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JPC - Journal of Planar Chromatography - Modern TLC
Authors: Ágnes Móricz, Györgyi Horváth, Péter Molnár, Béla Kocsis, Andrea Böszörményi, Éva Lemberkovics and Péter Ott

The composition of the essential oil of Thymus vulgaris L. has been determined by GC-FID and GC-MS. Because separation of thymol, carvacrol, and linalool, components of the essential oil, was more efficient by overpressured layer chromatography (OPLC) than by conventional thin-layer chromatography (TLC), the forced flow technique was used before biological detection. All three test compounds had antibacterial effect against the phytopathogenic bacterium Pseudomonas syringae pv. maculicola, in bioautography, although in essential oil thymol was present in sufficient quantity to produce an inhibiting zone in the adsorbent layer. In BioArena investigations, when reduced glutathione as a formaldehyde (HCHO) capturer was dissolved in the cell suspension before bioautographic exposure to the essential oil, the characteristic inhibiting activity of thymol and carvacrol against Bacillus subtilis soil bacteria was reduced, whereas the presence of the HCHO precursors NGmonomethyl-l-arginine or N ɛ-monomethyl-l-lysine enhanced their antibacterial effect. These results suggest that HCHO and its reaction products may be involved in the antibacterial activity of thymol and carvacrol.

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Acta Veterinaria Hungarica
Authors: Rashad Alkasir, Jianfang Wang, Jian Gao, Tariq Ali, Limei Zhang, Ottó Szenci, Árpád Csaba Bajcsy and Bo Han

Trueperella (T.) pyogenes is an opportunistic pathogen that causes suppurative diseases in domestic animals. In this work, the properties, pathogenesis and phenotypic diversity of T. pyogenes isolates from bovine mastitis were studied. Both pyolysin (plo) and collagen-binding protein (cbp) virulence factor genes were detected by PCR in all T. pyogenes isolates (n = 50). Using the tissue culture plate method, 90% of T. pyogenes isolates were able to form biofilms. The minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of 13 antimicrobials against T. pyogenes isolates were determined. High susceptibility was observed to rifampin (96%), ampicillin (94%), ciprofloxacin (94%), and penicillin (92%), while low susceptibility was found to trimethoprim-sulphamethoxazole (10%) and bacitracin (2%). The intracellular assay revealed that T. pyogenes isolates had different cytopathogenic effects on cells. The high percentage (28.6%) of T. pyogenes isolates suggests that this bacterium is an important contributor to mastitis. Moreover, the high occurrence of multidrug resistance, biofilm production, intracellular survival, and the temporal dynamics of T. pyogenes interactions are key factors for a better understanding of how immunity acts on infections with these bacteria and how they evade immune surveillance, thus highlighting the need for the prudent use of antimicrobial agents in veterinary medicine.

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Acta Veterinaria Hungarica
Authors: Zsuzsanna Varga, Boglárka Sellyei, Petra Paulus, Melitta Papp, Kálmán Molnár and Csaba Székely

The objective of this study was to survey the incidence of Flavobacterium columnare in wild and cultured freshwater fish species in Hungary. This bacterium usually causes disease in waters of more than 25 °C temperature. However, with the introduction of intensive fish farming systems, infected fish exposed to stress develop disease signs also at lower temperatures; in addition, the temperature of natural waters rises to the critical level due to global warming. Twenty-five isolates from wild and cultured freshwater fishes were identified as F. columnare by specific PCR, although both the fragment lengths and the results of PCRRFLP genotyping with BsuRI (HaeIII) and RsaI restriction enzymes raised doubts regarding this species classification. Sequencing of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene revealed that 23 isolates belonged to the species F. johnsoniae and two represented Chryseobacterium spp. The isolates were found to have high-level multidrug resistance: all were resistant to ampicillin and polymyxin B, the 23 F. johnsoniae strains to cotrimoxazole, 88% of them to gentamicin, and 72% to chloramphenicol. The majority of the 25 isolates were sensitive to erythromycin (88%), furazolidone (76%), and florfenicol (68%).

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Lactic acid bacteria isolated from commercially produced alfalfa sprouts were screened for activity against Listeria monocytogenes F4258. Most active isolates were identified as Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis. The isolates fell into two categories, strains that inhibited by acid production only, and strains that appeared to have additional inhibitory activity. An acid-only isolate, SP26, was used to evaluate the effect of initial pH (5, 6, 7, 8) and temperature (10, 20, and 30 °C) on the interaction between the lactic acid bacterium and L. monocytogenes using “sprout juice” as a model system. The model system was inoculated with an initial level of approx. 103 CFU ml-1 L. monocytogenes in both mono-culture controls and the co-cultures and the co-cultures with L. lactis (103-104 CFU ml-1). The primary inhibitory effect attributable to L. lactis was a 2 to 3 log cycle decrease in the maximum population density obtained by L. monocytogenes. The extent of the inhibition was decreased at 10 °C, but was only slightly affected by pH in the range of 6.0 to 8.0. L. monocytogenes did not grow in the sprout broth at pH 5.0 at any of the incubation temperatures.

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In this study, the cDNA of homocysteine S-methyltransferase was isolated from Aegilops tauschii Coss., with the gene accordingly designated as AetHMT1. Similar to other methyltransferases, AetHMT1 contains a GGCCR consensus sequence for a possible zinc-binding motif near the C-terminal and a conserved cysteine residue upstream of the zinc-binding motif. Analysis of AetHMT1 uncovered no obvious chloroplast or mitochondrial targeting sequences. We functionally expressed AetHMT1 in Escherichia coli and confirmed its biological activity, as evidenced by a positive HMT enzyme activity of 164.516 ± 17.378 nmol min−1 mg−1 protein when catalyzing the transformation of L-homocysteine. Compared with the bacterium containing the empty vector, E. coli harboring the recombinant AetHMT1 plasmid showed much higher tolerance to selenate and selenite. AetHMT1 transcript amounts in different organs were increased by Na2SeO4 treatment, with roots accumulating higher amounts than stems, old leaves and new leaves. We have therefore successfully isolated HMT1 from Ae. tauschii and characterized the biochemical and physiological functions of the corresponding protein.

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Chlamydia trachomatis an obligate intracellular, Gram-negative bacterium is the causative agent of several acute or chronic, local and systemic human diseases such as trachoma, oculogenital and neonatal infections. It was discovered in 1907 by Halberstaedter and von Prowazek who observed it in conjunctival scrapings from an experimentally infected orangutan. In the last hundred years the detection and study of the intracellular pathogens, including chlamydiae, passed through an enormous evolution. This memorial review is dedicated to these important research and diagnostic discoveries and to the scientists who significantly contributed to this evolution starting from the application of simple light microscopy through the cell culture technique, antibiotic susceptibility, antigen and antibody detection, serotyping, to the real-time nucleic acid amplification and restriction fragment lengths polymorphism analysis. Although the majority of these old and new excellent diagnostic methods have been introduced into the rutine practice, the trachoma has remained one of the leading causes of blindness, and oculogenital chlamydial infections still are the most frequent sexually transmitted bacterial diseases, furthermore lymphogranuloma venereum is a disease emerging in the developed countries at the beginning of the 21 st century.

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Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is a Gram-positive bacterium. The entomopathogenic activity of Bt is related to the existence of the crystal consisting of protoxins, also called delta-endotoxins. In order to optimize and explain the production of delta-endotoxins of Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki, we studied seven medium components: soybean meal, starch, KH2PO4, K2HPO4, FeSO4, MnSO4, and MgSO4 and their relationships with the concentration of delta-endotoxins using an experimental design (Plackett—Burman design) and Bayesian networks modelling. The effects of the ingredients of the culture medium on delta-endotoxins production were estimated. The developed model showed that different medium components are important for the Bacillus thuringiensis fermentation. The most important factors influenced the production of delta-endotoxins are FeSO4, K2HPO4, starch and soybean meal. Indeed, it was found that soybean meal, K2HPO4, KH2PO4 and starch also showed positive effect on the delta-endotoxins production. However, FeSO4 and MnSO4 expressed opposite effect. The developed model, based on Bayesian techniques, can automatically learn emerging models in data to serve in the prediction of delta-endotoxins concentrations. The constructed model in the present study implies that experimental design (Plackett—Burman design) joined with Bayesian networks method could be used for identification of effect variables on delta-endotoxins variation.

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Binding of fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled concanavalin A to a series of molecular species of lipopolysaccharide (LPS), purified from pathogenic bacteria, was studied via agarose gel precipitation experiments and the results were compared with available structural data.The LPS species could be divided into ConA-reactive and non-reactive ones. Reactivity resided in the O-specific chain of LPS, and binding to the lipid A or core moieties of LPS could not be demonstrated by the present methods. The α-D-glucose or α-D-mannose residues of the repeating O-specific oligosaccharide units appeared to be recognized by ConA, except when blocked by steric hindrance. Specificity of the reaction was verified by inhibition with 2% D-glucose. Binding by bacterium-specific sugar-residues could not be demonstrated.For precipitation to occur, polyvalency was required both for LPS and ConA, and the resulting precipitation appeared to be promoted by hydrophobic interactions between the lipid A moieties of LPS molecules. The LPS species were differently retained by the agarose gel, which can be explained by differences in their micellar structure in aqueous solution. E. coli O83 LPS did not readily diffused in 1% agarose gel, but its precipitation with ConA could be demonstrated either at elevated temperature or mixing it previously with molten agarose (Mancini’s arrangement).

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Streptococcus pneumoniae is an important pathogen with significant morbidity and mortality rates worldwide, especially among children <5 years. Healthy carriers are the most important sources of pneumococcal infections, and the nasopharyngeal colonisation is the most prevalent among children attending communities such as day-care centres (DCCs). The conjugate pneumococcal vaccines (PCVs) were shown to have an impact on the colonisation, and so play an important role in inhibiting infections. In this study we compared the nasal carriage of healthy children attending DCCs in Szeged, Hungary in 2003/2004, when nobody was vaccinated, and in 2010, when already 1/5 of the children received PCV-7. Significant differences were observed in the serotype distribution, representing a marked shift from the previously widespread vaccine-types (mostly 6A or 14) to others (11A and 23F). The new serotypes showed higher antibiotic susceptibility. The bacterium exchange between children was clear from the pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) patterns, and the circulation of certain international clones plays also a role in these dynamic changes.

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Streptococcus pneumoniae is responsible for a significant amount of morbidity and mortality worldwide, especially among children <5 years. Healthy carriers are the most important sources of infections and the carriage also peaks in the first years of life, especially among children attending communities. In this study, for the first time in Hungary, we surveyed the nasal carriage of healthy children, just before the use of the conjugate vaccine started increasing.Nasal specimens of 358 children were cultured and pneumococci isolated. The strains were serotyped with antisera and PCR, genotyped by PFGE and their antibiotic sensitivity determined by agar dilution method.The carriage rate was 37.71%. The isolates were sensitive to most tested antibiotics, except for macrolides. In this cohort of specimens still the widespread, so-called “pediatric serotypes” dominated (14, 19F, 23F, 6A, 6B in ranking order), but three of the previously rare types: 15B, 11A and 13 were represented already by 21.5% of all strains and also a few other rare non-vaccine types (e.g. 10A or 37) were detected.The calculated vaccine coverage was 55.6% for PCV-7, 69.6% for PCV-13 and 86.7% for Pneumovax. In this cohort, only 15.9% of the children (n = 57) were vaccinated. The carriage rate of PCV-7 vaccinated children was significantly lower (30.4%) than that of the non-vaccinated group (39.2%). The clonality of the isolates was significant within each group, revealing the extensive bacterium exchange among children.

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