blood-borne viral infections, including the Torque teno virus (TTV). This study identified the presence of TTV and its genome groups in blood samples from 118 patients in dialysis and 50 renal-transplant recipients. The research was conducted in a hospital in the city of Maringá, state of Paraná. The viral DNA, obtained from whole blood, was identified by using two nested Polymerase Chain Reactions (PCR). The frequencies of TTV were 17% and 36% in dialysis patients using the methodology proposed by Nishizawa et al. (1997) and Devalle and Niel (2004), respectively, and 10% and 54% among renal-transplant patients. There was no statistically significant association between the frequency of the pathogen and the variables: gender, time in dialysis, time since transplant, blood transfusions, and the concomitant presence of hepatitis B, for either the dialysis patients or the renal-transplant recipients. Among dialysis patients and renal-transplant recipients, genogroup 5 was predominant (48% and 66% respectively), followed by genogroup 4 (37% and 48%) and genogroup 1 (23% and 25%). Genogroup 2 was present in both groups of patients. Some patients had several genogroups, but 46% of the dialysis patients and 51% of the renal-transplant recipients had only a single genogroup. This study showed a high prevalence of TTV in dialysis patients and renal-transplant recipients.