Abstract: A multistate fungal meningitis outbreak started in September of 2012 which spread in 20 states of the United States. The outbreak has been fatal so far, and has affected 751 individuals with 64 deaths among those who received contaminated spinal injections manufactured by a Compounding Center located in Massachusetts. In a preliminary study, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigated the outbreak in collaboration with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state and local health departments, and identified four fungal and several bacterial contaminations in the recalled unopened injection vials. This follow-up study was carried out to assess DNA sequencing of the ITS1 region of rRNA gene for rapid identification of fungal pathogens during public health outbreak investigations. A total of 26 environmental swabs were collected from several locations at the manufacturing premises of the Compounding Center known to have caused the outbreak. The swab samples were initially examined by conventional microbiologic protocols and a wide range of fungal species were recovered. Species-identification of these microorganisms was accomplished by nucleotide sequencing of ITS1 region of rRNA gene. Analysis of data confirmed 14 additional fungal species in the swabs analyzed.
Abstract: Healthcare-associated infections (HAI) are a huge public health concern, particularly when the etiological agents are multidrug resistant. The ability of bacteria to develop biofilm is a helpful skill, both to persist within hospital units and to increase antibiotic resistance. Although the links between antibiotic resistance, biofilms assembly and HAI are consensual, little is known about biofilms. Here, electron microscopy was adopted as a tool to investigate biofilm structures associated with increased antibiotic resistance. The K. pneumoniae strains investigated are able to assemble biofilms, albeit with different kinetics. The biofilm structure and the relative area fractions of bacteria and extracellular matrix depend on the particular strain, as well as the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) for the antibiotics. Increased values were found for bacteria organized in biofilms when compared to the respective planktonic forms, except for isolates Kp45 and Kp2948, the MIC values for which remained unchanged for fosfomycin. Altogether, these results showed that the emergence of antimicrobial resistance among bacteria responsible for HAI is a multifactorial phenomenon dependent on antibiotics and on bacteria/biofilm features.
Abstract: Acinetobacter baumannii is an emerging nosocomial pathogen, responsible for infection outbreaks worldwide. The pathogenicity of this bacterium is mainly due to its multidrug-resistance and ability to form biofilm on abiotic surfaces, which facilitate long-term persistence in the hospital setting. Given the crucial role of iron in A. baumannii nutrition and pathogenicity, iron metabolism has been considered as a possible target for chelation-based antibacterial chemotherapy. In this study, we investigated the effect of iron restriction on A. baumannii growth and biofilm formation using different iron chelators and culture conditions. We report substantial inter-strain variability and growth medium-dependence for biofilm formation by A. baumannii isolates from veterinary and clinical sources. Neither planktonic nor biofilm growth of A. baumannii was affected by exogenous chelators. Biofilm formation was either stimulated by iron or not responsive to iron in the majority of isolates tested, indicating that iron starvation is not sensed as an overall biofilm-inducing stimulus by A. baumannii. The impressive iron withholding capacity of this bacterium should be taken into account for future development of chelation-based antimicrobial and anti-biofilm therapies.
Abstract: Pseudomonas aeruginosa is the most prevalent pathogen of cystic fibrosis (CF) lung disease. Its long persistence in CF airways is associated with sophisticated mechanisms of adaptation, including biofilm formation, resistance to antibiotics, hypermutability and customized pathogenicity in which virulence factors are expressed according the infection stage. CF adaptation is triggered by high selective pressure of inflamed CF lungs and by antibiotic treatments. Bacteria undergo genetic, phenotypic, and physiological variations that are fastened by the repeating interplay of mutation and selection. During CF infection development, P. aeruginosa gradually shifts from an acute virulent pathogen of early infection to a host-adapted pathogen of chronic infection. This paper reviews the most common changes undergone by P. aeruginosa at each stage of infection development in CF lungs. The comprehensive understanding of the adaptation process of P. aeruginosa may help to design more effective antimicrobial treatments and to identify new targets for future drugs to prevent the progression of infection to chronic stages.
Abstract: Microorganisms can colonize a wide variety of medical devices, putting patients in risk for local and systemic infectious complications, including local-site infections, catheter-related bloodstream infections, and endocarditis. These microorganisms are able to grow adhered to almost every surface, forming architecturally complex communities termed biofilms. The use of natural products has been extremely successful in the discovery of new medicine, and mushrooms could be a source of natural antimicrobials. The present study reports the capacity of wild mushroom extracts to inhibit in vitro biofilm formation by multi-resistant bacteria. Four Gram-negative bacteria biofilm producers (Escherichia coli, Proteus mirabilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Acinetobacter baumannii) isolated from urine were used to verify the activity of Russula delica, Fistulina hepatica, Mycena rosea, Leucopaxilus giganteus,and Lepista nuda extracts. The results obtained showed that all tested mushroom extracts presented some extent of inhibition of biofilm production. Pseudomonas aeruginosa was the microorganism with the highest capacity of biofilm production, being also the most susceptible to the extracts inhibition capacity (equal or higher than 50%). Among the five tested extracts against E. coli, Leucopaxillus giganteus (47.8%) and Mycenas rosea (44.8%) presented the highest inhibition of biofilm formation. The extracts exhibiting the highest inhibitory effect upon P. mirabilis biofilm formation were Sarcodon imbricatus (45.4%) and Russula delica (53.1%). Acinetobacter baumannii was the microorganism with the lowest susceptibility to mushroom extracts inhibitory effect on biofilm production (highest inhibition—almost 29%, by Russula delica extract). This is a pioneer study since, as far as we know, there are no reports on the inhibition of biofilm production by the studied mushroom extracts and in particular against multi-resistant clinical isolates; nevertheless, other studies are required to elucidate the mechanism of action.
Abstract: The cefuroxime sodium is a second generation cephalosporin indicated for infections caused by Gram-positive and Gram-negative microorganisms. Although this drug is highly studied and researched regarding the antimicrobial activity, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, there are few studies regarding the development of analytical methodology for this cephalosporin. Thus, research involving analytical methods is essential and highly relevant to optimize its analysis in the pharmaceutical industry and guarantee the quality of the product already sold. This study describes the development and validation of a microbiological assay applying the turbidimetric method for the determination of cefuroxime, using Micrococcus luteus ATCC 9341 as micro-organism test and 3x3 parallel line assay design, with nine tubes for each assay, as recommended by the Brazilian Pharmacopoeia. The developed and validated method showed excellent results of linearity, seletivity, precision and robustness, in the concentration range from 30.0 to 120.0 mg/mL, with 100.21% accuracy and content 99.97% to cefuroxime sodium in injectable pharmaceutical form.