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Biologia Futura
Authors: Margit Kollaricsné Horváth, Borbála Hoffmann, István Cernák, Szilveszter Baráth, Zsolt Polgár and János Taller


Significant differences in nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) were detected previously among potato cultivars. Exploration of the genetic background may facilitate the breeding of cultivars with highly effective nitrogen use.


Expression of NUE genes was analyzed at three different N-supply levels in five potato genotypes. Correlations of NUE gene expressions and agronomical parameters with such indices as the nitrogen uptake efficiency, nitrogen utilization efficiency, NUE, and harvest indices were analyzed.


The correlations between expression level of the nitrate–reductase, nitrite–reductase, ammonium transporter, and asparagine synthase genes and different agronomically important parameters were detected.


Our results contribute to more rational, genotype-dependent nitrogen use in potato production and have relevance in breeding of new cultivars with better nitrogen utilization, as well as in production of seed potato.

Open access
European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology
Authors: Luis Francisco Sánchez-Anguiano, Nadia Velázquez-Hernández, Fernando Martín Guerra-Infante, Marisela Aguilar-Durán, Alma Rosa Pérez-Álamos, Sergio Estrada-Martínez, José Antonio Navarrete-Flores, Ada Agustina Sandoval-Carrillo, Elizabeth Irasema Antuna-Salcido, Jesús Hernández-Tinoco and Cosme Alvarado-Esquivel

Purpose: We aimed to determine the association between Chlamydia trachomatis infection and female sex work, and the association between sociodemographic, obstetric, and behavioral characteristics of female sex workers and C. trachomatis infection.

Methods: Through a case–control study design, we studied 201 female sex workers and 201 age-matched women without sex work in Durango City, Mexico. C. trachomatis DNA was detected in cervical swab samples using polymerase chain reaction.

Results: C. trachomatis DNA was detected in 32 (15.9%) of the 201 cases and in 6 (3.0%) of the 201 controls (odds ratio [OR] = 6.15; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.5–15.0; P < 0.001). The frequency of infection with C. trachomatis in female sex workers did not vary (P > 0.05) regardless of the history of pregnancies, deliveries, cesarean sections, or miscarriages. Regression analysis of the behavioral characteristics showed that infection with C. trachomatis was associated only with consumption of alcohol (OR = 2.39; 95% CI: 1.0–5.71; P = 0.04).

Conclusions: We conclude that C. trachomatis infection is associated with female sex work in Durango City, Mexico. This is the first age-matched case–control study on the prevalence of C. trachomatis infection in female sex workers in Mexico using detection of C. trachomatis DNA in cervical samples.

Open access
European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology
Authors: Hans Kollenda, Hagen Frickmann, Rania Ben Helal, Dorothea Franziska Wiemer, Habiba Naija, Mohamed Sélim El Asli, Melanie Egold, Joachim Jakob Bugert, Susann Handrick, Roman Wölfel, Farouk Barguellil and Mohamed Ben Moussa

Background: Carbapenem-resistance is frequently detected in Enterobacteriaceae isolated from patients in Tunisia. The study was performed to identify frequent carbapenemases in Tunisian isolates.

Methods: Between May 2014 and January 2018, 197 ertapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae were isolated at the microbiological department of the Military Hospital of Tunis. The strains were phenotypically characterized and then subjected to in-house polymerase chain reaction (PCR) targeting the carbapenemase genes blaIMP, blaVIM, blaNDM, blaSPM, blaAIM, blaDIM, blaGIM, blaSIM, blaKPC, blaBIC, and blaOXA-48.

Results: The assessed 197 ertapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae from Tunis comprised 170 Klebsiella pneumoniae, 19 Enterobacter cloacae, 6 Escherichia coli, 1 Citrobacter sedlakii, and 1 Enterobacter asburiae. Thereby, 55 out of 197 isolates (27.9%) were from blood cultures, suggesting a systemic disease. The carbapenemase gene blaOXA-48 quantitatively dominated by far with 153 detections, followed by blaNDM with 14 detections, which were distributed about the whole study interval. In contrast, blaBIC and blaVIM were only infrequently identified in 5 and 3 cases, respectively, while the other carbapenamases were not observed.

Conclusions: The carbapenemase gene blaOXA-48 was identified in the vast majority of ertapenem-resistant Tunisian Enterobacteriaceae while all other assessed carbapenemases were much less abundant. In a quantitatively relevant minority of isolates, the applied PCR-based screening approach did not identify any carbapenemases.

Open access

Photoinactivation of bacteria with visible light has been reported in numerous studies. Radiation around 405 nm is absorbed by endogenous porphyrins and generates reactive oxygen species that destroy bacteria from within. Blue light in the spectral range of 450–470 nm also exhibits an antibacterial effect, but it is weaker than 405 nm radiation, and the photosensitizers involved have not been clarified yet, even though flavins and porphyrins are possible candidates.

There are significantly fewer photoinactivation studies on fungi. To test if visible light can inactivate fungi and to elucidate the mechanisms involved, the model organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae (DSM no. 70449) was irradiated with violet (405 nm) and blue (450 nm) light. The mean irradiation doses required for a one log reduction of colony forming units for this strain were 182 J/cm2 and 526 J/cm2 for 405 nm and 450 nm irradiation, respectively.

To investigate the cell damaging mechanisms, trypan blue staining was performed. However, even strongly irradiated cultures hardly showed any stained S. cerevisiae cells, indicating an intact cell membrane and thus arguing against the previously suspected mechanism of cell membrane damage during photoinactivation with visible light at least for the investigated strain. The results are compatible with photoinactivated Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells being in a viable but nonculturable state.

To identify potential fungal photosensitizers, the absorption and fluorescence of Saccharomyces cerevisiae cell lysates were determined. The spectral absorption and fluorescence results are in favor of protoporphyrin IX as the most important photosensitizer at 405 nm radiation. For 450 nm irradiation, riboflavin and other flavins may be the main photosensitizer candidates, since porphyrins do not play a prominent role at this wavelength. No evidence of the involvement of other photosensitizers was found in the spectral data of this strain.

Open access
European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology
Authors: Katja Fischer, Jan-Moritz Doehn, Christian Herr, Carolin Lachner, Annina Heinrich, Olivia Kershaw, Meike Voss, Max H. Jacobson, Achim D. Gruber, Matthias Clauss, Martin Witzenrath, Robert Bals, Birgitt Gutbier and Hortense Slevogt

In chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), acute exacerbations and emphysema development are characteristics for disease pathology. COPD is complicated by infectious exacerbations with acute worsening of respiratory symptoms with Moraxella catarrhalis as one of the most frequent pathogens. Although cigarette smoke (CS) is the primary risk factor, additional molecular mechanisms for emphysema development induced by bacterial infections are incompletely understood. We investigated the impact of M. catarrhalis on emphysema development in CS exposed mice and asked whether an additional infection would induce a solubilization of pro-apoptotic and pro-inflammatory endothelial monocyte-activating-protein-2 (EMAPII) to exert its activities in the pulmonary microvasculature and other parts of the lungs not exposed directly to CS.

Mice were exposed to smoke (6 or 9 months) and/or infected with M. catarrhalis. Lungs, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF), and plasma were analyzed.

CS exposure reduced ciliated area, caused rarefaction of the lungs, and induced apoptosis. EMAPII was increased independent of prior smoke exposure in BALF of infected mice. Importantly, acute M. catarrhalis infection increased release of matrixmetalloproteases-9 and -12, which are involved in emphysema development and comprise a mechanism of EMAPII release.

Our data suggest that acute M. catarrhalis infection represents an independent risk factor for emphysema development in smoke-exposed mice.

Open access
European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology
Authors: Carlos Florindo, Cinthia Alves Barroco, Inês Silvestre, Vera Damião, João Paulo Gomes, Barbara Spellerberg, Ilda Santos-Sanches and Maria José Borrego

Extracellular deoxyribonucleases (DNases) contribute to the spread of pathogenic bacteria through the evasion from host innate immunity. Our main objective was to evaluate the production of extracellular DNases by human and bovine Streptococcus agalactiae clinical strains and perform a correlation of genetic lineages and DNase activity with capsular type, genetic determinants, clinical origin (colonization and infection), and host (human or bovine). DNase activity was evaluated by qualitative and quantitative assays for a collection of 406 human (n = 285) and bovine (n = 121) strains. All (121/121) bovine were isolated from mastitis and revealed to be DNase (+), indicating a putative pathogenic role in this clinical scenario. From the human S. agalactiae strains, 86% (245/285) showed DNase activity, among which all strains belonging to capsular types, namely, Ia, Ib, III-2, and IV. All CC17 strains (n = 58) and 56/96 (58.3%) of the CC19 displayed DNase activity. DNase (−) strains belonged to the CC19 group. However, the subcharacterization of CC19 S. agalactiae strains through multiple-locus variable number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA), antibiotic resistance, mobile elements, and surface proteins did not provide any distinction among DNase producers and non-producers.

The production of DNases by all human CC17 strains, about two-fifths of human CC19, and all bovine strains, suggest an important contribution of DNases to hypervirulence.

Open access
European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology
Authors: Donata Grimm, Linn Woelber, Katharina Prieske, Barbara Schmalfeldt, Sascha Kürti, Chia-Jung Busch, Ingo Teudt, Oliver Brummer, Volkmar Mueller and Thomas Meyer

A subgroup of oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinomas (OSCCs) are causally linked to infection with high-risk human papillomaviruses (HR-HPVs). To evaluate the prevalence of simultaneous oral HPV infection in females with cervical high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL), tonsillar- and cervical smears were collected simultaneously from 73 patients and analyzed for HPV using two commercial assays, PapilloCheck (Greiner-Bio-One) and Linear Array (Roche). Only 3/73 (4.1%) tonsillar smears were HPV positive (HPV+), with HPV types 16, 35, and 45, respectively, detected by both assays (100% agreement). Concordant results were also found in 60/66 (91%) evaluable cervical smears. Of specimens, positive by both assays, typing results completely coincide in 71% (all types are identical) and partially coincide in 27% (at least one type is identical). Taken together, results of HPV detection and typing by PapilloCheck and Linear Array are highly congruent and confirm the low prevalence of HR-HPV in tonsillar smears of patients with HSIL of the uterine cervix. Our data indicate low prevalence of oropharyngeal HPV infection in patients with high-grade cervical dysplasia. The low detection rate was confirmed by using two different commercial assays with largely consistent results of HPV detection and typing, but with some variation for particular HPV types. Comparative testing of larger numbers is required to identify the HPV types prone to escape detection with particular assays.

Open access

Introduction: To prevent surgical site infections (SSIs) during operation, the use of sterile surgical latex gloves is common. The aim of this study was to examine the damage of the gloves in surgeries with different mechanical stress and the influence on the kind of damages. Gloves were collected during primary arthroplasty, revision arthroplasty (hip and knee), and arthroscopy (shoulder, hip, and knee).

Materials and methods: Surgical latex operation gloves were collected from surgeons after the operation and were tested with watertightness test (ISO EN 455-1:2000).

Results: A total of 1460 surgical gloves were retrieved from 305 elective operations. On average, 15.9% of the gloves showed postoperative lesions, with the highest incidence occurring in revision arthroplasty with 25%. In primary and revision arthroplasty, the index finger of the dominant hand was most frequently affected (62.7% and 58.6%); in contrast, gloves from arthroscopies had most lesions on thumb and middle finger (42.9% each). Tear and perforation size differed from ≤1 mm to >5 mm, and primary and revision arthroplasty showed bigger damages.

Conclusions: Surgical gloves have a high malfunction, which increases with growing mechanical stress. A high rate of perforation occurred mostly in revision arthroplasty. Breaching the integrity of the gloves, especially by high mechanical loads, could lead to an increased rate of infection.

Open access
Community Ecology
Authors: S. Ongaro, S. Martellos, G. Bacaro, A. De Agostini, A. Cogoni and P. Cortis

The Mediterranean is one of the major biodiversity hotspots of the world. It has been identified as the “core” of the speciation process for many groups of organisms. It hosts an impressive number of species, many of which are classified as endangered taxa. Climate change in such a diverse context could heavily influence community composition, reducing ecosystems resistance and resilience. This study aims at depicting the distribution of nine orchid species in the island of Sardinia (Italy), and at forecasting their future distribution in consequence of climate change. The models were produced by following an “ensemble” approach. We analysed present and future (2070) niche for the nine species, using Land Use and Soil Type, as well as 8 bioclimatic variables as predictors, selected because of their influence on the fitness of these orchids. Climate change in the next years, at Mediterranean latitudes, is predicted to results mainly in an increase of temperature and a decrease of precipitation. In 2070, the general trend for almost all modelled taxa is the widening of the suitable areas. However, not always the newly gained areas have high probability of presence. A correct interpretation of environmental changes is needed for developing effective conservation strategies.

Open access

Background: The study assessed a spectrum of previously published in-house fluorescence in-situ hybridization (FISH) probes in a combined approach regarding their diagnostic performance with incubated blood culture materials.

Methods: Within a two-year interval, positive blood culture materials were assessed with Gram and FISH staining. Previously described and new FISH probes were combined to panels for Gram-positive cocci in grape-like clusters and in chains, as well as for Gram-negative rod-shaped bacteria. Covered pathogens comprised Staphylococcus spp., such as S. aureus, Micrococcus spp., Enterococcus spp., including E. faecium, E. faecalis, and E. gallinarum, Streptococcus spp., like S. pyogenes, S. agalactiae, and S. pneumoniae, Enterobacteriaceae, such as Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Salmonella spp., Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, and Bacteroides spp.

Results: A total of 955 blood culture materials were assessed with FISH. In 21 (2.2%) instances, FISH reaction led to non-interpretable results. With few exemptions, the tested FISH probes showed acceptable test characteristics even in the routine setting, with a sensitivity ranging from 28.6% (Bacteroides spp.) to 100% (6 probes) and a specificity of >95% in all instances.

Conclusion: If sophisticated rapid diagnostic methods like mass spectrometry from blood culture materials are not available, FISH provides an option for rapid differentiation for laboratories in resource-limited settings.

Open access