Researchers identified a novel plasmid-mediated colistin-resistance gene in porcine and bovine colistin-resistant Escherichia coli that did not contain mcr-1. The gene, termed mcr-2, a 1,617 bp phosphoethanolamine transferase harboured on an IncX4 plasmid, has 76.7% nucleotide identity to mcr-1. Prevalence of mcr-2 in porcine colistin-resistant E. coli (11/53) in Belgium was higher than that of mcr-1 (7/53). These data call for an immediate introduction of mcr-2 screening in ongoing molecular epidemiological surveillance of colistin-resistant Gram-negative pathogens.

Can a heterotrophic organism be evolved to synthesize biomass from CO2 directly? So far, non-native carbon fixation in which biomass precursors are synthesized solely from CO2 has remained an elusive grand challenge. Here, we demonstrate how a combination of rational metabolic rewiring, recombinant expression, and laboratory evolution has led to the biosynthesis of sugars and other major biomass constituents by a fully functional Calvin-Benson-Bassham (CBB) cycle in E. coli.

Typhoid fever remains a severe public health problem in developing countries. The emergence of resistant typhoid, particularly multidrug-resistant typhoid infections, highlights the necessity of monitoring the resistance characteristics of this invasive pathogen. In this study, we report a typhoid fever outbreak caused by multidrug-resistant Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi strains with an ACSSxtT pattern.

The incidence of food allergies in western countries has increased dramatically in recent decades. Tolerance to food antigens relies on mucosal CD103+ dendritic cells (DCs), which promote differentiation of regulatory T (Treg) cells. We show that high-fiber feeding in mice improved oral tolerance and protected from food allergy. High-fiber feeding reshaped gut microbial ecology and increased the release of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), particularly acetate and butyrate.

To understand the diversity and abundance of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in pharmaceutical wastewater treatment bioreactors, the ARGs in sludge from two full-scale pharmaceutical wastewater treatment plants (PWWTPs) were investigated and compared with sludge samples from three sewage treatment plants (STPs) using metagenomic approach. The results showed that the ARG abundances in PWWTP sludge ranged from 54.7 to 585.0 ppm, which were higher than those in STP sludge (27.2 to 86.4 ppm).

The present study demonstrates the removal of three toxic heavy metals (lead, cadmium and nickel) by the bacterial strain Arthrobacter phenanthrenivorans from polluted water. The removal efficiency of heavy metals was recorded to be highest in case of lead (79.91%), followed by nickel (47.62%) and cadmium (34.05%). Furthermore, surfactant production by A. phenanthrenivorans was optimized, which is useful for different purposes like metal and oil removal from water.

Multi isolate whole genome sequencing (WGS) and typing for outbreak investigations has become a reality in the post-genomics era. We applied this technology to strains from Escherichia coli O157:H7 outbreaks. These include isolates from seven North America outbreaks, as well as multiple isolates from the same patient and from different infected individuals in the same household. Customized high-resolution bioinformatics sequence typing strategies were developed to assess the core genome and mobilome plasticity.

Antibiotics, though remarkably useful, can also cause certain adverse effects. We detected that treatment of adult mice with antibiotics decreases hippocampal neurogenesis and memory retention. Reconstitution with normal gut flora (SPF) did not completely reverse the deficits in neurogenesis unless the mice also had access to a running wheel or received probiotics. In parallel to an increase in neurogenesis and memory retention, both SPF-reconstituted mice that ran and mice supplemented with probiotics exhibited higher numbers of Ly6Chi monocytes in the brain than antibiotic-treated mice.

What are we to do about antibiotic resistance? Last week, another government report repeated stark warnings about the crisis, and offered some suggestions to improve the situation. The UK report, prepared by a panel chaired by the economist Jim O'Neill, naturally focused on financial incentives, including US$1-billion prizes for pharmaceutical firms that develop new antimicrobial drugs.

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The whole life depends on soil, which is an important habitat for thousand millions of organisms. Soil biodiversity is extremely diverse in shapes, colours, sizes and functions.