Molecular typing and differences in biofilm formation and antibiotic susceptibilities among Prototheca strains isolated in Italy and Brazil

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Bovine mastitis caused by Prototheca is a serious and complex problem that accounts for high economic losses in the dairy industry. The main objective of this study was to identify and characterize at genetic level different Prototheca strains and provide the most complete data about protothecal antibiotic resistance. The study involves 46 isolates from Italian (13 strains) and Brazilian (33 strains) mastitic milk. These strains were identified by multiplex PCR and single strand conformation polymorphism analysis and characterized by randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD)-PCR. Moreover, biofilm production and antibiotic susceptibility were evaluated. Forty-two strains resulted as Prototheca zopfii genotype 2, whereas 4 isolates could belong to a potential new Prototheca species. The RAPD-PCR, performed with 3 primers (M13, OPA-4, and OPA-18), showed a notable heterogeneity among isolates and grouped the strains according to the species and geographical origin. Biofilm production was species-dependent and P. zopfii genotype 2 strains were classified as strong biofilm producers. In vitro antibiotic susceptibility tests indicated that Prototheca strains were susceptible to antibacterial drugs belonging to aminoglycosides group; the highest activity against Prototheca strains was observed in the case of colistin sulfate, gentamicin, and netilmicin (100% of susceptible strains). It is interesting to note that all the Italian P. zopfii genotype 2 strains showed lower minimum inhibitory concentration values than the Brazilian ones. Nisin showed more efficacy than lysozyme and potassium sorbate, inhibiting 31% of the strains. Results obtained in this study confirmed that RAPD-PCR is a rapid, inexpensive, and highly discriminating tool for Prototheca strains characterization and could give a good scientific contribution for better understanding the protothecal mastitis in dairy herd.




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Journal of Dairy Science, v. 99, n. 8, p. 6436-6445, 2016.

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