Methanogenic archaeans are organisms of considerable ecological and biotechnological interest that produce methane through a restricted metabolic pathway, which culminates in the reaction catalyzed by the Methyl-coenzyme M reductase (Mcr) enzyme, and results in the release of methane. Using a metagenomic approach, the gene of the a subunit of mcr (mcrα) was isolated from sediment sample from an anoxic zone, rich in decomposing organic material, obtained from the Tucuruí hydroelectric dam reservoir in eastern Brazilian Amazonia. The partial nucleotide sequences obtained were 83 to 95% similar to those available in databases, indicating a low diversity of archaeans in the reservoir. Two orders were identified -the Methanomicrobiales, and a unique Operational Taxonomic Unit (OTU) forming a clade with the Methanosarcinales according to low bootstrap values. Homology modeling was used to determine the three-dimensional (3D) structures, for this the partial nucleotide sequence of the mcrα were isolated and translated on their partial amino acid sequences. The 3D structures of the archaean mcrα observed in the present study varied little, and presented approximately 70% identity in comparison with the mcrα of Methanopyrus klanderi. The results demonstrated that the community of methanogenic archaeans of the anoxic C1 region of the Tucurui reservoir is relatively homogeneous.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) commonly causes infection in hospitalized patients. Since its appearance in the 1960s, the SCCmec has evolved throughout the years into 5 different types (I-V), each bearing a different set of genes. Infection with MRSA SCCmec types I, II or III is almost exclusively restricted to hospitalised patients. However, recently, community acquired MRSA (CA-MRSA) infections have been reported with increasing frequency, usually caused by a type IV SCCmec MRSA in nosocomial settings. We studied the prevalence of SCCmec types in 50 nosocomial strains collected from 1995 to 1999. The SCCmec complex type and presence of Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) were determined by PCR. Strains had been previously typed by PFGE and were now typed by MLST. We found that 3 of the isolates studied bore a type IVc SCCmec all having different PFGE and MLST profiles (ST3, ST5 and ST88). All strains bearing a type III SCCmec belonged to MLST ST239 (Brazilian/Iberian clone). Only the strain which presented the ST5 profile bore the pvl gene. The type IVc SCCmec strains presented relatively lower levels of resistance to oxacillin in comparison to the type III SCCmec strains. The pattern of dissemination of the type IV SCCmec remains to be elucidated. The finding of strains carrying a type IV SCCmec in the present study among strains isolated at least 7 years ago indicates that clones bearing a type IV SCCmec have been present in Brazil for quite some time, and must have gone by undetected.