Elimination of Pathogenic Microorganisms by Natural and Synthetic Compounds

A special issue of Pathogens (ISSN 2076-0817).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2023) | Viewed by 12896

Special Issue Editors

Department of Environmental Microbiology, The University of Life Sciences, Leszczyńskiego 7 St., 20-069 Lublin, Poland
Interests: environmental microbiology; environmental biotechnology; xenobiotics biodegradation; antimicrobial properties
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Biochemistry and Food Chemistry, University of Life Sciences in Lublin, Skromna Street 8, 20-704 Lublin, Poland
Interests: peptides; metabolic syndrome; food enzymes; legume; antioxidants; functional food
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Pneumonology, Oncology and Allergology, Medical University of Lublin, Jaczewskiego Street 8, 20-954 Lublin, Poland
Interests: cancer; lung cancer; DNA; RNA; miRNA; epigenetics; NGS; molecular testing
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The subject of this Special Issue “Elimination of Pathogenic Microorganisms by Natural and Synthetic Compounds” explores the effects of natural and synthetic compounds on microorganisms. This is a current issue related to the possibility of using new natural compounds as preservatives in food and cosmetic products. Along with the growing awareness of the harmful effects of synthetic compounds (e.g., xenobiotics) on health, the interest in healthy food and natural cosmetics is growing. Currently, both in the food and cosmetic industries, efforts are made to eliminate synthetic preservatives in favor of natural ones.

Most chemicals are added to cosmetic products in the form of preservatives. Preservatives, i.e., the usual term for the biocides used in cosmetics, are chemical compounds added to prevent the growth of microorganisms. Traditionally used preservatives often cause skin irritation and lead to allergenic reactions. Moreover, some preservatives are toxic and prohibited from use as ingredients, as they can cause cancer, mutations, reproductive toxicity, and endocrine disruption. 

Food products can be contaminated by a variety of pathogenic and spoilage microbiota—the former causing foodborne diseases. Chemical additives have been extensively used to prevent the survival and proliferation of microorganisms, but their safety and impact on human health are under discussion. A good alternative to conventional chemically synthesized food preservatives is the use of natural antimicrobials, e.g., herbal essential oils and bacteriocins, which, in addition to their antipathogenic properties, may have a beneficial effect on the human body by inhibiting the development or preventing diseases. These food compounds may be used to design new supplements and food diet.

In this context, we encourage submission of research papers and reviews on elimination of pathogenic bacteria by natural and synthetic compounds and their possible use in food, pharmacy, and cosmetic industries.

Dr. Kamila Rybczyńska-Tkaczyk
Dr. Anna Jakubczyk
Dr. Anna Grenda
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Natural food/cosmetic preservatives
  • New synthetic food/cosmetic preservatives
  • Food/cosmetic safety
  • Mechanisms of elimination of pathogens

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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13 pages, 323 KiB  
Article
Effect of Sublethal Concentrations of Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles on Bacillus cereus
Pathogens 2023, 12(3), 485; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens12030485 - 19 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1305
Abstract
Zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnONPs), which are produced on a large scale, pose a potential threat to various environments because they can interact with the microbial populations found in them. Bacteria that are widespread in soil, water, and plant material include the Bacillus cereus [...] Read more.
Zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnONPs), which are produced on a large scale, pose a potential threat to various environments because they can interact with the microbial populations found in them. Bacteria that are widespread in soil, water, and plant material include the Bacillus cereus group, which plays an important role in biodegradation and the nutrient cycle and is a major factor determining ecological balance. This group includes, among others, the foodborne pathogen B. cereus sensu stricto (herein referred to as B. cereus). The aim of this study was a comprehensive assessment of the effects of commercially available ZnONPs on B. cereus. The MIC (minimum inhibitory concentration) for B. cereus was 1.6 mg/mL, and the MBC (minimum bactericidal concentration) was 1.8 mg/mL. Growth of B. cereus was inhibited by a concentration of ZnONPs lower than or equal to MIC50. Concentrations from 0.2 to 0.8 mg/mL inhibited the growth of these bacteria in liquid media, induced symptoms of oxidative stress, and stimulated an environmental stress response in the form of biofilm and endospore formation. In addition, ZnONPs negatively affected the ability of the bacteria to break down the azo dye Evans Blue but enhanced the antimicrobial properties of phenolic compounds. Sublethal concentrations of ZnONPs generally decreased the activity of B. cereus cells, especially in the presence of phenolics, which indicates their potential toxicological impact, but at the same time they induced universal defence responses in these cells, which in the case of potential pathogens can hinder their removal. Full article
24 pages, 1181 KiB  
Article
Occurrence and Distribution of Fusarium Communities in the Root Zone in a Post-Bog Permanent Meadow in Relation to Mineral Fertilization and Growing Seasons
Pathogens 2022, 11(3), 341; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11030341 - 11 Mar 2022
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Abstract
The present study is the first report of a detailed analysis of the frequency of Fusarium and genera related to Fusarium colonizing the root zone of clovers and grasses growing in a permanent meadow established on peat-muck soil in a post-bog habitat. The [...] Read more.
The present study is the first report of a detailed analysis of the frequency of Fusarium and genera related to Fusarium colonizing the root zone of clovers and grasses growing in a permanent meadow established on peat-muck soil in a post-bog habitat. The isolation of fungi was carried out on the Nash and Snyder medium with the plate dilution method. The taxonomic identification of the collection of pure fungal cultures was based on morphological features revealed by macroscopic and microscopic observations. The species dominance coefficients, Marczewski–Steinhaus and Simpson species diversity index were calculated. Eight Fusarium complexes were distinguished. The distribution of the Fusarium population was uneven, which was generally reflected in a higher frequency of the F. oxysporum species complex in the clover root zone and M. nivale, F. avenaceum from the Fusarium tricinctum species complex, and F. culmorum from the F. sambucinum species complex in the grass root zone. The highest similarity of fungi was determined in the rhizoplane and the endorhizosphere. The highest species diversity and the highest population size were determined in the rhizosphere soil. The fertilization treatment reduced the growth rates in the Fusarium sensu lato and in genera related to Fusarium, as evidenced by the decrease in the total abundance and species richness. The root colonization by the Fusarium, especially the F. oxysporum species complex, was not accompanied by plant pathologies, which suggests a saprotrophic and endophytic rather than parasitic character of the relationships with the plant host. Full article
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16 pages, 2625 KiB  
Article
Biological Control of Fusarium culmorum, Fusarium graminearum and Fusarium poae by Antagonistic Yeasts
Pathogens 2022, 11(1), 86; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11010086 - 11 Jan 2022
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 3466
Abstract
The genus Fusarium is considered to be one of the most pathogenic, phytotoxic and toxin-producing group of microorganisms in the world. Plants infected by these fungi are characterized by a reduced consumer and commercial value, mainly due to the contamination of crops with [...] Read more.
The genus Fusarium is considered to be one of the most pathogenic, phytotoxic and toxin-producing group of microorganisms in the world. Plants infected by these fungi are characterized by a reduced consumer and commercial value, mainly due to the contamination of crops with mycotoxins. Therefore, effective methods of reducing fungi of the genus Fusarium must be implemented already in the field before harvesting, especially with alternative methods to pesticides such as biocontrol. In this study we identified yeasts that inhibit the growth of the pathogenic fungi Fusarium culmorum, F. graminearum and F. poae. Tested yeasts came from different culture collections, or were obtained from organic and conventional cereals. The greater number of yeast isolates from organic cereals showed antagonistic activity against fungi of the genus Fusarium compared to isolates from the conventional cultivation system. Cryptococcus carnescens (E22) isolated from organic wheat was the only isolate that limited the mycelial growth of all three tested fungi and was the best antagonist against F. poae. Selected yeasts showed various mechanisms of action against fungi, including competition for nutrients and space, production of volatile metabolites, reduction of spore germination, production of siderophores or production of extracellular lytic enzymes: chitinase and β-1,3-glucanase. Of all the investigated mechanisms of yeast antagonism against Fusarium, competition for nutrients and the ability to inhibit spore germination prevailed. Full article
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Review

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14 pages, 734 KiB  
Review
Insect Meals and Insect Antimicrobial Peptides as an Alternative for Antibiotics and Growth Promoters in Livestock Production
Pathogens 2023, 12(6), 854; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens12060854 - 20 Jun 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1522
Abstract
The extensive use of antibiotics in animal production has led to the development of antibiotic-resistant microorganisms and the search for alternative antimicrobial agents in animal production. One such compound may be antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), which are characterized by, among others, a wide range [...] Read more.
The extensive use of antibiotics in animal production has led to the development of antibiotic-resistant microorganisms and the search for alternative antimicrobial agents in animal production. One such compound may be antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), which are characterized by, among others, a wide range of biocidal activity. According to scientific data, insects produce the largest number of antimicrobial peptides, and the changing EU legislation has allowed processed animal protein derived from insects to be used in feed for farm animals, which, in addition to a protein supplement, may prove to be an alternative to antibiotics and antibiotic growth promoters due to their documented beneficial impact on livestock health. In animals that were fed feeds with the addition of insect meals, changes in their intestinal microbiota, strengthened immunity, and increased antibacterial activity were confirmed to be positive effects obtained thanks to the insect diet. This paper reviews the literature on sources of antibacterial peptides and the mechanism of action of these compounds, with particular emphasis on insect antibacterial peptides and their potential impact on animal health, and legal regulations related to the use of insect meals in animal nutrition. Full article
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21 pages, 364 KiB  
Review
Natural Compounds with Antimicrobial Properties in Cosmetics
Pathogens 2023, 12(2), 320; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens12020320 - 15 Feb 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3811
Abstract
Currently, the cosmetic industry is a very intensively growing part of the economy. Consumer demands are adapted to the current lifestyle, which is based on technological innovations and awareness of the impact of various factors on human health and fitness. There is growing [...] Read more.
Currently, the cosmetic industry is a very intensively growing part of the economy. Consumer demands are adapted to the current lifestyle, which is based on technological innovations and awareness of the impact of various factors on human health and fitness. There is growing interest in cosmetics based on environmentally friendly natural compounds exerting health-promoting effects. Chemicals with antimicrobial properties used as ingredients in cosmetics ensure their durability and safety. Polyphenolic compounds, peptides, essential oils, and plant extracts characterized by these properties are natural ingredients that can replace synthetic components of cosmetics. The advantage of these compounds is that they exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and soothing properties, enhancing the product value in addition to their antimicrobial properties. This review article describes the antimicrobial properties of natural compounds that can protect cosmetics and can replace previously used preservative agents. Various studies indicate that the use of these compounds increases consumer interest in these products and has a positive impact on the environment. Full article
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