Special Issue "Environmental Bacterial Pathogens and Human Health"

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Clementina Elvezia Cocuzza
Website
Guest Editor
School of Medicine and Surgery, University of Milano - Bicocca, Milan, Italy
Interests: human pathogens; molecular diagnostics; antimicrobial-resistance mechanisms; antimicrobial susceptibility testing; clinical microbiology
Dr. Maria Luisa Ricci
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Infectious Diseases, National Reference Laboratory for Legionella, Rome, Italy
Interests: bacteriology; Legionella; diagnosis; typing; outbreak investigation; disinfection
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Environmental bacterial pathogens have been demonstrated to have an increasingly important impact on human health. Research in this field has focused on the study of potential human pathogens present in different environmental natural habitats, such as water, soil, and air, as well as agricultural, industrial, and healthcare-associated structures, to better understand their potential risks to human health and to establish new guidelines and methods for assessing and preventing infection risk. Studies demonstrating how diseases are caused and/or transmitted by specific pathogens, in combination with one or multiple environmental factors, have, in fact, contributed to scientific evidence supporting the fast and efficient identification of pathogenic microorganisms in environmental samples providing accurate instruments for their control. Moreover, the alarming increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also spreading through food, water, and other environmental sources, particularly in healthcare-associated settings, has been the focus of investigations aimed at defining appropriate tools and models for the protection of public health.

This Special Issue will focus on recent accomplishments in this field. The submission of manuscripts from microbiologists, biologists, clinicians, and/or epidemiologists is welcomed as interdisciplinary collaboration is the key to disease prevention.

Prof. Clementina Elvezia Cocuzza
Dr. Maria Luisa Ricci
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • bacterial pathogens
  • natural and artificial environmental habitats
  • human health
  • antibiotic-resistance
  • detection and prevention methods

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
How Molecular Typing Can Support Legionella Environmental Surveillance in Hot Water Distribution Systems: A Hospital Experience
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(22), 8662; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17228662 - 21 Nov 2020
Abstract
In this study, we aimed to associate the molecular typing of Legionella isolates with a culture technique during routine Legionella hospital environmental surveillance in hot water distribution systems (HWDSs) to develop a risk map able to be used to prevent nosocomial infections and [...] Read more.
In this study, we aimed to associate the molecular typing of Legionella isolates with a culture technique during routine Legionella hospital environmental surveillance in hot water distribution systems (HWDSs) to develop a risk map able to be used to prevent nosocomial infections and formulate appropriate preventive measures. Hot water samples were cultured according to ISO 11731:2017. The isolates were serotyped using an agglutination test and genotyped by sequence-based typing (SBT) for Legionella pneumophila or macrophage infectivity potentiator (mip) gene sequencing for non-pneumophila Legionella species. The isolates’ relationship was phylogenetically analyzed. The Legionella distribution and level of contamination were studied in relation to temperature and disinfectant residues. The culture technique detected 62.21% of Legionella positive samples, characterized by L. pneumophila serogroup 1, Legionella non-pneumophila, or both simultaneously. The SBT assigned two sequence types (STs): ST1, the most prevalent in Italy, and ST104, which had never been isolated before. The mip gene sequencing detected L. anisa and L. rubrilucens. The phylogenetic analysis showed distinct clusters for each species. The distribution of Legionella isolates showed significant differences between buildings, with a negative correlation between the measured level of contamination, disinfectant, and temperature. The Legionella molecular approach introduced in HWDSs environmental surveillance permits (i) a risk map to be outlined that can help formulate appropriate disinfection strategies and (ii) rapid epidemiological investigations to quickly identify the source of Legionella infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Bacterial Pathogens and Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Phenotypic and Genotypic Characterization with MALDI-TOF-MS Based Identification of Staphylococcus spp. Isolated from Mobile Phones with their Antibiotic Susceptibility, Biofilm Formation, and Adhesion Properties
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 3761; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17113761 - 26 May 2020
Abstract
Cell phones, smartphones, and tablets are extensively used in social and professional life, so they are frequently exposed to bacteria. The main goal of the present work was to isolate and characterize Staphylococci strains from students’ cell phone mobiles. Subsequently, 24 Staphylococci strains [...] Read more.
Cell phones, smartphones, and tablets are extensively used in social and professional life, so they are frequently exposed to bacteria. The main goal of the present work was to isolate and characterize Staphylococci strains from students’ cell phone mobiles. Subsequently, 24 Staphylococci strains were tested against a wide range of antibiotics, for the distribution of some virulence-related genes and their ability to form biofilm. Staphylococcus spp. were cultured from all studied devices on chromogenic medium and identified using the matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI), time-of-flight (TOF) mass spectrometry (MS) technique (MALDI-TOF-MS). The results obtained showed that S. aureus was the dominant species (19 strains, 79.1%), followed by S. warneri (3 strains, 12.5%), and S. haemolyticus (2 strains, 8.3%). Isolated strains showed high percentages of hydrolytic enzymes production, resistance to many tested antibiotics, and 37.5% expressed the mecA gene. The tested strains were highly adhesive to polystyrene and glass and expressed implicated icaA (62.5%) and icaD (66.6%) genes. All Staphylococcus spp. strains tested were found to possess proteases and the α-hemolysin gene. Our results highlighted the importance of mobile phones as a great source of Staphylococcus spp., and these species were found to be resistant to many antibiotics with multiple antibiotic resistance (MAR) index ranging from (0.444) to (0.812). Most of the studied strains are able to form biofilm and expressed many virulence genes. Phylogenetic analysis based on the phenotypic and genetic characters highlighted the phenotypic and genetic heterogeneity of the S. aureus population studied. Further analyses are needed to elucidate the human health risks associated with the identified Staphylococci strains. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Bacterial Pathogens and Human Health)
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