Browsing by Subject "BACTERIAL"

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  • Salonen, Iines S.; Chronopoulou, Panagiota-Myrsini; Nomaki, Hidetaka; Langlet, Dewi; Tsuchiya, Masashi; Koho, Karoliina A. (2021)
    Foraminifera are unicellular eukaryotes that are an integral part of benthic fauna in many marine ecosystems, including the deep sea, with direct impacts on benthic biogeochemical cycles. In these systems, different foraminiferal species are known to have a distinct vertical distribution, i.e., microhabitat preference, which is tightly linked to the physico-chemical zonation of the sediment. Hence, foraminifera are well-adapted to thrive in various conditions, even under anoxia. However, despite the ecological and biogeochemical significance of foraminifera, their ecology remains poorly understood. This is especially true in terms of the composition and diversity of their microbiome, although foraminifera are known to harbor diverse endobionts, which may have a significant meaning to each species' survival strategy. In this study, we used 16S rRNA gene metabarcoding to investigate the microbiomes of five different deep-sea benthic foraminiferal species representing differing microhabitat preferences. The microbiomes of these species were compared intra- and inter-specifically, as well as with the surrounding sediment bacterial community. Our analysis indicated that each species was characterized with a distinct, statistically different microbiome that also differed from the surrounding sediment community in terms of diversity and dominant bacterial groups. We were also able to distinguish specific bacterial groups that seemed to be strongly associated with particular foraminiferal species, such as the family Marinilabiliaceae for Chilostomella ovoidea and the family Hyphomicrobiaceae for Bulimina subornata and Bulimina striata. The presence of bacterial groups that are tightly associated to a certain foraminiferal species implies that there may exist unique, potentially symbiotic relationships between foraminifera and bacteria that have been previously overlooked. Furthermore, the foraminifera contained chloroplast reads originating from different sources, likely reflecting trophic preferences and ecological characteristics of the different species. This study demonstrates the potential of 16S rRNA gene metabarcoding in resolving the microbiome composition and diversity of eukaryotic unicellular organisms, providing unique in situ insights into enigmatic deep-sea ecosystems.
  • Horesh, Gal; Blackwell, Grace A.; Tonkin-Hill, Gerry; Corander, Jukka; Heinz, Eva; Thomson, Nicholas R. (2021)
    Escherichia coli is a highly diverse organism that includes a range of commensal and pathogenic variants found across a range of niches and worldwide. In addition to causing severe intestinal and extraintestinal disease, E. coli is considered a priority pathogen due to high levels of observed drug resistance. The diversity in the E. coli population is driven by high genome plasticity and a very large gene pool. All these have made E. coli one of the most well- studied organisms, as well as a commonly used laboratory strain. Today, there are thousands of sequenced E. coli genomes stored in public databases. While data is widely available, accessing the information in order to perform analyses can still be a challenge. Collecting relevant available data requires accessing different sources, where data may be stored in a range of formats, and often requires further manipulation and processing to apply various analyses and extract useful information. In this study, we collated and intensely curated a collection of over 10 000 E. coli and Shigella genomes to provide a single, uniform, high- quality dataset. Shigella were included as they are considered specialized pathovars of E. coli. We provide these data in a number of easily accessible formats that can be used as the foundation for future studies addressing the biological differences between E. coli lineages and the distribution and flow of genes in the E. coli population at a high resolution. The analysis we present emphasizes our lack of understanding of the true diversity of the E. coli species, and the biased nature of our current understanding of the genetic diversity of such a key pathogen.
  • Kneis, David; Hiltunen, Teppo; Hess, Stefanie (2019)
    Horizontal gene transfer is an essential component of bacterial evolution. Quantitative information on transfer rates is particularly useful to better understand and possibly predict the spread of antimicrobial resistance. A variety of methods has been proposed to estimate the rates of plasmid-mediated gene transfer all of which require substantial labor input or financial resources. A cheap but reliable method with high-throughput capabilities is yet to be developed in order to better capture the variability of plasmid transfer rates, e.g. among strains or in response to environmental cues. We explored a new approach to the culture-based estimation of plasmid transfer rates in liquid media allowing for a large number of parallel experiments. It deviates from established approaches in the fact that it exploits data on the absence/presence of transconjugant cells in the wells of a well plate observed over time. Specifically, the binary observations are compared to the probability of transconjugant detection as predicted by a dynamic model. The bulk transfer rate is found as the best-fit value of a designated model parameter. The feasibility of the approach is demonstrated on mating experiments where the RP4 plasmid is transfered from Serratia marcescens to several Escherichia coil recipients. The methods uncertainty is explored via split sampling and virtual experiments.
  • Sloan, Tim J.; Jalanka, Jonna; Major, Giles A. D.; Krishnasamy, Shanthi; Pritchard, Sue; Abdelrazig, Salah; Korpela, Katri; Singh, Gulzar; Mulvenna, Claire; Hoad, Caroline L.; Marciani, Luca; Barrett, David A.; Lomer, Miranda C. E.; de Vos, Willem M.; Gowland, Penny A.; Spiller, Robin C. (2018)
    Background & aims Ingestion of poorly digested, fermentable carbohydrates (fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides and polyols; FODMAPs) have been implicated in exacerbating intestinal symptoms and the reduction of intake with symptom alleviation. Restricting FODMAP intake is believed to relieve colonic distension by reducing colonic fermentation but this has not been previously directly assessed. We performed a randomised controlled trial comparing the effect of a low FODMAP diet combined with either maltodextrin or oligofructose on colonic contents, metabolites and microbiota. Methods A parallel randomised controlled trial in healthy adults (n = 37). All subjects followed a low FODMAP diet for a week and supplemented their diet with either maltodextrin (MD) or oligofructose (OF) 7g twice daily. Fasted assessments performed pre- and post-diet included MRI to assess colonic volume, breath testing for hydrogen and methane, and stool collection for microbiota analysis. Results The low FODMAP diet was associated with a reduction in Bifidobacterium and breath hydrogen, which was reversed by oligofructose supplementation. The difference in breath hydrogen between groups post-intervention was 27ppm (95% CI 7 to 50, P Conclusion A low FODMAP diet reduces total bacterial count and gas production with little effect on colonic volume.
  • van der Lugt, Benthe; van Beek, Adriaan A.; Aalvink, Steven; Meijer, Ben; Sovran, Bruno; Vermeij, Wilbert P.; Brandt, Renata M. C.; de Vos, Willem M.; Savelkoul, Huub F. J.; Steegenga, Wilma T.; Belzer, Clara (2019)
    BackgroundThe use of Akkermansia muciniphila as potential therapeutic intervention is receiving increasing attention. Health benefits attributed to this bacterium include an improvement of metabolic disorders and exerting anti-inflammatory effects. The abundance of A. muciniphila is associated with a healthy gut in early mid- and later life. However, the effects of A. muciniphila on a decline in intestinal health during the aging process are not investigated yet. We supplemented accelerated aging Ercc1(-/7) mice with A. muciniphila for 10weeks and investigated histological, transcriptional and immunological aspects of intestinal health.ResultsThe thickness of the colonic mucus layer increased about 3-fold after long-term A. muciniphila supplementation and was even significantly thicker compared to mice supplemented with Lactobacillus plantarum WCFS1. Colonic gene expression profiles pointed towards a decreased expression of genes and pathways related to inflammation and immune function, and suggested a decreased presence of B cells in colon. Total B cell frequencies in spleen and mesenteric lymph nodes were not altered after A. muciniphila supplementation. Mature and immature B cell frequencies in bone marrow were increased, whereas B cell precursors were unaffected. These findings implicate that B cell migration rather than production was affected by A. muciniphila supplementation. Gene expression profiles in ileum pointed toward a decrease in metabolic- and immune-related processes and antimicrobial peptide production after A. muciniphila supplementation. Besides, A. muciniphila decreased the frequency of activated CD80(+)CD273(-) B cells in Peyer's patches. Additionally, the increased numbers of peritoneal resident macrophages and a decrease in Ly6C(int) monocyte frequencies in spleen and mesenteric lymph nodes add evidence for the potentially anti-inflammatory properties of A. muciniphila.ConclusionsAltogether, we show that supplementation with A. muciniphila prevented the age-related decline in thickness of the colonic mucus layer and attenuated inflammation and immune-related processes at old age. This study implies that A. muciniphila supplementation can contribute to a promotion of healthy aging.
  • Korpela, Katri; Salonen, Anne; Saxen, Harri; Nikkonen, Anne; Peltola, Ville; Jaakkola, Tytti; de Vos, Willem; Kolho, Kaija-Leena (2020)
    BACKGROUND The effects of antibiotics on infant gut microbiota are unclear. We hypothesized that the use of common antibiotics results in long-term aberration in gut microbiota. METHODS Antibiotic-naive infants were prospectively recruited when hospitalized because of a respiratory syncytial virus infection. Composition of fecal microbiota was compared between those receiving antibiotics during follow-up (prescribed at clinicians' discretion because of complications such as otitis media) and those with no antibiotic exposure. Fecal sampling started on day 1, then continued at 2-day intervals during the hospital stay, and at 1, 3 and 6 months at home. RESULTS One hundred and sixty-three fecal samples from 40 patients (median age 2.3 months at baseline; 22 exposed to antibiotics) were available for microbiota analyses. A single course of amoxicillin or macrolide resulted in aberration of infant microbiota characterized by variation in the abundance of bifidobacteria, enterobacteria and clostridia, lasting for several months. Recovery from the antibiotics was associated with an increase in clostridia. Occasionally, antibiotic use resulted in microbiota profiles associated with inflammatory conditions. CONCLUSIONS Antibiotic use in infants modifies especially bifidobacterial levels. Further studies are warranted whether administration of bifidobacteria will provide health benefits by normalizing the microbiota in infants receiving antibiotics.
  • Lindström, Stafva; Timonen, Sari; Sundström, Liselotte; Johansson, Helena (2019)
    Biotic and abiotic characteristics shape the microbial communities in the soil environment. Manipulation of soil, performed by ants when constructing their nests, radically changes the soil characteristics and creates a unique environment, which differs in its composition, frequency and abundance of microbial taxa, from those in the reference soils. We sampled nests of the mound-building ant Formica exsecta, and the surrounding reference soils over a three-month period, and generated NGS (Illumina MiSeq), and T-RFLP data of the bacterial and fungal communities. We used ordination techniques and network analysis to disclose the community structure, and we assessed the variation in diversity, evenness and enrichment of taxa between the two environments. We also used indicator analysis to identify the potential core microbiome of the nests. Our results show that the bacterial and fungal communities, in the rigorously curated nest environment, are significantly different from those in the reference soils, in terms of community structure and enrichment of characteristic indicator taxa. We demonstrate that the nests represent a niche, where microbial species can adapt and diverge from the communities in the surrounding soils. Our findings contribute to our understanding of the composition and function of microbiomes in fragmented habitats.
  • Simpanen, Suvi; Dahl, Mari; Gerlach, Magdalena; Mikkonen, Anu; Malk, Vuokko; Mikola, Juha; Romantschuk, Martin (2016)
    The use of in situ techniques in soil remediation is still rare in Finland and most other European countries due to the uncertainty of the effectiveness of the techniques especially in cold regions and also due to their potential side effects on the environment. In this study, we compared the biostimulation, chemical oxidation, and natural attenuation treatments in natural conditions and pilot scale during a 16-month experiment. A real fuel spill accident was used as a model for experiment setup and soil contamination. We found that biostimulation significantly decreased the contaminant leachate into the water, including also the non-aqueous phase liquid (NAPL). The total NAPL leachate was 19 % lower in the biostimulation treatment that in the untreated soil and 34 % lower in the biostimulation than oxidation treatment. Soil bacterial growth and community changes were first observed due to the increased carbon content via oil amendment and later due to the enhanced nutrient content via biostimulation. Overall, the most effective treatment for fresh contaminated soil was biostimulation, which enhanced the biodegradation of easily available oil in the mobile phase and consequently reduced contaminant leakage through the soil. The chemical oxidation did not enhance soil cleanup and resulted in the mobilization of contaminants. Our results suggest that biostimulation can decrease or even prevent oil migration in recently contaminated areas and can thus be considered as a potentially safe in situ treatment also in groundwater areas.
  • Dusa, Filip; Chen, Wen; Witos, Joanna; Wiedmer, Susanne Kristina (2019)
    The importance of using biomimicking membranes for various biological applications is rising, as such models are relevant for imitating real organisms. In addition, biomimicking membranes are usually much more repeatable in preparation and easier to handle during analysis than real organisms or biological membranes. In this work, we developed a method for the adsorption of intact small unilamellar Escherichia coli (E. cols) vesicles (Z-average size of 73 nm) on SiO2 substrate material. We describe the adsorption process based on the use of two surface sensitive techniques, i.e., nanoplasmonic sensing (NPS) and quartz crystal microbalance (QCM). The acquired data show that the adsorption follows a two-step process. The first step is a slow adsorption of E coil vesicle aggregates held together by 5 mM of calcium (Z-average size of 531 nm). The Z-average of the aggregates decreased almost three times when the calcium concentration was decreased to 0.1 mM. This suggests that the aggregates were disassembling to some extent when calcium was removed from the system. With both techniques, i.e., NPS and QCM, we observed a second rapid adsorption step after the solution was changed to deionized water. In this second step, the aggregates started to fall apart as the calcium concentration dropped, and the released vesicles started to adsorb onto unoccupied spots at the SiO2 surface of the sensors. Extensive release of mass from the surface was confirmed by QCM, where it was reflected by a sharp increase of frequency, while NPS, due to its lower sensing depth of a few tens of nanometers, did not record such a change. Taken together, we have developed a protocol to form a supported vesicle layer (SVL) of E coli vesicles on SiO2 surface using sodium 4-(2-hydroxyethyppiperazine-1-ethanesulfonate buffer, thus enabling the preparation of E coli biomimicking SVLs for interaction studies of compounds of interest. The immobilization happens via a two-step adsorption process.
  • Jalanka, Jonna; Lam, Ching; Bennett, Andrew; Hartikainen, Anna; Crispie, Fiona; Finnegan, Laura A.; Cotter, Paul D.; Spiller, Robin (2021)
    Background/Aims Diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-D) has been previously associated with evidence of immune activation and altered microbiota. Our aim is to assess the effect of the anti-inflammatory agent, mesalazine, on inflammatory gene expression and microbiota composition in IBS-D. Methods We studied a subset of patients (n = 43) from a previously published 12-week radomized placebo-controlled trial of mesalazine. Mucosal biopsies were assessed by immunohistochemistry and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction for a range of markers of inflammation, altered permeability, and sensory receptors including Toll-like receptors (TLRs) at randomization after treatment. All biopsy data were compared to 21 healthy controls. Patient's stool microbiota composition was analysed through 16S ribosomal RNA sequencing. Results We found no evidence of increased immune activation compared to healthy controls. However, we did find increased expression of receptors in both sensory pathways and innate immune response including TLR4. Higher TLR4 expression was associated with greater urgency. TLR4 expression correlated strongly with the expression of the receptors bradykinin receptor B2, chemerin chemokine-like receptor 1, and transient receptor potential cation channel, subfamily A, member 1 as well as TLR4's downstream adaptor myeloid differentiation factor 88. Mesalazine had minimal effect on either gene expression or microbiota composition. Conclusions Biopsies from a well-characterized IBS-D cohort showed no substantial inflammation. Mesalazine has little effect on gene expression and its previous reported effect on fecal microbiota associated with much greater inflammation found in inflammatory bowel diseases is likely secondary to reduced inflammation. Increased expression of TLR4 and correlated receptors in IBS may mediate a general increase in sensitivity to external stimuli, particularly those that signal via the TLR system.
  • Virtanen, Seppo; Kalliala, Ilkka; Nieminen, Pekka; Salonen, Anne (2017)
    Background Molecular methods such as next-generation sequencing are actively being employed to characterize the vaginal microbiota in health and disease. Previous studies have focused on characterizing the biological variation in the microbiota, and less is known about how factors related to sampling contribute to the results. Our aim was to investigate the impact of a sampling device and anatomical sampling site on the quantitative and qualitative outcomes relevant for vaginal microbiota research. We sampled 10 Finnish women representing diverse clinical characteristics with flocked swabs, the Evalyn (R) self-sampling device, sterile plastic spatulas and a cervical brush that were used to collect samples from fornix, vaginal wall and cervix. Samples were compared on DNA and protein yield, bacterial load, and microbiota diversity and species composition based on Illumina MiSeq sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. We quantified the relative contributions of sampling variables versus intrinsic variables in the overall microbiota variation, and evaluated the microbiota profiles using several commonly employed metrics such as alpha and beta diversity as well as abundance of major bacterial genera and species. Results The total DNA yield was strongly dependent on the sampling device and to a lesser extent on the anatomical site of sampling. The sampling strategy did not affect the protein yield or the bacterial load. All tested sampling methods produced highly comparable microbiota profiles based on MiSeq sequencing. The sampling method explained only 2% (p-value = 0.89) of the overall microbiota variation, markedly surpassed by intrinsic factors such as clinical status (microscopy for bacterial vaginosis 53%, p = 0.0001), bleeding (19%, p = 0.0001), and the variation between subjects (11%, p-value 0.0001). Conclusions The results indicate that different sampling strategies yield comparable vaginal microbiota composition and diversity. Hence, past and future vaginal microbiota studies employing different sampling strategies should be comparable in the absence of other technical confounders. The Evalyn (R) self-sampling device performed equally well compared to samples taken by a clinician, and hence offers a good-quality microbiota sample without the need for a gynecological examination. The amount of collected sample as well as the DNA and protein yield varied across the sampling techniques, which may have practical implications for study design.
  • Jaakkola, Kaisa; Somervuo, Panu; Korkeala, Hannu (2015)
    Enteropathogenic Yersinia enterocolitica and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis are both etiological agents for intestinal infection known as yersiniosis, but their epidemiology and ecology bearmany differences. Swine are the only known reservoir for Y. enterocolitica 4/O:3 strains, which are the most common cause of human disease, while Y. pseudotuberculosis has been isolated from a variety of sources, including vegetables and wild animals. Infections caused by Y. enterocolitica mainly originate froms wine, but fresh produce has been the source for widespread Y. pseudotuberculosis outbreaks within recent decades. A comparative genomic hybridization analysis with a DNA microarray based on three Yersinia enterocolitica and four Yersinia pseudotuberculosis genomes was conducted to shed light on the genomic differences between enteropathogenic Yersinia. The hybridization results identified Y. pseudotuberculosis strains to carry operons linked with the uptake and utilization of substances not found in living animal tissues but present in soil, plants, and rotting flesh. Y. pseudotuberculosis also harbors a selection of type VI secretion systems targeting other bacteria and eukaryotic cells. These genetic traits are not found in Y. enterocolitica, and it appears that while Y. pseudotuberculosis has many tools beneficial for survival in varied environments, the Y. enterocolitica genome is more streamlined and adapted to their preferred animal reservoir.
  • Jouhten, Hanne; Ronkainen, Aki; Aakko, Juhani; Salminen, Seppo; Mattila, Eero; Arkkila, Perttu; Satokari, Reetta (2020)
    Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is an effective treatment for recurrentClostridioides difficileinfection (rCDI) and it's also considered for treating other indications. Metagenomic studies have indicated that commensal donor bacteria may colonize FMT recipients, but cultivation has not been employed to verify strain-level colonization. We combined molecular profiling ofBifidobacteriumpopulations with cultivation, molecular typing, and whole genome sequencing (WGS) to isolate and identify strains that were transferred from donors to recipients. SeveralBifidobacteriumstrains from two donors were recovered from 13 recipients during the 1-year follow-up period after FMT. The strain identities were confirmed by WGS and comparative genomics. Our results show that specific donor-derived bifidobacteria can colonize rCDI patients for at least 1 year, and thus FMT may have long-term consequences for the recipient's microbiota and health. Conceptually, we demonstrate that FMT trials combined with microbial profiling can be used as a platform for discovering and isolating commensal strains with proven colonization capacity for potential therapeutic use.
  • Hermes, Gerben D. A.; Eckermann, Henrik A.; de Vos, Willem M.; de Weerth, Carolina (2020)
    Entry to center-based childcare (CC) at three months of life can be an important challenge for infants as it includes major stressors such as long maternal separations and frequently changing caregivers. Stress and the new environment may in turn alter the composition of the gut microbiota with possible implications for future health outcomes. As part of an ongoing longitudinal study, we investigated whether CC, as compared to being cared for by the parents at home, alters the composition of the gut microbiota, while accounting for known covariates of the infant gut microbiota. Stool samples of infants who entered CC (n=49) and control infants (n=49) were obtained before and four weeks after CC entrance. Using Redundancy analysis, Random Forests and Bayesian linear models we found that infant gut microbiota was not affected in a uniform way by entry to CC. In line with the literature, breastfeeding, birth mode, age, and the presence of siblings were shown to significantly impact the microbial composition.
  • Witjes, Julia J.; Smits, Loek P.; Pekmez, Ceyda T.; Prodan, Andrei; Meijnikman, Abraham S.; Troelstra, Marian A.; Bouter, Kristien E. C.; Herrema, Hilde; Levin, Evgeni; Holleboom, Adriaan G.; Winkelmeijer, Maaike; Beuers, Ulrich H.; van Lienden, Krijn; Aron-Wisnewky, Judith; Mannisto, Ville; Bergman, Jacques J.; Runge, Jurgen H.; Nederveen, Aart J.; Dragsted, Lars O.; Konstanti, Prokopis; Zoetendal, Erwin G.; de Vos, Willem; Verheij, Joanne; Groen, Albert K.; Nieuwdorp, Max (2020)
    The intestinal microbiota has been linked to the development and prevalence of steatohepatitis in humans. Interestingly, steatohepatitis is significantly lower in individuals taking a plant-based, low-animal-protein diet, which is thought to be mediated by gut microbiota. However, data on causality between these observations in humans is scarce. In this regard, fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) using healthy donors is safe and is capable of changing microbial composition in human disease. We therefore performed a double-blind randomized controlled proof-of-principle study in which individuals with hepatic steatosis on ultrasound were randomized to two study arms: lean vegan donor (allogenic n = 10) or own (autologous n = 11) FMT. Both were performed three times at 8-week intervals. A liver biopsy was performed at baseline and after 24 weeks in every subject to determine histopathology (Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis Clinical Research Network) classification and changes in hepatic gene expression based on RNA sequencing. Secondary outcome parameters were changes in intestinal microbiota composition and fasting plasma metabolomics. We observed a trend toward improved necro-inflammatory histology, and found significant changes in expression of hepatic genes involved in inflammation and lipid metabolism following allogenic FMT. Intestinal microbial community structure changed following allogenic FMT, which was associated with changes in plasma metabolites as well as markers of .Conclusion:Allogenic FMT using lean vegan donors in individuals with hepatic steatosis shows an effect on intestinal microbiota composition, which is associated with beneficial changes in plasma metabolites and markers of steatohepatitis.
  • Aserse, Aregu Amsalu; Woyke, Tanja; Kyrpides, Nikos C.; Whitman, William B.; Lindström, Kristina (2017)
    Rhizobium aethiopicum sp. nov. is a newly proposed species within the genus Rhizobium. This species includes six rhizobial strains; which were isolated from root nodules of the legume plant Phaseolus vulgaris growing in soils of Ethiopia. The species fixes nitrogen effectively in symbiosis with the host plant P. vulgaris, and is composed of aerobic, Gram-negative staining, rod-shaped bacteria. The genome of type strain HBR26(T) of R. aethiopicum sp. nov. was one of the rhizobial genomes sequenced as a part of the DOE JGI 2014 Genomic Encyclopedia project designed for soil and plant-associated and newly described type strains. The genome sequence is arranged in 62 scaffolds and consists of 6,557,588 bp length, with a 61% G + C content and 6221 protein-coding and 86 RNAs genes. The genome of HBR26(T) contains repABC genes (plasmid replication genes) homologous to the genes found in five different Rhizobium etli CFN42(T) plasmids, suggesting that HBR26(T) may have five additional replicons other than the chromosome. In the genome of HBR26(T), the nodulation genes nodB, nodC, nodS, nodI, nodJ and nodD are located in the same module, and organized in a similar way as nod genes found in the genome of other known common bean-nodulating rhizobial species. nodA gene is found in a different scaffold, but it is also very similar to nodA genes of other bean-nodulating rhizobial strains. Though HBR26(T) is distinct on the phylogenetic tree and based on ANI analysis (the highest value 90.2% ANI with CFN42(T)) from other bean-nodulating species, these nod genes and most nitrogen-fixing genes found in the genome of HBR26(T) share high identity with the corresponding genes of known bean-nodulating rhizobial species (96-100% identity). This suggests that symbiotic genes might be shared between bean-nodulating rhizobia through horizontal gene transfer. R. aethiopicum sp. nov. was grouped into the genus Rhizobium but was distinct from all recognized species of that genus by phylogenetic analyses of combined sequences of the housekeeping genes recA and glnII. The closest reference type strains for HBR26(T) were R. etli CFN42(T) (94% similarity of the combined recA and glnII sequences) and Rhizobium bangladeshense BLR175(T) (93%). Genomic ANI calculation based on protein-coding genes also revealed that the closest reference strains were R. bangladeshense BLR175(T) and R. etli CFN42(T) with ANI values 91.8 and 90.2%, respectively. Nevertheless, the ANI values between HBR26(T) and BLR175(T) or CFN42(T) are far lower than the cutoff value of ANI (> = 96%) between strains in the same species, confirming that HBR26(T) belongs to a novel species. Thus, on the basis of phylogenetic, comparative genomic analyses and ANI results, we formally propose the creation of R. aethiopicum sp. nov. with strain HBR26(T) (= HAMBI 3550(T)= LMG 29711(T)) as the type strain. The genome assembly and annotation data is deposited in the DOE JGI portal and also available at European Nucleotide Archive under accession numbers FMAJ01000001-FMAJ01000062.
  • Blakstad, Elin W.; Korpela, Katri; Lee, Sindre; Nakstadl, Britt; Moltu, Sissel J.; Strommen, Kenneth; Ronnestad, Arild E.; Braekke, Kristin; Iversen, Per O.; de Vos, Willem M.; Drevon, Christian A. (2019)
    BACKGROUND: Promoting a healthy intestinal microbiota may have positive effects on short- and long-term outcomes in very low birth weight (VLBW; BW <1500 g) infants. Nutrient supply influences the intestinal microbiota. METHODS: Fifty VLBW infants were randomized to an intervention group receiving enhanced nutrient supply or a control group. Fecal samples from 45 infants collected between birth and discharge were analyzed using 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) amplicon sequencing. RESULTS: There was considerable individual variation in microbiota development. Microbial richness decreased towards discharge in the controls compared to the intervention group. In the intervention group, there was a greater increase in diversity among moderately/very preterm (MVP, gestational age >= 28 weeks) infants and a steeper decrease in relative Staphylococcus abundance in extremely preterm (EP, gestational age <28 weeks) infants as compared to controls. Relative Bifidobacterium abundance tended to increase more in MVP controls compared to the intervention group. Abundance of pathogens was not increased in the intervention group. Higher relative Bifidobacterium abundance was associated with improved weight gain. CONCLUSION: Nutrition may affect richness, diversity, and microbiota composition. There was no increase in relative abundance of pathogens among infants receiving enhanced nutrient supply. Favorable microbiota development was associated with improved weight gain.
  • Mustikka, Minna P.; Grönthal, Thomas S. C.; Pietilä, Elina M. (2020)
    Objective To retrospectively describe laboratory findings, treatment, and outcome associated with equine infectious keratitis in Finland. Animals and procedures Medical records of horses diagnosed with infectious keratitis in University of Helsinki Equine Hospital from January 2007 to June 2018 were reviewed. Results Forty-seven cases were included. Keratomycosis was diagnosed in 27 eyes and bacterial keratitis in 20 eyes. Aspergillus flavus was the most frequent fungal isolate (9/17, 53%), followed by Cylindrocarpon sp. (3/17, 18%) and Aspergillus fumigatus (2/17, 12%). Susceptibility was tested for 10/11 Aspergillus sp. isolates; all were susceptible to voriconazole while only two were susceptible to amphotericin B. Cylindrocarpon sp. isolates were resistant to both agents. Streptococcus equi subsp. zooepidemicus was the most frequent bacterial isolate (9/19, 47%), followed by other streptococci (4/19, 21%). All 13 Streptococcus sp. isolates were susceptible to penicillin, and all tested isolates (n = 11) were also susceptible to chloramphenicol. Mean duration of medical treatment was longer in fungal keratitis (38 days) than in bacterial keratitis (25 days) (P <.001). Twenty-six of the eyes underwent globe-sparing surgery in addition to medical therapy. Recovery was achieved in 66% (31/47) of all cases and in 59% (16/27) and 75% (15/20) (P = .264) of cases with keratomycosis and bacterial keratitis, respectively. Conclusions Although Aspergillus sp. and S zooepidemicus were the most frequently encountered isolates, cytology, culture, and susceptibility testing are essential to differentiate bacterial and fungal keratitis and guide the clinician to choose the most efficient treatment.
  • Vuori-Holopainen, Elina; Salo, Eeva; Saxen, Harri; Hedman, Klaus; Hyypiä, Timo; Lahdenperä, Raija; Leinonen, Maija; Tarkka, Eveliina; Vaara, Martti; Peltola, Heikki (2002)
    Childhood pneumonia is usually treated without determining its etiology. The causative organism can be isolated from specimens of blood, empyema fluid, or lung aspirate, but this is rarely done. The potential of transthoracic needle aspiration for identification of causative agents was tested with use of modern microbiological methods. Aspiration was performed for 34 children who had radiological signs compatible with community-acquired pneumonia and had alveolar consolidation. In addition to bacterial and viral cultures and viral antigen detection, nucleic acid detection for common respiratory pathogens was performed on aspirate specimens. Aspiration disclosed the etiology in 20 (59%) of 34 cases overall and in 18 (69%) of 26 patients from whom a representative specimen was obtained. Aspiration's advantages are high microbiological yield and a relatively low risk of a clinically significant adverse event. Aspiration should be used if identification of the causative agent outweighs the modest risk of the procedure.
  • Teirlinck, Eline; Barras, Alexandre; Liu, Jing; Fraire, Juan C.; Lajunen, Tatu; Xiong, Ranhua; Forier, Katrien; Li, Chengnan; Urtti, Arto; Boukherroub, Rabah; Szunerits, Sabine; De Smedt, Stefaan C.; Coenye, Tom; Braeckmans, Kevin (2019)
    Impaired penetration of antibiotics through bacterial biofilms is one of the reasons for failure of antimicrobial therapy. Hindered drug diffusion is caused on the one hand by interactions with the sticky biofilm matrix and on the other hand by the fact that bacterial cells are organized in densely packed clusters of cells. Binding interactions with the biofilm matrix can be avoided by encapsulating the antibiotics into nanocarriers, while interfering with the integrity of the dense cell clusters can enhance drug transport deep into the biofilm. Vapor nanobubbles (VNB), generated from laser irradiated nanoparticles, are a recently reported effective way to loosen up the biofilm structure in order to enhance drug transport and efficacy. In the present study, we explored if the disruptive force of VNB can be used simultaneously to interfere with the biofilm structure and trigger antibiotic release from light-responsive nanocarriers. The antibiotic tobramycin was incorporated in two types of light-responsive nanocarriersliposomes functionalized with gold nanoparticles (Lip-AuNP) and graphene quantum dots (GQD)and their efficacy was evaluated on Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms. Even though the anti-biofilm efficacy of tobramycin was improved by liposomal encapsulation, electrostatic functionalization with 70 nm AuNP unfortunately resulted in premature leakage of tobramycin in a matter of hours. Laser-irradiation consequently did not further improve P. aeruginosa biofilm eradication. Adsorption of tobramycin to GQD, on the other hand, did result in a stable formulation with high encapsulation efficiency, without burst release of tobramycin from the nanocarriers. However, even though laser-induced VNB formation from GQD resulted in biofilm disruption, an enhanced anti-biofilm effect was not achieved due to tobramycin not being efficiently released from GQD. Even though this study was unsuccessful in designing suitable nanocarriers for simultaneous biofilm disruption and light-triggered release of tobramycin, it provides insights into the difficulties and challenges that need to be considered for future developments in this regard.