Bacteria :: isolation & purification
National Heart and Lung Institute, Centre for Respiratory Infection and MRC & Asthma UK Centre in Allergic Mechanisms of Asthma, Imperial College London, London W2 1PG, UK. michael.edwards@ imperial.ac.uk
Asthma remains an important human disease that is responsible for substantial worldwide morbidity and mortality. The causes of asthma are multifactorial and include a complex mix of environmental, immunological and host genetic factors. In addition, epidemiological studies show strong associations between asthma and infection with respiratory pathogens, including common respiratory viruses such as rhinoviruses, human respiratory syncytial virus, adenoviruses, coronaviruses and influenza viruses, as well as bacteria (including atypical bacteria) and fungi. In this Review, we describe the many roles of microorganisms in the risk of developing asthma and in the pathogenesis of and protection against the disease, and we discuss the mechanisms by which infections affect the severity and prevalence of asthma.
Most cited papers:
Phylogenetic identification and in situ detection of individual microbial cells without cultivation.
Lehrstuhl für Mikrobiologie, Technische Universität München, Germany.
The frequent discrepancy between direct microscopic counts and numbers of culturable bacteria from environmental samples is just one of several indications that we currently know only a minor part of the diversity of microorganisms in nature. A combination of direct retrieval of rRNA sequences and whole-cell oligonucleotide probing can be used to detect specific rRNA sequences of uncultured bacteria in natural samples and to microscopically identify individual cells. Studies have been performed with microbial assemblages of various complexities ranging from simple two-component bacterial endosymbiotic associations to multispecies enrichments containing magnetotactic bacteria to highly complex marine and soil communities. Phylogenetic analysis of the retrieved rRNA sequence of an uncultured microorganism reveals its closest culturable relatives and may, together with information on the physicochemical conditions of its natural habitat, facilitate more directed cultivation attempts. For the analysis of complex communities such as multispecies biofilms and activated-sludge flocs, a different approach has proven advantageous. Sets of probes specific to different taxonomic levels are applied consecutively beginning with the more general and ending with the more specific (a hierarchical top-to-bottom approach), thereby generating increasingly precise information on the structure of the community. Not only do rRNA-targeted whole-cell hybridizations yield data on cell morphology, specific cell counts, and in situ distributions of defined phylogenetic groups, but also the strength of the hybridization signal reflects the cellular rRNA content of individual cells. From the signal strength conferred by a specific probe, in situ growth rates and activities of individual cells might be estimated for known species. In many ecosystems, low cellular rRNA content and/or limited cell permeability, combined with background fluorescence, hinders in situ identification of autochthonous populations. Approaches to circumvent these problems are discussed in detail.
Biopsy specimens were taken from intact areas of antral mucosa in 100 consecutive consenting patients presenting for gastroscopy. Spiral or curved bacilli were demonstrated in specimens from 58 patients. Bacilli cultured from 11 of these biopsies were gram-negative, flagellate, and microaerophilic and appeared to be a new species related to the genus Campylobacter. The bacteria were present in almost all patients with active chronic gastritis, duodenal ulcer, or gastric ulcer and thus may be an important factor in the aetiology of these diseases.
Paul B Eckburg, Elisabeth M Bik, Charles N Bernstein, Elizabeth Purdom, Les Dethlefsen, Michael Sargent, Steven R Gill, Karen E Nelson, David A Relman
Division of Infectious Diseases and Geographic Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Room S-169, 300 Pasteur Drive, Stanford CA 94305-5107, USA. email@example.com
The human endogenous intestinal microflora is an essential "organ" in providing nourishment, regulating epithelial development, and instructing innate immunity; yet, surprisingly, basic features remain poorly described. We examined 13,355 prokaryotic ribosomal RNA gene sequences from multiple colonic mucosal sites and feces of healthy subjects to improve our understanding of gut microbial diversity. A majority of the bacterial sequences corresponded to uncultivated species and novel microorganisms. We discovered significant intersubject variability and differences between stool and mucosa community composition. Characterization of this immensely diverse ecosystem is the first step in elucidating its role in health and disease.
Institut für Mikrobiologie und Hygiene, Universitätsklinikum Charité, Berlin, Germany.
After nearly 10 years of PCR-based analysis of prokaryotic small-subunit ribosomal RNAs for ecological studies it seems necessary to summarize reported pitfalls of this approach which will most likely lead to an erroneous description on the microbial diversity of a given habitat. The following article will cover specific aspects of sample collection, cell lysis, nucleic acid extraction, PCR amplification, separation of amplified DNA, application of nucleic probes and data analysis.
Peter J Turnbaugh, Ruth E Ley, Michael A Mahowald, Vincent Magrini, Elaine R Mardis, Jeffrey I Gordon
Center for Genome Sciences, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri 63108, USA.
The worldwide obesity epidemic is stimulating efforts to identify host and environmental factors that affect energy balance. Comparisons of the distal gut microbiota of genetically obese mice and their lean littermates, as well as those of obese and lean human volunteers have revealed that obesity is associated with changes in the relative abundance of the two dominant bacterial divisions, the Bacteroidetes and the Firmicutes. Here we demonstrate through metagenomic and biochemical analyses that these changes affect the metabolic potential of the mouse gut microbiota. Our results indicate that the obese microbiome has an increased capacity to harvest energy from the diet. Furthermore, this trait is transmissible: colonization of germ-free mice with an 'obese microbiota' results in a significantly greater increase in total body fat than colonization with a 'lean microbiota'. These results identify the gut microbiota as an additional contributing factor to the pathophysiology of obesity.
Polycarbonate Nuclepore filters are better than cellulose filters for the direct counting of bacteria because they have uniform pore size and a flat surface that retains all of the bacteria on top of the filter. Although cellulose filters also retain all of the bacteria, many are trapped inside the filter where they cannot be counted. Before use, the Nuclepore filters must be dyed with irgalan black to eliminate autofluorescence. Direct counts of bacteria in lake and ocean waters are twice as high with Nuclepore filters as with cellulose filters.
Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, Missouri 63108, USA.
Two groups of beneficial bacteria are dominant in the human gut, the Bacteroidetes and the Firmicutes. Here we show that the relative proportion of Bacteroidetes is decreased in obese people by comparison with lean people, and that this proportion increases with weight loss on two types of low-calorie diet. Our findings indicate that obesity has a microbial component, which might have potential therapeutic implications.
Steven R Gill, Mihai Pop, Robert T Deboy, Paul B Eckburg, Peter J Turnbaugh, Buck S Samuel, Jeffrey I Gordon, David A Relman, Claire M Fraser-Liggett, Karen E Nelson
Institute for Genomic Research, 9712 Medical Center Drive, Rockville, MD 20850, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
The human intestinal microbiota is composed of 10(13) to 10(14) microorganisms whose collective genome ("microbiome") contains at least 100 times as many genes as our own genome. We analyzed approximately 78 million base pairs of unique DNA sequence and 2062 polymerase chain reaction-amplified 16S ribosomal DNA sequences obtained from the fecal DNAs of two healthy adults. Using metabolic function analyses of identified genes, we compared our human genome with the average content of previously sequenced microbial genomes. Our microbiome has significantly enriched metabolism of glycans, amino acids, and xenobiotics; methanogenesis; and 2-methyl-d-erythritol 4-phosphate pathway-mediated biosynthesis of vitamins and isoprenoids. Thus, humans are superorganisms whose metabolism represents an amalgamation of microbial and human attributes.
Department of Molecular Genetics, The Forsyth Institute, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA. email@example.com
The purpose of this study was to determine the bacterial diversity in the human subgingival plaque by using culture-independent molecular methods as part of an ongoing effort to obtain full 16S rRNA sequences for all cultivable and not-yet-cultivated species of human oral bacteria. Subgingival plaque was analyzed from healthy subjects and subjects with refractory periodontitis, adult periodontitis, human immunodeficiency virus periodontitis, and acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis. 16S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) bacterial genes from DNA isolated from subgingival plaque samples were PCR amplified with all-bacterial or selective primers and cloned into Escherichia coli. The sequences of cloned 16S rDNA inserts were used to determine species identity or closest relatives by comparison with sequences of known species. A total of 2,522 clones were analyzed. Nearly complete sequences of approximately 1,500 bases were obtained for putative new species. About 60% of the clones fell into 132 known species, 70 of which were identified from multiple subjects. About 40% of the clones were novel phylotypes. Of the 215 novel phylotypes, 75 were identified from multiple subjects. Known putative periodontal pathogens such as Porphyromonas gingivalis, Bacteroides forsythus, and Treponema denticola were identified from multiple subjects, but typically as a minor component of the plaque as seen in cultivable studies. Several phylotypes fell into two recently described phyla previously associated with extreme natural environments, for which there are no cultivable species. A number of species or phylotypes were found only in subjects with disease, and a few were found only in healthy subjects. The organisms identified only from diseased sites deserve further study as potential pathogens. Based on the sequence data in this study, the predominant subgingival microbial community consisted of 347 species or phylotypes that fall into 9 bacterial phyla. Based on the 347 species seen in our sample of 2,522 clones, we estimate that there are 68 additional unseen species, for a total estimate of 415 species in the subgingival plaque. When organisms found on other oral surfaces such as the cheek, tongue, and teeth are added to this number, the best estimate of the total species diversity in the oral cavity is approximately 500 species, as previously proposed.
The clinical significance of positive blood cultures: a comprehensive analysis of 500 episodes of bacteremia and fungemia in adults. I. Laboratory and epidemiologic observations.
Five hundred episodes of septicemia were reviewed, with emphasis on laboratory and epidemiologic findings. The isolation of facultative and anaerobic gram-negative bacilli, fungi, and gram-positive cocci (except viridans streptococci and Staphylococcus epidermidis) almost always indicated true bacteremia, whereas the isolation of aerobic and anaerobic gram-positive bacilli, including Clostridium species, often represented contamination. More than 99% of all episodes were detected when two samples of blood (a total of 30 ml) were cultured. The five most common isolates were Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The incidence of septicemia was highest among medical patients and lowest among obstetric-gynecologic patients. Two-thirds of all episodes were nosocomial; S. aureus, enterococci, facultative gram-negative bacilli, and fungi were especially common nosocomial pathogens. The microorganisms isolated varied with the hospital service; polymicrobial episodes were especially common among surgical patients and transplant recipients. The most common sources of bacteremia were the respiratory, genitourinary, and gastrointestinal tracts; however, the source was unknown in nearly one-third of episodes. Microorganisms causing septicemia in neutropenic and nonneutropenic patients were not different; however, polymicrobial infections were more frequent in the presence of neutropenia. After antimicrobial susceptibility data became available, therapy was appropriate greater than 90% of the time.