Letters in Applied Microbiology

Cover image for Vol. 59 Issue 1

July 2014

Volume 59, Issue 1

Pages 1–126

  1. Editor's Choice

    1. Top of page
    2. Editor's Choice
    3. Original Articles
    1. Carriage of methicillin-resistant staphylococci by healthy companion animals in the US (pages 1–8)

      J.A. Davis, C.R. Jackson, P.J. Fedorka-Cray, J.B. Barrett, J.H. Brousse, J. Gustafson and M. Kucher

      Article first published online: 15 APR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12254

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: In this study, antimicrobial-resistant coagulase-negative and coagulase-positive staphylococci were isolated from various body sites on healthy dogs and cats. Resistance to 14 antimicrobials was observed including resistance to oxacillin; the majority of staphylococci were also multidrug resistant. Results from this study suggest that healthy dogs and cats may act as reservoirs of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria that may be transferred to people by simple interaction with the animals. Such carriage poses an underlying risk of infection, which should be considered during handling of healthy dogs and cats by pet owners and veterinary personnel.

  2. Original Articles

    1. Top of page
    2. Editor's Choice
    3. Original Articles
    1. Inactivation of the lpcC gene alters surface-related properties and symbiotic capability of Bradyrhizobium japonicum (pages 9–16)

      H.-I. Lee, Y.-H. In, S.-Y. Jeong, J.-M. Jeon, J.G. Noh, J.-S. So and W.-S. Chang

      Article first published online: 6 MAR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12232

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: This study demonstrates the role of the B. japonicum lpcC in nodulation with soybean and importance of cell surface hydrophobicity. The results also highlight that intact LPS is required for successful symbiosis between B. japonicum and soybeans. Our findings not only support previous studies emphasizing the necessity of LPS on the interaction between the two symbiotic partners, but also contribute to a better understanding of the symbiotic mechanisms.

    2. High inhibition of Paenibacillus larvae and Listeria monocytogenes by Enterococcus isolated from different sources in Tunisia and identification of their bacteriocin genes (pages 17–25)

      I. Jaouani, M.S. Abbassi, V. Alessandria, J. Bouraoui, R. Ben Salem, H. Kilani, R. Mansouri, L. Messadi and L. Cocolin

      Article first published online: 20 MAR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12239

      Significance and Impact of the Study: Enterococci possess interesting properties not only for the food industry, but also for animal and human health. The antimicrobial potential of these bacteria includes principally bacteriocin-like molecules. With the aim of identifying bacteriocinogenic strains, a collection of 300 enterococci isolated from different origins were screened and their spectrum of action, as well as the gene encoding the bacteriocin, was determined. Fifty-nine bacteriocin-producing Enterococcus showed high activity against Listeria monocytogenes and Paenibacillus larvae, the causative agent of American foulbrood. Enterocins A, P and L50A/B were found in various combinations. The most important finding of this study is the growth inhibition of P. larvae due to bacteriocin-producing Enterococcus, which opens up the possibility to use these strains to control the disease in honeybees.

    3. Diversity and activity of sulphur-oxidizing bacteria and sulphate-reducing bacteria in landfill cover soils (pages 26–34)

      F.F. Xia, Y. Su, X.M. Wei, Y.H. He, Z.C. Wu, A. Ghulam and R. He

      Article first published online: 20 MAR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12240

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      Significance and the Impact of the Study: High diversity of sulphur-oxidizing bacteria (SOB) and sulphate-reducing bacteria (SRB) presented in the landfill cover soils. Among the physicochemical properties of soils (moisture content, pH, organic materials, SO42−, acid volatile sulphide and total sulphur), pH was the most important factor affecting the diversity and activity of SOB and SRB in the landfill cover soils. Higher pH of landfill cover soils (i.e. neutral or slight alkaline) was favourable for the growth of SOB and SRB, leading to a rapid bioconversion of sulphur. These findings are helpful to optimize sulphur biotransformation in landfill cover soils and to control odour pollution at landfills.

    4. Degradation of acetochlor by a bacterial consortium of Rhodococcus sp.T3-1, Delftia sp.T3-6 and Sphingobium sp.MEA3-1 (pages 35–42)

      Y. Hou, W. Dong, F. Wang, J. Li, W. Shen, Y. Li and Z. Cui

      Article first published online: 26 MAR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12242

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: This study presents a bacterial consortium consisting of Rhodococcus sp.T3-1, Delftia sp.T3-6 and Sphingobium sp.MEA3-1 could completely mineralize acetochlor by biochemical cooperation. The study reveals the metabolic mechanism of acetochlor biodegradation and highlights the potential of the bacterial consortium for cleaning up acetochlor and its metabolites subsisting in the environment.

    5. In vitro activity of Aloe vera inner gel against Helicobacter pylori strains (pages 43–48)

      L. Cellini, S. Di Bartolomeo, E. Di Campli, S. Genovese, M. Locatelli and M. Di Giulio

      Article first published online: 25 MAR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12241

      Significance and Impact of the Study: The study demonstrates that the Aloe vera inner gel expresses antibacterial properties against both susceptible and resistant Helicobacter pylori strains. These findings may impact on the antimicrobial resistance phenomenon of H. pylori, proposing the A. vera inner gel as a novel effective natural agent for combination with antibiotics for the treatment of H. pylori gastric infection.

    6. Development of loop-mediated isothermal amplification assay for the detection of Pythium myriotylum (pages 49–57)

      S. Fukuta, R. Takahashi, S. Kuroyanagi, Y. Ishiguro, N. Miyake, H. Nagai, H. Suzuki, T. Tsuji, F. Hashizume, H. Watanabe and K. Kageyama

      Article first published online: 2 APR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12244

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: This study shows the first LAMP assay for the detection of Pythium myriotylum. The primer set designed from ITS region of P. myriotylum can detect the pathogen in field sample with a fast and convenient method. Analysis of the annealing curve of the LAMP reaction products increases the reliability of the LAMP diagnosis. This study shows that the diagnostic method using the LAMP assay is useful for monitoring P. myriotylum in the field.

    7. Chemical and bioactive natural products from Microthyriaceae sp., an endophytic fungus from a tropical grass (pages 58–64)

      C. Almeida, H. Ortega, S. Higginbotham, C. Spadafora, A.E. Arnold, P.D. Coley, T.A. Kursar, W.H. Gerwick and L. Cubilla-Rios

      Article first published online: 28 MAR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12245

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: The present study attributes new antiparasitic and psychoactive biological activities to sterigmatocystin (2), and describes the structure elucidation of the new natural product integrasone B (1), which possesses a rare epoxyquinone with a lactone ring moiety. This is also the first report of sterigmatocystin (2) isolation in a fungal strain from this family, broadening the taxonomic range of sterigmatocystin-producing fungi. The study also presents taxonomic analyses indicating that strain F2611 is strongly supported as a member of the Microthyriaceae (Ascomycota), but is not a member of any previously known or sequenced genus.

    8. Abundance of Mycobacterium avium ssp. hominissuis in soil and dust in Germany – implications for the infection route (pages 65–70)

      A. Lahiri, J. Kneisel, I. Kloster, E. Kamal and A. Lewin

      Article first published online: 26 MAR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12243

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: This study was conducted to investigate the ecological abundance of the most prominent clinical nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) in Germany, the Mycobacterium avium ssp. hominissuis (MAH). Examination of soil, water, dust and biofilm samples revealed that MAH in Germany was predominant in soil and dust. No MAH was identified in water and biofilms. Our finding contributes to the identification of the environmental niche of this opportunistic pathogen and proposes soil and dust as sources of MAH infection in Germany.

    9. Recombinant production of the antimicrobial peptide NZ17074 in Pichia pastoris using SUMO3 as a fusion partner (pages 71–78)

      X.J. Wang, X.M. Wang, D. Teng, Y. Zhang, R.Y. Mao and J.H. Wang

      Article first published online: 2 APR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12246

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: Recombinant active NZ17074 was produced with Pichia pastoris by using high-density fermentation technology for the first time. Our findings demonstrated the usefulness of SUMO-fusion technology as an effective expression strategy for synthesizing peptides in yeast. This SUMO3 expression system with a lower cost would likely be widely used for the production of other cytotoxic proteins including antimicrobial peptides.

    10. Metabolomics analysis reveals large effect of roughage types on rumen microbial metabolic profile in dairy cows (pages 79–85)

      S. Zhao, J. Zhao, D. Bu, P. Sun, J. Wang and Z. Dong

      Article first published online: 4 APR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12247

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: The microbial metabolites in the rumen provide nutritional precursors that are critical for general health and milk production in dairy cows. However, studies of the effect of diet on ruminal microbial metabolism are scant. In our current study, we analysed the ruminal microbial metabolite profile of cows fed different types of roughage. We found that the ruminal microbial metabolite profile of cows fed a mixed-roughage diet differed significantly from that of cows fed a single type of roughage. Certain metabolites, such as acetate, hydrocinnamate and methylamine, were closely correlated with specific types of roughage. Our findings provide insight into the effects of different roughages on ruminal microbial fermentation in dairy cows.

    11. Seasonal and within-herd variability of E. coli concentrations in fresh dairy faeces (pages 86–92)

      D.M. Oliver

      Article first published online: 3 APR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12248

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: This study provides a comprehensive temporal data set of faecal indicator organism (FIO) counts (both E. coli and other coliforms) in fresh dairy faeces for Scotland. Such faecal audits for the UK are scarce which is surprising given that livestock constitute one of the largest agricultural sources of diffuse microbial pollution of surface waters and contributors to poor bathing water quality. Such FIO concentration data (and evaluation of variability across seasonal, within-herd and year-on-year counts) in fresh faeces is a fundamental precursor to the robust parameterization of models that aim to predict the fate and transfer of both FIOs and pathogens in agricultural catchments.

    12. Curative effect of the probiotic strain Lactobacillus fermentum L23 in a murine model of vaginal infection by Gardnerella vaginalis (pages 93–98)

      M. Daniele, L. Pascual and L. Barberis

      Article first published online: 9 APR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12249

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: The use of the probiotic strain Lactobacillus fermentum L23 as a biotherapeutic agent can be expected to prevent and treat genital infections, particularly recurrent bacterial vaginosis, with similar concentrations to those normally used in commercial formulas. It is likely that the use of this probiotic strain for the treatment of bacterial vaginosis will provide a natural and nontoxic treatment modality.

    13. Plant lignans inhibit growth and trichothecene biosynthesis in Fusarium graminearum (pages 99–107)

      T. Kulik, M. Buśko, A. Pszczółkowska, J. Perkowski and A. Okorski

      Article first published online: 9 APR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12250

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: Knowledge of the regulation of trichothecene production in Fusarium graminearum by environmental cues is key to the design of novel strategies to reduce mycotoxin levels in grains. Here, we show that the lignans pinoresinol and secoisolariciresinol, which occur in wheat grains, inhibit radial growth and decrease trichothecene levels in five F. graminearum strains. RT-qPCR analysis reveals that the reduction in trichothecene level in lignan-treated fungal cultures is associated with decreased mRNA transcript levels for the tri4, tri5 and tri11 genes that are involved in the trichothecene biosynthesis pathway.

    14. Cytotoxicity of lapachol metabolites produced by probiotics (pages 108–114)

      E.Oliveira Silva, T. Cruz de Carvalho, I.A. Parshikov, R. Alves dos Santos, F.Silva Emery and N.A.Jacometti Cardoso Furtado

      Article first published online: 9 APR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12251

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: Probiotics have been used in dairy products to promote human health and have the ability to metabolize drugs and other xenobiotics. Naphthoquinones, such as lapachol, are considered privileged scaffolds due to their high propensity to interact with biological targets. The present study is the first to demonstrate that probiotics are capable of converting lapachol into the most effective cytotoxic compound against a breast cancer cell line. The developed approach highlights the importance of probiotics to assess the effects of bacterial metabolism on drug performance and toxicity.

    15. Evaluation of Bacteroides fragilis GB-124 bacteriophages as novel human-associated faecal indicators in the United States (pages 115–121)

      B.R. McMinn, A. Korajkic and N.J. Ashbolt

      Article first published online: 12 APR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12252

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      Significance and Impact of the Study Bacteroides fragilis GB-124 phages appear to be restricted to human sewage sources in the United States, being absent from 264 animal faecal samples from 14 different species and present in approx. 90% (34/38) of primary sewage effluent samples collected across the country. Although somatic and F-specific coliphages were present in sewage samples at higher densities, unlike GB-124 phages, both coliphage types were also detected in animal faecal samples. Hence, GB-124 phages may prove to be a useful novel indicator group for human faecal pollution in the continental United States.

    16. Arcobacter spp. isolated from untreated domestic effluent (pages 122–126)

      J.Y. Merga, A. Royden, A.K. Pandey and N.J. Williams

      Article first published online: 12 APR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12256

      Significance and Impact of the Study: Studies have shown Arcobacter spp. to be present in domestic sewage in several European countries. This study supports previous findings with the first report of Arcobacter spp. in domestic sewage in the UK. This study suggests that Arcobacter spp. is present amongst local human populations, implicating it as an underestimated gastrointestinal pathogen in the UK and contributing to our understanding of this emerging pathogen and its presence within the UK. Providing a confirmation of the presence of Arcobacter in sewage, which supports previous studies, this paper will appeal to fellow researchers of Arcobacter, as well as healthcare and water treatment professionals concerned with microbiology, water safety and gastroenterology, potentially having a wide impact.

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