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Institute for Bioengineering and Biosciences
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Adaptation and Survival Strategies of Bacteria in Aqueous Pharmaceutical Products

Adaptation and Survival Strategies of Bacteria in Aqueous Pharmaceutical Products | iBB | Scoop.it

The Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc) bacteria are feared contaminants in pharmaceutical industries and cause nosocomial outbreaks, posing health threats to immunocompromised individuals and cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. In this study, the adaptation and survival of B. cepacia and B. contaminans isolates was investigated after long-term incubation in nutrient depleted saline solutions supplemented with increasing concentrations of the biocidal preservative benzalkonium chloride (BZK), recreating the storage conditions of pharmaceutical products. This study just published in the section Biosafety and Biosecurity of Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology is co-authored by several members of Isabel Sá-Correia team from iBB/BSRG. This study reveals mechanisms underlying the prevalence of Bcc bacteria as contaminants of aqueous pharmaceutical products containing BZK, which often lead to false-negative results during quality control and routine testing.

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Using Dendritic Cells to Evaluate How Burkholderia cenocepacia Subvert Immune Functions

Using Dendritic Cells to Evaluate How Burkholderia cenocepacia Subvert Immune Functions | iBB | Scoop.it

Respiratory infections with Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc) bacteria, in general lead to a pronounced inflammatory response, followed by decline in lung function in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. In a study recently published in Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Isabel Sá-Correia and Carla Coutinho from BSRG-iBB, in collaboration with researchers from Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, show, for the first time, that during prolonged infection, B. cenocepacia acquires the ability to survive intracellularly, inducing inflammation, while refraining DC’s maturation and stimulating non-antigen-specific T cell responses. Click on title to learn more. 

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Burkholderia Contaminans at a Cystic Fibrosis Center

Burkholderia Contaminans at a Cystic Fibrosis Center | iBB | Scoop.it

The taxonomy of Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc) has recently evolved significantly. The novel species B. contaminans and B. lata were proposed for a divergent group of bacteria formerly classified as B.cepacia recA K. In a recent publication in the Journal of Medical Microbiology, Carla Coutinho and Isabel Sá-Correia from BSRG-iBB, together with researchers from Hospital de Santa Maria (HSM) in Lisbon, have re-examined the taxonomic position, at the species level, of several isolates previously classified as B. cepacia recA K from a Bcc collection and also extended the identification to other isolates retrieved from CF patients under surveillance at the major Portuguese CF Center at HSM. During 15 years of epidemiological surveillance of respiratory infections involving Bcc in this Portuguese CF Center, B. contaminans was found to be involved in chronic and transient infections or to have been eradicated. The clinical outcome of the infected patients under study provided new information on the clinical impact of the rarely found B. contaminans species in CF respiratory infections. Click on tile to learn more.

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Structure of O-antigen and Hybrid Biosynthetic Locus in Burkholderia cenocepacia from a Cystic Fibrosis Patient

Structure of O-antigen and Hybrid Biosynthetic Locus in Burkholderia cenocepacia from a Cystic Fibrosis Patient | iBB | Scoop.it

Burkholderia cenocepacia is an opportunistic pathogen associated with chronic lung infections and increased risk of death in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. This study, recently published in Frontiers in Microbiology, reports the chemical structure of the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) molecule of various sequential isolates and the identification of a novel hybrid O-antigen (OAg) biosynthetic cluster. The OAg repeating unit of the initial isolate LPS was not previously described in B. cenocepacia and none of the subsequent isolates express the OAg. This research, coordinated by Prof. Isabel Sá-Correia and with the BIOTECnico PhD student Amir Hassan and Dr. Sandra dos Santos as first co-authors, and also co-authored by Dr. Carla Coutinho from iBB BSRG and by our international collaborators in the UK, Italy and USA, provides support to the notion that OAg LPS modifications are important in B. cenocepacia adaptation to chronic infection of the CF lung.

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A Practical Tool for Identification and Genotyping B. cepacia and B. contaminans

A Practical Tool for Identification and Genotyping B. cepacia and B. contaminans | iBB | Scoop.it
The heterogeneous group of Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc) bacteria comprises 20 related species. They are important opportunistic pathogens in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients and are associated with chronic infections, worse prognosis and decreased life expectancy. Genotyping and monitoring of long-term colonization are critical at clinical units; however, the differentiation of specific lineages performed by multilocus sequence typing (MLST) is still limited to a small number of isolates due to the high cost and time-consuming procedure. The aim of this collaborative study, involving the iBB-BSRG researchers Carla Coutinho and Isabel Sá-Correia and colleagues from 3Is-IPATIMUP, was to optimize a protocol for extensive population analysis of the rarely found species Burkholderia cepacia and B. contaminans. The strategy used for the SNaPBceBcon assay is based on targeting SNPs located in MLST genes instead of sequencing full MLST sequences. A total of 108 clinical and environmental isolates of B. cepacia and B. contaminans, previously characterized molecularly at iBB-bsrg, were used in this study and the SNaPBceBcon assay proved to be a rapid and robust alternative to the standard MLST assay. Click on title to learn more.
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