Browsing by Subject "BACTERIA"

Sort by: Order: Results:

Now showing items 1-20 of 114
  • Kostopoulos, Ioannis; Aalvink, Steven; Kovatcheva-Datchary, Petia; Nijsse, Bart; Backhed, Fredrik; Knol, Jan; de Vos, Willem M.; Belzer, Clara (2021)
    The human gastrointestinal tract is colonized by a diverse microbial community, which plays a crucial role in human health. In the gut, a protective mucus layer that consists of glycan structures separates the bacteria from the host epithelial cells. These host-derived glycans are utilized by bacteria that have adapted to this specific compound in the gastrointestinal tract. Our study investigated the close interaction between two distinct gut microbiota members known to use mucus glycans, the generalist Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron and the specialist Akkermansia muciniphila in vitro and in vivo. The in vitro study, in which mucin was the only nutrient source, indicated that B. thetaiotaomicron significantly upregulated genes coding for Glycoside Hydrolases (GHs) and mucin degradation activity when cultured in the presence of A. muciniphila. Furthermore, B. thetaiotaomicron significantly upregulated the expression of a gene encoding for membrane attack complex/perforin (MACPF) domain in co-culture. The transcriptome analysis also indicated that A. muciniphila was less affected by the environmental changes and was able to sustain its abundance in the presence of B. thetaiotaomicron while increasing the expression of LPS core biosynthesis activity encoding genes (O-antigen ligase, Lipid A and Glycosyl transferases) as well as ABC transporters. Using germ-free mice colonized with B. thetaiotaomicron and/or A. muciniphila, we observed a more general glycan degrading profile in B. thetaiotaomicron while the expression profile of A. muciniphila was not significantly affected when colonizing together, indicating that two different nutritional niches were established in mice gut. Thus, our results indicate that a mucin degrading generalist adapts to its changing environment, depending on available carbohydrates while a mucin degrading specialist adapts by coping with competing microorganism through upregulation of defense related genes.
  • Kort, Remco; Westerik, Nieke; Serrano, L. Mariela; Douillard, Francois P.; Gottstein, Willi; Mukisa, Ivan M.; Tuijn, Coosje J.; Basten, Lisa; Hafkamp, Bert; Meijer, Wilco C.; Teusink, Bas; de Vos, Willem M.; Reid, Gregor; Sybesma, Wilbert (2015)
    Background: The lactic acid bacterium Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG is the most studied probiotic bacterium with proven health benefits upon oral intake, including the alleviation of diarrhea. The mission of the Yoba for Life foundation is to provide impoverished communities in Africa increased access to Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG under the name Lactobacillus rhamnosus yoba 2012, world's first generic probiotic strain. We have been able to overcome the strain's limitations to grow in food matrices like milk, by formulating a dried starter consortium with Streptococcus thermophilus that enables the propagation of both strains in milk and other food matrices. The affordable seed culture is used by people in resource-poor communities. Results: We used S. thermophilus C106 as an adjuvant culture for the propagation of L. rhamnosus yoba 2012 in a variety of fermented foods up to concentrations, because of its endogenous proteolytic activity, ability to degrade lactose and other synergistic effects. Subsequently, L. rhamnosus could reach final titers of 1E+09 CFU ml(-1), which is sufficient to comply with the recommended daily dose for probiotics. The specific metabolic interactions between the two strains were derived from the full genome sequences of L. rhamnosus GG and S. thermophilus C106. The piliation of the L. rhamnosus yoba 2012, required for epithelial adhesion and inflammatory signaling in the human host, was stable during growth in milk for two rounds of fermentation. Sachets prepared with the two strains, yoba 2012 and C106, retained viability for at least 2 years. Conclusions: A stable dried seed culture has been developed which facilitates local and low-cost production of a wide range of fermented foods that subsequently act as delivery vehicles for beneficial bacteria to communities in east Africa.
  • Laht, Mailis; Karkman, Antti; Voolaid, Veiko; Ritz, Christian; Tenson, Tanel; Virta, Marko; Kisand, Veljo (2014)
  • Abrego, Nerea; Roslin, Tomas; Huotari, Tea; Tack, Ayco J. M.; Lindahl, Bjorn D.; Tikhonov, Gleb; Somervuo, Panu; Schmidt, Niels Martin; Ovaskainen, Otso (2020)
    Understanding the role of interspecific interactions in shaping ecological communities is one of the central goals in community ecology. In fungal communities, measuring interspecific interactions directly is challenging because these communities are composed of large numbers of species, many of which are unculturable. An indirect way of assessing the role of interspecific interactions in determining community structure is to identify the species co-occurrences that are not constrained by environmental conditions. In this study, we investigated co-occurrences among root-associated fungi, asking whether fungi co-occur more or less strongly than expected based on the environmental conditions and the host plant species examined. We generated molecular data on root-associated fungi of five plant species evenly sampled along an elevational gradient at a high arctic site. We analysed the data using a joint species distribution modelling approach that allowed us to identify those co-occurrences that could be explained by the environmental conditions and the host plant species, as well as those co-occurrences that remained unexplained and thus more probably reflect interactive associations. Our results indicate that not only negative but also positive interactions play an important role in shaping microbial communities in arctic plant roots. In particular, we found that mycorrhizal fungi are especially prone to positively co-occur with other fungal species. Our results bring new understanding to the structure of arctic interaction networks by suggesting that interactions among root-associated fungi are predominantly positive.
  • Zhao, Ke; Li, Jing; Shen, Meiling; Chen, Qiang; Liu, Maoke; Ao, Xiaolin; Liao, Decong; Gu, Yunfu; Xu, Kaiwei; Ma, Menggen; Yu, Xiumei; Xiang, Quanju; Chen, Ji; Zhang, Xiaoping; Penttinen, Petri (2018)
    Many actinobacteria produce secondary metabolites that include antimicrobial compounds. Since most of the actinobacteria cannot be cultivated, their antimicrobial potential awaits to be revealed. We hypothesized that the actinobacterial endophyte communities inside Melia toosendan (Chinaberry) tree are diverse, include strains with antimicrobial activity, and that antimicrobial activity can be detected using a cultivation independent approach and co-occurrence analysis. We isolated and identified actinobacteria from Chinaberry, tested their antimicrobial activities, and characterized the communities using amplicon sequencing and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis as cultivation independent methods. Most of the isolates were identified as Streptomyces spp., whereas based on amplicon sequencing the most abundant OTU was assigned to Rhodococcus, and Tomitella was the most diverse genus. Out of the 135 isolates, 113 inhibited the growth of at least one indicator organism. Six out of the 7577 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) matched 46 cultivated isolates. Only three OTUs, Streptomyces OTU4, OTU11, and OTU26, and their corresponding isolate groups were available for comparing co-occurrences and antimicrobial activity. Streptomyces OTU4 correlated negatively with a high number of OTUs, and the isolates corresponding to Streptomyces OTU4 had high antimicrobial activity. However, for the other two OTUs and their corresponding isolate groups there was no clear relation between the numbers of negative correlations and antimicrobial activity. Thus, the applicability of co-occurrence analysis in detecting antimicrobially active actinobacteria could not be proven.
  • Zhao, Ke; Li, Jing; Zhang, Xiaoyue; Chen, Qiang; Liu, Maoke; Ao, Xiaolin; Gu, Yunfu; Liao, Decong; Xu, Kaiwei; Ma, Monggeng; Yu, Xiumei; Xiang, Quanju; Chen, Ji; Zhang, Xiaoping; Penttinen, Petri (2018)
    Many of the plant associated microbes may directly and indirectly contribute to plant growth and stress resistance. Our aim was to assess the plant growth-promoting and antimicrobial activities of actinobacteria isolated from Glycyrrhiza inflata Bat. plants to find strains that could be applied in agricultural industry, for example in reclaiming saline soils. We isolated 36 and 52 strains that showed morphological characteristics of actinobacteria from one year old and three year old G. inflata plants, respectively. Based on 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis, the strains represented ten actinobacterial genera. Most of the strains had plant growth promoting characteristics in vitro, tolerated 200 mM NaCl and inhibited the growth of at least one indicator organism. The eight selected Streptomyces strains increased the germination rate of G. inflata seeds under salt stress. In addition, the four best seed germination promoters promoted the growth of G. inflata in vivo. The best promoters of G. inflata growth, strains SCAU5283 and SCAU5215, inhibited a wide range of indicator organisms, and may thus be considered as promising candidates to be applied in inoculating G. inflata.
  • Ouwerkerk, Janneke P.; van der Ark, Kees C. H.; Davids, Mark; Claassens, Nico J.; Finestra, Teresa Robert; de Vos, Willem M.; Belzer, Clara (2016)
    Akkermansia muciniphila colonizes the mucus layer of the gastrointestinal tract, where the organism can be exposed to the oxygen that diffuses from epithelial cells. To understand how A. muciniphila is able to survive and grow at this oxic-anoxic interface, its oxygen tolerance and response and reduction capacities were studied. A. muciniphila was found to be oxygen tolerant. On top of this, under aerated conditions, A. muciniphila showed significant oxygen reduction capacities and its growth rate and yield were increased compared to those seen under strict anaerobic conditions. Transcriptome analysis revealed an initial oxygen stress response upon exposure to oxygen. Thereafter, genes related to respiration were expressed, including those coding for the cytochrome bd complex, which can function as a terminal oxidase. The functionality of A. muciniphila cytochrome bd genes was proven by successfully complementing cytochrome-deficient Escherichia coli strain ECOM4. We conclude that A. muciniphila can use oxygen when it is present at nanomolar concentrations. IMPORTANCE This article explains how Akkermansia muciniphila, previously described as a strictly anaerobic bacterium, is able to tolerate and even benefit from low levels of oxygen. Interestingly, we measured growth enhancement of A. muciniphila and changes in metabolism as a result of the oxygen exposure. In this article, we discuss similarities and differences of this oxygen-responsive mechanism with respect to those of other intestinal anaerobic isolates. Taken together, we think that these are valuable data that indicate how anaerobic intestinal colonizing bacteria can exploit low levels of oxygen present in the mucus layer and that our results have direct relevance for applicability, as addition of low oxygen concentrations could benefit the in vitro growth of certain anaerobic organisms.
  • Hänninen, Arno; Toivonen, Raine; Pöysti, Sakari; Belzer, Clara; Plovier, Hubert; Ouwerkerk, Janneke P.; Emani, Rohini; Cani, Patrice D.; De Vos, Willem M. (2018)
    Objective Intestinal microbiota is implicated in the pathogenesis of autoimmune type 1 diabetes in humans and in non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice, but evidence on its causality and on the role of individual microbiota members is limited. We investigated if different diabetes incidence in two NOD colonies was due to microbiota differences and aimed to identify individual microbiota members with potential significance. Design We profiled intestinal microbiota between two NOD mouse colonies showing high or low diabetes incidence by 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing and colonised the high-incidence colony with the microbiota of the low-incidence colony. Based on unaltered incidence, we identified a few taxa which were not effectively transferred and thereafter, transferred experimentally one of these to test its potential significance. Results Although the high-incidence colony adopted most microbial taxa present in the low-incidence colony, diabetes incidence remained unaltered. Among the few taxa which were not transferred, Akkermansia muciniphila was identified. As A. muciniphila abundancy is inversely correlated to the risk of developing type 1 diabetes-related autoantibodies, we transferred A. muciniphila experimentally to the high-incidence colony. A. muciniphila transfer promoted mucus production and increased expression of antimicrobial peptide Reg3., outcompeted Ruminococcus torques from the microbiota, lowered serum endotoxin levels and islet toll-like receptor expression, promoted regulatory immunity and delayed diabetes development. Conclusion Transfer of the whole microbiota may not reduce diabetes incidence despite a major change in gut microbiota, but single symbionts such as A. muciniphila with beneficial metabolic and immune signalling effects may reduce diabetes incidence when administered as a probiotic.
  • Kostopoulos, Ioannis; Elzinga, Janneke; Ottman, Noora; Klievink, Jay T.; Blijenberg, Bernadet; Aalvink, Steven; Boeren, Sjef; Mank, Marko; Knol, Jan; de Vos, Willem M.; Belzer, Clara (2020)
    Akkermansia muciniphila is a well-studied anaerobic bacterium specialized in mucus degradation and associated with human health. Because of the structural resemblance of mucus glycans and free human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs), we studied the ability of A. muciniphila to utilize human milk oligosaccharides. We found that A. muciniphila was able to grow on human milk and degrade HMOs. Analyses of the proteome of A. muciniphila indicated that key-glycan degrading enzymes were expressed when the bacterium was grown on human milk. Our results display the functionality of the key-glycan degrading enzymes (alpha -l-fucosidases, beta -galactosidases, exo-alpha -sialidases and beta -acetylhexosaminidases) to degrade the HMO-structures 2 ' -FL, LNT, lactose, and LNT2. The hydrolysation of the host-derived glycan structures allows A. muciniphila to promote syntrophy with other beneficial bacteria, contributing in that way to a microbial ecological network in the gut. Thus, the capacity of A. muciniphila to utilize human milk will enable its survival in the early life intestine and colonization of the mucosal layer in early life, warranting later life mucosal and metabolic health.
  • Lindfors, Nina; Geurts, Jan; Drago, Lorenzo; Arts, J. J.; Juutilainen, Vesa; Hyvönen, Pekka; Suda, Arnold J.; Domenico, Aloj; Artiaco, Stefano; Alizadeh, Chingiz; Brychcy, Adrian; Bialecki, Jertzy; Romano, Carlo L. (Springer International Publishing AG, 2017)
    Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
    Osteomyelitis is an infectious process in bone that occasionally leads to bone destruction. Traditionally, the surgical treatment procedure is performed in combination with systemic and local antibiotics as a two-stage procedure that uses autograft or allograft bone for filling of the cavitary defect. Bioactive glass (BAG-S53P4) is a bone substitute with proven antibacterial and bone bonding properties. One hundred and sixteen patients who had verified chronic osteomyelitis was treated using BAG-S53P4 as part of the treatment. Most of the patients had previously undergone numerous procedures, sometimes for decades. A register of patient data obtained from 11 centers from Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Azerbaijan and Poland was set-up and continuously maintained at Helsinki University Central Hospital. The location of the osteomyelitis was mainly in the tibia followed by the femur and then the calcaneus. The median age of the patients was 48 years (15-87). The patients were either treated according to a one-stage procedure without local antibiotics (85 %) or by a two-stage procedure using antibiotic beads in the first procedure (15 %). The minimum follow-up was 1 year (12-95 months, median 31). The cure rate was 104/116, the total success rate 90 % and most of the patients showed a rapid recovery. The study shows that (BAG-S53P4) can be used in a one-stage procedure in treatment of osteomyelitis with excellent results.
  • Helfenstein, Andreas; Vahermo, Mikko Martti Antero; Nawrot, Dorota Anna; Demirci, Fatih; İşcan, Gökalp; Krogerus, Sara; Yli-Kauhaluoma, Jari Tapani; Moreira, Vânia M.; Tammela, Päivi Sirpa Marjaana (2017)
    Abietic and dehydroabietic acid are interesting diterpenes with a highly diverse repertoire of associated bioactivities. They have, among others, shown antibacterial and antifungal activity, potentially valuable in the struggle against the increasing antimicrobial resistance and imminent antibiotic shortage. In this paper, we describe the synthesis of a set of 9 abietic and dehydroabietic acid derivatives containing amino acid side chains and their in vitro antimicrobial profiling against a panel of human pathogenic microbial strains. Furthermore, their in vitro cytotoxicity against mammalian cells was evaluated. The experimental results showed that the most promising compound was 10 [methyl N-(abiet-8,11, 13-trien-18-yl)-D-serinate], with an MIC90 of 60 mu g/mL against Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923, and 8 mu g/mL against methicillin-resistant S. aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis and Streptococcus mitis. The IC50 value for compound 10 against Balb/c 3T3 cells was 45 mu g/mL. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Tiedje, James M.; Wang , Fang; Manaia, Celia M.; Virta, Marko; Sheng, Hongjie; Ma, Liping; Zhang , Tong; Topp, Edward (2019)
    Antibiotic resistance and its environmental component are gaining more attention as part of combating the growing healthcare crisis. The One Health framework, promulgated by many global health agencies, recognizes that antimicrobial resistance is a truly inter-domain problem in which human health, animal agriculture, and the environment are the core and interrelated components. This prospectus presents the status and issues relevant to the environmental component of antibiotic resistance, namely, the needs for advancing surveillance methodology: the environmental reservoirs and sources of resistance, namely, urban wastewater treatment plants, aquaculture production systems, soil receiving manure and biosolid, and the atmosphere which includes longer range dispersal. Recently, much work has been done describing antibiotic resistance genes in various environments; now quantitative, mechanistic, and hypothesis-driven studies are needed to identify practices that reduce real risks and maintain the effectiveness of our current antibiotics as long as possible. Advanced deployable detection methods for antibiotic resistance in diverse environmental samples are needed in order to provide the surveillance information to identify risks and define barriers that can reduce risks. Also needed are practices that reduce antibiotic use and thereby reduce selection for resistance, as well as practices that limit the dispersal of or destroy antibiotic-resistant bacteria or their resistance genes that are feasible for these varied environmental domains.
  • Parnanen, Katariina M. M.; Narciso-da-Rocha, Carlos; Kneis, David; Berendonk, Thomas U.; Cacace, Damiano; Do, Thi Thuy; Elpers, Christian; Fatta-Kassinos, Despo; Henriques, Isabel; Jaeger, Thomas; Karkman, Antti; Luis Martinez, Jose; Michael, Stella G.; Michael-Kordatou, Irene; O'Sullivan, Kristin; Rodriguez-Mozaz, Sara; Schwartz, Thomas; Sheng, Hongjie; Sorum, Henning; Stedtfeld, Robert D.; Tiedje, James M.; Varela Della Giustina, Saulo; Walsh, Fiona; Vaz-Moreira, Ivone; Virta, Marko; Manaia, Celia M. (2019)
    Integrated antibiotic resistance (AR) surveillance is one of the objectives of the World Health Organization global action plan on antimicrobial resistance. Urban wastewater treatment plants (UWTPs) are among the most important receptors and sources of environmental AR. On the basis of the consistent observation of an increasing north-to-south clinical AR prevalence in Europe, this study compared the influent and final effluent of 12 UWTPs located in seven countries (Portugal, Spain, Ireland, Cyprus, Germany, Finland, and Norway). Using highly parallel quantitative polymerase chain reaction, we analyzed 229 resistance genes and 25 mobile genetic elements. This first trans-Europe surveillance showed that UWTP AR profiles mirror the AR gradient observed in clinics. Antibiotic use, environmental temperature, and UWTP size were important factors related with resistance persistence and spread in the environment. These results highlight the need to implement regular surveillance and control measures, which may need to be appropriate for the geographic regions.
  • Hiltunen, Teppo; Virta, Marko; Laine, Anna-Liisa (2017)
    The legacy of the use and misuse of antibiotics in recent decades has left us with a global public health crisis: antibiotic-resistant bacteria are on the rise, making it harder to treat infections. At the same time, evolution of antibiotic resistance is probably the best-documented case of contemporary evolution. To date, research on antibiotic resistance has largely ignored the complexity of interactions that bacteria engage in. However, in natural populations, bacteria interact with other species; for example, competition and grazing are import interactions influencing bacterial population dynamics. Furthermore, antibiotic leakage to natural environments can radically alter bacterial communities. Overall, we argue that eco-evolutionary feedback loops in microbial communities can be modified by residual antibiotics and evolution of antibiotic resistance. The aim of this review is to connect some of the well-established key concepts in evolutionary biology and recent advances in the study of eco-evolutionary dynamics to research on antibiotic resistance. We also identify some key knowledge gaps related to eco-evolutionary dynamics of antibiotic resistance, and review some of the recent technical advantages in molecular microbiology that offer new opportunities for tackling these questions. Finally, we argue that using the full potential of evolutionary theory and active communication across the different fields is needed for solving this global crisis more efficiently. This article is part of the themed issue 'Human influences on evolution, and the ecological and societal consequences'.
  • Galarza, Juan A.; Murphy, Liam; Mappes, Johanna (2021)
    Antibiotics have long been used in the raising of animals for agricultural, industrial or laboratory use. The use of subtherapeutic doses in diets of terrestrial and aquatic animals to promote growth is common and highly debated. Despite their vast application in animal husbandry, knowledge about the mechanisms behind growth promotion is minimal, particularly at the molecular level. Evidence from evolutionary research shows that immunocompetence is resource-limited, and hence expected to trade off with other resource-demanding processes, such as growth. Here, we ask if accelerated growth caused by antibiotics can be explained by genome-wide trade-offs between growth and costly immunocompetence. We explored this idea by injecting broad-spectrum antibiotics into wood tiger moth (Arctia plantaginis) larvae during development. We follow several life-history traits and analyse gene expression (RNA-seq) and bacterial (r16S) profiles. Moths treated with antibiotics show a substantial depletion of bacterial taxa, faster growth rate, a significant downregulation of genes involved in immunity and significant upregulation of growth-related genes. These results suggest that the presence of antibiotics may aid in up-keeping the immune system. Hence, by reducing the resource load of this costly process, bodily resources may be reallocated to other key processes such as growth.
  • Topp, Edward; Larsson, D. G. Joakim; Miller, Daniel N.; Van den Eede, Chris; Virta, Marko P. J. (2018)
    A roundtable discussion held at the fourth International Symposium on the Environmental Dimension of Antibiotic Resistance (EDAR4) considered key issues concerning the impact on the environment of antibiotic use in agriculture and aquaculture, and emissions from antibiotic manufacturing. The critical control points for reducing emissions of antibiotics from agriculture are antibiotic stewardship and the pre-treatment of manure and sludge to abate antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Antibiotics are sometimes added to fish and shellfish production sites via the feed, representing a direct route of contamination of the aquatic environment. Vaccination reduces the need for antibiotic use in high value (e.g. salmon) production systems. Consumer and regulatory pressure will over time contribute to reducing the emission of very high concentrations of antibiotics from manufacturing. Research priorities include the development of technologies, practices and incentives that will allow effective reduction in antibiotic use, together with evidence-based standards for antibiotic residues in effluents. All relevant stakeholders need to be aware of the threat of antimicrobial resistance and apply best practice in agriculture, aquaculture and pharmaceutical manufacturing in order to mitigate antibiotic resistance development. Research and policy development on antimicrobial resistance mitigation must be cognizant of the varied challenges facing high and low income countries.
  • Sali, Virpi Tuulikki; Nykäsenoja, Suvi; Heikinheimo, Annamari; Hälli, Outi; Tirkkonen, Taneli; Heinonen, Mari (2021)
    In pigs, antimicrobial use (AMU) practices vary at different production phases between herds and between countries. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) development is linked to AMU but recognized as a multi-factorial issue, and thus, any information increasing knowledge of AMU and AMR relationships is valuable. We described AMU and screened the carriage of different AMR phenotypes of indicator Escherichia coli in 25 selected Finnish piglet-producing and finishing herds that formed nine birth-to-slaughter production lines. Moreover, we studied associations between AMU and AMR in both herd types and throughout the production line. Treatment records were obtained from the national Sikava register for 1year, and AMU was quantified as mg/PCU (population correction unit) and TIs (treatment incidences). For phenotypic antimicrobial susceptibility testing, ten pen-level pooled feces samples (n=250) in each herd were collected from one room representing the oldest weaned piglets or the oldest finishing pigs. Majority of the medications (96.8%) was administered parenterally, and penicillin was the predominant antimicrobial in every herd. More different antimicrobial substances were used in piglet-producing than in finishing herds (median 5 and 1, respectively, p
  • Malinen, Erja; Krogius-Kurikka, Lotta Kaisa; Lyra, Anna; Nikkila, Janne; Jaaskelainen, Anne; Rinttila, Teemu; Vilpponen-Salmela, Terttu; von Wright, Atte Johannes; Palva, Airi (2010)
  • Tienaho, Jenni; Karonen, Maarit; Muilu-Mäkelä, Riina; Kaseva, Janne; de Pedro, Nuria; Vicente, Francisca; Genilloud, Olga; Aapola, Ulla; Uusitalo, Hannu; Vuolteenaho, Katriina; Franzen, Robert; Wähälä, Kristiina; Karp, Matti; Santala, Ville; Sarjala, Tytti (2020)
    Despite the continuing interest in various plant and natural products, only a small portion of the biologically active compounds from nature has been discovered and exploited. In this study, antioxidant and antibacterial properties of aqueous fractions of three endophytic fungi isolated from the roots of 8-year-old Scots pines (Pinus sylvestris) growing on a drained peatland were investigated. The endophytic fungi species were Acephala applanata, Phialocephala fortinii, and Humicolopsis cephalosporioides/Coniochaeta mutabilis. The bioactivities were examined using hydrogen peroxide scavenging and oxygen radical absorbance capacity tests as well as sensitive Escherichia coli-based biosensors, which produce a luminescent signal in the presence of substances with oxidative or genotoxic properties. In addition, cell models for Parkinson's disease, age-related macular degeneration, and osteoarthritis were used to evaluate the potential for pharmaceutical applications. The aqueous extracts of fungi and 19 out of 42 fractions were found to be active in one or more of the tests used. However, no activity was found in the age-related macular degeneration and osteoarthritis cell model tests. Additionally, bioactivity data was connected with metabolites putatively annotated, and out of 330 metabolites, 177 were interesting in view of the bioactivities investigated. A majority of these were peptides and all three fungal species shared a highly similar metabolome. We propose that Scots pine endophytic fungi are a rich source of interesting metabolites, and synergistic effects may cause the bioactivities, as they were found to vary after the fractionation process.
  • Skurnik, Mikael (2022)
    Increasing antibiotic resistance numbers force both scientists and politicians to tackle the problem, and preferably without any delay. The application of bacteriophages as precision therapy to treat bacterial infections, phage therapy, has received increasing attention during the last two decades. While it looks like phage therapy is here to stay, there is still a lot to do. Medicine regulatory authorities are working to deliver clear instructions to carry out phage therapy. Physicians need to get more practical experience on treatments with phages. In this opinion article I try to place phage therapy in the context of the health care system and state that the use phages for precision treatments will require a seamless chain of events from the patient to the phage therapy laboratory to allow for the immediate application of phages therapeutically. It is not likely that phages will replace antibiotics, however, they will be valuable in the treatment of infections caused by multidrug resistant bacteria. Antibiotics will nevertheless remain the main treatment for a majority of infections.