ACTA Microbiologica Hellenica 2018 (Volume 63, Issues 2-3)

The role of human gut microbiota in Clostridium difficile infection

Eleftherios Tsintarakis, Melania Kachrimanidou
Microbiology Department, School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) has emerged as a major health problem. Data from human studies have shown
that the presence of C. difficile, either as a colonizer or as a pathogen, is associated with decreased level
of gut microbiota diversity. The investigation of the gut’s microbial communities, in both healthy subjects
and patients with CDI, elucidate the role of the microbiota and will improve the current biotherapeutics for
patients with CDI. Antibiotics cause important and long term alterations in gut microbiota, by altering its
composition and the gut’s metabolic functions. This may result in the reduction of colonization resistance
in opportunistic pathogens, such as C. difficile. CDI represents a significant health problem, since the
bacteria has the capacity to form seeds, which are extremely difficult to be eradicated and may cause recurrent
infections. CDI is involved in the removal of specific microbial population from the gut, which protects human
body from harmful colonization. Faecal microbiota transplantation is the administration of minimally manipulated
microbial community from the stools of a healthy donor, into the patients’ gut and acts as a safe and effective
therapy in CDI. The identification of symbiotic bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract offers protection against C.
difficile and probably is a solution in the prevention and therapy of CDI. The aim of the present review is to focus
on the recent data concerning the human gut microbiota and also on the important role of it in health and disease.

Keywords: microbiota, Clostridium difficile infection, gut

Emerging bacterial pathogens in bottled water

Maria Papapetropoulou1, Athina Mavridou2
1.Professor emeritus, Medical School, University of Patras, Greece.
2.Professor, Technological Educational Institute, Dept. of Medical Laboratories, Athens, Greece.

Consumers believe that bottled water is a safe, natural product. However, scientists have shown that certain kinds
of bottled water may cause infections especially in patients with compromised immune system. Under normal circumstances,
the microbial population of bottled water is that which is indigenous to the source of the water (autochthonous flora).
Such flora is considered to pose no risk to human health provided the European regulations governing the packaging of
bottled water are adhered to. On the contrary, allochthonous bacteria in bottled water can cause water-born infections
in humans. Therefore, scientists in recent years have focused on identifying and characterizing these emerging allochthonous
bacteria in bottled water. Using modern molecular techniques, scientists have identified a large number of emerging bacterial
pathogens present in bottled water some of which exhibit resistance to many antibiotics.
Examples of such bacteria include: The pathogenic Escherichia coli (E. coli); Campylobacter jejuni (C. jejuni);
Legionella pneumophilae (L. pneumophilae), the non-tuberculous or Environmental Mycobacteria (NTM), Aeromonas hydrophila
and Helicobacter pylori. Guidelines governing the testing of bottled water for the presence of emerging bacterial pathogens
do not exist. This, coupled with the absence as yet of specific surrogate indicators for these bacteria, makes the regular
testing of bottled water practically non-existent. Therefore, the use of adequately sterilized water is strongly recommended
for patients with extreme health issues leading to immune-compromised systems.

Keywords: Emerging bacteria, waterborne pathogens, bottled water safety

Microbial populations in the city buses of Thessaloniki, Greece

Antonios Morsi Yeroyannis, Anastasia Stoimeni, Konstantinos Tsaknakis, Maria Exindari
Laboratory of Microbiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, School of Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

Objectives: Public places including public means of transport are biologically characterized by a variety of microorganisms
with great diversity. The aim of this research is to investigate the bacteria which exist in the city buses of a million
habitants city, Thessaloniki.
Materials – Methods: The samples came from the area of the stop buttons located on the bus handles of selected buses.
The sampled buses were from lines Νo 2 and 3, which cross the entire city, from east to west. The samples were collected
at the end of each route at peak hours (10 am to 2 pm) and cultured on McConkey and blood agar. The isolates were identified and
Results: In 18/39 (46.2%) of the cultures, Staphylococcus strains were found, 50% of them being Staphylococcus aureus.
Other isolates were: diphtheroids 5/39 (12.82%), Moraxella 3/39 (7.7%), Gram (-) rods 2/39 (5.1%), Streptococcus spp. 1/39 (2.6%),
saprophytic bacilli 1/39 (2.6%), Klebsiella pneumoniae 1/39 (2.6%) and fungi 1/39 (2.6%). Overall, 19 cultures (48.7%) developed
one species, 6 (15.4%) more than one, while in 14 (35.9%) no bacteria were isolated.
Discussion: To our knowledge, this is the first microbiological study related to public health, which was carried out on the urban
transport of Thessaloniki. Impressively, a variety of microbes,belonging to the respiratory tract flora, have been found on the bus
handles, most possibly transmitted by infected hands. Similar studies should support the epidemiological surveillance of public places
aiming to protect the transmission of pathogenic bacteria and the public health.

Keywords: public transport, buses, bacterial contamination

Effect of Tween 60 and Tween 80 on the growth of Malassezia species

Weerapong Juntachai
Department of Biology, Faculty of Science and Technology, Chiang Mai Rajabhat University,Thailand.

Yeasts in the genus Malassezia are a member of the normal skin flora and also cause various skin diseases in both human and animals.
Except M. pachydermatis, all of the other Malassezia species are known to be lipid-dependent fungi which require external lipid sources for growth.
Fatty acid-derived Tweens are widely used in various products such as foods, medicines, cosmetics,and also laboratory culture purpose. Therefore,
it is necessary to evaluate the effect of Tweens on fungal growth. Three Malassezia species; M. furfur CBS 1878T, M. pachydermatis CBS 1879NT and
M. slooffiae CBS 7956NT appeared to have different preference for Tween in that they showed optimal growth at 1% Tween 80, 2% Tween 60, and 2%
Tween 80, respectively. Tween with concentration more than 0.5% showed significant growth of Malassezia. In addition, under co-culture conditions,
the population ratio of each Malassezia species maintained equilibrium regardless of initial cell ratio, implying an interspecies interaction of
Malassezia. The results suggest a need to re-evaluate the use of Tweens in products associated with the skin.

Keywords: Tween, polysorbate, Malassezia, co-culture, growth

From the history of tuberculosis in Greece: The Sanatorium “Zoodohos Pigi” (Daou Pentelis), 1938-1956

Sofia Houladaki1, Constantinos Tsiamis2, Dimitrios Anoyatis-Pele1, Georgia Vrioni2
1.Historical Demography, Faculty of History, Ionian University of Corfu, Greece
2.Department of Microbiology, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece

The study presents the Sanatorium “Zoodohos Pigi” (Daou Pentelis) during the period 1938-1956. During these eighteen years, Greece is experiencing
one of the most volatile periods of its history, facing the economic, political and social problems of the interwar period, theSecond World War
and the Greek Civil War. During this historical period, the dominant cause of the death from infectious diseases among Greek population was
tuberculosis. The countering of this disease in combination to the historical events comprise the main axis of the following study, which unfolds
in accordance to the historical sub periods lighting the way in which political will, financial capability and scientific progress interact.
The data provided by the patients’ records was processed by methods of statistical analysis. The results depict the struggle of the scientific
community against the disease, the social and financial profile of the patients and the position of sanatoriums in the health care structure of their time.

Keywords: Greece, History of Microbiology, Historical Demography, Public Health, Sanatorium Zoodohos Pigi, Tuberculosis

Meningitis caused by Pasteurella multocida

Alexandra Bakossi1, Maria Demetriou3, Stella Ageloglou2, Maria Kimouli1, Maria Koutraki1,
Ioannis Markakis2, Joseph Papaparaskevas4, Paraskevi Karle1
1.Laboratory of Microbiology GN Nikaia “Agios Panteleimon”
2.Neurological clinic Department GN Nikaia “Agios Panteleimon”
3.Laboratory of Microbiology “Metaxa” Anticancer Hospital
4.Department of Microbiology, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece

Pasteurella multocida is a rare cause of bacterial meningitis. A 54 year old woman with a domestic dog, was admitted to the General Hospital of Nikea,
with headache and vomiting. Lumbar puncture revealed cloudy fluid, 14000 cells/mm3 (90% polymorphonuclear), glucose 14mg/dl and protein 163,3mg/dl.
In CSF culture, Pasteurella muldocida was identified. Treatment with ceftriaxone and ampicillin was successful. Although being a rare pathogen,
P. multocida should be considered as a potential cause of meningitis particularly in patients with animal exposure.

Keywords: Pasteurella multocida, meningitis, zoonosis