Mechanism of citrate metabolism in Lactococcus lactis: resistance against lactate toxicity at low pH.
Measurement of the flux through the citrate fermentation pathway in resting cells of Lactococcus lactis CRL264 grown in a pH-controlled fermentor at different pH values showed that the pathway was constitutively expressed, but its activity was significantly enhanced at low pH. The flux through the citrate-degrading pathway correlated with the magnitude of the membrane potential and pH gradient that were generated when citrate was added to the cells. The citrate degradation rate and proton motive force were significantly higher when glucose was metabolized at the same time, a phenomenon that could be mimicked by the addition of lactate, the end product of glucose metabolism. The results clearly demonstrate that citrate metabolism in L. lactis is a secondary proton motive force-generating pathway. Although the proton motive force generated by citrate in cells grown at low pH was of the same magnitude as that generated by glucose fermentation, citrate metabolism did not affect the growth rate of L. lactis in rich media. However, inhibition of growth by lactate was relieved when citrate also was present in the growth medium. Citrate did not relieve the inhibition by other weak acids, suggesting a specific role of the citrate transporter CitP in the relief of inhibition. The mechanism of citrate metabolism presented here provides an explanation for the resistance to lactate toxicity. It is suggested that the citrate metabolic pathway is induced under the acidic conditions of the late exponential growth phase to make the cells (more) resistant to the inhibitory effects of the fermentation product, lactate, that accumulates under these conditions. (+info)
Direct selection for mutators in Escherichia coli.
We have constructed strains that allow a direct selection for mutators of Escherichia coli on a single plate medium. The plate selection is based on using two different markers whose reversion is enhanced by a given mutator. Plates containing limiting amounts of each respective nutrient allow the growth of ghost colonies or microcolonies that give rise to full-size colonies only if a reversion event occurs. Because two successive mutational events are required, mutator cells are favored to generate full-size colonies. Reversion of a third marker allows direct visualization of the mutator phenotype by the large number of blue papillae in the full-size colonies. We also describe plate selections involving three successive nutrient markers followed by a fourth papillation step. Different frameshift or base substitution mutations are used to select for mismatch-repair-defective strains (mutHLS and uvrD). We can detect and monitor mutator cells arising spontaneously, at frequencies lower than 10(-5) in the population. Also, we can measure a mutator cascade, in which one type of mutator (mutT) generates a second mutator (mutHLS) that then allows stepwise frameshift mutations. We discuss the relevance of mutators arising on a single medium as a result of cells overcoming successive growth barriers to the development and progression of cancerous tumors, some of which are mutator cell lines. (+info)
Steady-state nitrogen isotope effects of N2 and N2O production in Paracoccus denitrificans.
Nitrogen stable-isotope compositions (delta15N) can help track denitrification and N2O production in the environment, as can knowledge of the isotopic discrimination, or isotope effect, inherent to denitrification. However, the isotope effects associated with denitrification as a function of dissolved-oxygen concentration and their influence on the isotopic composition of N2O are not known. We developed a simple steady-state reactor to allow the measurement of denitrification isotope effects in Paracoccus denitrificans. With [dO2] between 0 and 1.2 microM, the N stable-isotope effects of NO3- and N2O reduction were constant at 28.6 per thousand +/- 1.9 per thousand and 12.9 per thousand +/- 2.6 per thousand, respectively (mean +/- standard error, n = 5). This estimate of the isotope effect of N2O reduction is the first in an axenic denitrifying culture and places the delta15N of denitrification-produced N2O midway between those of the nitrogenous oxide substrates and the product N2 in steady-state systems. Application of both isotope effects to N2O cycling studies is discussed. (+info)
Sensitivity, specificity, and predictive values of three Salmonella rapid detection kits using fresh and frozen poultry environmental samples versus those of standard plating.
To reduce human exposure to Salmonella spp. in poultry products, broiler chicken flocks have been tested by culture methods. Since the standard techniques may take 3 to 5 days, rapid detection methods have been developed. In this study we tested the performance of three rapid tests originally developed for food samples by using environmental samples obtained from poultry houses. These rapid tests were Reveal, an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay from Neogen Corp.; BIND, a bacterial ice nucleation detection method from Idetek Corp.; and a filter monitor method from Future Medical Technologies, Inc. For the standard culture, brilliant green with novabiocin and xylose-lysine-tergitol-4 agar were used for presumptive identification, and identities were confirmed by using poly-O antisera. Environmental samples were collected from farms belonging to an integrated poultry company prior to chick placement and 1 week before slaughter. Sensitivities, specificities, and predictive values with 95% confidence intervals were calculated. Statistical differences were determined by using McNemar's chi square test. The sensitivities of the different tests were not stable, varying widely between sample times, and were affected by freezing of the samples. All of the rapid tests had low sensitivities, which led to many false-negative results. All tests were able to detect Salmonella spp. at a concentration of 10 CFU/ml in at least one of four trials. The BIND and Reveal tests were simple to use with multiple samples and reduced laboratory time by up to 1 day. Based on our results, we do not recommend that any of these rapid tests, in their present state of development, be utilized with environmental samples collected with drag swabs. (+info)
Rapid identification of Actinomycetaceae and related bacteria.
Identification of new isolates belonging to the family Actinomycetaceae requires extensive numbers of biochemical tests, supplemented with gas-liquid chromatography determination of fermentation end products and, often, analysis of cell wall composition. This paper describes the results of the testing of 162 strains of Actinomycetaceae and related taxa for 20 different enzymatic activities including phosphatases, esterases, aminopeptidases, and glycosidases. The results of all tests were read after 4 h of incubation. The results obtained in the study provide significant new information on the biochemical properties of these groups of bacteria. An identification scheme based upon 13 selected tests, which allow the identification of these groups of bacteria within 4 h, is proposed. (+info)
Risk factors for lower airway bacterial colonization in chronic bronchitis.
The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and risk factors for lower airway bacterial colonization (LABC) in stable chronic bronchitis (CB). Forty-one outpatients with CB were enrolled in the study (age 63.8+/-9.1 yrs (mean+/-SD); forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1)/forced vital capacity (FVC) 62.8+/-11.2; current/former smokers 24/17). All patients had normal chest radiographs and an indication for performing fibreoptic bronchoscopy (pulmonary nodule, remote haemoptysis). The protected specimen brush (PSB) was used for bacterial sampling, and concentrations > or = 1,000 colony-forming units (cfu) x mL(-1) were considered positive for LABC. The repeatability of the procedure in CB was assessed in a random subsample of 18 subjects. A 72.2% quantitative agreement was found in the repeatability assessment of the PSB technique. Positive PSB cultures, obtained in 9 out of 41 (22%) patients, mainly yielded Haemophilus influenzae. The logistic regression model, used to determine which variables were related to colonization, showed that LABC was associated with current smoking (odds ratio (OR) 9.83, confidence interval (CI) 1.16-83.20) and low FVC (OR 0.73, CI 0.65-0.81). Age and FEV1 were not related to LABC. It was concluded that the prevalence of LABC in stable CB is high (22%), and current smoking is an important risk factor. (+info)
Predisposing factors to bacterial colonization in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
The aim of this prospective observational study was to determine those factors influencing bacterial colonization in patients with stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Eighty-eight outpatients with stable COPD and 20 patients with normal spirometry and chest radiography (controls) had a fibreoptic bronchoscopy performed with topical aerosol anaesthesia. Bacterial colonization was determined using the protected specimen brush (PSB) with a cut-off > or = 10(3) colony-forming units (CFU x mL(-1)). The influence of age, degree of airflow obstruction, smoking habit, pack-yrs of smoking, and chest radiographic findings on bacterial colonization were assessed by univariate and multivariate analysis. Significant bacterial growth was found in 40% of patients and in none of the controls. Haemophilus influenzae, Streptococcus viridans, S. pneumoniae and Moraxella catarrhalis were the most frequent pathogens. After adjustment for other variables, severe airflow limitation (odds ratio (OR) 5.11, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.45-17.9) and current smoking (OR 3.17, 95% CI 2.5-8) remained associated with positive bacterial cultures. When only potentially pathogenic micro-organisms were considered, significant bacterial growth was found in 30.7% of patients, with severe airflow obstruction (OR 9.28, 95% CI 2.19-39.3) being the only variable independently associated with positive bacterial cultures. Our results show that stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients have a high prevalence of bacterial colonization of distal airways which is mainly related to the degree of airflow obstruction and cigarette smoking. (+info)
Extensive cross-contamination of specimens with Mycobacterium tuberculosis in a reference laboratory.
A striking increase in the numbers of cultures positive for Mycobacterium tuberculosis was noticed in a mycobacterial reference laboratory in Campinas, Sao Paulo State, Brazil, in May 1995. A contaminated bronchoscope was the suspected cause of the increase. All 91 M. tuberculosis isolates grown from samples from patients between 8 May and 18 July 1995 were characterized by spoligotyping and IS6110 fingerprinting. Sixty-one of the 91 isolates had identical spoligotype patterns, and the pattern was arbitrarily designated S36. The 61 specimens containing these isolates had been processed and cultured in a 21-day period ending on 1 June 1995, but only 1 sample was smear positive for acid-fast bacilli. The patient from whom this sample was obtained was considered to be the index case patient and had a 4+ smear-positive lymph node aspirate that had been sent to the laboratory on 10 May. Virtually all organisms with spoligotype S36 had the same IS6110 fingerprint pattern. Extensive review of the patients' charts and investigation of laboratory procedures revealed that cross-contamination of specimens had occurred. Because the same strain was grown from all types of specimens, the bronchoscope was ruled out as the outbreak source. The most likely source of contamination was a multiple-use reagent used for specimen processing. The organism was cultured from two of the solutions 3 weeks after mock contamination. This investigation strongly supports the idea that M. tuberculosis grown from smear-negative specimens should be analyzed by rapid and reliable strain differentiation techniques, such as spoligotyping, to help rule out laboratory contamination. (+info)