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Microorganisms, Volume 4, Issue 4 (December 2016)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Human Lactobacillus Strains from the Intestine can Suppress IgE-Mediated Degranulation of Rat Basophilic Leukaemia (RBL-2H3) Cells
Microorganisms 2016, 4(4), 40; doi:10.3390/microorganisms4040040
Received: 15 August 2016 / Revised: 7 October 2016 / Accepted: 24 October 2016 / Published: 27 October 2016
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Abstract
Mast cells play a critical role in immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated allergic diseases, and the degranulation of mast cells is important in the pathogenesis of these diseases. A disturbance of the intestinal microflora, especially of endogenous lactic acid bacteria, might be a contributing factor
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Mast cells play a critical role in immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated allergic diseases, and the degranulation of mast cells is important in the pathogenesis of these diseases. A disturbance of the intestinal microflora, especially of endogenous lactic acid bacteria, might be a contributing factor for IgE-mediated allergic diseases. Additional knowledge regarding the interaction of human intestinal Lactobacilli with mast cells is still necessary. Twenty-three strains of Lactobacilli, including commercial and reference strains and strains from the human intestine, were tested for their ability to regulate degranulation of cells from rat basophilic leukemia RBL-2H3 cells (RBL-2H3) in vitro based on a β-hexosaminidase release assay. Each of the tested Lactobacilli characteristically suppressed IgE-mediated degranulation of RBL-2H3 cells, and Lactobacillus GG showed the strongest inhibitory effect on the cells. Furthermore, the bacteria isolated from the human intestine significantly suppressed degranulation of RBL-2H3 cellsin comparison with the reference strains. These results suggest that Lactobacilli, particularly those from the human intestine, can affect the activation of mast cells in a strain-dependent manner. Further study should be conducted to analyse the understanding mechanism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Probiotic Microorganisms: An Intimate Gaze)
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Open AccessArticle Dirty Money: A Matter of Bacterial Survival, Adherence, and Toxicity
Microorganisms 2016, 4(4), 42; doi:10.3390/microorganisms4040042
Received: 3 October 2016 / Revised: 17 November 2016 / Accepted: 18 November 2016 / Published: 23 November 2016
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Abstract
In this study we report the underlying reasons to why bacteria are present on banknotes and coins. Despite the use of credit cards, mobile phone apps, near-field-communication systems, and cryptocurrencies such as bitcoins which are replacing the use of hard currencies, cash exchanges
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In this study we report the underlying reasons to why bacteria are present on banknotes and coins. Despite the use of credit cards, mobile phone apps, near-field-communication systems, and cryptocurrencies such as bitcoins which are replacing the use of hard currencies, cash exchanges still make up a significant means of exchange for a wide range of purchases. The literature is awash with data that highlights that both coins and banknotes are frequently identified as fomites for a wide range of microorganisms. However, most of these publications fail to provide any insight into the extent to which bacteria adhere and persist on money. We treated the various currencies used in this study as microcosms, and the bacterial loading from human hands as the corresponding microbiome. We show that the substrate from which banknotes are produced have a significant influence on both the survival and adherence of bacteria to banknotes. Smooth, polymer surfaces provide a poor means of adherence and survival, while coarser and more fibrous surfaces provide strong bacterial adherence and an environment to survive on. Coins were found to be strongly inhibitory to bacteria with a relatively rapid decline in survival on almost all coin surfaces tested. The inhibitory influence of coins was demonstrated through the use of antimicrobial disks made from coins. Despite the toxic effects of coins on many bacteria, bacteria do have the ability to adapt to the presence of coins in their environment which goes some way to explain the persistent presence of low levels of bacteria on coins in circulation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Modeling Lactic Fermentation of Gowé Using Lactobacillus Starter Culture
Microorganisms 2016, 4(4), 44; doi:10.3390/microorganisms4040044
Received: 19 September 2016 / Revised: 21 November 2016 / Accepted: 23 November 2016 / Published: 1 December 2016
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Abstract
A global model of the lactic fermentation step of gowé was developed by assembling blocks hosting models for bacterial growth, lactic acid production, and the drop of pH during fermentation. Commercial strains of Lactobacillus brevis and of Lactobacillus plantarum were used; their growth
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A global model of the lactic fermentation step of gowé was developed by assembling blocks hosting models for bacterial growth, lactic acid production, and the drop of pH during fermentation. Commercial strains of Lactobacillus brevis and of Lactobacillus plantarum were used; their growth was modeled using Rosso’s primary model and the gamma concept as a secondary model. The optimum values of pH and temperature were 8.3 ± 0.3, 44.6 ± 1.2 °C and 8.3 ± 0.3, 3.2 ± 37.1 °C with μmax values of 1.8 ± 0.2 and 1.4 ± 0.1 for L. brevis and L. plantarum respectively. The minimum inhibitory concentration of undissociated lactic acid was 23.7 mM and 35.6 mM for L. brevis and L. plantarum, respectively. The yield of lactic acid was five times higher for L. plantarum than for L. brevis, with a yield of glucose conversion to lactic acid close to 2.0 for the former and 0.8 for the latter. A model was developed to predict the pH drop during gowé fermentation. The global model was partially validated during manufacturing of gowé. The global model could be a tool to aid in the choice of suitable starters and to determine the conditions for the use of the starter. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Pb2+ Effects on Growth, Lipids, and Protein and DNA Profiles of the Thermophilic Bacterium Thermus Thermophilus
Microorganisms 2016, 4(4), 45; doi:10.3390/microorganisms4040045
Received: 14 October 2016 / Revised: 21 November 2016 / Accepted: 28 November 2016 / Published: 6 December 2016
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Abstract
Extremophiles are organisms able to thrive in extreme environmental conditions and some of them show the ability to survive high doses of heavy metals thanks to defensive mechanisms provided by primary and secondary metabolic products, i.e., extremolytes, lipids, and extremozymes. This is why
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Extremophiles are organisms able to thrive in extreme environmental conditions and some of them show the ability to survive high doses of heavy metals thanks to defensive mechanisms provided by primary and secondary metabolic products, i.e., extremolytes, lipids, and extremozymes. This is why there is a growing scientific and industrial interest in the use of thermophilic bacteria in a host of tasks, from the environmental detoxification of heavy metal to industrial activities, such as bio-machining and bio-metallurgy. In this work Thermus thermophilus was challenged against increasing Pb2+ concentrations spanning from 0 to 300 ppm in order to ascertain the sensitiveness of this bacteria to the Pb environmental pollution and to give an insight on its heavy metal resistance mechanisms. Analysis of growth parameters, enzyme activities, protein profiles, and lipid membrane modifications were carried out. In addition, genotyping analysis of bacteria grown in the presence of Pb2+, using random amplified polymorphic DNA-PCR and DNA melting evaluation, were also performed. A better knowledge of the response of thermophilic bacteria to the different pollutants, as heavy metals, is necessary for optimizing their use in remediation or decontamination processes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Microbiological Quality of Fresh Nopal Juice
Microorganisms 2016, 4(4), 46; doi:10.3390/microorganisms4040046
Received: 24 October 2016 / Revised: 22 November 2016 / Accepted: 1 December 2016 / Published: 10 December 2016
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Abstract
The consumption of fresh nopal cactus juice is widely popular among health-conscious consumers in Mexico. The juice is prepared from fresh cladodes that have only been rinsed with tap water and are not subjected to a pasteurization or terminal bacterial reduction process. The
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The consumption of fresh nopal cactus juice is widely popular among health-conscious consumers in Mexico. The juice is prepared from fresh cladodes that have only been rinsed with tap water and are not subjected to a pasteurization or terminal bacterial reduction process. The aim of this study was to evaluate the microbial quality of commercially available fresh juices (n = 162) made with nopal in Texcoco, State of Mexico, during the summer and spring season. Standard microbiological methods, the PCR technique and the serological method were used for isolation and identification of bacteria. All samples contained total coliforms and 91% were positive for Escherichia coli. Although total coliforms and E. coli were detected throughout the study, their populations were significantly lower (p < 0.05) in winter and spring, respectively. Citrobacter youngae was found in 20% of the samples, an unidentified species of Citrobacter in 10%, C. freundii and Proteus mirabilis in 3%, and Salmonella Javiana in 1%. The presence of these microorganisms, especially Salmonella, in the nopal juices is unacceptable due to its health significance. The information generated in this study is relevant for human health risk assessment associated with the consumption of unpasteurized nopal juices and potential interventions to minimize pathogen contamination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbes and Food)
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Open AccessArticle Flavin-Dependent Redox Transfers by the Two-Component Diketocamphane Monooxygenases of Camphor-Grown Pseudomonas putida NCIMB 10007
Microorganisms 2016, 4(4), 38; doi:10.3390/microorganisms4040038
Received: 29 August 2016 / Revised: 30 September 2016 / Accepted: 3 October 2016 / Published: 13 October 2016
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Abstract
The progressive titres of key monooxygenases and their requisite native donors of reducing power were used to assess the relative contribution of various camphor plasmid (CAM plasmid)- and chromosome-coded activities to biodegradation of (rac)-camphor at successive stages throughout growth of Pseudomonas
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The progressive titres of key monooxygenases and their requisite native donors of reducing power were used to assess the relative contribution of various camphor plasmid (CAM plasmid)- and chromosome-coded activities to biodegradation of (rac)-camphor at successive stages throughout growth of Pseudomonas putida NCIMB 10007 on the bicylic monoterpenoid. A number of different flavin reductases (FRs) have the potential to supply reduced flavin mononucleotide to both 2,5- and 3,6-diketocamphane monooxygenase, the key isoenzymic two-component monooxygenases that delineate respectively the (+)- and (−)-camphor branches of the convergent degradation pathway. Two different constitutive chromosome-coded ferric reductases able to act as FRs can serve such as role throughout all stages of camphor-dependent growth, whereas Fred, a chromosome-coded inducible FR can only play a potentially significant role in the relatively late stages. Putidaredoxin reductase, an inducible CAM plasmid-coded flavoprotein that serves an established role as a redox intermediate for plasmid-coded cytochrome P450 monooxygenase also has the potential to serve as an important FR for both diketocamphane monooxygenases (DKCMOs) throughout most stages of camphor-dependent growth. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview EPS—Then and Now
Microorganisms 2016, 4(4), 41; doi:10.3390/microorganisms4040041
Received: 8 October 2016 / Revised: 31 October 2016 / Accepted: 11 November 2016 / Published: 18 November 2016
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Abstract
“Slime” played a brief and spectacular role in the 19th century founded by the theory of primordial slime by Ernst Haeckel. However, that substance was never found and eventually abandoned. Further scientific attention slowly began in the 1930s referring to slime as a
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“Slime” played a brief and spectacular role in the 19th century founded by the theory of primordial slime by Ernst Haeckel. However, that substance was never found and eventually abandoned. Further scientific attention slowly began in the 1930s referring to slime as a microbial product and then was inspired by “How bacteria stick” by Costerton et al. in 1978, and the matrix material was considered to be polysaccharides. Later, it turned out that proteins, nucleic acids and lipids were major other constituents of the extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), an acronym which was highly discussed. The role of the EPS matrix turns out to be fundamental for biofilms, in terms of keeping cells in proximity and allowing for extended interaction, resource capture, mechanical strength and other properties, which emerge from the life of biofilm organisms, including enhanced tolerance to antimicrobials and other stress. The EPS components are extremely complex and dynamic and fulfil many functional roles, turning biofilms into the most ubiquitous and successful form of life on Earth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Biofilm Matrix)
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Open AccessReview Lead Discovery Strategies for Identification of Chlamydia pneumoniae Inhibitors
Microorganisms 2016, 4(4), 43; doi:10.3390/microorganisms4040043
Received: 10 August 2016 / Revised: 28 October 2016 / Accepted: 4 November 2016 / Published: 28 November 2016
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Abstract
Throughout its known history, the gram-negative bacterium Chlamydia pneumoniae has remained a challenging target for antibacterial chemotherapy and drug discovery. Owing to its well-known propensity for persistence and recent reports on antimicrobial resistence within closely related species, new approaches for targeting this ubiquitous
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Throughout its known history, the gram-negative bacterium Chlamydia pneumoniae has remained a challenging target for antibacterial chemotherapy and drug discovery. Owing to its well-known propensity for persistence and recent reports on antimicrobial resistence within closely related species, new approaches for targeting this ubiquitous human pathogen are urgently needed. In this review, we describe the strategies that have been successfully applied for the identification of nonconventional antichlamydial agents, including target-based and ligand-based virtual screening, ethnopharmacological approach and pharmacophore-based design of antimicrobial peptide-mimicking compounds. Among the antichlamydial agents identified via these strategies, most translational work has been carried out with plant phenolics. Thus, currently available data on their properties as antichlamydial agents are described, highlighting their potential mechanisms of action. In this context, the role of mitogen-activated protein kinase activation in the intracellular growth and survival of C. pneumoniae is discussed. Owing to the complex and often complementary pathways applied by C. pneumoniae in the different stages of its life cycle, multitargeted therapy approaches are expected to provide better tools for antichlamydial therapy than agents with a single molecular target. Full article
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Open AccessReview Immunoregulation in Fungal Diseases
Microorganisms 2016, 4(4), 47; doi:10.3390/microorganisms4040047
Received: 4 November 2016 / Revised: 2 December 2016 / Accepted: 6 December 2016 / Published: 10 December 2016
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Abstract
This review addresses specific regulatory mechanisms involved in the host immune response to fungal organisms. We focus on key cells and regulatory pathways involved in these responses, including a brief overview of their broader function preceding a discussion of their specific relevance to
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This review addresses specific regulatory mechanisms involved in the host immune response to fungal organisms. We focus on key cells and regulatory pathways involved in these responses, including a brief overview of their broader function preceding a discussion of their specific relevance to fungal disease. Important cell types discussed include dendritic cells and regulatory T cells, with a focus on specific studies relating to their effects on immune responses to fungi. We highlight the interleukin-10, programmed cell death 1, and cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated protein 4 signaling pathways and emphasize interrelationships between these pathways and the regulatory functions of dendritic cells and regulatory T cells. Throughout our discussion, we identify selected studies best illustrating the role of these cells and pathways in response to specific fungal pathogens to provide a contextual understanding of the tightly-controlled network of regulatory mechanisms critical to determining the outcome of exposure to fungal pathogens. Lastly, we discuss two unique phenomena relating to immunoregulation, protective tolerance and immune reactivation inflammatory syndrome. These two clinically-relevant conditions provide perspective as to the range of immunoregulatory mechanisms active in response to fungi. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Pathogenesis and Immune Defense)
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Open AccessReview Natural Products for the Treatment of Chlamydiaceae Infections
Microorganisms 2016, 4(4), 39; doi:10.3390/microorganisms4040039
Received: 18 July 2016 / Revised: 4 October 2016 / Accepted: 7 October 2016 / Published: 16 October 2016
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Abstract
Due to the global prevalence of Chlamydiae, exploring studies of diverse antichlamydial compounds is important in the development of effective treatment strategies and global infectious disease management. Chlamydiaceae is the most widely known bacterial family of the Chlamydiae order. Among the species
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Due to the global prevalence of Chlamydiae, exploring studies of diverse antichlamydial compounds is important in the development of effective treatment strategies and global infectious disease management. Chlamydiaceae is the most widely known bacterial family of the Chlamydiae order. Among the species in the family Chlamydiaceae, Chlamydia trachomatis and Chlamydia pneumoniae cause common human diseases, while Chlamydia abortus, Chlamydia psittaci, and Chlamydia suis represent zoonotic threats or are endemic in human food sources. Although chlamydial infections are currently manageable in human populations, chlamydial infections in livestock are endemic and there is significant difficulty achieving effective treatment. To combat the spread of Chlamydiaceae in humans and other hosts, improved methods for treatment and prevention of infection are needed. There exist various studies exploring the potential of natural products for developing new antichlamydial treatment modalities. Polyphenolic compounds can inhibit chlamydial growth by membrane disruption, reestablishment of host cell apoptosis, or improving host immune system detection. Fatty acids, monoglycerides, and lipids can disrupt the cell membranes of infective chlamydial elementary bodies (EBs). Peptides can disrupt the cell membranes of chlamydial EBs, and transferrins can inhibit chlamydial EBs from attachment to and permeation through the membranes of host cells. Cellular metabolites and probiotic bacteria can inhibit chlamydial infection by modulating host immune responses and directly inhibiting chlamydial growth. Finally, early stage clinical trials indicate that polyherbal formulations can be effective in treating chlamydial infections. Herein, we review an important body of literature in the field of antichlamydial research. Full article
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