Occupational Asthma Reference

Wu J, Franzblau A, Xi C, Molecular characterization of microbial communities and quantification of Mycobacterium immunogenum in metal removal fluids and their associated biofilms, Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 2016;23:4086-4094,

Keywords: metal-working fluid, mycobacteria, M immunogenum, USA

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Abstract

A number of human health effects have been associated with exposure to metal removal fluids (MRFs). Multiple lines of research suggest that a newly identified organism, Mycobacterium immunogenum (MI), appears to have an etiologic role in hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) in case of MRFs exposed workers. However, our knowledge of this organism, other possible causative agents (e.g., Pseudomonads), and the microbial ecology of MRFs in general, is limited. In this study, culture-based methods and small subunit ribosomal RNA gene clone library approach were used to characterize microbial communities in MRF bulk fluid and associated biofilm samples collected from fluid systems in an automobile engine plant. PCR amplification data using universal primers indicate that all samples had bacterial and fungal contaminated. Five among 15 samples formed colonies on the Mycobacteria agar 7H9 suggesting the likely presence of Mycobacteria in these five samples. This observation was confirmed with PCR amplification of 16S rRNA gene fragment using Mycobacteria specific primers. Two additional samples, Biofilm-1 and Biofilm-3, were positive in PCR amplification for Mycobacteria, yet no colonies formed on the 7H9 cultivation agar plates. Real-time PCR was used to quantify the abundance of M. immunogenum in these samples, and the data showed that the copies of M. immunogenum 16S rRNA gene in the samples ranges from 4.33?×?104 copy/ml to 4.61?×?107 copy/ml. Clone library analysis revealed that Paecilomyces sp. and Acremonium sp. and Acremonium-like were dominant fungi in MRF samples. Various bacterial species from the major phylum of proteobacteria were found and Pseudomonas is the dominant bacterial genus in these samples. Mycobacteria (more specifically MI) were found in all biofilm samples, including biofilms collected from inside the MRF systems and from adjacent environmental surfaces, suggesting that biofilms may play an important role in microbial ecology in MRFs. Biofilms may provide a shield or sheltered microenvironment for the growth and/or colonization of Mycobacteria in MRFs.

Plain text: A number of human health effects have been associated with exposure to metal removal fluids (MRFs). Multiple lines of research suggest that a newly identified organism, Mycobacterium immunogenum (MI), appears to have an etiologic role in hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) in case of MRFs exposed workers. However, our knowledge of this organism, other possible causative agents (e.g., Pseudomonads), and the microbial ecology of MRFs in general, is limited. In this study, culture-based methods and small subunit ribosomal RNA gene clone library approach were used to characterize microbial communities in MRF bulk fluid and associated biofilm samples collected from fluid systems in an automobile engine plant. PCR amplification data using universal primers indicate that all samples had bacterial and fungal contaminated. Five among 15 samples formed colonies on the Mycobacteria agar 7H9 suggesting the likely presence of Mycobacteria in these five samples. This observation was confirmed with PCR amplification of 16S rRNA gene fragment using Mycobacteria specific primers. Two additional samples, Biofilm-1 and Biofilm-3, were positive in PCR amplification for Mycobacteria, yet no colonies formed on the 7H9 cultivation agar plates. Real-time PCR was used to quantify the abundance of M. immunogenum in these samples, and the data showed that the copies of M. immunogenum 16S rRNA gene in the samples ranges from 4.33 x 104 copy/ml to 4.61 x 107 copy/ml. Clone library analysis revealed that Paecilomyces sp. and Acremonium sp. and Acremonium-like were dominant fungi in MRF samples. Various bacterial species from the major phylum of proteobacteria were found and Pseudomonas is the dominant bacterial genus in these samples. Mycobacteria (more specifically MI) were found in all biofilm samples, including biofilms collected from inside the MRF systems and from adjacent environmental surfaces, suggesting that biofilms may play an important role in microbial ecology in MRFs. Biofilms may provide a shield or sheltered microenvironment for the growth and/or colonization of Mycobacteria in MRFs.

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