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European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology
Authors: Hagen Frickmann, Andreas Hahn, Norbert Georg Schwarz, Ralf Matthias Hagen, Denise Dekker, Rebecca Hinz, Volker Micheel, Benedikt Hogan, Jürgen May, and Raphael Rakotozandrindrainy

Direct growth on blood and screening agar for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) at a tropical surveillance site was compared with broth enrichment and subsequent growth on selective MRSA agar after international sample transport.

In Madagascar, 1548 swabs from an MRSA surveillance study were assessed for growth on Columbia blood agar enriched with 5% sheep blood and MRSA screening agar at the surveillance site with subsequent cold storage of the samples and shipment to Germany. In Germany, 1541 shipped samples were analyzed by non-selective broth enrichment with subsequent culture on MRSA selective agar.

A total of 28 MRSA isolates were detected. Of these, 20 strains were isolated from direct culture on blood and MRSA screening agars at the surveillance site, 24 MRSA strains were isolated using the broth enrichment method in Germany, and 16 MRSA strains were identified by both approaches.

In spite of the observed die-off of individual strains due to long-term storage and transport, broth enrichment with subsequent screening on MRSA selective agar after international sample shipment led to comparable sensitivity of MRSA detection like streaking on blood and MRSA agar at the tropical surveillance site.

Open access
European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology
Authors: Hagen Frickmann, Kerstin Köller, Irina Veil, Mirjam Weise, Alicja Ludyga, Norbert Georg Schwarz, Philipp Warnke, and Andreas Podbielski

This study assesses the clinical relevance of vancomycin-susceptible enterococci in bacteremic patients and compares it with bacteremia due to Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli.

During a 5-year-study interval, clinical and diagnostic features of patients with enterococcal bacteremia were compared to those of patients with E. coli or S. aureus bacteremia. Each patient was only counted once per hospital stay.

During the 5-year study interval, data from 267 patients with enterococcal bacteremia and from 661 patients with bacteremia due to E. coli or S. aureus were evaluated. In spite of a comparable risk of death, patients with enterococci more frequently needed catecholamines and invasive ventilation. Furthermore, enterococci were more frequently associated with a mixed bacterial flora in bloodstream infections. While fatal sepsis due to E. coli and S. aureus was associated with typical shock symptoms, this association was not confirmed for enterococci.

Although enterococcal bacteremia is associated with a risk of dying comparable to that with bacteremia due to E. coli and S. aureus, a lower pathogenic potential of enterococci in bloodstream has to be acknowledged. Enterococci in the bloodstream are more likely to be an epiphenomenon of impending death than its major cause.

Open access
European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology
Authors: Ali Asghar Ayatollahi, Abolfazl Amini, Somayeh Rahimi, Saeid Rahbar Takrami, Reza Kazemi Darsanaki, and Muhammad Sadeqi Nezhad

Nosocomial infections are one of the most common causes of death in hospitals. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of gram-negative bacilli isolated from the equipment in hospital wards of the Golestan province, in the year 2015. In this crosssectional study in 2015, 1980 samples from medical and nonmedical equipment and surfaces were collected from the wards of 13 teaching hospitals, in the Golestan province. Samples were inoculated into eosin methylene blue agar and blood agar culture media and isolated colonies were identified by standard biochemical tests. The obtained results were then analyzed using SPSS 22 software and χ2 test. Among 1980 isolated samples, 601 samples (30.35%) were infected with gram-negative bacilli while Enterobacter aerogenes (37.27%) was responsible for most of the contaminations. The highest rate of infection was observed in the intensive care unit (33.1%), and the highest level of contamination in the medical equipment was associated with laryngoscope and its blade (10.48%), as well as ECG sensor and its monitoring connector (6.65%). Meanwhile, phone (6.32%) and patients’ beds and linen (5.15%) had the highest level of contamination in the nonmedical equipment. Considering the high rates of gram-negative bacilli contamination in the hospital wards of the Golestan province, thorough hand washing as the main action for disinfection and sterilizing the equipment, as well as performing periodic cultivation alongside the use of standard guidelines for prevention and control of nosocomial infections, are recommended to reduce the level of contamination.

Open access
European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology
Authors: Dora Romero-Salas, Cosme Alvarado-Esquivel, Gladys Domínguez-Aguilar, Anabel Cruz-Romero, Nelly Ibarra-Priego, Carolina Barrientos-Salcedo, Mariel Aguilar-Domínguez, Rodolfo Canseco-Sedano, Luz Teresa Espín-Iturbe, Luis Francisco Sánchez-Anguiano, Jesús Hernández-Tinoco, and Adalberto A. Pérez de León

We aimed to determine the seroprevalence of infection with Neospora caninum, Leptospira, and bovine herpesvirus type 1 and risk factors associated with these infections in water buffaloes in Veracruz State, Mexico. Through a cross-sectional study, 144 water buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis) raised in 5 ranches of Veracruz were examined for anti-N. caninum and anti-bovine herpesvirus type 1 antibodies by enzyme immunoassays, and anti-Leptospira interrogans antibodies by microscopic agglutination test.

Of the 144 buffaloes studied, 35 (24.3%) were positive for N. caninum, 50 (34.7%) for Leptospira, and 83 (57.6%) for bovine herpes virus. The frequencies of leptospiral serovars in buffaloes were as follows: 18.7% for Muenchen (n = 27), 10.4% for Hardjo LT (n = 15), 9.0% for Pyrogenes (n = 13), and 4.8% for Icterohaemorrhagiae (n = 7). Seropositive buffaloes were found in all 5 ranches studied. Logistic regression showed that cohabitation of buffaloes with cows was associated with infection with Leptospira (odds ratio [OR], 2.2; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.04–4.5; P = 0.03) and bovine herpesvirus (OR, 12.0; 95% CI, 4.0–36.2; P >; 0.01).

This is the first study that provides serological evidence of N. caninum, Leptospira, and bovine herpesvirus type 1 infections in water buffaloes in Mexico. Our findings could be used to enhance preventive measures against these infections.

Open access
European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology
Authors: Raimond Lugert, Uwe Groß, Wycliffe O. Masanta, Gunter Linsel, Astrid Heutelbeck, and Andreas E. Zautner

Psittacosis is a zoonotic infectious disease that is caused by Chlamydophila psittaci. To determine the occupational risk of getting the infection, we investigated the seroprevalence of C. psittaci among employees of two German duck farms and two slaughterhouses according to their level of exposure to the pathogen during the years 2010, 2007, and 2004. In summary, we found low seroprevalence (≈ 8%) throughout the study population almost irrespective of the duty of a given worker. Surprisingly, in 2010, the anti-C. psittaci-specific antibody prevalence in the group of slaughterer (38.9%) was significantly increased in comparison to the non-exposed employees (p = 0.00578). This indicates that individuals in the surrounding of slaughterhouses exposed especially to aerosols containing C. psittaci elementary bodies bear a greater occupational risk of getting infected.

Open access
Community Ecology
Authors: B. Tajthi, R. Horváth, Sz. Mizser, D. D. Nagy, and B. Tóthmérész

Urban areas have been growing radically worldwide, causing considerable changes in biodiversity of natural habitats. In floodplain forests, we studied the effects of urbanization on ground-dwelling spider assemblages along a rural–suburban–urban gradient in Hungary. We tested three traditional hypotheses (intermediate disturbance hypothesis, habitat specialist hypothesis and hygrophilous species hypothesis) and two novel expectations (shade-preferring species hypothesis, and disturbance sensitive species hypothesis) on spiders. We found that the total number of species was higher in the suburban habitat than in rural and urban ones, supporting the intermediate disturbance hypothesis. We found a decrease in the species richness of forest specialist and shade-preferring species along the urbanization gradient. We found that the number of hygrophilous and disturbance sensitive species was the lowest in the urban habitat. The spider assemblages of the rural and suburban habitats were clearly separated from the assemblages of urban habitats. Based on our findings we emphasize that low and moderate intensity of forest management contributes to the preservation of the local species richness in floodplain forests.

Open access
European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology
Authors: Cosme Alvarado-Esquivel, Yazmin del Rosario Rico-Almochantaf, Jesús Hernández-Tinoco, Gerardo Quiñones-Canales, Luis Francisco Sánchez-Anguiano, Jorge Torres-González, Björn Schott, Oliver Liesenfeld, and Ildiko Rita Dunay

Little is known about the association of Toxoplasma gondii infection and neurological disorders. We performed a case-control study with 344 patients with neurological diseases and 344 neurologically healthy age- and gender-matched subjects. Sera of participants were analyzed for anti-T. gondii IgG and IgM antibodies using commercially available immunoassays. Anti-T. gondii IgG antibodies were detected in 25 (7.3%) cases and in 35 (10.2%) controls (odds ratio [OR] = 0.69; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.40–1.18; P = 0.17). Anti-T. gondii IgM antibodies were found in 5 (14.3%) of the 25 IgG seropositive cases and in 13 (37.1%) of the 35 IgG seropositive controls (P = 0.15). Anti-T. gondii IgG antibodies were found in 8 (3.8%) of 213 female cases and in 23 (10.8%) of 213 female controls (OR = 0.32; 95% CI: 0.14–0.73; P = 0.005); and in 17 (13.0%) of 131 male cases and in 12 (9.2%) of 131 male controls (P = 0.32). No direct association between IgG seropositivity and specific neurological disorders was detected. We found no support for a role of latent T. gondii infection in the risk for neurological disorders in this setting. With respect to specific neurological disorders, further studies using larger patient cohorts will be required.

Open access

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections cause severe CD4+ T cell depletion leading to chronic inflammation and immune activation, impaired barrier function, and microbial translocation. Even under effective antiretroviral therapy, these processes persist, leading to gut microbiome dysbiosis and disturbance of microbiome–host homeostasis. This systematic review aims at analyzing how gut microbiome and host immune system influence each other during HIV pathogenesis. An online search applying the PubMed database was conducted. The number of total results (n = 35) was narrowed down to 5 relevant studies focusing on the interaction between the host and gut microbiome, whereas strict exclusion criteria were applied, thereby assuring that no other comorbidities impacted study results. Our analyses revealed that gut microbiome diversity correlated positively with CD4+ T cell counts and negatively with microbial translocation markers. However, quantitative changes in bacterial richness did not consistently correlate with the numbers of metabolically active bacterial populations. Despite the reported increase in potentially pathogenic bacteria and, conversely, decrease in protective populations, the gut microbiota exhibited immune-modulating qualities given that mucosal inflammatory sequelae were dampened by decreasing pro-inflammatory and accelerating anti-inflammatory cytokine responses. Future research is needed to further elucidate these findings, to gain a deeper insight into host–microbiota interactions and to develop novel therapeutic strategies.

Open access
European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology
Authors: Ali Konaté, René Dembélé, Nathalie K. Guessennd, Fernique Konan Kouadio, Innocent Kouamé Kouadio, Mohamed Baguy Ouattara, Wendpoulomdé A. D. Kaboré, Assèta Kagambèga, Haoua Cissé, Hadiza Bawa Ibrahim, Touwendsida Serge Bagré, Alfred S. Traoré, and Nicolas Barro

The emergence and persistence of multidrug-resistant (MDR) diarrheagenic Escherichia coli (DEC) causing acute diarrhea is a major public health challenge in developing countries. The aim of this study was to evaluate the resistance phenotypes of DEC isolated from stool samples collected from children less than 5 years of age with acute diarrhea living in Ouagadougou/Burkina Faso. From August 2013 to October 2015, this study was carried out on 31 DEC strains of our study conducted in “Centre Médical avec Antenne Chirurgicale (CMA)” Paul VI and CMA of Schiphra. DEC were isolated and identified by standard microbiological methods and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method was used to further characterize them. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was done based on the disk diffusion method. DEC isolates were high resistant to tetracycline (83.9%), amoxicillin (77.4%), amoxicillin clavulanic acid (77.4%), piperacillin (64.5%), and colistin sulfate (61.3%). The most resistant phenotype represented was the extended spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) phenotype (67.7%). Aminoglycosides were 100% active on enteroinvasive E. coli (EIEC) and enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC). All the DEC isolates exhibited absolute (100%) sensitivity to ciprofloxacin. Monitoring and studying the resistance profile of DEC to antibiotics are necessary to guide probabilistic antibiotic therapy, especially in pediatric patients.

Open access
European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology
Authors: Luis Antonio Bautista-Hernández, José Luis Gómez-Olivares, Beatriz Buentello-Volante, and Victor Manuel Bautista-de Lucio

Fibroblasts are present in all tissues but predominantly in connective tissues. Some of their functions include contractility, locomotion, collagen and elastin fiber production, and the regulation and degradation of the extracellular matrix. Also, fibroblasts act as sentinels to produce inflammatory mediators in response to several microorganisms. There is evidence that fibroblasts can synthesize toll-like receptors (TLRs), antimicrobial peptides, proinflammatory cytokines, chemokines, and growth factors, which are important molecules involved in innate immune response against microorganisms. Fibroblasts can express TLRs (TLR-1 to TLR-10) to sense microbial components or microorganisms. They can synthesize antimicrobial peptides, such as LL-37, defensins hBD-1, and hBD-2, molecules that perform antimicrobial activity. Also, they can produce proinflammatory cytokines, such as TNFα, INFγ, IL-6, IL-12p70, and IL-10; other chemokines, such as CCL1, CCL2, CCL5, CXCL1, CXCL8, CXCL10, and CX3CL1; and the growth factors granulocyte/macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) to induce and recruit inflammatory cells. According to their immunological attributes, we can conclude that fibroblasts are sentinel cells that recognize pathogens, induce the recruitment of inflammatory cells via cytokines and growth factors, and release antimicrobial peptides, complying with the characteristics of real sentinels.

Open access