Mycobacterial species and their contribution to cholesterol degradation in wastewater treatment plants.
ABSTRACT: Mycobacterium often presents as an abundant bacterial genus in activated sludge in many wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), but the species-level taxonomy and functions remain poorly understood. In this study, we profiled the mycobacterial communities in eleven WWTPs from five countries by pyrosequencing the rpoB amplicons and searching against a customized database of mycobacterial rpoB sequences. Results indicated that major mycobacterial species were related to M. brumae, M. crocinum, M. sphagni, etc., most of which belong to poorly characterized rapidly-growing group. A few opportunistic pathogenic species were detected, suggesting the potential risk of mycobacteria in WWTPs. Genomic analysis of four isolates from activated sludge indicated these genomes contained genes of degradations of alkane, aromatics, steroids and a variety of cytochrome P450 families. Additionally, a few key genes responsible for cholesterol degradation were detected in a full-scale activated sludge metatranscriptomic dataset reported previously and taxonomically assigned to mycobacteria. Evidence showed that all isolates can degrade cholesterol, a major composition of sewage. Relative abundance of mycobacteria in activated sludge was enriched by 4.7 folds after adding cholesterol into the influent for one week. Our results provided the insights into mycobacterial species and functions in WWTPs.
Project description:Foaming of activated sludge (AS) causes adverse impacts on wastewater treatment operation and hygiene. In this study, we investigated the microbial communities of foam, foaming AS and non-foaming AS in a sewage treatment plant via deep-sequencing of the taxonomic marker genes 16S rRNA and mycobacterial rpoB and a metagenomic approach. In addition to Actinobacteria, many genera (e.g., Clostridium XI, Arcobacter, Flavobacterium) were more abundant in the foam than in the AS. On the other hand, deep-sequencing of rpoB did not detect any obligate pathogenic mycobacteria in the foam. We found that unknown factors other than the abundance of Gordonia sp. could determine the foaming process, because abundance of the same species was stable before and after a foaming event over six months. More interestingly, although the dominant Gordonia foam former was the closest with G. amarae, it was identified as an undescribed Gordonia species by referring to the 16S rRNA gene, gyrB and, most convincingly, the reconstructed draft genome from metagenomic reads. Our results, based on metagenomics and deep sequencing, reveal that foams are derived from diverse taxa, which expands previous understanding and provides new insight into the underlying complications of the foaming phenomenon in AS.
Project description:The hydrophobic composition of mycobacterial cell walls leads to the formation of clumps when attempting to resuspend mycobacteria in aqueous solutions. Such aggregation may interfere in the mycobacteria-host cells interaction and, consequently, influence their antitumor effect. To improve the immunotherapeutic activity of Mycobacterium brumae, we designed different emulsions and demonstrated their efficacy. The best formulation was initially selected based on homogeneity and stability. Both olive oil (OO)- and mineral oil-in-water emulsions better preserved the mycobacteria viability and provided higher disaggregation rates compared to the others. But, among both emulsions, the OO emulsion increased the mycobacteria capacity to induce cytokines' production in bladder tumor cell cultures. The OO-mycobacteria emulsion properties: less hydrophobic, lower pH, more neutralized zeta potential, and increased affinity to fibronectin than non-emulsified mycobacteria, indicated favorable conditions for reaching the bladder epithelium in vivo. Finally, intravesical OO-M. brumae-treated mice showed a significantly higher systemic immune response, together with a trend toward increased tumor-bearing mouse survival rates compared to the rest of the treated mice. The physicochemical characteristics and the induction of a robust immune response in vitro and in vivo highlight the potential of the OO emulsion as a good delivery vehicle for the mycobacterial treatment of bladder cancer.
Project description:To understand microbial community functional structures of activated sludge in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) and the effects of environmental factors on their structure, 12 activated sludge samples were collected from four WWTPs in Beijing. GeoChip 4.2 was used to determine the microbial functional genes involved in a variety of biogeochemical processes. The results showed that, for each gene category, such as egl, amyA, nir, ppx, dsrA sox and benAB, there were a number of microorganisms shared by all 12 samples, suggestive of the presence of a core microbial community in the activated sludge of four WWTPs. Variance partitioning analyses (VPA) showed that a total of 53% of microbial community variation can be explained by wastewater characteristics (25%) and operational parameters (23%), respectively. This study provided an overall picture of microbial community functional structures of activated sludge in WWTPs and discerned the linkages between microbial communities and environmental variables in WWTPs. Four full-scale wastewater treatment systems located in Beijing were investigated. Triplicate samples were collected in each site.
Project description:It is assumed that microbial communities involved in the biological treatment of different wastewaters having a different chemical composition harbor different microbial populations which are specifically adapted to the environmental stresses encountered in these systems. Yet, little is known about the composition of these microbial communities. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the microbial community composition over two seasons (winter and summer) in activated sludge from well-operating textile wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in comparison with municipal WWTPs, and to explain observed differences by environmental variables. 454-pyrosequencing generated 160 archaeal and 1645 bacterial species-level Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs), with lower observed richness in activated sludge from textile WWTPs compared to municipal WWTPs. The bacterial phyla Planctomycetes, Chloroflexi, Chlorobi, and Acidobacteria were more abundant in activated sludge samples from textile WWTPs, together with archaeal members of Thaumarchaeota. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling analysis of the microbial communities showed that microbial communities from textile and municipal WWTPs were significantly different, with a seasonal effect on archaea. Nitrifying and denitrifying bacteria as well as phosphate-accumulation bacteria were more abundant in municipal WWTPs, while sulfate-reducing bacteria were almost only detected in textile WWTPs. Additionally, microbial communities from textile WWTPs were more dissimilar than those of municipal WWTPs, possibly due to a wider diversity in environmental stresses to which microbial communities in textile WWTPs are subjected to. High salinity, high organic loads, and a higher water temperature were important potential variables driving the microbial community composition in textile WWTPs. This study provides a general view on the composition of microbial communities in activated sludge of textile WWTPs, and may provide novel insights for identifying key players performing important functions in the purification of textile wastewaters.
Project description:For the differentiation and identification of mycobacterial species, the rpoB gene, encoding the beta subunit of RNA polymerase, was investigated. rpoB DNAs (342 bp) were amplified from 44 reference strains of mycobacteria and clinical isolates (107 strains) by PCR. The nucleotide sequences were directly determined (306 bp) and aligned by using the multiple alignment algorithm in the MegAlign package (DNASTAR) and the MEGA program. A phylogenetic tree was constructed by the neighbor-joining method. Comparative sequence analysis of rpoB DNAs provided the basis for species differentiation within the genus Mycobacterium. Slowly and rapidly growing groups of mycobacteria were clearly separated, and each mycobacterial species was differentiated as a distinct entity in the phylogenetic tree. Pathogenic Mycobacterium kansasii was easily differentiated from nonpathogenic M. gastri; this differentiation cannot be achieved by using 16S rRNA gene (rDNA) sequences. By being grouped into species-specific clusters with low-level sequence divergence among strains of the same species, all of the clinical isolates could be easily identified. These results suggest that comparative sequence analysis of amplified rpoB DNAs can be used efficiently to identify clinical isolates of mycobacteria in parallel with traditional culture methods and as a supplement to 16S rDNA gene analysis. Furthermore, in the case of M. tuberculosis, rifampin resistance can be simultaneously determined.
Project description:The standard treatment for high-risk non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (BC) is the intravesical administration of live Mycobacterium bovis BCG. Previous studies suggest improving this therapy by implementing non-pathogenic mycobacteria, such as Mycobacterium brumae, and/or different vehicles for mycobacteria delivery, such as an olive oil (OO)-in-water emulsion. While it has been established that BCG treatment activates the immune system, the immune effects of altering the mycobacterium and/or the preparation remain unknown. In an orthotopic murine BC model, local immune responses were assessed by measuring immune cells into the bladder and macromolecules in the urine by flow cytometry and multiplexing, respectively. Systemic immune responses were analyzed by quantifying sera anti-mycobacteria antibody levels and recall responses of ex vivo splenocytes cultured with mycobacteria antigens. In both BCG- and M. brumae-treated mice, T, NK, and NKT cell infiltration in the bladder was significantly increased. Notably, T cell infiltration was enhanced in OO-in-water emulsified mycobacteria-treated mice, and urine IL-6 and KC concentrations were elevated. Furthermore, mycobacteria treatment augmented IgG antibody production and splenocyte proliferation, especially in mice receiving OO-in-water emulsified mycobacteria. Our data demonstrate that intravesical mycobacterial treatment triggers local and systemic immune responses, which are most significant when OO-in-water emulsified mycobacteria are used.
Project description:Sequence analysis of a specific region of the mycobacterium rpoB gene in 35 mycobacterial strains representing 26 different mycobacterial species of clinical importance showed that there exists a highly polymorphic region. Based on the sequences of the polymorphic region, the oligonucleotide probes of 14 mycobacterial species with relatively high clinical importance were designed and shown to be specific to their corresponding mycobacterial species by dot blot hybridization. The results showed that the probes designed in this study are highly specific to each mycobacterial species, which suggests that these sequences may be useful for the species identification of mycobacteria.
Project description:Mycobacterium bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) remains the first treatment option for non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (BC) patients. In research laboratories, M. bovis BCG is mainly grown in commercially available media supplemented with animal-derived agents that favor its growth, while biomass production for patient treatment is performed in Sauton medium which lacks animal-derived components. However, there is not a standardized formulation of Sauton medium, which could affect mycobacterial characteristics. Here, the impact of culture composition on the immunomodulatory and antitumor capacity of M. bovis BCG and Mycolicibacterium brumae, recently described as efficacious for BC treatment, has been addressed. Both mycobacteria grown in Middlebrook and different Sauton formulations, differing in the source of nitrogen and amount of carbon source, were studied. Our results indicate the relevance of culture medium composition on the antitumor effect triggered by mycobacteria, indicating that the most productive culture medium is not necessarily the formulation that provides the most favorable immunomodulatory profile and the highest capacity to inhibit BC cell growth. Strikingly, each mycobacterial species requires a specific culture medium composition to provide the best profile as an immunotherapeutic agent for BC treatment. Our results highlight the relevance of meticulousness in mycobacteria production, providing insight into the application of these bacteria in BC research.
Project description:PCR amplification-restriction analysis (PRA) of rpoB DNA (342 bp), which comprises the Rif(r) region, was used for the differential identification of 49 mycobacteria. The DNA had been used previously for the identification of mycobacterial species by comparative sequence analysis (B. J. Kim et al., J. Clin. Microbiol. 37:1714-1720, 1999). Digestion with four restriction enzymes (HaeIII, HindII, MvaI, and AccII), which were selected on the basis of rpoB DNA sequences, generated distinctive PRA patterns that allowed not only the reference strains but also the clinical isolates of mycobacteria to be distinguished. Both rapidly and slowly growing mycobacteria were distinctly differentiated by HaeIII digestion of the amplified rpoB DNA. By HindII digestion the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex was distinguished from the other mycobacteria. Furthermore, six subspecies of Mycobacterium kansasii (subspecies I to VI) as well as the closely related Mycobacterium gastri, and other closely related species, were distinguished by simultaneous digestion of MvaI and AccII. According to the rpoB PRA scheme, 240 strains of clinical isolates could be identified. It was also possible to detect and identify M. tuberculosis directly from sputa and bronchoalveolar lavage specimens. These results suggest that PRA of rpoB DNA is a simple and feasible method not only for the differentiation of culture isolates but also for the rapid detection and identification of pathogenic mycobacteria in primary clinical specimens.
Project description:PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis (PRA) using the novel region of the rpoB gene was developed for rapid and precise identification of mycobacteria to the species level. A total of 50 mycobacterial reference strains and 3 related bacterial strains were used to amplify the 360-bp region of rpoB, and the amplified DNAs were subsequently digested with restriction enzymes such as MspI and HaeIII. The results from this study clearly show that most of the mycobacterial species were easily differentiated at the species level by this PRA method. In addition, species with several subtypes, such as Mycobacterium gordonae, M. kansasii, M. celatum, and M. fortuitum, were also differentiated by this PRA method. Subsequently, an algorithm was constructed based on the results, and a blinded test was carried out with more than 260 clinical isolates that had been identified on the basis of conventional tests. Comparison of these two sets of results clearly indicates that this new PRA method based on the rpoB gene is more simple, more rapid, and more accurate than conventional procedures for differentiating mycobacterial species.