In vitro algicidal effect of polypyrrole on Prototheca species isolates from bovine mastitisAlgicidal activity of polypyrrole on Prototheca spp.
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Algae of the genus Prototheca are microorganisms involved in the occurrence of diseases in humans and animals. In bovine species, Prototheca spp. cause environmental mastitis, productive losses in dairy herds, mainly leading to the discard of infected cows. Currently, there are no effective anti-Prototheca spp. drugs to combat this infection. Thus, the search for an efficacious therapy for Prototheca spp. infections have become essential. Highly soluble polypyrrole (Ppy) is a molecule with known antimicrobial activity. This study aimed to characterize Prototheca spp. isolates from bovine mastitis as well as to evaluate the susceptibility profile and to verify the morphological alterations on Prototheca spp. isolates treated with Ppy. In this research, 36 Brazilian isolates of Prototheca spp. were characterized by restriction fragment length polymorphism polymerase chain reaction (RFLP-PCR) assay for the mitochondrial cytB gene. Additionally, Ppy algicidal activity against these isolates of Prototheca spp. was assessed by minimal microbicidal concentration method in microplates. Further, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was performed in order to verify the morphological alterations on Prototheca spp. isolates in response to Ppy. The isolates were characterized as belonging to Prototheca zopfii genotype 2 (35/36) and Prototheca blaschkeae (1/36). Ppy had an algicidal effect on all isolates tested at concentrations ranging from 15.625 μg ml-1 to 62.5 μg ml-1. SEM showed changes on planktonic and sessile P. zopfii, including a decrease of the number of cells with the presence of an amorphous substance involving the cells. The algicidal activity of Ppy suggests the therapeutic potential of this molecule in the prevention and treatment of Prototheca spp. in bovine mastitis.