Abstract: Bile salt hydrolase (BSH), a widely distributed function of the gut microbiota, has a profound impact on host lipid metabolism and energy harvest. Recent studies suggest that BSH inhibitors are promising alternatives to antibiotic growth promoters (AGP) for enhanced animal growth performance and food safety. Using a high-purity BSH from Lactobacillus salivarius strain, we have identified a panel of BSH inhibitors. However, it is still unknown if these inhibitors also effectively inhibit the function of the BSH enzymes from other bacterial species with different sequence and substrate spectrum. In this study, we performed bioinformatics analysis and determined the inhibitory effect of identified BSH inhibitors on a BSH from L. acidophilus. Although the L. acidophilus BSH is phylogenetically distant from the L. salivarius BSH, sequence analysis and structure modeling indicated the two BSH enzymes contain conserved, catalytically important amino residues and domain. His-tagged recombinant BSH from L. acidophilus was further purified and used to determine inhibitory effect of specific compounds. Previously identified BSH inhibitors also exhibited potent inhibitory effects on the L. acidophilus BSH. In conclusion, this study demonstrated that the BSH from L. salivarius is an ideal candidate for screening BSH inhibitors, the promising alternatives to AGP for enhanced feed efficiency, growth performance and profitability of food animals.
Abstract: Antibiotics are added to semen extenders to be used for artificial insemination (AI) in livestock breeding to control bacterial contamination in semen arising during collection and processing. The antibiotics to be added and their concentrations for semen for international trade are specified by government directives. Since the animal production industry uses large quantities of semen for artificial insemination, large amounts of antibiotics are currently used in semen extenders. Possible alternatives to antibiotics are discussed, including physical removal of the bacteria during semen processing, as well as the development of novel antimicrobials. Colloid centrifugation, particularly Single Layer Centrifugation, when carried out with a strict aseptic technique, offers a feasible method for reducing bacterial contamination in semen and is a practical method for semen processing laboratories to adopt. However, none of these alternatives to antibiotics should replace strict attention to hygiene during semen collection and handling.
Abstract: Listeria monocytogenes is an organism associated with a wide range of foods. It causes listeriosis, a severe illness that mainly affects people with weakened immune systems. Proteomic profiles of three different L. monocytogenes isolates were studied using 1D SDS PAGE, 2DE and mass spectrometry. The protein banding patterns generated by 1D SDS PAGE of three strains of L. monocytogenes were found to be similar. Visual observations from 2DE gel maps revealed that certain spots appeared to have intensity differences. Key differences in proteins synthesis of three strains of L. monocytogenes were found using the PDQest TM 2DE Analysis software. Comparison showed that the clinical isolate (strain SB92/844) had 53.4% and 53.9% protein profile similarity with dairy isolate (strain V7) and seafood isolate (SB92/870), respectively. The identity of selected protein spots was achieved using MALDI-TOF and ion trap mass spectrometry. It was found that certain identified proteins (i.e., a major cold shock protein and superoxide dismutase) were expressed differently between two local strains of L. monocytogenes (SB92/844, SB92/870) and one strain from overseas (V7).
Abstract: Oral candidiasis is particularly evident, not only in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy, but also in elderly people with xerostomy. In general, Candida is an opportunistic pathogen, causing infections in immunocompromised people and, in some cases, when the natural microbiota is altered. Chitosan, a natural derivative of chitin, is a polysaccharide that has been proven to possess a broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity that encompasses action against fungi, yeast and bacteria. While recent studies have revealed a significant antibiofilm activity upon several microorganisms, including C. albicans, little is known regarding the impact of chitosan upon the adhesive process or mature biofilms. With that in mind, the purpose of this work was to evaluate, in vitro, the capability of chitosan to inhibit C. albicans growth and biofilm formation. The results obtained showed that chitosan is capable of inhibiting C. albicans planktonic growth (HMW, 1 mg/mL; LMW, 3 mg/mL). Regarding biofilm growth, chitosan inhibited C. albicans adhesion (ca. 95%), biofilm formation (percentages above 90%) and reduced mature biofilms by ca. 65% and dual species biofilms (C. albicans and S. mutans) by ca. 70%. These results display the potential of this molecule to be used as an effective anti-Candida agent capable of acting upon C. albicans infections.
Abstract: The potato psyllid (PoP) Bactericera cockerelli (Sulc) and Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) Diaphorina citri Kuwayama are the insect vectors of the fastidious plant pathogen, Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum (CLso) and Ca. L. asiaticus (CLas), respectively. CLso causes Zebra chip disease of potato and vein-greening in solanaceous species, whereas, CLas causes citrus greening disease. The reliance on insecticides for vector management to reduce pathogen transmission has increased interest in alternative approaches, including RNA interference to abate expression of genes essential for psyllid-mediated Ca. Liberibacter transmission. To identify genes with significantly altered expression at different life stages and conditions of CLso/CLas infection, cDNA libraries were constructed for CLso-infected and -uninfected PoP adults and nymphal instars. Illumina sequencing produced 199,081,451 reads that were assembled into 82,224 unique transcripts. PoP and the analogous transcripts from ACP adult and nymphs reported elsewhere were annotated, organized into functional gene groups using the Gene Ontology classification system, and analyzed for differential in silico expression. Expression profiles revealed vector life stage differences and differential gene expression associated with Liberibacter infection of the psyllid host, including invasion, immune system modulation, nutrition, and development.
Abstract: Influenza virus infections are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in the human population. Depending on the virulence of the influenza virus strain, as well as the immunological status of the infected individual, the severity of the respiratory disease may range from sub-clinical or mild symptoms to severe pneumonia that can sometimes lead to death. Vaccines remain the primary public health measure in reducing the influenza burden. Though the first influenza vaccine preparation was licensed more than 60 years ago, current research efforts seek to develop novel vaccination strategies with improved immunogenicity, effectiveness, and breadth of protection. Animal models of influenza have been essential in facilitating studies aimed at understanding viral factors that affect pathogenesis and contribute to disease or transmission. Among others, mice, ferrets, pigs, and nonhuman primates have been used to study influenza virus infection in vivo, as well as to do pre-clinical testing of novel vaccine approaches. Here we discuss and compare the unique advantages and limitations of each model.