ISSN / EISSN : 2076-2607 / 2076-2607
Published by: MDPI (10.3390)
Total articles ≅ 5,132
Latest articles in this journal
Microorganisms, Volume 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9102038
Lactobacillus salivarius has drawn attention because of its promising probiotic functions. Tolerance to the gastrointestinal tract condition is crucial for orally administrated probiotics to exert their functions. However, previous studies of L. salivarius have only focused on the bile salt resistance of particular strains, without uncovering the common molecular mechanisms of this species. Therefore, in this study, we expanded our research to 90 L. salivarius strains to explore their common functional genes for bile salt resistance. First, the survival rates of the 90 L. salivarius strains in 0.3% bile salt solutions were determined. Comparative genomics analysis was then performed to screen for the potential functional genes related to bile salt tolerance. Next, real-time polymerase chain reaction and gene knockout experiments were conducted to further verify the tolerance-related functional genes. The results indicated that the strain-dependent bile salt tolerance of L. salivarius was mainly associated with four peptidoglycan synthesis-related genes, seven phosphotransferase system-related genes, and one chaperone-encoding gene involved in the stress response. Among them, the GATase1-encoding gene showed the most significant association with bile salt tolerance. In addition, four genes related to DNA damage repair and substance transport were redundant in the strains with high bile salt tolerance. Besides, cluster analysis showed that bile salt hydrolases did not contribute to the bile salt tolerance of L. salivarius. In this study, we determined the global regulatory genes, including LSL_1568, LSL_1716 and LSL_1709, for bile salt tolerance in L. salivarius and provided a potential method for the rapid screening of bile salt-tolerant L. salivarius strains, based on PCR amplification of functional genes.
Microorganisms, Volume 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9102037
Our daily experience in a COVID hospital has allowed us to learn about this disease in many of its changing and unusual aspects. Some of these uncommon manifestations, however, appeared more frequently than others, giving shape to a multifaceted COVID-19 disease. This pictorial review has the aim to describe the radiological aspects of atypical presentations and of some complications of COVID-19 disease in adults and children and provide a simple guide for radiologists to become familiar with the multiform aspects of this disease.
Microorganisms, Volume 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9102034
We undertook a comprehensive, systematic review of observational studies to estimate respective seroprevalences of latent and acute Toxoplasma gondii infections in HIV+ people at the global, regional and country levels; related seroprevalence to socio-economic variables and CD4+ cell counts; and assessed temporal changes in prevalence and risk factors for this group. We systematically searched international databases for seroepidemiological surveys between 1 January 1980 and 31 July 2020. We used a random effects model to calculate pooled seroprevalences with 95% confidence intervals (CI), and estimated the numbers of HIV+ people inferred to harbour latent and acute T. gondii infections (LT or AT). We grouped seroprevalence data according to the geographic regions defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) and conducted subgroup and meta-regression analyses of the data. Of a total of 4024 studies identified, 150 and 65 of them met the inclusion criteria for LT and AT in HIV+ people, respectively. The overall, pooled seroprevalences of LT and AT were 37.4% (95% CI, 33.4–41.4) and 1.3% (95% CI, 0.9–1.8%), equating to ~14.2 and 0.5 million HIV+ people, respectively. Most HIV+ people with T. gondii infections originated from Africa, and the highest seroprevalences were in low-income countries with low human development indices. Significant risk factors for toxoplasmosis in HIV+ patients included the consumption of raw/undercooked meat, frequent contact with soil, a low CD4+ T lymphocyte number (<200 cells per μL) and age. Overall, the finding of high seroprevalences of particularly latent T. gondii infection in HIV+ people in underprivileged regions of the world, such as parts of Africa, calls for preventative action. Programs that include routine serological monitoring, counselling, care, animal control and/or prophylactic treatment measures are needed to prevent severe toxoplasmosis from developing in people living with HIV infection. Our study highlights the potential importance of parasite chemoprophylaxis in resource-poor settings, particularly in low-income countries.
Microorganisms, Volume 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9102035
The study of biofilms in vitro is complex and often limited by technical problems due to simplified models. Here, we compared C. acnes biofilm formation, from species involved in bone and prosthesis infection, in a static model with a dynamic model. Using similar parameters, the percentage of live bacteria within the biofilm was higher in dynamic than in static approach. In both models, bacterial internalization in osteoblast-like cells, playing the role of stress factor, affected this proportion but in opposite ways: increase of live bacteria proportion in the static model (×2.04 ± 0.53) and of dead bacteria proportion (×3.5 ± 1.03) in the dynamic model. This work highlights the huge importance in the selection of a relevant biofilm model in accordance with the environmental or clinical context to effectively improve the understanding of biofilms and the development of better antibiofilm strategies.
Microorganisms, Volume 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9102036
Background: A novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2)-induced pneumonia (COVID-19) emerged in December 2019 in China, spreading worldwide. The aim of the present investigation was to evaluate the immunological response and the clinical subset of peripheral lymphocyte subset alteration in COVID-19 infection. Methods: the study was conducted on four different clinical groups (n = 4; total n = 138). Each individual was assigned to different groups based on specific criteria evaluated at the admission such as fever, dyspnea, arterial blood gas analysis (ABG), oral-nasopharyngeal swab/RT-PCR, and thoracic CT-scan. Treatment was performed only after blood samples were collected from each patient (PP and PP) at day 1. The blood samples were analyzed and tested the same day (CBC and Flowcytometry). The positive–positive group (PP n = 45; F = 18/ M = 27; median age = 62.33), comprised individuals affected by COVID-19 who showed fever, dyspnea (ABG = pO2 < 60), confirmed positive by oral-nasopharyngeal swab/RT-PCR and with CT-scan showing ground-glass opacities. The negative–positive (NP; n = 37; F = 11/M = 26; median age = 75.94) or “COVID-like” group comprised individuals with fever and dyspnea (ABG = pO2 < 60), who tested negative to nasopharyngeal swab/RT-PCR, with CT-scans showing ground-glass opacities in the lungs. The negative–affected group (NA; n = 40; F = 14/M = 26; median age = 58.5) included individuals negative to COVID-19 (RT-PCR) but affected by different chronic respiratory diseases (the CT-scans didn’t show ground-glass opacities). Finally, the negative–negative group (NN; n = 16; F = 14/M = 2) included healthy patients (NN; n = 16; median age = 42.62). Data and findings were collected and compared. Results: Lymphocytes (%) cells showed a decline in COVID-19 patients. The subsets showed a significant association with the inflammatory status in COVID-19, especially with regard to increased neutrophils, T-killer, T-active, T-suppressor, and T-CD8+CD38+ in individuals belong to the either COVID-19 and Covid-like NP group. Conclusions: Peripheral lymphocyte subset alteration was associated with the clinical characteristics and progression of COVID-19. The level of sub-set cells T-lymphocytes (either high or low) and B-lymphocytes could be used as an independent predictor for COVID-19 severity and treatment efficacy.
Microorganisms, Volume 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9102033
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a Gram-negative bacterium involved in the development of gastritis, peptic ulcer disease, gastric adenocarcinoma, and gastric mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue. Unexplained iron deficiency anemia, idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura and vitamin B12 deficiency have also been related to H. pylori infection, whereas for other extra-gastric diseases, the debate is still open. In this review, we evaluate and discuss the potential involvement of H. pylori infection in the pathogenesis of several respiratory diseases. A MEDLINE search of all studies published in English from 1965 to 2021 was carried out. Controversial findings have been reported in patients with bronchial asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bronchiectasis, lung cancer, tuberculosis, cystic fibrosis, and sarcoidosis. Most of the available literature is concerned with case-control studies based on seroprevalence, with a small sample size and low consideration of confounders, which represents a potential issue. So far, there is no clear evidence of a causal association between H. pylori infection and respiratory diseases, and larger studies with appropriate epidemiological design are required.
Microorganisms, Volume 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9102030
The lipopeptide produced by microorganisms is one of the representative biosurfactants and is characterized as a series of structural analogues of different families. Thirty-four families covering about 300 lipopeptide compounds have been reported in the last decades, and most of the reported lipopeptides produced by microorganisms were under aerobic conditions. The lipopeptide-producing strains under anaerobic conditions have attracted much attention from both the academic and industrial communities, due to the needs and the challenge of their applications in anaerobic environments, such as in oil reservoirs and in microbial enhanced oil recovery (MEOR). In this review, the fifty-eight reported bacterial strains, mostly isolated from oil reservoirs and dominated by the species Bacillus subtilis, producing lipopeptide biosurfactants, and the species Pseudomonas aeruginosa, producing glycolipid biosurfactants under anaerobic conditions were summarized. The metabolic pathway and the non-ribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs) of the strain Bacillus subtilis under anaerobic conditions were analyzed, which is expected to better understand the key mechanisms of the growth and production of lipopeptide biosurfactants of such kind of bacteria under anaerobic conditions, and to expand the industrial application of anaerobic biosurfactant-producing bacteria.
Microorganisms, Volume 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9102027
Probiotics are considered living microorganisms that help preserve the health of the host who uses them. Bacillus are a genus of Gram-positive bacteria used as probiotics for animal and human consumption. They are currently distributed in various commercial forms. Two of the species used as probiotics are B. licheniformis and B. subtilis. Macrophages are central cells in the immune response, being fundamental in the elimination of microbial pathogens, for which they use various mechanisms, including the formation of extracellular traps (METs). There have been very few studies carried out on the participation of macrophages in response to the interaction of probiotics of the genus Bacillus with the host. In this work, we used macrophages from the J774A mouse cell line.1, and we found that they are susceptible to infection by the two Bacillus species. However, both species were eliminated as the infection progressed. Using confocal microscopy, we identified the formation of METs from the first hours of infection, which were characterized by the presence of myeloperoxidase (MPO) and citrullinated histone (Hit3Cit). Quantitative data on extracellular DNA release were also obtained; release was observed starting in the first hour of infection. The induction of METs by B. licheniformis caused a significant decrease in the colony-forming units (CFU) of Staphylococcus aureus. The induction of METS by bacteria of the Bacillus genus is a mechanism that participates in controlling the probiotic and potentially pathogenic bacteria such as S. aureus. The induction of METs to control pathogens may be a novel mechanism that could explain the beneficial effects of probiotics of the genus Bacillus.
Microorganisms, Volume 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9102026
Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) are a serious threat to human health, with few treatment options being available. New therapeutics are urgently needed to relieve the health and economic burdens presented by VRE. A potential target for new therapeutics is the VanRS two-component system, which regulates the expression of vancomycin resistance in VRE. VanS is a sensor histidine kinase that detects vancomycin and in turn activates VanR; VanR is a response regulator that, when activated, directs expression of vancomycin-resistance genes. This review of VanRS examines how the expression of vancomycin resistance is regulated, and provides an update on one of the field’s most pressing questions: How does VanS sense vancomycin?
Microorganisms, Volume 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9102028
Rhizobacteria-based technologies may constitute a viable option for biological fertilization and crop protection. The effects of two microbial inoculants (1) PPS: Pseudomonas protegens, P. jessenii and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia biocontrol bacterium strains and (2) TPB: Trichoderma atroviride, Pseudomonas putida, and Bacillus subtilis fungi, bacteria biocontrol, and biofertilizer combinations were examined on potato (Solanum tuberosum L. var. Demon) in three consecutive years in irrigated organic conditions. The number of tubers showing symptoms of Streptomyces sp. and Rhizoctonia sp. was recorded. The severity of symptoms was evaluated based on the damaged tuber surface. There was a large annual variability in both the symptoms caused by soil-borne pathogens, and the effect of bio-inoculants. In the first and second year, with a stronger Rhizoctonia and Streptomyces spp. incidence, the bacterial and fungal combination of TPB inoculums with both the potential plant nutrition and biocontrol ability of the strains seemed to have a better efficiency to control the diseases. This tendency was not supported in the third year, and this may be attributed to the relatively high natural precipitation. Further studies are required to investigate the agronomic benefits of these inoculants and to tailor their application to the soil microbial characteristics and weather conditions.