Category: Bacteriology

Human leptospirosis cases in Palermo Italy: Rodents and Climate

Leptospirosis is a corkscrew shaped that is known as one of the most widespread bacterial zoonoses in the world. Symptoms range from mild flu to severe multi-organ failure and fatal pulmonary hemorrhagic syndrome. In which the key factors of these diseases are from stray animals, poor sanitation, rodents, heavy rainfall and flooding. Many regions have been increasingly exposed to leptospirosis infection due to climate change, global warming, poverty and high urban density. Rodents are the main animal reservoir in urban settings mainly involved in pathogenic transmission. Moreover, a high prevalence in rodent population occurs in major cities such as in Baltimore, Tokyo and Copenhagen. In Italy sporadic cases of leptospirosis have been often related to river flooding. This study focused on molecular survey of rodents in the city of Palermo, Italy.


Human leptospirosis cases

Two cases in 2009 of leptospirosis in Palermo during spring and fall seasons and there were 22 locations monitored. A rodent is the main reservoir for leptospirosis related to heavy rainfall and flooding in urban streets and riverbanks. During street floods individual were potentially in contact with water contaminated by infected rodent urine. So, the risk of infection is high but because of good hygienic conditions and economic wellness severe symptoms is rare.  It is also possible that periodic exposures to serovars leave the immune competent population more resistant to infection. Other cases also in Northern Italy an elderly woman has a fatal infection after river flooding occurs.


Based on molecular testing leptospirosis are positive in all species of wild rodents living in almost all areas in the city. Mice and rats are the natural source for this pathogenic infection. The main common problem in Palermo, Italy is the urban street floods from heavy rains and waste accumulation. In which the city is represented by almost ten thousand stray dogs feeding on garbage. Previously, a patient was in contact with contaminated water in street flood after violent cloudburst. Waste collection also is one of the problem in Palermo that eventually facilitates the increased of rodent population.


High prevalence of leptospirosis occurs in mild wet climate, flooding of urban streets and socio-economic problems. Other Italian cities has presence of simultaneous risk factors for leptospirosis, and thus, a major concern from this underestimated zoonosis should be considered by public health authorities and clinicians particularly for elderly and immune-compromised individuals. However, severe symptomatic cases are referred to hospitals and the true prevalence of infection is probably not evaluated.


Source: Prepared by Joan Tura from Journal of Infection and Public Health

Volume 11, Issue 2, March–April 2018, Pages 209-214


Isolation of Antimicrobial Producing Actinobacteria from Soil Samples

Actinobacteria is a gram-positive that mostly found in both aquatic and terrestrial environment. This kind of bacteria  reveals a great economic importance because of its contributions in agriculture and forest soil systems. Actinobacteria is much like fungi aiding in the decomposition of organic matter from the dead organisms. Because of these, the emergence of multidrug resistant bacteria made into a novel research for bioactive compound. This particular research study investigates the antimicrobial activity of Actinobacteria isolated from the soil in Egypt.

Antimicrobial Activity of Actinobacteria

One hundred samples were collected and analyzed from the farming soil of Egypt wherein 12 isolates produces activity against tested organisms. The soil sample was grown on Actinomycetes isolation agar for identification of Actinobacteria. Using ethyl acetate extraction method the culture isolates tested against indicator organisms. Such as S. aureusBacillus cereusE. coliK. pneumoniaeP. aeruginosaS. Typhi, C. albicansA. niger and A. flavus. It is then screened for their antibacterial activity on Mueller Hinton agar using streak plate technique.


The 12 isolates exhibited broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity against the test organisms. In which the zone of inhibition ranges from 2.5-10.2 mm wherein all strain of Actinobacteria could not inhibit E.coli. But the rest exhibited zone of inhibition among the test organisms. There were four isolates also showed activity to Candida albicans, two against A.niger and two against A.flavus.


Therefore, soil samples are rich in Actinobacteria that reveals a wide spectrum as an antimicrobial agent. It is also recognized as producers of various bioactive metabolites that are vital to human and medicine. These includes as an antifungal, antitumor drugs, immunomodifiers and enzymes inhibitors. On the other hand Actinobacteria also gives importance in agriculture as an insecticides, fungicides, herbicides and growth enhancement substances. Indeed, this study indicates that Actinobacteria isolated from Egypt farms could be sources of antimicrobial bioactive substances.


Sources: Prepared by Joan Tura from Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences

Volume 25, Issue 1, January 2018, Pages 44-46

Salmonella Outbreak in Minnesota

What is Salmonella?

Salmonellosis is a bacterial infection that caused by Salmonella species that normally thrives in animal and human intestines. The mode of this bacteria to shed-off is through feces. Humans usually become infected mostly due to the contaminated food or water. As well as from eating uncooked meat, eggs and poultry products. Persons with Salmonella infection typically shows symptoms like diarrhea, stomach cramps, vomiting and fever that usually develops within 8-72 hours. However, people with good immune system can recover from the infection in just few days without medication. In some cases infection of Salmonella can be life threatening and needs immediate medical attention. Severe infection will also occurs that leads to osteomyelitis, meningitis and blood stream infection.


Salmonella Outbreaks

Minnesota Departments of Health and Agriculture discover the presence of Salmonella from the sample of a dog food brand. It is found out that the outbreak is related after children became sick who might have been feed the dogs with Raw Ground Turkey Food. Two children reported sickened with Salmonella poisoning due from touching or holding the products. One of the children develops severe infection that needs proper medication and hospitalization.


The Raw for Paws Ground Turkey Food for Pets did a recall of their products manufactured last October 12, 2017. The company issued a recall notice of the products with the codes 9900008 and 9900009. A recall also from the Pet Food Combo Pack cases with the codes 99000014 and 99000015. The products were recalled last February 5, 2018 and those who purchase directly from the company were notified. However, some of the products sold online and have been resold after purchase. You can check the FDA recall notice here.


Moreover, the cages, dishes and all the things used by the dog need to be disinfected properly. Salmonella species can survive for weeks on the surface area and can be a source for a long-term infection.



5 Unexpected Activities that Release Endorphin

Endorphin is one of the natural “happy” chemicals released by our bodies. This chemical which is secreted by our brains is responsible for helping us relieves stress, anxiety, and allows us to have higher tolerance for pain. Sometimes called as the natural morphine, endorphin affects our pain and pleasure perception.