Urinary tract infections (UTI) caused by uropathogenic Escherichia coli are one of the most common forms of human disease. In this study, the effect of the presence of newly acquired antibiotic resistance genes on biofilm formation of UTI-associated E. coli strains was examined. Two clinical UTI-associated E. coli strains (SMC18 and SMC20) carrying different combinations of virulence genes were transformed with pGEM-T, pGEM-T::KmΔAmp, or pGEM-T::Km to construct ampicillin-resistant (Km(S)Amp(R)), kanamycin-resistant (Km(R)Amp(S)), or ampicillin- and kanamycin-resistant (Km(R)Amp(R)) strains. Transformed and wild-type strains were characterized for biofilm formation, bacterial surface hydrophobicity, auto-aggregation, morphology, and attachment to abiotic surfaces. Transformation with a plasmid carrying an ampicillin resistance gene alone decreased (p < 0.05) biofilm formation by SMC18 (8 virulence marker genes) but increased (p < 0.05) biofilm formation by SMC20 (5 virulence marker genes). On the other hand, transformation with a plasmid carrying a kanamycin resistance gene alone or both ampicillin and kanamycin resistance genes resulted in a decrease (p < 0.05) in biofilm formation by SMC18 but did not affect (p > 0.05) the biofilm formation by SMC20. Our results suggest that transformation of UTI-associated E. coli with plasmids carrying different antibiotic resistance gene(s) had a significant impact on biofilm formation and that these effects were both strain dependent and varied between different antibiotics.
A 12-month study was carried out on the molecular epidemiology of rotavirus in urban and suburban Malaysian children. Analysis of faecal samples from 973 hospitalized diarrhoeic children by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis detected 268 rotaviruses (28%). All isolates were group A rotaviruses, which produced 22 electropherotypes: 16 (91.5%) with long RNA migration patterns and 6 (8.5%) with short patterns. One of the long-pattern electropherotypes was the predominant strain (71.1% of the total electropherotypes) isolated during this study. Although 3 other strains were detected sporadically over the study period, 16 others were present only during the first 7 months and 2 others were confined to the last 5 months. Long- and short-pattern electropherotypes were found to co-circulate extensively. There was a significant association of short-pattern electropherotypes with infection in older children. In addition, the prevalence of vomiting and mean duration of diarrhoea were significantly associated with different electropherotypes.
Comparative proteomic profiling between 2 vancomycin-intermediate Staphylococcus aureus (VISA) strains, Mu50Ω-vraSm and Mu50Ω-vraSm-graRm, and vancomycin-susceptible S. aureus (VSSA) strain Mu50Ω revealed upregulated levels of catabolic ornithine carbamoyltransferase (ArcB) of the arginine catabolism pathway in VISA strains. Subsequent analyses showed that the VISA strains have higher levels of cellular ATP and ammonia, which are by-products of arginine catabolism, and displayed thicker cell walls. We postulate that elevated cytoplasmic ammonia and ATP molecules, resulting from activated arginine catabolism upon acquisition of vraS and graR mutations, are important requirements facilitating cell wall biosynthesis, thereby contributing to thickened cell wall and consequently reduced vancomycin susceptibility in VISA strains.
In this study, vancomycin-intermediate Staphylococcus aureus (VISA) cells carrying vraS and (or) graR mutations were shown to be more resistant to oxidative stress. Caenorhabditis elegans infected with these strains in turn demonstrated lower survival. Altered regulation in oxidative stress response and virulence appear to be physiological adaptations associated with the VISA phenotype in the Mu50 lineage.
Growth and productivity of rice are negatively affected by soil salinity. However, some salt-tolerant rhizosphere-inhabiting bacteria can improve salt resistance of plants, thereby augmenting plant growth and production. Here, we isolated a total of 53 plant-growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) from saline and non-saline areas in Bangladesh where electrical conductivity was measured as >7.45 and <1.80 dS/m, respectively. Bacteria isolated from saline areas were able to grow in a salt concentration of up to 2.60 mol/L, contrary to the isolates collected from non-saline areas that did not survive beyond 854 mmol/L. Among the salt-tolerant isolates, Bacillus aryabhattai, Achromobacter denitrificans, and Ochrobactrum intermedium, identified by comparing respective sequences of 16S rRNA using the NCBI GenBank, exhibited a higher amount of atmospheric nitrogen fixation, phosphate solubilization, and indoleacetic acid production at 200 mmol/L salt stress. Salt-tolerant isolates exhibited greater resistance to heavy metals and antibiotics, which could be due to the production of an exopolysaccharide layer outside the cell surface. Oryza sativa L. fertilized with B. aryabhattai MS3 and grown under 200 mmol/L salt stress was found to be favoured by enhanced expression of a set of at least four salt-responsive plant genes: BZ8, SOS1, GIG, and NHX1. Fertilization of rice with osmoprotectant-producing PGPR, therefore, could be a climate-change-preparedness strategy for coastal agriculture.
The effects of global warming are increasingly evident, where global surface temperatures and atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide have increased in past decades. Given the role of terrestrial bacteria in various ecological functions, it is important to understand how terrestrial bacteria would respond towards higher environmental temperatures. This study aims to determine soil bacterial diversity in the tropics and their response towards in situ warming using an open-top chamber (OTC). OTCs were set up in areas exposed to sunlight throughout the year in the tropical region in Malaysia. Soil samples were collected every 3 months to monitor changes in bacterial diversity using V3-V4 16S rDNA amplicon sequencing inside the OTCs (treatment plots) and outside the OTCs (control plots). After 12 months of simulated warming, an average increase of 0.81 to 1.15 °C was recorded in treatment plots. Significant changes in the relative abundance of bacterial phyla such as Bacteroidetes and Chloroflexi were reported. Increases in the relative abundance of Actinobacteria were also observed in treatment plots after 12 months. Substantial changes were observed at the genus level, where most bacterial genera decreased in relative abundance after 12 months. This study demonstrated that warming can alter soil bacteria in tropical soils from Kota Kinabalu.
Vibrio coralliilyticus, a prominent pathogenic bacteria, is known to cause tissue damage in the coral Pocillopora damicornis and is attracted towards the coral via chemotaxis. However, the potential of V. coralliilyticus to infect most of the other coral hosts via chemotaxis is unknown. In this study, we used capillary assays to quantify the chemotactic response of V. coralliilyticus to the mucus of four tank-cultivated coral species (Cataphyllia jardine, Mussidae sp., Nemenzophyllia turbida, and Euphyllia ancora), and mucus from three wild coral species (Acropora sp., Porites sp., and Montipora sp.). The bacteria showed a positive chemotactic response to each coral mucus tested, with the highest response recorded to the mucus of Acropora sp. and the lowest response to the mucus of Montipora sp. A microfluidic chip was then used to assess the chemotactic preference of V. coralliilyticus to the mucus of the tank cultivated corals. Here too, the bacterium showed positive response, but with a slightly different ranking order. The strong chemotactic response of V. coralliilyticus towards the mucus tested could indicate a broader host range of V. coralliilyticus, and by extension, indicate a threat to weakened coral reefs worldwide.