Marine vibrios associated with superficial septic lesions.
Three cases are reported in which a marine vibrio, Vibrio alginolyticus, was isolated from superficial septic lesions. All cases had been exposed to sea-water. The possible significane of these findings and the need for further investigations are discussed. (+info)
Growth characteristics of Heterosigma akashiwo virus and its possible use as a microbiological agent for red tide control.
The growth characteristics of Heterosigma akashiwo virus clone 01 (HaV01) were examined by performing a one-step growth experiment. The virus had a latent period of 30 to 33 h and a burst size of 7.7 x 10(2) lysis-causing units in an infected cell. Transmission electron microscopy showed that the virus particles formed on the peripheries of viroplasms, as observed in a natural H. akashiwo cell. Inoculation of HaV01 into a mixed algal culture containing four phytoplankton species, H. akashiwo H93616, Chattonella antiqua (a member of the family Raphidophyceae), Heterocapsa triquetra (a member of the family Dinophyceae), and Ditylum brightwellii (a member of the family Bacillariophyceae), resulted in selective growth inhibition of H. akashiwo. Inoculation of HaV01 and H. akashiwo H93616 into a natural seawater sample produced similar results. However, a natural H. akashiwo red tide sample did not exhibit any conspicuous sensitivity to HaV01, presumably because of the great diversity of the host species with respect to virus infection. The growth characteristics of the lytic virus infecting the noxious harmful algal bloom-causing alga were considered, and the possibility of using this virus as a microbiological agent against H. akashiwo red tides is discussed. (+info)
Effects of salinity and temperature on long-term survival of the eel pathogen Vibrio vulnificus biotype 2 (serovar E).
Vibrio vulnificus biotype 2 (serovar E) is a primary eel pathogen. In this study, we performed long-term survival experiments to investigate whether the aquatic ecosystem can be a reservoir for this bacterium. We have used microcosms containing water of different salinities (ranging from 0.3 to 3.8%) maintained at three temperatures (12, 25, and 30 degrees C). Temperature and salinity significantly affected long-term survival: (i) the optimal salinity for survival was 1.5%; (ii) lower salinities reduced survival, although they were nonlethal; and (ii) the optimal temperature for survival was dependent on the salinity (25 degrees C for microcosms at 0.3 and 0.5% and 12 degrees C for microcosms at 1.5 to 3.8%). In the absence of salts, culturability dropped to zero in a few days, without evidence of cellular lysis. Under optimal conditions of salinity and temperature, the bacterium was able to survive in the free-living form for at least 3 years. The presence of a capsule on the bacterial cell seemed to confer an advantage, since the long-term survival rate of opaque variants was significantly higher than that of translucent ones. Long-term-starved cells maintained their infectivity for eels (as determined by both intraperitoneal and immersion challenges) and mice. Examination under the microscope showed that (i) the capsule was maintained, (ii) the cell size decreased, (iii) the rod shape changed to coccuslike along the time of starvation, and (iv) membrane vesicles and extracellular material were occasionally produced. In conclusion, V. vulnificus biotype 2 follows a survival strategy similar to that of biotype 1 of this species in response to starvation conditions in water. Moreover, the aquatic ecosystem is one of its reservoirs. (+info)
Isolation of Vibrio vulnificus serovar E from aquatic habitats in Taiwan.
The existence of strains of Vibrio vulnificus serovar E that are avirulent for eels is reported in this work. These isolates were recovered from water and oysters and differed from eel virulent strains in (i) fermentation and utilization of mannitol, (ii) ribotyping after HindIII digestion, and (iii) susceptibility to eel serum. Lipopolysaccharide of these strains lacked the highest molecular weight immunoreactive bands, which are probably involved in serum resistance. (+info)
Prochlorococcus, a marine photosynthetic prokaryote of global significance.
The minute photosynthetic prokaryote Prochlorococcus, which was discovered about 10 years ago, has proven exceptional from several standpoints. Its tiny size (0.5 to 0.7 microm in diameter) makes it the smallest known photosynthetic organism. Its ubiquity within the 40 degrees S to 40 degrees N latitudinal band of oceans and its occurrence at high density from the surface down to depths of 200 m make it presumably the most abundant photosynthetic organism on Earth. Prochlorococcus typically divides once a day in the subsurface layer of oligotrophic areas, where it dominates the photosynthetic biomass. It also possesses a remarkable pigment complement which includes divinyl derivatives of chlorophyll a (Chl a) and Chl b, the so-called Chl a2 and Chl b2, and, in some strains, small amounts of a new type of phycoerythrin. Phylogenetically, Prochlorococcus has also proven fascinating. Recent studies suggest that it evolved from an ancestral cyanobacterium by reducing its cell and genome sizes and by recruiting a protein originally synthesized under conditions of iron depletion to build a reduced antenna system as a replacement for large phycobilisomes. Environmental constraints clearly played a predominant role in Prochlorococcus evolution. Its tiny size is an advantage for its adaptation to nutrient-deprived environments. Furthermore, genetically distinct ecotypes, with different antenna systems and ecophysiological characteristics, are present at depth and in surface waters. This vertical species variation has allowed Prochlorococcus to adapt to the natural light gradient occurring in the upper layer of oceans. The present review critically assesses the basic knowledge acquired about Prochlorococcus both in the ocean and in the laboratory. (+info)
Different prevalences of Renibacterium salmoninarum detected by ELISA in Alaskan chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha spawned from freshwater and seawater.
Soluble antigen of Renibacterium salmoninarum (Rs) was detected by a polyclonal enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) at significantly higher prevalences in adult chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha that matured in freshwater than in the same cohort of fish spawned after maturation in seawater. The cumulative results were consistent during 4 yr of comparison at the Little Port Walter Hatchery on Baranof Island, Alaska, USA. Possible causes for this difference are discussed. Maturation of chinook salmon broodstock in seawater has become a practical strategy at this hatchery to reduce the prevalence of Rs-positive parent fish and the numbers of culled eggs. (+info)
Presence of Campylobacter and Salmonella in sand from bathing beaches.
The purpose of this study was to determine the presence of thermophilic Campylobacter spp. and Salmonella spp. in sand from non-EEC standard and EEC standard designated beaches in different locations in the UK and to assess if potentially pathogenic strains were present. Campylobacter spp. were detected in 82/182 (45%) of sand samples and Salmonella spp. in 10/182 (6%). Campylobacter spp. were isolated from 46/92 (50%) of samples from non-EEC standard beaches and 36/90 (40%) from EEC standard beaches. The prevalence of Campylobacter spp. was greater in wet sand from both types of beaches but, surprisingly, more than 30% of samples from dry sand also contained these organisms. The major pathogenic species C. jejuni and C. coli were more prevalent in sand from non-EEC standard beaches. In contrast, C. lari and urease positive thermophilic campylobacters, which are associated with seagulls and other migratory birds, were more prevalent in sand from EEC standard beaches. Campylobacter isolates were further characterized by biotyping and serotyping, which confirmed that strains known to be of types associated with human infections were frequently found in sand on bathing beaches. (+info)
Combined microautoradiography-16S rRNA probe technique for determination of radioisotope uptake by specific microbial cell types in situ.
We propose a novel method for studying the function of specific microbial groups in situ. Since natural microbial communities are dynamic both in composition and in activities, we argue that the microbial "black box" should not be regarded as homogeneous. Our technique breaks down this black box with group-specific fluorescent 16S rRNA probes and simultaneously determines 3H-substrate uptake by each of the subgroups present via microautoradiography (MAR). Total direct counting, fluorescent in situ hybridization, and MAR are combined on a single slide to determine (i) the percentages of different subgroups in a community, (ii) the percentage of total cells in a community that take up a radioactively labeled substance, and (iii) the distribution of uptake within each subgroup. The method was verified with pure cultures. In addition, in situ uptake by members of the alpha subdivision of the class Proteobacteria (alpha-Proteobacteria) and of the Cytophaga-Flavobacterium group obtained off the California coast and labeled with fluorescent oligonucleotide probes for these subgroups showed that not only do these organisms account for a large portion of the picoplankton community in the sample examined ( approximately 60% of the universal probe-labeled cells and approximately 50% of the total direct counts), but they also are significant in the uptake of dissolved amino acids in situ. Nearly 90% of the total cells and 80% of the cells belonging to the alpha-Proteobacteria and Cytophaga-Flavobacterium groups were detectable as active organisms in amino acid uptake tests. We suggest a name for our triple-labeling technique, substrate-tracking autoradiographic fluorescent in situ hybridization (STARFISH), which should aid in the "dissection" of microbial communities by type and function. (+info)