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Microbiology Spectrum

Michelle M Meyer
The rRNA is the largest and most abundant RNA in bacterial and archaeal cells. It is also one of the best-characterized RNAs in terms of its structural motifs and sequence variation. Production of ribosome components including >50 ribosomal proteins (r-proteins) consumes significant cellular resources. Thus, RNA cis -regulatory structures that interact with r-proteins to repress further r-protein synthesis play an important role in maintaining appropriate stoichiometry between r-proteins and rRNA. Classically, such mRNA structures were thought to directly mimic the rRNA...
March 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
Raúl J Cano, Gary A Toranzos
Microbiome analysis of environmental samples may represent the next frontier in environmental microbial forensics. Next-generation sequencing technologies significantly increased the available genetic data that could be used as evidentiary material. It is not clear, however, whether the microbiome can scale across institutions using forensic-based evidence due to the data resource requirements and the associated costs of maintaining these databases. A successful microbiome study is impacted by the quality of the information gathered and the steps in sample processing and data analysis...
March 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
Gary A Toranzos, Raúl J Cano
Environmental forensics is a tool that uses chemical, physical, and statistical techniques to investigate contaminants in the environment as a means to determine attribution for legal purposes. Environmental microbiology is a branch of science that has benefited from the use of metagenomics. The term microbial forensics, which includes nucleic acid sequencing methods, is now used to investigate the sources of microorganisms for attribution purposes as well. Environmental microbial forensics can fully address the questions that must be answered for attribution of causation and subsequent remedial actions within a reasonably short time frame...
March 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
Kalmia E Kniel, Deepak Kumar, Siddhartha Thakur
The philosophy of One Health is growing in concept and clarity. The interdependence of human, animal, and environmental health is the basis for the concept of One Health. One Health is a comprehensive approach to ensure the health of people, animals, and the environment through collaborative efforts. Preharvest food safety issues align with the grand concept of One Health. Imagine any food production system, and immediately, parallel images from One Health emerge: for example, transmission of zoonotic diseases, antibiotic residues, or resistance genes in the environment; environmental and animal host reservoirs of disease; challenges with rearing animals and growing fresh produce on the same farm; application and transport of manure or diseased animals...
February 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
Deepak Kumar, Siddhartha Thakur
Preharvest food safety research and activities have advanced over time with the recognition of the importance and complicated nature of the preharvest phase of food production. In developed nations, implementation of preharvest food safety procedures along with strict monitoring and containment at various postharvest stages such as slaughter, processing, storage, and distribution have remarkably reduced the burden of foodborne pathogens in humans. Early detection and adequate surveillance of pathogens at the preharvest stage is of the utmost importance to ensure a safe meat supply...
February 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
Ron A Miller, Heather Harbottle
Major concerns surround the use of antimicrobial agents in farm-raised fish, including the potential impacts these uses may have on the development of antimicrobial-resistant pathogens in fish and the aquatic environment. Currently, some antimicrobial agents commonly used in aquaculture are only partially effective against select fish pathogens due to the emergence of resistant bacteria. Although reports of ineffectiveness in aquaculture due to resistant pathogens are scarce in the literature, some have reported mass mortalities in Penaeus monodon larvae caused by Vibrio harveyi resistant to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, chloramphenicol, erythromycin, and streptomycin...
January 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
Christopher M Teaf, David Flores, Michele Garber, Valerie J Harwood
The science of microbial source tracking has allowed researchers and watershed managers to go beyond general indicators of fecal pollution in water such as coliforms and enterococci, and to move toward an understanding of specific contributors to water quality issues. The premise of microbial source tracking is that characteristics of microorganisms that are strongly associated with particular host species can be used to trace fecal pollution to particular animal species (including humans) or groups, e.g., ruminants or birds...
January 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
Yang Wang, Tao He, Zhangqi Shen, Congming Wu
Bacteria of the genus Stenotrophomonas are found throughout the environment, in close association with soil, sewage, and plants. Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, the first member of this genus, is the predominant species, observed in soil, water, plants, animals, and humans. It is also an opportunistic pathogen associated with the increased number of infections in both humans and animals in recent years. In this article, we summarize all Stenotrophomonas species (mainly S. maltophilia) isolated from animals and food products of animal origin and further distinguish all isolates based on antimicrobial susceptibility and resistance phenotypes...
January 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
José Luis Martínez
Inspection of the genomes of bacterial pathogens indicates that their pathogenic potential relies, at least in part, on the activity of different elements that have been acquired by horizontal gene transfer from other (usually unknown) microorganisms. Similarly, in the case of resistance to antibiotics, besides mutation-driven resistance, the incorporation of novel resistance genes is a widespread evolutionary procedure for the acquisition of this phenotype. Current information in the field supports the idea that most (if not all) genes acquired by horizontal gene transfer by bacterial pathogens and contributing to their virulence potential or to antibiotic resistance originate in environmental, not human-pathogenic, microorganisms...
January 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
Engeline van Duijkeren, Anne-Kathrin Schink, Marilyn C Roberts, Yang Wang, Stefan Schwarz
During the past decades resistance to virtually all antimicrobial agents has been observed in bacteria of animal origin. This chapter describes in detail the mechanisms so far encountered for the various classes of antimicrobial agents. The main mechanisms include enzymatic inactivation by either disintegration or chemical modification of antimicrobial agents, reduced intracellular accumulation by either decreased influx or increased efflux of antimicrobial agents, and modifications at the cellular target sites (i...
January 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
María Getino, Fernando de la Cruz
Conjugative plasmids are the main carriers of transmissible antibiotic resistance (AbR) genes. For that reason, strategies to control plasmid transmission have been proposed as potential solutions to prevent AbR dissemination. Natural mechanisms that bacteria employ as defense barriers against invading genomes, such as restriction-modification or CRISPR-Cas systems, could be exploited to control conjugation. Besides, conjugative plasmids themselves display mechanisms to minimize their associated burden or to compete with related or unrelated plasmids...
January 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
John F Prescott
This chapter briefly reviews the history and current use of antimicrobials in animals, with a focus on food animals in the more economically developed countries. It identifies some of the differences between human medical and food animal use, particularly in growth promotional and "subtherapeutic" use of medically-important antibiotics in animals. The public health impact of the extensive use of antibiotics in food animals for these purposes, differences internationally in such usage, and the major changes in current practices now underway in agricultural use are summarized...
December 2017: Microbiology Spectrum
Andrea T Feßler, Stefan Schwarz
There is currently only limited information on the antimicrobial susceptibility and resistance of Corynebacterium spp., Arcanobacterium spp., and Trueperella pyogenes from animals. The comparability of the data is hampered by the use of different antimicrobial susceptibility testing methods and interpretive criteria. To date, standard broth microdilution methods and clinical breakpoints that are approved by the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute and are applicable to Corynebacterium spp., Arcanobacterium spp...
December 2017: Microbiology Spectrum
Joaquín Villalba, Fernando A Navarro, Francisco Cortés
The origin of the words transmit and transmission and their derivatives can be traced to the Latin transmittere , in turn formed by prefixing the preposition trans ("across or beyond") to the verb mittere ("to let go or to send"). From the times of Ancient Rome in the 3rd century b.c.e., the Latin word transmissio has been "transmitted" (through Romance languages such as French, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese) to all the major languages of culture, English among them. And through English, the international language of biomedical science in the 21st century, the term transmission is increasingly present today in some of the most dynamic disciplines of modern natural science, including genomics, molecular microbiology, hospital epidemiology, molecular genetics, biotechnology, evolutionary biology, and systems biology...
December 2017: Microbiology Spectrum
Muna F Anjum, Ea Zankari, Henrik Hasman
The increase in bacteria harboring antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global problem because there is a paucity of antibiotics available to treat multidrug-resistant bacterial infections in humans and animals. Detection of AMR present in bacteria that may pose a threat to veterinary and public health is routinely performed using standardized phenotypic methods. Molecular methods are often used in addition to phenotypic methods but are set to replace them in many laboratories due to the greater speed and accuracy they provide in detecting the underlying genetic mechanism(s) for AMR...
December 2017: Microbiology Spectrum
Brian P Landry, Jeffrey J Tabor
Genetically engineered bacteria have the potential to diagnose and treat a wide range of diseases linked to the gastrointestinal tract, or gut. Such engineered microbes will be less expensive and invasive than current diagnostics and more effective and safe than current therapeutics. Recent advances in synthetic biology have dramatically improved the reliability with which bacteria can be engineered with the sensors, genetic circuits, and output (actuator) genes necessary for diagnostic and therapeutic functions...
October 2017: Microbiology Spectrum
Steeve Giguère, Londa J Berghaus, Jennifer M Willingham-Lane
Pneumonia caused by Rhodococcus equi remains an important cause of disease and death in foals. The combination of a macrolide (erythromycin, azithromycin, or clarithromycin) with rifampin has been the recommended treatment for foals with clinical signs of infection caused by R. equi since the early 1980s with, until recently, only rare reports of resistance. Resistance to macrolides and rifampin in isolates of R. equi cultured from horses is increasing, with isolates resistant to all macrolides and rifampin now being cultured from up to 40% of infected foals at some farms...
October 2017: Microbiology Spectrum
Frederick M Cohan
Any two lineages, no matter how distant they are now, began their divergence as one population splitting into two lineages that could coexist indefinitely. The rate of origin of higher-level taxa is therefore the product of the rate of speciation times the probability that two new species coexist long enough to reach a particular level of divergence. Here I have explored these two parameters of disparification in bacteria. Owing to low recombination rates, sexual isolation is not a necessary milestone of bacterial speciation...
October 2017: Microbiology Spectrum
Melinda A Engevik, James Versalovic
Commensal and beneficial microbes secrete myriad products which target the mammalian host and other microbes. These secreted substances aid in bacterial niche development, and select compounds beneficially modulate the host and promote health. Microbes produce unique compounds which can serve as signaling factors to the host, such as biogenic amine neuromodulators, or quorum-sensing molecules to facilitate inter-bacterial communication. Bacterial metabolites can also participate in functional enhancement of host metabolic capabilities, immunoregulation, and improvement of intestinal barrier function...
October 2017: Microbiology Spectrum
Sheila M Dreher-Lesnick, Scott Stibitz, Paul E Carlson
Interest in the use of bacteria-containing products for the treatment or prevention of disease has increased in recent years. Bacterial preparations for human consumption are commercially available in the form of dietary supplements and typically contain strains with a history of use in food fermentation. Advances in our understanding of the role of the microbiota in health and disease are likely to lead to development of products containing more novel bacterial species, along with genetic modification of strains to provide specific functions...
October 2017: Microbiology Spectrum
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