The Microbiology Research Laboratory



Building 8, Laboratory

Department of Biomedical Sciences and Medicine.

University of Algarve

Phone: +351 289 800 900

Team Members

Maria Leonor Faleiro (Principal Investigator)

Margaret Soares (Post-Doc)

Jessie Melo (Senior Researcher)

Elsa Rodrigues (PhD Student)

Andreia Nunes (MSc Student)

Sofia Lagoas  (MSc Student)

Pei Ying Chong (Erasmus Student)

About the MRL

The Microbiology Research Laboratory (MRL) aims to investigate the impact of stress conditions and the food matrix on the ability of bacterial pathogens to overcome the host barriers. Current research is directed towards the gastrointestinal system and the effect that this has the expression of virulence factors. The MRL is also developing approaches to identify host genes that are epigenetically deregulated following infection. The MRL uses a range of novel in vitro models to identify and characterize defensive strategiesand also test potential effective compounds against bacterial pathogens. The functionality of the intestinal microbiota of diabetic children is another area of investigation within the MRL alongside a number of national and international collaborations.

Publications (2008-2014)

Miguel MG, Faleiro ML, Guerreiro AC, Antunes MD (2014) Arbutus unedo L.: chemical and biological properties. Molecules 19: 15799-15823.

Mota L, Figueiredo AC, Pedro LG, Barroso JG, Miguel MG, Faleiro ML, Ascensão, L. (2014) Volatile-Oils composition, and bioactivity of the essential oils of Plectranchus barbatus, P. neochilus, and P. ornatus grown in Portugal. Chemistry & Biodiversity 11: 719-732.

Apolónio J, Faleiro ML, Miguel MG, Neto L (2014) No induction of antimicrobial resistance in Staphylococcus aureus and Listeria monocytogenes during continuous exposure to eugenol and citral. FEMS Microbiology Letters 354: 92-101.

Miguel MG, Antunes MD, Aazza S, Duarte J, Faleiro ML (2013) Honey-based “água-mel” chemical characterization and microbiological quality. Italian Journal of Food Science 25: 275-282.

Miguel, M.G., Faleiro, M.L., Antunes, M.D., Aazza, S., Duarte, J., Silvério, A.R. (2013) Antimicrobial, antiviral and antioxidant activities of “água-mel” from Portugal.  Food and Chemical Toxicology 56: 136-147.

Schrama D, Helliwell N, Neto L, Faleiro ML (2013) Adaptation of Listeria monocytogenes in a simulated cheese medium: Effects on virulence using the Galleria mellonella infection model. Letters in Applied Microbiology 6:421-427.

Melo J, Schrama D, Hussey S, Andrew PA, Faleiro ML (2013) Listeria monocytogenes dairy isolates show a different proteome response to sequential exposure to gastric and intestinal fluids. International Journal of Food Microbiology 163: 51-63.

Melo J, Andrew PA, Faleiro ML (2013) Different assembly of acid and salt tolerance response in two dairy Listeria monocytogenes wild strains. Archives of Microbiology 195: 339-348.

Melo J, Schrama D, Andrew PA, Faleiro ML (2013) Proteomic analysis shows that individual Listeria monocytogenes strains use different strategies in response to gastric stress. Foodborne Pathogens and Disease 10:107-119.

Faleiro ML (2012) Response of Foodborne Bacteria to Acid Shock In: Stress Response of Foodborne Microorganisms, Ed. Wong, HC. Nova Science Publishers, pp.35-70, Inc. ISBN 978-1-61122-810-6.

Dandlen SA,  Lima AS, Mendes MD, Miguel MG,  Faleiro ML, Sousa MJ, Pedro LG, Barroso JG,  Figueiredo AC (2011) Antimicrobial activity, cytotoxicity and intracellular growth inhibition of Portuguese Thymus essential oils. Brazilian Journal of Pharmacognosy 21 (6): 1012-1024.

Dandlen SA, Miguel MG, Duarte J, Faleiro ML, Sousa MJ, Lima AS, Figueiredo AC, Barroso JG, Pedro LG. (2011) Acetylcholinesterase inhibition activity of Portuguese species essential oil. Journal of Essential Oil Bearing Plants 14: 140-150.

Martins M, Santos ES, Faleiro ML, Chaves S, Tenreiro R, Barros RJ, Barreiros A, Costa MC. (2011) Performance and bacterial community shifts during bioremediation of acid mine drainage from two Portuguese mines. International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation 65: 972-981.

Faleiro ML. The mode of antibacterial action of essential oils In: Science against microbial pathogens: communicating current research and technological advances, Microbiology book series-2011 Edition, Méndez-Vilas A (Editor) Formatex Research Center, Vol. 2, pp.1143-1156, ISBN (13): 978-84-939843-2-8.

Martins M,  Faleiro ML, Chaves S, Tenreiro R, Santos E, Costa MC (2010) Anaerobic bio-removal of uranium (VI) and chromium (VI): Comparison of microbial community structure. Journal of Hazardous Materials 176:1065-1072.

Martins M., Faleiro ML, da Costa AM, Chaves S, Tenreiro R, Matos AP, Costa MC (2010) Mechanism of uranium (VI) removal by two anaerobic bacterial communities. Journal of Hazardous Materials 184:89-96.

Martins M, Faleiro ML, Silva G, Chaves S, Tenreiro R, Costa MC (2010) Dynamics of bacterial community in up-flow anaerobic packed bed system for acid mine drainage treatment using wine wastes as carbon source. International Biodeterioration and Biodegradation doi: 10.1016/j.ibiod.2010.09.005

Martins M., Faleiro ML, Chaves S, Tenreiro R, Costa MC (2010) Effect of uranium (VI) on two sulphate-reducing bacteria cultures from a uranium mine site.Science of the Total Environment 408: 2621-2628.

Dandlen S.A.,  A. Lima A.S., Mendes M.D., Miguel MG,  Faleiro ML, Sousa MJ, Pedro LG, Barroso JG,  Figueiredo AC (2010) Antioxidant activity of six Portuguese thyme species essential oils. Flavour and Fragance Journal 25: 150-155.

S. Bounatirou S, Smiti S. M.G. Miguel SG, Faleiro L, Rejeb MN, Neffati M, Costa MM, Figueiredo AC, Barroso JG, Pedro LG (2010) Thermal stability of the essential oils isolated from Thymus capitatus Hoff. et Link: Effect on the chemical composition and the antioxidant and antibacterial activities. Acta alimentaria 39:299-307.

Martins, M., Faleiro, M. L., Barros, R.J.,Veríssimo, A.R., Costa M.C. (2009) Biological sulphate reduction using food industry wastes as carbon sources,Biodegradation, 20(4):559-567.

Hazzit M., Baaliouamer A., Veríssimo A. R., Faleiro M. L., Miguel M. G. (2009) Chemical composition and biologiacl activities of Algerian Thymus oils. Food Chemistry 116:714-721.

Jordan SJ, S. Perni; Glenn S; Fernandes I; Barbosa M; Sol M; Tenreiro RP; Chambel L; Barata B; Zilhao I; Aldsworth TG; Adriao A; Faleiro ML; Shama G; Andrew PW (2008) Where present, Listeria biofilm-associated protein (BapL) may contribute to surface attachment of Listeria monocytogenes but it is absent from many field isolates. Appl. Env. Microbiol. 74 (17): 5451-5456.

 Martins M.; Faleiro ML; Barros RJ; Verissimo AR; Barreiros MA; Costa MC (2008) Characterization and activities studies of highly heavy metal resistant sulphate-reducing bacteria to be used in acid mine drainage decontamination. J. Hazard Materials doi:10 101/jhazmat.2008.11.088.

Figueiredo, A. C.; Barroso, J. G.; Pedro, L. G.; Salgueiro, L.; Miguel, M. G.; Faleiro, M. L. (2008) “Portuguese Thymbra and Thymus Species Volatiles: Chemical Composition and Biological Activities”Current Pharmaceutical Design, 14(29):3120-3140.

S. J. Jordan, S. Perni, S. Glenn, I. Fernandes, M. Barbosa, M. Sol, R. P. Tenreiro, L. Chambel, B. Barata, I. Zilhao, T. G. Aldsworth, A. Adriao, M. L. Faleiro, G. Shama, and P. W. Andrew. (2008) “Where present, Listeria biofilm-associated protein (BapL) may contribute to surface attachment of Listeria monocytogenesbut it is absent from many field isolates. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. doi:10.1128/AEM.02419-07.

Adrião A., M. Vieira, I. Fernandes, M. Barbosa, M. Sol, R. P. Tenreiro, L. Chambel, B. Barata, I. Zilhão, G. Shama, S. Perni, S. J. Jordan, P. W. Andrew, M. L. Faleiro (2008) Marked intra-strain varaition in response of Listeria monocytogenes dairy isolates to acid or salt stress and the effect of acid or salt adaptation on adherence to abiotic surfaces. International Journal of Food Microbiology, doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2007.12.016

Miguel G., L. Faleiro, C. Cavaleiro, L. Salgueiro, J. Casanova (2008) Susceptibility of Helicobacter pylori to essential oil of Dittrichia viscosa subsp. revoluta.Phytotherapy Research 22 (2):259-263 (doi: 10.1002/ptr2284, 2007)

Representative Image


Absorbance, at 532 nm, of different concentrations of the essential oils isolated from the dried aerial parts of Salvia officinalis, in the absence of EDTA (a), in the absence of ascorbic acid (b) and in the absence of deoxyribose (c).

Project Grants

Project Leader

PTDC/AGR-ALI/69751/2006 – “Autolysis in Listeria monocytogenes – what is revealed by proteomic analysis?”

POCI/SAL-IMI/58702/2004 – “A partícula de reconhecimento de sinal da bactéria Streptococcus pneumoniae é essencial para a sua viabilidade”.

QLRT-02219 – “Characterisation of Listeria monocytogenes to provide tools to predict biofilm formation during cheese making”.

POCTI/ESP/42668/2001- “The role of p60 on autolytic behaviour of Listeria monocytogenes”.

Collaborator / Team leader

POCI/AMB/58512/2004 – “Ecotecnologies basead on the use of sulphate reducing bactéria and their apllication on the treatment of acid mine waters”.

POCTI/ESP/41217/2001 – “The incidence of gastric diseases is related with a particular Helicobacter pylori population?”

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