ISSN / EISSN : 2076-2607 / 2076-2607
Current Publisher: MDPI AG (10.3390)
Total articles ≅ 4,433
Latest articles in this journal
Microorganisms, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/microorganisms9061341
There are well documented complications associated with the continuous use of antibiotics in the poultry industry. Over the past few decades, probiotics have emerged as viable alternatives to antibiotics; however, most of these candidate probiotic microorganisms have not been fully evaluated for their effectiveness as potential probiotics for poultry. Recent evaluation of a metagenome of broiler chickens in our laboratory revealed a prevalence of Lactobacillus reuteri (L. reuteri) and Actinobacteria class of bacteria in their gastrointestinal tract. In this study Lactobacillus reuteri and Streptomyces coelicolor (S. coelicolor) were selected as probiotic bacteria, encapsulated, and added into broiler feed at a concentration of 100 mg/kg of feed. In an 8-week study, 240 one day-old chicks were randomly assigned to four dietary treatments. Three dietary treatments contained two probiotic bacteria in three different proportions (L. reuteri and S. coelicolor individually at 100 ppm, and mixture of L. reuteri and S. coelicolor at 50 ppm each). The fourth treatment had no probiotic bacteria and it functioned as the control diet. L. reuteri and S. coelicolor were added to the feed by using wheat middlings as a carrier at a concentration of 100 ppm (100 mg/kg). Chickens fed diets containing L. reuteri and S. coelicolor mixture showed 2% improvement in body weight gain, 7% decrease in feed consumption, and 6–7% decrease in feed conversion ratios. This research suggests that L. reuteri and S. coelicolor have the potential to constitute probiotics in chickens combined or separately, depending on the desired selection of performance index.
Microorganisms, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/microorganisms9061338
S-ribosylhomocysteine lyase (LuxS) has been shown to regulate bacterial multicellular behaviors, typically biofilm formation. However, the mechanisms for the regulation are still mysterious. We previously identified a malonylation modification on K124 and K130 of the LuxS in the plant growth-promoting rhizobacterium B.velezensis (FZB42). In this work, we investigated the effects of the two malonylation sites on biofilm formation and other biological characteristics of FZB42. The results showed that the K124R mutation could severely impair biofilm formation, swarming, and sporulation but promote AI-2 production, suggesting inhibitory effects of high-level AI-2 on the features. All mutations (K124R, K124E, K130R, and K130E) suppressed FZB42 sporulation but increased its antibiotic production. The double mutations generally had a synergistic effect or at least equal to the effects of the single mutations. The mutation of K130 but not of K124 decreased the in vitro enzymatic activity of LuxS, corresponding to the conservation of K130 among various Bacillus LuxS proteins. From the results, we deduce that an alternative regulatory circuit may exist to compensate for the roles of LuxS upon its disruption. This study broadens the understanding of the biological function of LuxS in bacilli and underlines the importance of the two post-translational modification sites.
Microorganisms, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/microorganisms9061339
During latency, herpesvirus infection results in the establishment of a dormant state in which a restricted set of viral genes are expressed. Together with alterations of the viral genome, several host genes undergo epigenetic silencing during latency. These epigenetic dysregulations of cellular genes might be involved in the development of cancer. In this context, Gallid alphaherpesvirus 2 (GaHV-2), causing Marek’s disease (MD) in susceptible chicken, was shown to impair the expression of several cellular microRNAs (miRNAs). We decided to focus on gga-miR-126, a host miRNA considered a tumor suppressor through signaling pathways controlling cell proliferation. Our objectives were to analyze the cause and the impact of miR-126 silencing during GaHV-2 infection. This cellular miRNA was found to be repressed at crucial steps of the viral infection. In order to determine whether miR-126 low expression level was associated with specific epigenetic signatures, DNA methylation patterns were established in the miR-126 gene promoter. Repression was associated with hypermethylation at a CpG island located in the miR-126 host gene epidermal growth factor like-7 (EGFL-7). A strategy was developed to conditionally overexpress miR-126 and control miRNAs in transformed CD4+ T cells propagated from Marek’s disease (MD) lymphoma. This functional assay showed that miR-126 restoration specifically diminishes cell proliferation. We identified CT10 regulator of kinase (CRK), an adaptor protein dysregulated in several human malignancies, as a candidate target gene. Indeed, CRK protein levels were markedly reduced by the miR-126 restoration.
Microorganisms, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/microorganisms9061342
Tributyrin and essential oils have been used as alternatives to antimicrobials to improve gut health and growth performance in piglets. This study was to evaluate the effects of a dietary supplement with two encapsulated products containing different combinations of tributyrin with oregano or with methyl salicylate on growth performance, serum biochemical parameters related to the physiological status, intestinal microbiota and metabolites of piglets. A total of 108 weaned crossbred piglets (Yorkshire × Landrace, 21 ± 1 d, 8.21 ± 0.04 kg) were randomly divided into three groups. Piglets were fed with one of the following diets for 5 weeks: a basal diet as the control (CON); the control diet supplemented with an encapsulated mixture containing 30% of methyl salicylate and tributyrin at a dosage of 3 kg/t (CMT); and the control diet supplemented with an encapsulated mixture containing 30% of oregano oil and tributyrin at a dosage of 3 kg/t (COT). At the end of the feeding trial, six piglets from each group were slaughtered to collect blood and gut samples for physiological status and gut microbiological analysis. The study found that the CMT group was larger in feed intake (FI) (p < 0.05), average daily gain (ADG) (p = 0.09), total protein (TP), albumin (ALB), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-PX) (p < 0.05), blood total antioxidant capacity (T-AOC) (p < 0.05), and crypt depth in the ileum (p < 0.05) compared with the CON group. The genus abundance of Tissierella and Campylobacter in the CMT group was significantly decreased compared with the CON group. The CMT group also resulted in significantly higher activity in amino acid metabolism and arginine biosynthesis compared with the CON group. The COT group was larger in T-AOC, and the genus abundance of Streptophyta and Chlamydia was significantly increased in the ileum compared with the CON group. Data analysis found a significantly high correlation between the genus abundance of Chlamydia and that of Campylobacter in the ileum. The genus abundance of Campylobacter was also positively correlated with the sorbitol level. In general, the results indicated that the supplementation of both encapsulated mixtures in diet of weaned piglets could improve the animal blood antioxidant capacity. Additionally, the encapsulated mixture of methyl salicylate plus tributyrin improved the growth performance and resulted in certain corresponding changes in nutrient metabolism and in the genus abundance of ileum microbial community.
Microorganisms, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/microorganisms9061343
Blastocystis is a gastrointestinal protist frequently reported in humans and animals worldwide. Wildlife populations, including deer, may serve as reservoirs of parasitic diseases for both humans and domestic animals, either through direct contact or through contamination of food or water resources. However, no studies of the occurrence and subtype distribution of Blastocystis in wildlife populations have been conducted in the United States. PCR and next generation amplicon sequencing were used to determine the occurrence and subtypes of Blastocystis in white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). Blastocystis was common, with 88.8% (71/80) of samples found to be positive. Twelve subtypes were identified, ten previously reported (ST1, ST3, ST4, ST10, ST14, ST21, and ST23–ST26) and two novel subtypes (ST30 and ST31). To confirm the validity of ST30 and ST31, MinION sequencing was used to obtain full-length SSU rRNA gene sequences, and phylogenetic and pairwise distance analyses were performed. ST10, ST14, and ST24 were the most commonly observed subtypes. Potentially zoonotic subtypes ST1, ST3, or ST4 were present in 8.5% of Blastocystis-positives. Mixed subtype infections were common (90.1% of Blastocystis-positives). This study is the first to subtype Blastocystis in white-tailed deer. White-tailed deer were found to be commonly infected/colonized with a wide diversity of subtypes, including two novel subtypes, zoonotic subtypes, and subtypes frequently reported in domestic animals. More studies in wildlife are needed to better understand their role in the transmission of Blastocystis.
Microorganisms, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/microorganisms9061344
Increasing evidence suggests that probiotic supplementation may be efficacious in counteracting age-related shifts in gut microbiota composition and diversity, thereby impacting health outcomes and promoting healthy aging. However, randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with probiotics in healthy older adults have utilized a wide variety of strains and focused on several different outcomes with conflicting results. Therefore, a systematic review was conducted to determine which outcomes have been investigated in randomized controlled trials with probiotic supplementation in healthy older adults and what has been the effect of these interventions. For inclusion, studies reporting on randomized controlled trials with probiotic and synbiotic supplements in healthy older adults (defined as minimum age of 60 years) were considered. Studies reporting clinical trials in specific patient groups or unhealthy participants were excluded. In addition to assessment of eligibility and data extraction, each study was examined for risk of bias and quality assessment was performed by two independent reviewers. Due to the heterogeneity of outcomes, strains, study design, duration, and methodology, we did not perform any meta-analyses and instead provided a narrative overview of the outcomes examined. Of 1997 potentially eligible publications, 17 studies were included in this review. The risk of bias was low, although several studies failed to adequately describe random sequence generation, allocation concealment, and blinding. The overall study quality was high; however, many studies did not include sample calculations, and the majority of studies had a small sample size. The main outcomes examined in the trials included microbiota composition, immune-related measurements, digestive health, general well-being, cognitive function, and lipid and other biomarkers. The most commonly assessed outcome with the most consistent effect was microbiota composition; all but one study with this outcome showed significant effects on gut microbiota composition in healthy older adults. Overall, probiotic supplementation had modest effects on markers of humoral immunity, immune cell population levels and activity, as well as the incidence and duration of the common cold and other infections with some conflicting results. Digestive health, general-well-being, cognitive function, and lipid and other biomarkers were investigated in a very small number of studies; therefore, the impact on these outcomes remains inconclusive. Probiotics appear to be efficacious in modifying gut microbiota composition in healthy older adults and have moderate effects on immune function. However, the effect of probiotic supplementation on other health outcomes remains inconclusive, highlighting the need for more well-designed, sufficiently-powered studies to investigate if and the mechanisms by which probiotics impact healthy aging.
Microorganisms, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/microorganisms9061340
Background: Little is known about potential confounding factors influencing the humoral response in individuals having received the BNT162b2 vaccine. Methods: Blood samples from 231 subjects were collected before and 14, 28, and 42 days following coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination with BNT162b2. Anti-spike receptor-binding-domain protein (anti-Spike/RBD) immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies were measured at each time-point. Impact of age, sex, childbearing age status, hormonal therapy, blood group, body mass index and past-history of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection were assessed by multivariable analyses. Results and Conclusions: In naïve subjects, the level of anti-Spike/RBD antibodies gradually increased following administration of the first dose to reach the maximal response at day 28 and then plateauing at day 42. In vaccinated subjects with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection, the plateau was reached sooner (i.e., at day 14). In the naïve population, age had a significant negative impact on anti-Spike/RBD titers at days 14 and 28 while lower levels were observed for males at day 42, when corrected for other confounding factors. Body mass index (BMI) as well as B and AB blood groups had a significant impact in various subgroups on the early response at day 14 but no longer after. No significant confounding factors were highlighted in the previously infected group.
Microorganisms, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/microorganisms9061336
Carboxy-terminal processing protease (Ctp) is a serine protease that controls multiple cellular processes through posttranslational modification of proteins. Acinetobacter baumannii ATCC 17978 ctp mutant, namely MR14, is known to cause cell wall defects and autolysis. The objective of this study was to investigate the role of ctp mutation–driven autolysis in regulating biofilms in A. baumannii and to evaluate the vesiculation caused by cell wall defects. We found that in A. baumannii, Ctp is localized in the cytoplasmic membrane, and loss of Ctp function enhances the biofilm-forming ability of A. baumannii. Quantification of the matrix components revealed that extracellular DNA (eDNA) and proteins were the chief constituents of MR14 biofilm, and the transmission electron microscopy further indicated the presence of numerous dead cells compared with ATCC 17978. The large number of MR14 dead cells is potentially the result of compromised outer membrane integrity, as demonstrated by its high sensitivity to sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) and ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA). MR14 also exhibited the hypervesiculation phenotype, producing outer-membrane vesicles (OMVs) of large mean size. The MR14 OMVs were more cytotoxic toward A549 cells than ATCC 17978 OMVs. Our overall results indicate that A. baumanniictp negatively controls pathogenic traits through autolysis and OMV biogenesis.
Microorganisms, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/microorganisms9061337
In yeast, iron storage and detoxification depend on the Ccc1 transporter that mediates iron accumulation in vacuoles. While deletion of the CCC1 gene renders cells unable to survive under iron overload conditions, the deletion of its previously identified regulators only partially affects survival, indicating that the mechanisms controlling iron storage and detoxification in yeast are still far from well understood. This work reveals that CCC1 is equipped with a complex transcriptional structure comprising several regulatory regions. One of these is located inside the coding sequence of the gene and drives the expression of a short transcript encoding an N-terminally truncated protein, designated as s-Ccc1. s-Ccc1, though less efficiently than Ccc1, is able to promote metal accumulation in the vacuole, protecting cells against iron toxicity. While the expression of the s-Ccc1 appears to be repressed in the normal genomic context, our current data clearly demonstrates that it is functional and has the capacity to play a role under iron overload conditions.
Microorganisms, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/microorganisms9061332
Bacteria belonging to the genus Aminobacter are metabolically versatile organisms thriving in both natural and anthropized terrestrial environments. To date, the taxonomy of this genus is poorly defined due to the unavailability of the genomic sequence of A. anthyllidis LMG 26462T and the presence of unclassified Aminobacter strains. Here, we determined the genome sequence of A. anthyllidis LMG 26462T and performed phylogenomic, average nucleotide identity and digital DNA-DNA hybridization analyses of 17 members of genus Aminobacter. Our results indicate that 16S rRNA-based phylogeny does not provide sufficient species-level discrimination, since most of the unclassified Aminobacter strains belong to valid Aminobacter species or are putative new species. Since some members of the genus Aminobacter can utilize certain C1 compounds, such as methylamines and methyl halides, a comparative genomic analysis was performed to characterize the genetic basis of some degradative/assimilative pathways in the whole genus. Our findings suggest that all Aminobacter species are heterotrophic methylotrophs able to generate the methylene tetrahydrofolate intermediate through multiple oxidative pathways of C1 compounds and convey it in the serine cycle. Moreover, all Aminobacter species carry genes implicated in the degradation of phosphonates via the C-P lyase pathway, whereas only A. anthyllidis LMG 26462T contains a symbiosis island implicated in nodulation and nitrogen fixation.