International Journal of Microbiology The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2015 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Effects of Two Salts Compounds on Mycelial Growth, Sporulation, and Spore Germination of Six Isolates of Botrytis cinerea in the Western North of Algeria Thu, 26 Mar 2015 14:06:37 +0000 Six isolates of Botrytis cinerea were isolated from leaves and stems of different tomato varieties taken from four areas in the northwest of Algeria where tomato is mostly grown in greenhouses and high tunnels. The purpose of this research was to determine the effect of two salts, NaCl and CaCl2, on three stages of Botrytis cinerea’s life cycle. All isolates tested were stimulated in 50 to 150 ppm; NaCl was the most effective treatment to increase mycelial growth at two tested concentrations. However, at 300 ppm concentration, CaCl2 completely inhibited the growth of mycelium; they reach 34.78% for the isolate TR46 and 26.72% for isolate F27. The sodium and calcium salts stimulated conidia production in liquid culture. We noticed that the effect of calcium chloride on sporulation was average while sodium chloride. In the medium containing 50 ppm, calcium chloride and sodium chloride increased the germination capacity of most isolates compared with the control. Other calcium salts, at 100 or 300 ppm, decreased the germination percentage of the conidia. With the exception of sodium salts, the inhibitions of germination reduce at 150 or 300 compared with the control. Conidial germination was slightly inhibited by sodium chloride only when the concentration was over 300 ppm. Boualem Boumaaza, Mohamed Benkhelifa, and Moulay Belkhoudja Copyright © 2015 Boualem Boumaaza et al. All rights reserved. Ebola Virus Disease 2013-2014 Outbreak in West Africa: An Analysis of the Epidemic Spread and Response Tue, 17 Mar 2015 07:33:29 +0000 The Ebola virus epidemic burst in West Africa in late 2013, started in Guinea, reached in a few months an alarming diffusion, actually involving several countries (Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Senegal, and Mali). Guinea and Liberia, the first nations affected by the outbreak, have put in place measures to contain the spread, supported by international organizations; then they were followed by the other nations affected. In the present EVD outbreak, the geographical spread of the virus has followed a new route: the achievement of large urban areas at an early stage of the epidemic has led to an unprecedented diffusion, featuring the largest outbreak of EVD of all time. This has caused significant concerns all over the world: the potential reaching of far countries from endemic areas, mainly through fast transports, induced several countries to issue information documents and health supervision for individuals going to or coming from the areas at risk. In this paper the geographical spread of the epidemic was analyzed, assessing the sequential appearance of cases by geographic area, considering the increase in cases and mortality according to affected nations. The measures implemented by each government and international organizations to contain the outbreak, and their effectiveness, were also evaluated. Orlando Cenciarelli, Stefano Pietropaoli, Andrea Malizia, Mariachiara Carestia, Fabrizio D’Amico, Alessandro Sassolini, Daniele Di Giovanni, Silvia Rea, Valentina Gabbarini, Annalaura Tamburrini, Leonardo Palombi, Carlo Bellecci, and Pasquale Gaudio Copyright © 2015 Orlando Cenciarelli et al. All rights reserved. Enteropathogens Associated with Acute Diarrhea in Children from Households with High Socioeconomic Level in Uruguay Thu, 12 Mar 2015 08:18:15 +0000 Infectious diarrhea, a common disease of children, deserves permanent monitoring in all social groups. To know the etiology and clinical manifestations of acute diarrhea in children up to 5 years of age from high socioeconomic level households, we conducted a descriptive, microbiological, and clinical study. Stools from 59 children with acute community-acquired diarrhea were examined, and their parents were interviewed concerning symptoms and signs. Rotavirus, adenovirus, and norovirus were detected by commercially available qualitative immunochromatographic lateral flow rapid tests. Salmonella, Campylobacter, Yersinia, and Shigella were investigated by standard bacteriological methods and diarrheagenic E. coli by PCR assays. We identified a potential enteric pathogen in 30 children. The most frequent causes of diarrhea were enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC), viruses, Campylobacter, Salmonella, and Shiga-toxin-producing E. coli (STEC). Only 2 patients showed mixed infections. Our data suggest that children with viral or Campylobacter diarrhea were taken to the hospital earlier than those infected with EPEC. One child infected with STEC O26 developed “complete” HUS. The microbiological results highlight the importance of zoonotic bacteria such as atypical EPEC, Campylobacter, STEC, and Salmonella as pathogens associated with acute diarrhea in these children. The findings also reinforce our previous communications about the regional importance of non-O157 STEC strains in severe infant food-borne diseases. Gustavo Varela, Lara Batthyány, María Noel Bianco, Walter Pérez, Lorena Pardo, Gabriela Algorta, Luciana Robino, Ramón Suárez, Armando Navarro, María Catalina Pírez, and Felipe Schelotto Copyright © 2015 Gustavo Varela et al. All rights reserved. Edible Mushrooms: Improving Human Health and Promoting Quality Life Tue, 20 Jan 2015 08:31:39 +0000 Mushrooms have been consumed since earliest history; ancient Greeks believed that mushrooms provided strength for warriors in battle, and the Romans perceived them as the “Food of the Gods.” For centuries, the Chinese culture has treasured mushrooms as a health food, an “elixir of life.” They have been part of the human culture for thousands of years and have considerable interest in the most important civilizations in history because of their sensory characteristics; they have been recognized for their attractive culinary attributes. Nowadays, mushrooms are popular valuable foods because they are low in calories, carbohydrates, fat, and sodium: also, they are cholesterol-free. Besides, mushrooms provide important nutrients, including selenium, potassium, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin D, proteins, and fiber. All together with a long history as food source, mushrooms are important for their healing capacities and properties in traditional medicine. It has reported beneficial effects for health and treatment of some diseases. Many nutraceutical properties are described in mushrooms, such as prevention or treatment of Parkinson, Alzheimer, hypertension, and high risk of stroke. They are also utilized to reduce the likelihood of cancer invasion and metastasis due to antitumoral attributes. Mushrooms act as antibacterial, immune system enhancer and cholesterol lowering agents; additionally, they are important sources of bioactive compounds. As a result of these properties, some mushroom extracts are used to promote human health and are found as dietary supplements. María Elena Valverde, Talía Hernández-Pérez, and Octavio Paredes-López Copyright © 2015 María Elena Valverde et al. All rights reserved. Childhood Septicemia in Nepal: Documenting the Bacterial Etiology and Its Susceptibility to Antibiotics Thu, 25 Dec 2014 13:08:08 +0000 Introduction. Children are among the most vulnerable population groups to contract illnesses. The varying microbiological pattern of septicemia warrants the need for an ongoing review of the causative organisms and their antimicrobial susceptibility pattern. Therefore, the objective of this study was to document the bacterial etiology of childhood septicemia and its antibiotic susceptibility profile. Methods. Cross-sectional type of study in 1630 suspected patients was conducted at CMCTH from January 2012 to December 2013. Blood samples were collected aseptically for culture. The organisms grown were identified by standard microbiological methods recommended by American Society for Microbiology (ASM) and subjected to antibiotic susceptibility testing by modified Kirby-Bauer disk diffusion method. Methicillin resistance was confirmed using cefoxitin and oxacillin disks methods. Results. Septicemia was detected in 172 (10.6%) cases. Among Gram-positive organisms, coagulase negative staphylococci (CoNS) were leading pathogen and Acinetobacter spp. were leading pathogen among Gram-negative isolates. Vancomycin, teicoplanin, and clindamycin were the most effective antibiotics against Gram-positive isolates while amikacin was effective against Gram-positive as well as Gram-negative isolates. Methicillin resistance was detected in 44.4% of Staphylococcus aureus. Conclusions. This study has highlighted the burden of bacterial etiology for septicemia among children in a tertiary care center of central Nepal. Shamshul Ansari, Hari Prasad Nepal, Rajendra Gautam, Sony Shrestha, Puja Neopane, Brihaspati Rimal, Fuleshwar Mandal, Safiur Rahman Ansari, and Moti Lal Chapagain Copyright © 2014 Shamshul Ansari et al. All rights reserved. Global Phenotypic Characterization of Effects of Fluoroquinolone Resistance Selection on the Metabolic Activities and Drug Susceptibilities of Clostridium perfringens Strains Sun, 21 Dec 2014 00:10:15 +0000 Fluoroquinolone resistance affects toxin production of Clostridium perfringens strains differently. To investigate the effect of fluoroquinolone resistance selection on global changes in metabolic activities and drug susceptibilities, four C. perfringens strains and their norfloxacin-, ciprofloxacin-, and gatifloxacin-resistant mutants were compared in nearly 2000 assays, using phenotype microarray plates. Variations among mutant strains resulting from resistance selection were observed in all aspects of metabolism. Carbon utilization, pH range, osmotic tolerance, and chemical sensitivity of resistant strains were affected differently in the resistant mutants depending on both the bacterial genotype and the fluoroquinolone to which the bacterium was resistant. The susceptibilities to gentamicin and erythromycin of all resistant mutants except one increased, but some resistant strains were less susceptible to amoxicillin, cefoxitin, ceftriaxone, chloramphenicol, and metronidazole than their wild types. Sensitivity to ethidium bromide decreased in some resistant mutants and increased in others. Microarray analysis of two gatifloxacin-resistant mutants showed changes in metabolic activities that were correlated with altered expression of various genes. Both the chemical structures of fluoroquinolones and the genomic makeup of the wild types influenced the changes found in resistant mutants, which may explain some inconsistent reports of the effects of therapeutic use of fluoroquinolones on clinical isolates of bacteria. Miseon Park and Fatemeh Rafii Copyright © 2014 Miseon Park and Fatemeh Rafii. All rights reserved. Microbiological Analysis of Surfaces of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Atlantic Codex: Biodeterioration Risk Wed, 10 Dec 2014 00:10:38 +0000 Following the discovery of discoloration on some pages of the Atlantic Codex (AC) of Leonardo da Vinci kept in the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan, some investigations have been carried out to verify the presence of microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungi. To verify the presence of microorganisms a noninvasive method of sampling has been used that was efficient and allowed us to highlight the microbial facies of the material that was examined using conventional microbiological techniques. The microclimatic conditions in the storage room as well as the water content of the volume were also assessed. The combined observations allowed the conclusion that the discoloration of suspected biological origin on some pages of AC is not related to the presence or current attack of microbial agents. Gianfranco Tarsitani, Catia Moroni, Francesca Cappitelli, Giovanna Pasquariello, and Oriana Maggi Copyright © 2014 Gianfranco Tarsitani et al. All rights reserved. Candida glabrata Esophagitis: Are We Seeing the Emergence of a New Azole-Resistant Pathogen? Wed, 03 Dec 2014 07:17:51 +0000 Background. Candida glabrata (C. glabrata) has become a recognized pathogen in fungal esophagitis. A proportion of these isolates are azole-resistant which may have treatment implications. Variability in the prevalence of this organism exists in the limited data available. Objective. To determine the incidence of C. glabrata esophagitis in a North American hospital setting and to highlight factors that may predispose patients to this condition. Methods. Patient charts were collected from January 1, 2009 to July 30, 2011. Any charts of patients identified as having esophagitis with a positive fungal culture were reviewed for the species of Candida and the presence of factors that would predispose them to esophageal candidiasis. Results. The prevalence of Candida esophagitis based on culture was 2.2% (37 subjects). C. glabrata was the 2nd most prevalent pathogen identified (24.3% or 9 subjects). Of the C. glabrata cohort, all patients had at least one factor predisposing them to candidiasis. Conclusion. C. glabrata esophagitis makes up a large portion of the candidal esophagitis seen in hospital. C. glabrata infections were associated with at least one risk factor for candidal infection. Given its resistance to azole-based therapy, this may have treatment implications for how candidal esophagitis is approached by the clinician. Aze Wilson, Johan Delport, and Terry Ponich Copyright © 2014 Aze Wilson et al. All rights reserved. Assessment of the Contamination of Some Foodstuffs by Escherichia coli O157 in Benin, West Africa Mon, 24 Nov 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Escherichia coli O157 is a pathogenic bacterium causing haemorrhagic colitis. It represents a serious public health problem in Northern America and Europe, which can plague Africa. Most cases of mentioned poisoning were related to contaminated meat products and vegetables. The present work aimed to estimate the prevalence of E. coli O157 in meat and vegetables in Benin. For this purpose, 6 lots of faeces samples from pigs and 8 from cattle were collected at the farms on the outskirts of Cotonou. Similarly, 20 samples of carcasses, 20 samples of intestines and stomach, and 20 surfaces samples of slaughtering equipment were taken. Vegetables and environment materials in gardens have also been sampled for 84 samples. Bacteriological analyses revealed a percentage of contamination of 50% for pig faeces and 25% for cattle ones. All the meats from stalling parks have been contaminated by this bacterium. For vegetables, 14.6% of samples were contaminated by E. coli O157. The presence of this pathovar in animal breeding and slaughtering environment and in the gardens shows that Benin is not aware of the risks of foodborne illness associated with the consumption of contaminated products. Therefore, it urges including that germ in a systematic search during safety control of food products in Benin. Honoré Sourou Bankole, Victorien Tamègnon Dougnon, Roch Christian Johnson, T. J. Dougnon, Boniface Yehouenou, Sylvain Kougblenou, Maxime Agonsa, Magloire Legonou, Thomas Dadie, and Lamine Baba-Moussa Copyright © 2014 Honoré Sourou Bankole et al. All rights reserved. Prevalence of Salmonella Infection in Dogs in Maiduguri, Northeastern Nigeria Thu, 23 Oct 2014 12:00:44 +0000 The prevalence and antimicrobial sensitivity of Salmonella from dogs in Maiduguri Metropolis were determined using standard bacteriological methods to assess the risk of possible transmission of Salmonella infection from dogs to humans. Of 119 samples, Salmonella was isolated from 52 (43.7%). Males had higher prevalence of 50.0% compared with 34.7% in females . Dogs older than 24 months had higher prevalence of 61.0% and the lowest was seen in dogs aged 13–24 months . The prevalence of 31.8%, 41.2%, and 58.8% was observed in dogs aged 3–6, 10–12, and 7–9 months, respectively. High prevalence of 49.5% was observed in Mongrels, while Terrier and Alsatian breeds had 30.0% and 8.3%, respectively. Salmonella isolates from Alsatian and Terrier breeds showed about 100% susceptibility to all the tested antimicrobials. Higher percentage of the Salmonella isolates from Mongrels also showed susceptibility to ciprofloxacin (89.7%), amoxicillin (87.6%), vancomycin (86.6%), and chloramphenicol (84.5%). However about 50% of these isolates showed resistance to ofloxacin. The carrier status of Salmonella is high among dogs especially Mongrels. Therefore good environmental hygiene, discouraging straying coupled with feeding of dogs with properly cooked and uncontaminated feeds was recommended to mitigate risk of human salmonellosis. Saleh Mohammed Jajere, Samson Amali Onyilokwu, Nuhu Bala Adamu, Naphtali Nayamanda Atsanda, Adamu Saleh Saidu, Shuaibu Gidado Adamu, and Fatima Bukar Mustapha Copyright © 2014 Saleh Mohammed Jajere et al. All rights reserved. Pattern of Blood Stream Infections within Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Suez Canal University Hospital, Ismailia, Egypt Mon, 20 Oct 2014 08:43:21 +0000 Introduction. Blood stream infection (BSI) is a common problem of newborn in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). Monitoring neonatal infections is increasingly regarded as an important contributor to safe and high-quality healthcare. It results in high mortality rate and serious complications. So, our aim was to determine the incidence and the pattern of BSIs in the NICU of Suez Canal University Hospital, Egypt, and to determine its impact on hospitalization, mortality, and morbidity. Methods. This study was a prospective one in which all neonates admitted to the NICUs in Suez Canal University hospital between January, 2013 and June 2013 were enrolled. Blood stream infections were monitored prospectively. The health care associated infection rate, mortality rate, causative organism, and risk factors were studied. Results. A total of 317 neonates were admitted to the NICU with a mortality rate of 36.0%. During this study period, 115/317 (36.3%) developed clinical signs of sepsis and were confirmed as BSIs by blood culture in only 90 neonates with 97 isolates. The total mean length of stay was significantly longer among infected than noninfected neonates (34.5 ± 18.3 and 10.8 ± 9.9 days, resp., P value < 0.001). The overall mortality rates among infected and noninfected neonates were 38.9% and 34.8%, respectively, with a significant difference. Klebsiella spp. were the most common pathogen (27.8%) followed by Pseudomonas (21.6%) and Staphylococcus aureus (15.4%). Conclusion. The rate of BSIs in NICU at Suez Canal University Hospital was relatively high with high mortality rate (36.0%). Rania Mohammed Kishk, Mohamed Fouad Mandour, Rasha Mohamed Farghaly, Ahmed Ibrahim, and Nader Attia Nemr Copyright © 2014 Rania Mohammed Kishk et al. All rights reserved. Emerging Preservation Techniques for Controlling Spoilage and Pathogenic Microorganisms in Fruit Juices Mon, 22 Sep 2014 09:38:07 +0000 Fruit juices are important commodities in the global market providing vast possibilities for new value added products to meet consumer demand for convenience, nutrition, and health. Fruit juices are spoiled primarily due to proliferation of acid tolerant and osmophilic microflora. There is also risk of food borne microbial infections which is associated with the consumption of fruit juices. In order to reduce the incidence of outbreaks, fruit juices are preserved by various techniques. Thermal pasteurization is used commercially by fruit juice industries for the preservation of fruit juices but results in losses of essential nutrients and changes in physicochemical and organoleptic properties. Nonthermal pasteurization methods such as high hydrostatic pressure, pulsed electric field, and ultrasound and irradiations have also been employed in fruit juices to overcome the negative effects of thermal pasteurization. Some of these techniques have already been commercialized. Some are still in research or pilot scale. Apart from these emerging techniques, preservatives from natural sources have also shown considerable promise for use in some food products. In this review article, spoilage, pathogenic microflora, and food borne outbreaks associated with fruit juices of last two decades are given in one section. In other sections various prevention methods to control the growth of spoilage and pathogenic microflora to increase the shelf life of fruit juices are discussed. Kamal Rai Aneja, Romika Dhiman, Neeraj Kumar Aggarwal, and Ashish Aneja Copyright © 2014 Kamal Rai Aneja et al. All rights reserved. Soil Acidobacterial 16S rRNA Gene Sequences Reveal Subgroup Level Differences between Savanna-Like Cerrado and Atlantic Forest Brazilian Biomes Mon, 15 Sep 2014 11:08:00 +0000 16S rRNA sequences from the phylum Acidobacteria have been commonly reported from soil microbial communities, including those from the Brazilian Savanna (Cerrado) and the Atlantic Forest biomes, two biomes that present contrasting characteristics of soil and vegetation. Using 16S rRNA sequences, the present work aimed to study acidobacterial diversity and distribution in soils of Cerrado savanna and two Atlantic forest sites. PCA and phylogenetic reconstruction showed that the acidobacterial communities found in “Mata de galeria” forest soil samples from the Cerrado biome have a tendency to separate from the other Cerrado vegetation microbial communities in the direction of those found in the Atlantic Forest, which is correlated with a high abundance of Acidobacteria subgroup 2 (GP2). Environmental conditions seem to promote a negative correlation between GP2 and subgroup 1 (GP1) abundance. Also GP2 is negatively correlated to pH, but positively correlated to high Al3+ concentrations. The Cerrado soil showed the lowest Acidobacteria richness and diversity indexes of OTUs at the species and subgroups levels when compared to Atlantic Forest soils. These results suggest specificity of acidobacterial subgroups to soils of different biomes and are a starting point to understand their ecological roles, a topic that needs to be further explored. Elisa C. P. Catão, Fabyano A. C. Lopes, Janaína F. Araújo, Alinne P. de Castro, Cristine C. Barreto, Mercedes M. C. Bustamante, Betania F. Quirino, and Ricardo H. Krüger Copyright © 2014 Elisa C. P. Catão et al. All rights reserved. Exploring Diversity among Norwegian Borrelia Strains Originating from Ixodes ricinus Ticks Wed, 27 Aug 2014 11:52:13 +0000 Characterisation of Borrelia strains from Ixodes ricinus ticks is important in the epidemiological surveillance of vector-borne pathogens. Multilocus sequences analysis (MLSA) is a molecular genotyping tool with high discriminatory power that has been applied in evolutionary studies and for the characterisation of Borrelia genospecies. MLSA was used to study genetic variations in Borrelia strains isolated from I. ricinus ticks collected from the woodlands in Skodje. The results demonstrate that the 50 Borrelia strains were separated into 36 sequence types (STs) that were not previously represented in the MLST database. A distance matrix neighbour-joining tree (bootstrapped 500 iterations) showed four deeply branched clusters, and each deeply branched cluster represented one Borrelia genospecies. The mean pairwise genetic differences confirm the genospecies clustering. The combination of alleles separates the Borrelia strains from northwest Norway from the strains in the MLST database, thus identifying new STs. Although a highly divergent B. afzelii population could be expected, the heterogeneity among the B. garinii strains is more unusual. The present study indicates that the circulation of strains between migrating birds and stationary birds in this coastal region may play a role in the evolution of B. garinii strains. Ann-Kristin Tveten Copyright © 2014 Ann-Kristin Tveten. All rights reserved. Examination of the Anaerobic Growth of Campylobacter concisus Strains Wed, 20 Aug 2014 11:19:52 +0000 Campylobacter concisus is an oral bacterium that is associated with intestinal diseases. C. concisus was previously described as a bacterium that requires H2-enriched microaerobic conditions for growth. The level of H2 in the oral cavity is extremely low, suggesting that C. concisus is unlikely to have a microaerobic growth there. In this study, the anaerobic growth of C. concisus was investigated. The growth of fifty-seven oral C. concisus strains and six enteric C. concisus strains under various atmospheric conditions including anaerobic conditions with and without H2 was examined. The atmospheric conditions were generated using commercially available gas-generation systems. C. concisus putative virulence proteins were identified using mass spectrometry analysis. Under anaerobic conditions, 92% of the oral C. concisus strains (52/57) and all six enteric strains grew without the presence of H2 and the presence of H2 greatly increased C. concisus growth. An oral C. concisus strain was found to express a number of putative virulence proteins and the expression levels of these proteins were not affected by H2. The levels of H2 appeared to affect the optimal growth of C. concisus. This study provides useful information in understanding the natural colonization site and pathogenicity of C. concisus. Hoyul Lee, Rena Ma, Michael C. Grimm, Stephen M. Riordan, Ruiting Lan, Ling Zhong, Mark Raftery, and Li Zhang Copyright © 2014 Hoyul Lee et al. All rights reserved. Differentiation of Xanthomonas spp. Causing Bacterial Spot in Bulgaria Based on Biolog System Thu, 14 Aug 2014 13:16:17 +0000 During the last 20 years, the causative agents of bacterial spot of tomato and pepper have been subjected to many studies and reclassifications. According to the current data, the species are four (X. euvesicatoria, X. vesicatoria, X. gardneri, and X. perforans) and cause similar symptoms in plants but possess different phenotypic properties. This work provides the full metabolic characteristics obtained by Biolog system of bacterial spot’s xanthomonads based on a large selection of strains from different vegetable-producing regions of Bulgaria with accent on their major differentiating properties which could be used for species differentiation by metabolic profiles. The results are compared to the data available in the literature in order to clarify the strong features of each species and distinguish the variable ones. Simple characteristics like amylase activity and utilization of cis-aconitate cannot serve alone for differentiation. Mariya Stoyanova, Taca Vancheva, Penka Moncheva, and Nevena Bogatzevska Copyright © 2014 Mariya Stoyanova et al. All rights reserved. Detection and Characterization of Shiga Toxin Producing Escherichia coli, Salmonella spp., and Yersinia Strains from Human, Animal, and Food Samples in San Luis, Argentina Thu, 07 Aug 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC), Salmonella spp., and Yersinia species was investigated in humans, animals, and foods in San Luis, Argentina. A total of 453 samples were analyzed by culture and PCR. The antimicrobial susceptibility of all the strains was studied, the genomic relationships among isolates of the same species were determined by PFGE, and the potencial virulence of Y. enterocolitica strains was analyzed. Yersinia species showed higher prevalence (9/453, 2.0%, 95% CI, 0.7–3.3%) than STEC (4/453, 0.9%, 95% CI, 0–1.8%) and Salmonella spp. (3/453, 0.7%, 95% CI, 0–1.5%). Y. enterocolitica and Y. intermedia were isolated from chicken carcasses (6/80, 7.5%, 95% CI, 1.5–13.5%) and porcine skin and bones (3/10, 30%, 95% CI, 0–65%). One STEC strain was recovered from human feces (1/70, 1.4%, 95% CI, 0–4.2%) and STEC stx1/stx2 genes were detected in bovine stools (3/129, 2.3%, 95% CI, 0–5.0%). S. Typhimurium was isolated from human feces (1/70, 1.4%, 95% CI, 0–4.2%) while one S. Newport and two S. Gaminara strains were recovered from one wild boar (1/3, 33%, 95% CI, 0–99%). The knowledge of prevalence and characteristics of these enteropathogens in our region would allow public health services to take adequate preventive measures. Gabriela Isabel Favier, Cecilia Lucero Estrada, Teresa Inés Cortiñas, and María Esther Escudero Copyright © 2014 Gabriela Isabel Favier et al. All rights reserved. The TIR Domain Containing Locus of Enterococcus faecalis Is Predominant among Urinary Tract Infection Isolates and Downregulates Host Inflammatory Response Thu, 24 Jul 2014 12:52:27 +0000 Based on Toll/interleukin-1 receptor (TIR) domain structure homology, we detected a previously uncharacterized gene encoding for a TIR domain containing protein (Tcp) in the genome of Enterococcus faecalis. We assigned this gene the name tcpF (as in Tcp of E. faecalis). Screening of E. faecalis samples revealed that tcpF is more common in isolates from urinary tract infections (UTIs) than in human faecal flora. tcpF alleles showed moderate single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) among UTI isolates. Infection of mouse RAW264.7 macrophages with a tcpF knock-out mutant led to elevated cytokine response compared to the isogenic wild type E. faecalis strain. In silico analysis predicted significant tertiary structure homology to the TIR domain of human TLR1 (TLR1-TIR). When transiently expressed in cultured eukaryotic cells, TcpF caused suppression of TLR2-dependent NF-κB activation suggesting for TcpF a role as a factor in E. faecalis that benefits colonization by modulating the host’s immune responses. Thomas Daniel Kraemer, Orlando Daniel Quintanar Haro, Eugen Domann, Trinad Chakraborty, and Svetlin Tchatalbachev Copyright © 2014 Thomas Daniel Kraemer et al. All rights reserved. Identification and In Vitro Antimicrobial Susceptibility of Brucella Species Isolated from Human Brucellosis Thu, 10 Jul 2014 08:44:41 +0000 Brucellosis is a world-wide zoonotic disease with a major impact on the public health. Due to the high risk of laboratory acquired infection, limited laboratory investigations were performed on this organism, including detailed identification and susceptibility study. Brucella melitensis is the commonest aetiological agent for human brucellosis in this region. The in vitro susceptibility pattern against selected antimicrobial agents was assessed using E-test. All isolates were noted to be sensitive to all the antimicrobial agents tested except for rifampicin where elevated MIC > 1 μg/mL was noted in 30 out of 41 isolates tested. Rohaidah Hashim, Norazah Ahmad, Jama’ayah Mohamed Zahidi, B. Y. Tay, Azura Mohd Noor, Sakina Zainal, Hazwani Hamzah, S. H. Hamzah, T. S. Chow, P. S. Wong, and K. N. Leong Copyright © 2014 Rohaidah Hashim et al. All rights reserved. Comparative Analysis of Protein Glycosylation Pathways in Humans and the Fungal Pathogen Candida albicans Thu, 03 Jul 2014 06:04:06 +0000 Protein glycosylation pathways are present in all kingdoms of life and are metabolic pathways found in all the life kingdoms. Despite sharing commonalities in their synthesis, glycans attached to glycoproteins have species-specific structures generated by the presence of different sets of enzymes and acceptor substrates in each organism. In this review, we present a comparative analysis of the main glycosylation pathways shared by humans and the fungal pathogen Candida albicans: -linked glycosylation, -linked mannosylation and glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchorage. The knowledge of similarities and divergences between these metabolic pathways could help find new pharmacological targets for C. albicans infection. Iván Martínez-Duncker, Diana F. Díaz-Jímenez, and Héctor M. Mora-Montes Copyright © 2014 Iván Martínez-Duncker et al. All rights reserved. Microbiologic Spectrum and Antibiotic Susceptibility Pattern among Patients with Urinary and Respiratory Tract Infection Sun, 29 Jun 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Aim. To demonstrate the prevalence of isolated organisms in urinary/respiratory tract infections and their antibiotic susceptibilities in a tertiary care center. Methods and Material. Between January 2008 and January 2010, patients referring to the clinic of cardiology or those admitted to the cardiac wards were enrolled in this cross-sectional descriptive study. Urine and sputum sampling was done for all the patients and the specimens underwent microbiologic examination and, in case of isolation of microorganism, antibiotic disk diffusion test was performed. Results. Escherichia coli (E. coli) was the most prevalent isolated organism in-hospital and community-acquired UTIs and was highly resistant to cephalothin in all the samples followed by cotrimoxazole, and ceftriaxone. It revealed high sensitivity to imipenem, amikacin, and nitrofurantoin. Acinetobacter constituted the most prevalent organism isolated from respiratory secretions and represented the highest resistance to ceftriaxone and the greatest sensitivity to imipenem. Conclusions. E. coli and Acinetobacter remain the most common uropathogenic and respiratory organisms, respectively. However, their increasing resistance to wide-spectrum imipenem, meropenem, and vancomycin is a major concern. Maryam Sotoudeh Anvari, Mohammad Naderan, Mohammad Ali Boroumand, Saeed Shoar, Robab Bakhshi, and Morteza Naderan Copyright © 2014 Maryam Sotoudeh Anvari et al. All rights reserved. Response Mechanisms of Bacterial Degraders to Environmental Contaminants on the Level of Cell Walls and Cytoplasmic Membrane Thu, 26 Jun 2014 09:15:04 +0000 Bacterial strains living in the environment must cope with the toxic compounds originating from humans production. Surface bacterial structures, cell wall and cytoplasmic membrane, surround each bacterial cell and create selective barriers between the cell interior and the outside world. They are a first site of contact between the cell and toxic compounds. Organic pollutants are able to penetrate into cytoplasmic membrane and affect membrane physiological functions. Bacteria had to evolve adaptation mechanisms to counteract the damage originated from toxic contaminants and to prevent their accumulation in cell. This review deals with various adaptation mechanisms of bacterial cell concerning primarily the changes in cytoplasmic membrane and cell wall. Cell adaptation maintains the membrane fluidity status and ratio between bilayer/nonbilayer phospholipids as well as the efflux of toxic compounds, protein repair mechanisms, and degradation of contaminants. Low energy consumption of cell adaptation is required to provide other physiological functions. Bacteria able to survive in toxic environment could help us to clean contaminated areas when they are used in bioremediation technologies. Slavomíra Murínová and Katarína Dercová Copyright © 2014 Slavomíra Murínová and Katarína Dercová. All rights reserved. Leptospirosis in Vellore: A Clinical and Serological Study Mon, 23 Jun 2014 06:32:37 +0000 Leptospirosis is a severe spirochetal zoonosis in the world. It is considered an occupational disease of persons engaged in agriculture, sewage works, forestry, and animal slaughtering. A study was conducted with an objective of assessing the seroprevalence of leptospirosis in and around Vellore district, Tamil Nadu. The study was based on the signs and symptoms of the patients reporting fever in Vellore Municipal Clinic (Urban Malarial Scheme). Blood samples were collected from 129 patients. Animal studies were conducted from 24 rodents captured form the market place of the Vellore municipality. In the ZET (Zonal Entomological Team, Vellore) Laboratory the sera were examined by macroscopic slide agglutination test (MSAT). In the MAST, totally 10 positive leptospiral cases from human beings and 10 positive leptospiral cases from rats (Rattus rattus and Rattus norvegicus) were found out. Then both positive cases of leptospiral vials were labeled, sealed, and sent to the Leptospirosis Research Laboratory, Madhavaram, Chennai, for further serovars examination. Among the various serovars identified autumnalis was more prevalent. Our findings showed that the age groups between 15 and 55 years showed more susceptibility. Particularly the adults were more infected. The majority of seropositive individuals in the cases had only subclinical infection. Rodents were abundant and contributed to enzootic and endemic prevalence of leptospirosis. G. Vimala, A. Mary Josephine Rani, and V. Raja Gopal Copyright © 2014 G. Vimala et al. All rights reserved. A Review on Antiulcer Activity of Few Indian Medicinal Plants Sun, 25 May 2014 06:51:32 +0000 Ulcer is a common gastrointestinal disorder which is seen among many people. It is basically an inflamed break in the skin or the mucus membrane lining the alimentary tract. Ulceration occurs when there is a disturbance of the normal equilibrium caused by either enhanced aggression or diminished mucosal resistance. It may be due to the regular usage of drugs, irregular food habits, stress, and so forth. Peptic ulcers are a broad term that includes ulcers of digestive tract in the stomach or the duodenum. The formation of peptic ulcers depends on the presence of acid and peptic activity in gastric juice plus a breakdown in mucosal defenses. A number of synthetic drugs are available to treat ulcers. But these drugs are expensive and are likely to produce more side effects when compared to herbal medicines. The literature revealed that many medicinal plants and polyherbal formulations are used for the treatment of ulcer by various ayurvedic doctors and traditional medicinal practitioners. The ideal aims of treatment of peptic ulcer disease are to relieve pain, heal the ulcer, and delay ulcer recurrence. In this review attempts have been made to know about some medicinal plants which may be used in ayurvedic as well as modern science for the treatment or prevention of peptic ulcer. G. Vimala and F. Gricilda Shoba Copyright © 2014 G. Vimala and F. Gricilda Shoba. All rights reserved. Antibacterial Activity of Murrayaquinone A and 6-Methoxy-3,7-dimethyl-2,3-dihydro-1H-carbazole-1,4(9H)-dione Tue, 20 May 2014 00:00:00 +0000 The antibacterial activity of Murrayaquinone A (10), a naturally occurring carbazoloquinone alkaloid, and 6-methoxy-3,7-dimethyl-2,3-dihydro-1H-carbazole-1,4(9H)-dione (11), a synthetic carbazoloquinone, both obtained during the development of the synthesis of Carbazomycin G, having unique quinone moiety, was studied against Gram-positive (Bacillus subtilis and Staphylococcus aureus) and Gram-negative (Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas sp.) bacteria. Compound 10 showed antibacterial activities against both of Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus whereas compound 11 indicated the activity against Staphylococcus aureus only. Both compounds 10 and 11 exhibited minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 50 μg mL−1 against Staphylococcus aureus. Biswanath Chakraborty, Suchandra Chakraborty, and Chandan Saha Copyright © 2014 Biswanath Chakraborty et al. All rights reserved. Diversity, Biocontrol, and Plant Growth Promoting Abilities of Xylem Residing Bacteria from Solanaceous Crops Mon, 19 May 2014 14:56:55 +0000 Eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) is one of the solanaceous crops of economic and cultural importance and is widely cultivated in the state of Goa, India. Eggplant cultivation is severely affected by bacterial wilt caused by Ralstonia solanacearum that colonizes the xylem tissue. In this study, 167 bacteria were isolated from the xylem of healthy eggplant, chilli, and Solanum torvum Sw. by vacuum infiltration and maceration. Amplified rDNA restriction analysis (ARDRA) grouped these xylem residing bacteria (XRB) into 38 haplotypes. Twenty-eight strains inhibited growth of R. solanacearum and produced volatile and diffusible antagonistic compounds and plant growth promoting substances in vitro. Antagonistic strains XB86, XB169, XB177, and XB200 recorded a biocontrol efficacy greater than 85% against BW and exhibited 12%–22 % increase in shoot length in eggplant in the greenhouse screening. 16S rRNA based identification revealed the presence of 23 different bacterial genera. XRB with high biocontrol and plant growth promoting activities were identified as strains of Staphylococcus sp., Bacillus sp., Streptomyces sp., Enterobacter sp., and Agrobacterium sp. This study is the first report on identity of bacteria from the xylem of solanaceous crops having traits useful in cultivation of eggplant. Gauri A. Achari and Raman Ramesh Copyright © 2014 Gauri A. Achari and Raman Ramesh. All rights reserved. Primary Otomycosis in the Indian Subcontinent: Predisposing Factors, Microbiology, and Classification Sun, 18 May 2014 11:07:57 +0000 Objective. To define otomycosis and determine the predisposing factors and microbiology in primary otomycosis. Study Design. Prospective study of two years and review of the literature. Setting. Academic Department of Otolaryngology in a coastal city in India. Patients. 150 immunocompetent individuals of whom 100 consecutive patients with a clinical diagnosis of otomycosis are considered as the study group and 50 consecutive patients with no otomycosis are considered as the control group. Results and Observations. Instillation of coconut oil (42%), use of topical antibiotic eardrops (20%), and compulsive cleaning of external ear with hard objects (32%) appeared to be the main predisposing factors in otomycosis. Aspergilli were the most common isolates (80%) followed by Penicillium (8%), Candida albicans (4%), Rhizopus (1%), and Chrysosporium (1%), the last being reported for the first time in otomycosis. Among aspergilli, A. niger complex (38%) was the most common followed by A. fumigatus complex (27%) and A. flavus complex (15%). Bacterial isolates associated with fungi in otomycosis were S. aureus, P. aeruginosa, and Proteus spp. In 42% of healthy external ears fungi were isolated. Conclusion. Aspergillus spp. were the most common fungi isolated, followed by Penicillium. Otomycotic ears are often associated with bacterial isolates when compared to normal ears. Fungi are also present in a significant number of healthy external auditory canals and their profiles match those in cases of otomycosis. The use of terms “primary” and “secondary” otomycosis is important to standardize reporting. Sampath Chandra Prasad, Subbannayya Kotigadde, Manisha Shekhar, Nikhil Dinaker Thada, Prashanth Prabhu, Tina D’ Souza, and Kishore Chandra Prasad Copyright © 2014 Sampath Chandra Prasad et al. All rights reserved. Molecular Typing of Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Clinical Isolates on the Basis of Protein A and Coagulase Gene Polymorphisms Thu, 15 May 2014 11:09:21 +0000 Increased frequency of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in hospitalized patients requires rapid and reliable characterization of isolates for control of MRSA spread in hospitals. This study evaluated polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) as a molecular typing technique for MRSA strains on the basis of protein A (spa) and coagulase (coa) gene polymorphisms to verify their ability in assessing the relatedness of isolates. Seventy-five MRSA isolates, from different ICUs of Alexandria University Main Hospital, were characterized using antibiotyping and PCR-RFLP analysis of coa and spa genes. Thirty-two antibiotypes were identified. coa gene PCR generated 3 types and 10 subtypes of band patterns. HaeIII restriction digestion of amplified coa gene products produced 5 major banding patterns and 12 subtypes. spa gene PCR products generated 4 major and 11 minor types, and their HaeII restriction digestion showed 5 major and 12 minor banding patterns. The combined coa and spa RFLP patterns generated 22 combined R types. Typing using coa PCR and PCR-RFLP had the same discriminatory index (DI) value (0.64), which was comparable to that of both spa PCR and PCR-RFLP techniques (0.68). The combined grouping increased the DI value to 0.836. The current study revealed that testing for multiple gene polymorphisms is more useful for local epidemiologic purposes. Nancy Younis Omar, Hala Abdel Salam Ali, Reem Abdel Hameed Harfoush, and Engy Hamdy El Khayat Copyright © 2014 Nancy Younis Omar et al. All rights reserved. Microbiological Quality of Salads Served along with Street Foods of Hyderabad, India Wed, 14 May 2014 13:27:05 +0000 A study has been done to analyse the microbiological quality of salads served along with street foods of Hyderabad. A total of 163 salad samples, 53 of carrot and 110 of onion samples, were collected from four different zones of Hyderabad. About 74% and 56% had Staphylococcus aureus in carrots and onions, respectively. Fifty-eight percent of carrots and forty-five percent of onions samples contained Salmonella, 68% of carrots and 24% of onions had Yersinia. HACCP study was carried out with 6 street food vendors to identify the source of Salmonella contamination in salads. Food handlers were found to be responsible for Salmonella contamination in salads. The present study revealed the potential hazards of street vended salad vegetables, considering the handling practice usually carried out by vendors. Ninety-eight percent of the vendors did not wash the vegetables before processing and serving while about 56.6% of the vendors did not peel the vegetables. Majority of street vendors’ nails were uncut. A significant difference () was observed in Yersinia spp. and Salmonella spp. in wet-dirty chopping board when compared to clean-dry chopping board. A significant difference () of Staphylococcus spp. was observed when the status of cleaning cloth was neat/untidy. Alekhya Sabbithi, R. Naveen Kumar, L. Kashinath, V. Bhaskar, and V. Sudershan Rao Copyright © 2014 Alekhya Sabbithi et al. All rights reserved. Study of a Natural Mutant SHV-Type β-Lactamase, SHV-104, from Klebsiella pneumoniae Tue, 13 May 2014 12:51:50 +0000 Klebsiella pneumoniae ML2011, a multiresistant isolate, was isolated from the Military Hospital of Tunis (Tunisia). The determination of the minimal inhibitory concentrations exhibited by K. pneumoniae ML2011 was performed by Etest. The crude extract of the isolates contains four different β-lactamases with pI 5.5, 7.3, 7.6, and 8.6. Only the β-lactamases with pI 7.3 and pI 8.6 were transferred by transformation and conjugation experiment. Molecular characterization of these genes was performed by PCR and sequencing. The chromosomal β-lactamases are TEM (pI 5.5) and SHV-1 (7.6). CTX-M-28 (pI 8.6) and the novel variant of SHV named SHV-104 (pI 7.3) were encoded by bla gene located on a 50 kb highly conjugative plasmid. The SHV-104 β-lactamase was produced in E. coli and purified. Its profile of activity was determined. Compared to SHV-1, SHV-104 contains one mutation, R202S. Their kinetic parameters were similar except for cefotaxime. The analysis of the predicted structure of SHV-104 indicated that the R202S mutation suppresses a salt bridge present in SHV-1. Therefore, the overall flexibility of the protein increased and might improve the hydrolysis of cefotaxime. We can conclude that the multiresistant phenotype of K. pneumoniae ML2011 strain is mainly linked to the production of CTX-M-28 since SHV-104 possesses a narrow spectrum of activity. Nahed Ben Achour, Omrane Belhadj, Moreno Galleni, Mohamed Ben Moussa, and Paola Sandra Mercuri Copyright © 2014 Nahed Ben Achour et al. All rights reserved.