ACTA Microbiologica Hellenica (Volume 65, Issue 2)

Syphilis in 21st century: “The return”

Vassilios Paparizos, Varvara Vasalou, Eleni Paparizou
AIDS Unit, “A. Syngros” Hospital of Venereal and Skin Diseases

Over the last 20 years, continuous upward trend of syphilis and other Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) incidence has been documented. This increase in industrialized countries is observed in significant proportion in homosexual men with high risk sexual behaviour and it reflects intensification and spreading of such behaviour. The causes of this phenomenon include
major economical, societal and technological changes, as well as developments in treatment and preventive medication of HIV infection, which significantly alleviated fear of infection. Accordingly, Public Health must be vigilant to reverse this epidemiologic trend by adjusting prevention strategies.

Key words: Syphilis, Sexually Transmitted Diseases,HIV, Epidemiology

In vitro antibacterial activity of four plant species used in traditional medicine practices of south Omo zone, southern Ethiopia

Sintayehu Gobezie1, Aseer Manilal1, Mohammed Seid1, Ermias Lulekal2, Tsegaye Yohanes1,
Teklu Wegayehu3
1 Department of Medical Laboratory Science, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Arba Minch University,
Arba Minch, Ethiopia
2 Department of Plant Biology and Biodiversity Management, College of Natural and Computational Sciences,
Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
3 Department of Biology, College of Natural Sciences, Arba Minch University, Arba Minch, Ethiopia

Screening of plants used in traditional medicines could provide valuable information regarding antimicrobials. The present study determines the antibacterial activity of crude extracts of four medicinal plants, in vitro, against a panel of American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) (two Grampositive and seven Gram-negative bacteria) and clinical isolates of Multi-Drug Resistant (MDR)
bacteria (two strains of Gram-positive and three Gram-negative bacteria), by employing agar well diffusion assay. Based on the ethnobotanical data, four plants were chosen and collected from different areas of south Omo. Leaves (Aloe pirottae, Kosteletzkya begoniifolia, and Uvaria leptocladon) and root (Grewia schweinfurthii) of plants were subjected to the extraction process
using six different organic solvents. The plants that showed the highest activity indices were further screened against MDR bacterial isolates. Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentrations (MBC) were estimated in the case of the most active plant extract. The results of primary screening revealed that two plants (K. begoniifolia, and U. leptocladon) were highly active against ATCC strains. Ethyl acetate extract of U. leptocladon produced the highest zone of inhibition ranging between 20 ±1.15 mm to 40±1.45 mm against Gramnegative bacteria and 21±0.58 mm to 28±2.03 mm against Gram-positive bacteria. Likewise, extracts of K. begoniifolia in the same solvent produced an inhibitory zone in the range of
10±0.33 mm and 20±1.15 mm corresponding to Gram-positive and Gram-negative type culture bacteria respectively. The results of the comprehensive screening showed that ethyl acetate extract of U. leptocladon efficiently inhibited the growth of MDR bacterial isolates. The overall findings of this study demonstrated that all four plants have antibacterial activities in varying
degrees. The ethyl acetate extract of U. leptocladon showed the widest and highest spectrum of antibacterial activities in the range of 15.7±0.3 to 23.7±0.7 mm as per agar well diffusion assay, whereas the MIC values of U. leptocladon against the Gram-negative bacteria ranged between 7.8 and 125 μg/ml and the corresponding MBC values were found to be in the range of 15 and 500 μg/ml. MIC and MBC values were found to be the least, 125 μg/ml and 500 μg/ml respectively in the case of Gram-positive bacteria. Overall results substantiate the traditional uses of U. leptocladon as an antibacterial agent.

Key words: Antibacterial activity, Medicinal plants, south Omo, U. leptocladon, A. pirottae, G. schweinfurthii, K. begoniifolia

Propolis: bioactive molecules with antibacterial activity

Stavroula Mamoucha, Anastasia Prombona
Institute of Biosciences and Applications, National Centre for Scientific Research DEMOKRITOS,
Ag. Paraskevi, Attiki

Propolis is a natural substance produced by honey bees from the exudates of certain trees and plants. Ιts composition varies according to the botanical and geographical origin, the seasonal timing of collection, and extraction methods. In this investigation we performed several tests regarding the solvent, the extraction method and the bioactivity. For this purpose, propolis extracts in 95 or 70% ethanol and standard bacterial strains were used (Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 29213, Micrococcus luteus ATCC 934 and Escherichia coli ATCC 25922). Bioactivity tests were performed by Disk Diffusion Assay and Well Diffusion Assay.

Applying these methods of analysis, the growth inhibition zone for S. aureus και M. luteus was 2±0,3 cm και 1,8±0,2 cm, respectively. No inhibition was observed for the bacterial strain E. coli. These results indicate that the examined propolis sample has antibacterial activity against the tested Gram-positive bacteria.

Key words: propolis, antimicrobial activity, extraction solvent

Echinococcosis in five hospitals of Athens during the period 2005-2012

George Tsioulos1, Maria Maisi2, Evdokia Vassalou3, Emmanuelle Maisi4, Marietta Kontarini5,
Emmanouil Papadogiannakis5

1 Radiology Department Venizeleio General Hospital of Heraklion
2 Hematological Laboratory Venizeleio General Hospital of Heraklion
3 Public and Communal Health Department – School of Public Health – University of West Athens
4 Dental Clinic Pagni Hospital of Heraklion
5 Public Health Political Department – School of Public Health – University of West Athens

Intoduction: Echinococcosis is an infection caused by the worms of the parasite Echinococcus. In our days, four different types of Echinococcus are recognized, E. granulosus, E. multilocularis, E. vogeli, and E. oligarthrus, while the first two are pathogenic in humans. E. granulosus dominates in Greece, final host of which is dog and other wild canine.

Target: Report of Echinococcosis during the years 2005-2012 in five hospitals and comparison between the study cases and the officially reported cases to former Greek disease control and prevention center (new established National Public Health  Organization-NPHO) at the same time.

Method:We categorized the Echinococcus cases regarding the gender, nationality, age, location of cysts, presence of antihelminthic antibodies and eosinophilia, increase of hepatic enzymes and bilirubin, and the appearance of relapse or not. Afterwards a numerical comparison of our cases with the reported cases to KEELPNO from 2005 until 2012 was made.

Results: Almost half of the 58 cases reported were men and of Greek nationality. 27 cases were < 60 years old while 25 were > 60 years old. The most common location was liver (52 cases) mainly with a single cyst. In 8/36 cases antihelminthic antibodies were detected and eosinophilia was found in only 3/37 cases. Some correlation between echinococcosis and increase of bilirubin and hepatic enzymes was noticed, while relapse was mentioned in 9/38 cases.

Conclusion: In Greece, echinococcosis is quite widespread and comparing our data with the reported cases to KEELPNO, we come to the conclusion that it is an underreported disease.

Key words: echinococcosis, epidemiology, Greece, underreporting of diseases