rss_2.0Polish Journal of Microbiology FeedSciendo RSS Feed for Polish Journal of Microbiology Journal of Microbiology Feed or Maybe “Bacterioscopes” – Is hand Hygiene Solely Capable of Preventing Hospital-Associated Infections?<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The stethoscope remains an indispensable diagnostic tool for medical students. Improper stethoscope hygiene may cause bacterial infections, including hospital-associated infections (HAIs), which challenge the Polish medical system. The study’s main objective was to evaluate the hygiene habits declared by medical students. Moreover, microbiological control with the characteristics of potentially pathogenic microorganisms was performed. The study included 66 medical students from the Faculty of Medicine at the Jagiellonian University Medical College in Cracow, Poland. The participants filled in an anonymous questionnaire. Stethoscope contamination was assessed through isolation, identification, testing of antibiotic resistance, and clonality of the isolates bacterial pathogens. The survey showed that only 30.3% of students cleaned their stethoscopes after each patient, and 1.5% never did this. Of the 66 stethoscopes tested, 100% were positive for bacterial growth. <italic>Staphylococcus</italic> spp. was the most frequently isolated contaminant (50.5%). The questionnaire results demonstrated the necessity of the validated procedures for cleaning the stethoscopes. Stethoscopes used by medical students are contaminated with numerous bacterial species, including multidrug-resistant organisms. The clonal structure of the MRSA and MRSE populations acquired from stethoscopes has been demonstrated. Our results confirm the possibility that these medical devices mediate the spread of hazardous pathogens in the hospital environment. Practical exercises are essential to forming the correct hygiene habits involving stethoscopes, which enable practicing and checking the correctness of the established skills.<fig id="j_pjm-2023-012_ufig_001" position="float" fig-type="figure"> <graphic xmlns:xlink="" xlink:href="graphic/j_pjm-2023-012_ufig_001.jpg"/> </fig></p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of a Plant Growth-Promoting Endohyphal in from<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Successful seed germination and seedling growth in orchids require an association with mycorrhizal fungi. An endophytic <italic>Fusarium</italic> fungal strain YZU 172038 exhibiting plant growth-promoting (PGP) ability was isolated from the roots of <italic>Spiranthes sinensis</italic> (Orchidaceae). The harboring endohyphal bacteria were detected in the hypha by SYTO-9 fluorescent nucleic acid staining, fluorescence <italic>in situ</italic> hybridization (FISH), and PCR amplification of the 16S rDNA gene’s region. Consequently, one endohyphal bacterium (EHB) – a strain YZSR384 was isolated and identified as <italic>Bacillus subtilis</italic> based on morphology, phylogenetic analysis, and genomic information. The results indicated that the strain YZSR384 could significantly promote the growth of rice roots and shoots similar to its host fungus. Its indole acetic acid (IAA) production reached a maximum of 23.361 μg/ml on the sixth day after inoculation. The genome annotation revealed several genes involved in PGP traits, including the clusters of genes encoding the IAA (<italic>trpABCDEFS</italic>), the siderophores (<italic>entABCE</italic>), and the dissolving phosphate (<italic>pstABCS</italic> and <italic>phoABDHPR</italic>). As an EHB, <italic>B. subtilis</italic> was first isolated from endophytic <italic>Fusarium acuminatum</italic> from <italic>S. sinensis</italic>.<fig id="j_pjm-2023-007_ufig_001" position="float" fig-type="figure"> <graphic xmlns:xlink="" xlink:href="graphic/j_pjm-2023-007_ufig_001.jpg"/> </fig></p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Molecular and Epidemiological Study of Cholera Outbreak in Sulaymaniyah Province, Iraq, in 2022<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Cholera is a disease caused by a Gram-negative bacterium <italic>Vibrio cholerae</italic> and is among the significant threats to global public health. The disease is mainly spread in the hot months of the year; low sanitation and lack of clean water are the major causes of the disease. In this study, we conducted a molecular and epidemiological study of the recent outbreak in the city of Sulaymaniyah in Iraq. Based on the bacteriological, serological, and molecular identification of the bacterium, it was shown that <italic>V. cholerae</italic> O1 serotype Ogawa caused the disease. Additionally, the number of positive cholera cases were higher in June compared to July (391 positive cases in June and 23 in July). Moreover, the majority (&gt; 60%) of the cholera cases were recorded among 20–44-year-old people in both months; however, there was no significant difference in the patient genders diagnosed every month. Overall, this is the first report on the recent cholera outbreak in the city of Sulaimaniyah in Iraq.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of Bacteriophages by Dual Chemical Treatments<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Phage contamination is one of the significant problems in the food fermentation industry, which eventually causes economic losses to the industry. Here, we investigated the viability of <italic>Lactobacillus plantarum</italic> phage P1 and P2 using various biocides treatments (ethanol, isopropanol, sodium hypochlorite and peracetic acid). Results indicated that phage P1 and P2 could be completely inactivated by treatment with 75% ethanol for 5 min, followed by 400 ppm of sodium hypochlorite treatment for 5 min. Phage P2 could be completely inactivated in the reverse sequence, while 800 ppm of sodium hypochlorite was required to achieve a similar effect for phage P1. Moreover, 100% isopropanol could increase the inactivating effect of 75% ethanol. This study may provide basic information on using multiple antimicrobials for phage control in laboratories and food plants.<fig id="j_pjm-2023-004_ufig_001" position="float" fig-type="figure"> <graphic xmlns:xlink="" xlink:href="graphic/j_pjm-2023-004_ufig_001.jpg"/> </fig></p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue and Biological Characteristics of Species Isolated from Livestock and Poultry Meat in Gansu Province, China<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><italic>Listeria monocytogenes</italic> is a widespread foodborne pathogen contaminating foods during their production or processing stages. Fresh meat is susceptible to such contamination if it is not properly preserved. Our study was conducted to reveal the level of contamination and prevalence of <italic>Listeria</italic> spp. present in livestock and poultry meat from Gansu province. A total of 1,387 samples were collected from five cities in Gansu Province according to standard sampling procedures, of which 174 samples (12.5%) were positive for <italic>Listeria</italic> species. Among them, 14 isolates of <italic>L. monocytogenes</italic> (1.0%), 150 isolates of <italic>Listeria innocua</italic> (10.8%), and ten isolates of <italic>Listeria welshimeri</italic> (0.7%) were identified by conventional bacteriological and molecular identification methods. All isolates were subjected to serological assays, antimicrobial susceptibility tests, growth curve assays, determination of biofilm-forming capacity, and cluster analysis of the 16S rRNA gene sequences. Four predominant serotypes of <italic>L. monocytogenes</italic> were identified, including 1/2a (35.7%, 5/14), 1/2b (14.3%, 2/14), 1/2c (42.9%, 6/14), and 4b (7.1%, 1/14). All <italic>L. monocytogenes</italic> isolates were resistant to tetracycline and cefoxitin. Most <italic>L. innocua</italic> isolates (63.6%, 14/22) and <italic>L. welshimeri</italic> (40%, 4/10) were resistant to tetracycline. The high biofilm-forming ability was observed among 1/2c and 1/2a serotype isolates. The cluster analysis of the 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed a close genetic relationship between the three <italic>Listeria</italic> species. This study fills the gap in the knowledge of livestock and poultry meat that carry <italic>Listeria</italic> in slaughterhouses and markets in Gansu Province.<fig id="j_pjm-2023-002_ufig_001" position="float" fig-type="figure"> <graphic xmlns:xlink="" xlink:href="graphic/j_pjm-2023-002_ufig_001.jpg"/> </fig></p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue and Prebiotics as Dietary Supplements for the Adjunctive Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In modern lifestyles, high-fat diets and prolonged inactivity lead to more people developing type 2 diabetes (T2D). Based on the modern pathogenesis of T2D, food, and its components have become one of the top concerns for patients. Recent studies have found that dysbiosis and gut-related inflammation are more common in T2D patients. Probiotics and prebiotics play complementary roles in the gut as dietary supplements. Together, they may help improve dysbiosis and intestinal inflammation in people with T2D, increase the production of blood glucose-lowering hormones such as incretin, and help reduce insulin resistance and lower blood glucose. Therefore, changing the dietary structure and increasing the intake of probiotics and prebiotics is expected to become a new strategy for the adjuvant treatment of T2D.<fig id="j_pjm-2023-013_ufig_001" position="float" fig-type="figure"> <graphic xmlns:xlink="" xlink:href="graphic/j_pjm-2023-013_ufig_001.jpg"/> </fig></p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of Closely Related Species among Patients with Vulvovaginal Candidiasis in Southern Poland Based on the 1 Gene Amplification<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><italic>Candida albicans</italic> remains the most common species isolated from women with vulvovaginal candidiasis. However, closely related species such as <italic>Candida africana</italic> and <italic>Candida dubliniensis</italic> may also occur, although they are often misidentified. The aim of the study was to confirm the phenotypic identification of <italic>C. albicans</italic> and its closely related species isolated from women with genital tract infections by amplification of the <italic>hwp</italic>1 (hyphal wall protein 1) gene in a PCR assay. We report a detailed molecular identification of <italic>C. albicans</italic> and its closely related species among 326 patients in the Małopolska region, Poland. Initial phenotypic identifications were confirmed by amplification of the <italic>hwp</italic>1 gene. Based on molecular analysis, we revealed 307 strains (94.17%) as <italic>C. albicans</italic> and 17 as <italic>C. dubliniensis</italic> (5.22%). No strain of <italic>C. africana</italic> was detected. Two patients h ad co-infection with <italic>C. albicans</italic> and <italic>C. dubliniensis</italic> (0.61%). A PCR assay targeting the <italic>hwp</italic>1 gene was reliable for correctly identifying species among the <italic>C. albicans</italic> complex.<fig id="j_pjm-2023-011_ufig_001" position="float" fig-type="figure"> <graphic xmlns:xlink="" xlink:href="graphic/j_pjm-2023-011_ufig_001.jpg"/> </fig></p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue into the Antibiotic Resistance of Bacteria Isolated from Popular Aquatic Products Collected in Zhejiang, China<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The present study was aimed to obtain a close insight into the distribution and diversity of antibiotic-resistant bacteria (ARB) and antibiotic-resistance genes (ARGs) among the aquatic products collected in Zhejiang, China. A total of 136 presumptive ARB picked up from six aquatic samples were classified into 22 genera and 49 species based on the 16S rDNA sequencing. <italic>Aeromonas</italic> spp., <italic>Shewanella</italic> spp., <italic>Acinetobacter</italic> spp., <italic>Myroides</italic> spp., <italic>Pseudomonas</italic> spp., and <italic>Citrobacter</italic> spp. accounted for 80% of the ARB. Among them, 109 isolates (80.15%) exhibited resistance to at least one antibiotic. Most isolates showed resistance to not only the originally selected drug but also to one to three other tested drugs. The diversity of ARB distributed in different aquatic products was significant. Furthermore, the resistance data obtained from genotypic tests were not entirely consistent with the results of the phenotypic evaluation. The genes <italic>qnr</italic>S, <italic>tet</italic>A, <italic>flo</italic>R, and <italic>cml</italic>A were frequently detected in their corresponding phenotypic resistant isolates. In contrast, the genes <italic>sul</italic>2, <italic>aac</italic>(6’)-Ib, and <italic>bla</italic><sub>PSE</sub> were less frequently found in the corresponding phenotypically resistant strains. The high diversity and detection rate of ARB and ARGs in aquaculture might be a significant threat to the food chains closely related to human health.<fig id="j_pjm-2023-010_ufig_001" position="float" fig-type="figure"> <graphic xmlns:xlink="" xlink:href="graphic/j_pjm-2023-010_ufig_001.jpg"/> </fig></p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Dioxide Reprograms Rhizosphere Microbial Communities to Enrich Interactions with Tobacco ()<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>For decades chlorine dioxide has been used in water disinfection with excellent results. As the scope of application expands, chlorine dioxide has the potential for soil disinfection. We used amplicon sequencing and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry to compare the changes of four mixed rhizosphere microbial community samples and 12 tobacco leaf volatile samples four months after the flood irrigation with chlorine dioxide in different concentrations (0, 2, 4, 8 mg/l). Phenotypic data of 60 tobacco plants were also collected. The effects of chlorine dioxide on rhizosphere microorganisms were positively correlated with dose gradients. Bacteria responded more strongly in both community structure and metabolic pathways than fungi. Five new bacterial phyla (Firmicutes, Bacteroidota, Myxococcota, Patescibacteria, Verrucomicroboata) appeared in chlorine dioxide treatment groups, while the fungal community only appeared as one new fungal phylum (Basidomycota). Alterations in 271 predicted metabolic bacterial pathways were found. However, in the fungal community were only 10 alternations. The correlations between leaf volatile compounds and rhizosphere microorganisms under the influence of chlorine dioxide treatment could be observed based on network results. However, natural connectivity had already been declining rapidly when less than 20% of the network’s nodes were removed. Therefore, the microbe-metabolite network is not stable. It might be why chlorine dioxide treatments did not significantly affect tobacco quality (<italic>p</italic> = 0.754) and phenotype (<italic>p</italic> = 0.867). As a comprehensive investigation of chlorine dioxide in agriculture, this study proves the effectiveness and safety of chlorine dioxide soil disinfection and widens the application range of chlorine dioxide.<fig id="j_pjm-2023-009_ufig_001" position="float" fig-type="figure"> <graphic xmlns:xlink="" xlink:href="graphic/j_pjm-2023-009_ufig_001.jpg"/> </fig></p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue in the Protein Profile in Staphylococcal Strains from Patients Infected with the SARS-CoV-2 Virus<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><italic>Staphylococcus aureus</italic> strains are particularly often isolated from patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection. The aim of the current research was to determine whether the SARS-CoV-2 virus infection affects the protein profile of <italic>S. aureus</italic>. Bacteria were isolated from the forty swabs collected from the patients in the hospitals of the Pomeranian region. MALDI-TOF MS spectra were obtained using a Microflex LT instrument. Twenty-nine peaks were identified. The peak (2,430) is described here for the first time and was unique for the isolates from patients infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. These results support the hypothesis of bacterial adaptation to the conditions caused by viral infection.<fig id="j_pjm-2023-001_ufig_001" position="float" fig-type="figure"> <graphic xmlns:xlink="" xlink:href="graphic/j_pjm-2023-001_ufig_001.jpg"/> </fig> </p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Characterization of Strains Isolated from Animal Feeds<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Aflatoxin (AF)-producing fungi such as <italic>Aspergillus flavus</italic> commonly contaminate animal feeds, causing high economic losses. <italic>A. flavus</italic> is the most prevalent and produces AFB1, a potent mutagen, and carcinogen threatening human and animal health. <italic>Aspergillaceae</italic> is a large group of closely related fungi sharing number of morphological and genetic similarities that complicate the diagnosis of highly pathogenic strains. We used here morphological and molecular assays to characterize fungal isolates from animal feeds in Southwestern Algeria. These tools helped to identify 20 out of 30 <italic>Aspergillus</italic> strains, and 15 of them belonged to the <italic>Aspergillus</italic> section <italic>Flavi</italic>. Further analyses detected four out of 15 as belonging to <italic>Aspergillus flavus-parasiticus</italic> group. PCR targeting the AF genes’ <italic>aflR-aflS(J)</italic> intergenic region amplified a single 674 bp amplicon in all four isolates. The amplicons were digested with a <italic>Bgl</italic>II endonuclease, and three specific fragments were observed for <italic>A. flavus</italic> but <italic>A. parasitucus</italic> lacked two typical fragments. Sequencing data of four amplicons confirmed the presence of the two <italic>Bgl</italic>II restriction sites yielding the three fragments, confirming that all four strains were <italic>A. flavus</italic>. In addition, this analysis illustrated the genetic variability within the <italic>A. flavus</italic> strains.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue SARS-CoV-2 Variants in an Genomic Comparison Study with the Original Wuhan Strain and WHO-Recognized Variants of Concern<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This study aimed to determine the genetic alterations in the Omicron variants compared to other variants of concern (VOCs) to trace the evolutionary genetics of the SARS-CoV-2 variants responsible for the multiple COVID-19 waves globally. The present study is an <italic>in silico</italic> analysis determining the evolution of selected 11 VOCs compared to the original Wuhan strain. The variants included six Omicrons and one variant of Alpha, Beta, Delta, Gamma, and Mu. The pairwise alignment with the local alignment search tool of NCBI Nucleotide-BLAST and NCBI Protein-BLAST were used to determine the nucleotide base changes and corresponding amino acid changes in proteins, respectively. The genomic analysis revealed 210 nucleotide changes; most of these changes (127/210, 60.5%) were non-synonymous mutations that occurred mainly in the S gene (52/127, 40.1%). The remaining 10.5% (22/210) and 1.9% (4/210) of the mutations were frameshift deletions and frameshift insertions, respectively. The frameshift insertion (Ins22194T T22195G) led to frameshift deletion (Δ211N). Only four mutations (C241T, C3037T, C14408T, and A23403G) were shared among all the VOCs. The nucleotide changes among Omicron variants resulted in 61 amino acid changes, while the nucleotide changes in other VOCs showed 11 amino acid changes. The present study showed that most mutations (38/61, 62.3%) among Omicron variants occurred in the S gene; and 34.2% of them (13/38) occurred in the receptor-binding domain. The present study confirmed that most of mutations developed by Omicron variants occurred in the vaccine target gene (S gene).</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of Fecal Microbiomes of Osteoporotic Patients in Korea<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>An imbalanced gut microbiome has been linked to a higher risk of many bone-related diseases. The objective of this study was to discover biomarkers of osteoporosis (OP). So, we collected 76 stool samples (60 human controls and 16 OP patients), extracted DNA, and performed 16S ribosomal ribonucleic acid (rRNA) gene-based amplicon sequencing. Among the taxa with an average taxonomic composition greater than 1%, only the <italic>Lachnospira</italic> genus showed a significant difference between the two groups. The Linear Discriminant Effect Size analysis and qPCR experiments indicated the <italic>Lachnospira</italic> genus as a potential biomarker of OP. Moreover, a total of 11 metabolic pathways varied between the two groups. Our study concludes that the genus <italic>Lachnospira</italic> is potentially crucial for diagnosing and treating osteoporosis. The findings of this study might help researchers better understand OP from a microbiome perspective. This research might develop more effective diagnostic and treatment methods for OP in the future.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue, Identification, and Fermentation Medium Optimization of a Caproic Acid‑Producing Strain from Pit Mud of Chinese Strong Flavor Baijiu Ecosystem<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Caproic acid is the precursor material of ethyl hexanoate, a representative flavor substance in strong flavor baijiu (SFB). Increasing the content of caproic acid in SFB helps to improve its quality. In the present study, caproic acid-producing bacteria from the pit mud of an SFB ecosystem were isolated, purified, and characterized. Strain BF-1 with the highest caproic acid yield (0.88 g/l) was selected. The morphological and molecular identification analysis showed that strain BF-1 was <italic>Enterococcus casseliflavus</italic>. The genome of <italic>E. casseliflavus</italic> BF-1 was sequenced and was found to be 2,968,377 bp in length with 3,270 open reading frames (ORFs). The caproic acid biosynthesis pathway in <italic>E. casseliflavus</italic> BF-1 was predicted based on the KAAS annotation. The virulence factors in the genome of strain BF-1 were annotated, which showed that <italic>E. casseliflavus</italic> BF-1 is safe at the genetic level. After adding essential nutrients based on the KAAS annotation, the optimum medium conditions for acid production by strain BF-1 were obtained by performing orthogonal experiments. The caproic acid yield of strain BF-1 reached 3.03 g/l, which was 3.44-fold higher than the initial yield. The optimized fer-</p> <p>mentation of caproic acid production by BF-1 was reported for the first time. The strain could be further used to regulate the ecosystem in baijiu production to improve its quality.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue Efficacy of Isolated from Korean Gochang Bokbunja Vinegar against Carbapenem-Resistant Infections<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Outbreaks of carbapenem-resistant <italic>Enterobacteriaceae</italic> (CRE), especially <italic>Klebsiella pneumoniae</italic> (CRKP), are commonly reported as severe infections in hospitals and long-term care settings, and their occurrence is increasing globally. Conventional antibiotics used for treating CRE have become ineffective due to resistance development. Furthermore, their safety issues restrict their availability and use for CRE treatment. Therefore, developing new drugs different from existing drugs to combat this deadly menace is urgently needed. Probiotics can be a potential option in this context, as probiotics’ efficacy against a variety of infectious illnesses has already been well established. Here, we report the effect of the <italic>Bacillus velezensis</italic> strain isolated from Gochang Bokbunja vinegar in Korea on CRE infection using two mouse models. Data showed that pretreatment with <italic>B. velezensis</italic> significantly reduced body weight loss and mortality of CRKP-infected mice in the preventive model. The oral administration of <italic>B. velezensis</italic> in a therapeutic model also decreased the mortality and illness severity in CRKP-infected mice. Moreover, a two-week oral acute toxicity assay in guinea pigs did not reveal any aberrant clinical signs. Our findings demonstrate the potential effectiveness of our candidate probiotic strain, <italic>B. velezensis</italic>, against CRKP, suggesting that it could be used as an antimicrobial agent for treating CRKP-related infections.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue Peritrichous Protozoa in a Tezontle-Packed Sequencing Batch Reactor as Potential Indicators of Water Quality<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The presence of colonial and solitary ciliated peritrichous protozoa was determined in a Sequencing Batch Reactor system filled with tezontle, a volcanic rock, economic, and abundant material that can be found in some parts of the world, like Mexico. The presence of these protozoa was related to the removal efficiencies of organic matter. Also, two novel staining techniques are proposed for staining both colonial and solitary peritrichous protozoa. The results show that tezontle promotes the growth of solitary and colonial ciliated peritrichous protozoa, which, once identified, could be used as indicators of the efficiency of the wastewater treatment process. Additionally, the staining techniques established in the current study allowed the precise observation of protozoan nuclei. They can represent a useful complementary methodology for identifying protozoan species present in water treatment processes, along with the already existing identification techniques. The number and variety of protozoa found in the system may be considered potential bioindicators of water quality during biological treatments.</p> <p><inline-graphic xmlns:xlink="" xlink:href="graphic/j_pjm-2022-049_ingr_007.jpg"/></p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue and Simple Approaches for Diagnosis of in Bloodstream Infections<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><italic>Staphylococcus aureus</italic> is an important causative pathogen of bloodstream infections. An amplification assay such as real-time PCR is a sensitive, specific technique to detect <italic>S. aureus</italic>. However, it needs well-trained personnel, and costs are high. A literature review focusing on rapid and simple methods for diagnosing <italic>S. aureus</italic> was performed. The following methods were included: (a) Hybrisep <italic>in situ</italic> hybridization test, (b) T2Dx system, (c) BinaxNow <italic>Staphylococcus aureus</italic> and PBP2a, (d) Gram staining, (e) PNA FISH and QuickFISH, (f) Accelerate Pheno<sup>TM</sup> system, (g) MALDI-TOF MS, (h) BioFire FilmArray, (i) Xpert MRSA/SA. These rapid and simple methods can rapidly identify <italic>S. aureus</italic> in positive blood cultures or direct blood samples. Furthermore, BioFire FilmArray and Xpert MRSA/SA identify methicillin-resistant <italic>S. aureus</italic> (MRSA), and the Accelerate Pheno<sup>TM</sup> system can also provide antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) results. The rapidity and simplicity of results generated by these methods have the potential to improve patient outcomes and aid in the prevention of the emergence and transmission of MRSA.</p> <p><inline-graphic xmlns:xlink="" xlink:href="graphic/j_pjm-2022-050_eq_003.png"/></p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue and Quantification of Virulence Factors in Species<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Seventy-seven strains of <italic>Malassezia</italic> were included in this study. Biofilm and hydrolytic enzyme production were studied by using specific solid media. The Real-Time reverse transcriptase qPCR method was applied to determine the overexpression of genes encoding the extracellular enzymes. All included <italic>Malassezia</italic> species produced biofilms. No statistically significant difference was observed between <italic>Malassezia</italic> species in biofilm formation (<italic>p</italic> = 0.567). All <italic>Malassezia</italic> species produced lipase, and 95% of <italic>Malassezia globosa</italic> showed a strong enzymatic activity (Pz = 0.55 ± 0.02). A statistically significant difference was observed between the mean keratinase indices of <italic>Malassezia slooffiae</italic> and the other <italic>Malassezia</italic> species (<italic>p</italic> = 0.005). The overexpression of one or more genes was observed in 100% of strains isolated from patients with folliculitis, 87.5% – with pityriasis versicolor, and 57.14% of the control group isolates. A statistically significant difference in the lipase gene expression (<italic>p</italic> = 0.042) was between the strains from patients with folliculitis and the control group. This investigation provides more information about the frequency of the production of the major enzymes considered virulence factors of <italic>Malassezia</italic> species. Interestingly, the overexpression of one or more genes was observed in strains isolated from patients with <italic>Malassezia</italic> disorders.</p> <p><inline-graphic xmlns:xlink="" xlink:href="graphic/j_pjm-2022-047_eq_001.png"/></p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Emergence of Colistin- and Imipenem-Associated Multidrug Resistance in Isolates from Retail Meat<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>To determine the prevalence of <italic>Escherichia coli</italic> and their drug resistance profiles in fresh pork sold at two retail outlets (open-air market and closed retail stores) in Alice, South Africa. Retail meat samples (n = 176) collected from four shops (two from open-air markets and two from closed stores) were analyzed by conventional biochemical and PCR-based molecular confirmatory tests. The confirmed isolates were profiled for antimicrobial susceptibility to a panel of 12 commercial antibiotics: tetracycline, ampicillin, sulphamethoxazole trimethoprim, erythromycin, gentamycin, colistin sulphate, cefotaxime, chloramphenicol, norfloxacin, ciprofloxacin, cefuroxime, and imipenem. Colistin, ampicillin, and erythromycin resistance genes were profiled with the gene-specific primers. Multidrug resistance (MDR) and the association of imipenem and colistin in the MDR profile were determined. A total of 68 (39.08%) <italic>E. coli</italic> isolates were confirmed by PCR analysis. Resistance was most common to erythromycin (100%), followed by cefotaxime (95.58%), ampicillin (88.23%), cefuroxime (88.23%), trimethoprim-sulphamethoxazole (88.23%), and tetracycline (60.29%). Overall, 27/68 (39.70%) were MDR (≥ 3antibiotics classes). MDR <italic>E. coli</italic> isolates associated with imipenem resistance (50.00%) and colistin resistance (33.82%) were detected. The resistance genes were detected among the isolates though not in all the phenotypically resistant isolates. The detection of colistin resistance among MDR <italic>E. coli</italic> isolates from retail meat is troubling as the drug is a last resort antibiotic. Overall, the epidemiological implications of the findings are of public health importance.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue Analysis of the spp. Prevalence with Reference to Other Genital Tract Infections in Women of Reproductive Age<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><italic>Ureaplasma</italic> spp. are frequently isolated from the genital tract of women of reproductive age. To date, it remains unclear whether they are commensal or pathogenic. In our study, we assessed the prevalence of <italic>Ureaplasma</italic> spp. in a group of 1,155 women of childbearing age. In addition, we assessed how often women with positive <italic>Ureaplasma</italic> spp. develop genital tract co-infections and how the vaginal pH changes. This study showed a relationship between colonization by <italic>Ureaplasma</italic> spp. and presenting symptoms. In fact, we showed that colonization of the genital tract by <italic>Ureaplasma</italic> spp. can affect the occurrence of co-infections such as <italic>Gardnerella vaginalis</italic>. We also observed a relationship between increased pH values and the presence of <italic>Ureaplasma</italic> spp.</p> <p><inline-graphic xmlns:xlink="" xlink:href="graphic/j_pjm-2022-044_eq_001.png"/></p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue