A previously healthy Chinese male returned from working in the Malaysian jungle with a fever. A blood culture grew Gram-negative bacilli that were initially identified as Burkholderia cepacia by the VITEK 2 system but were subsequently found to be Burkholderia pseudomallei by partial sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. The identification of B. pseudomallei using commercially available automated systems is problematic and clinicians in non-endemic areas should be aware of the possibility of melioidosis in patients with a relevant travel history and blood cultures growing Burkholderia spp.
A total of 153 non-repeat Acinetobacter spp. clinical isolates obtained in 2015 from Hospital Sultanah Nur Zahirah (HSNZ) in Terengganu, Malaysia, were characterized. Identification of the isolates at species level was performed by ribosomal DNA restriction analysis (ARDRA) followed by sequencing of the rpoB gene. The majority of the isolates (n=128; 83.7 %) were A. baumannii while the rest were identified as A. nosocomialis (n=16), A. calcoaceticus (n=5), A. soli (n=2), A. berezeniae (n=1) and A. variabilis (n=1). Multidrug resistance (MDR) was most prevalent in A. baumannnii (66.4 %) whereas only one non-baumannii isolate (A. nosocomialis) was MDR. The blaOXA-23 gene was the predominant acquired carbapenemase gene (56.2 %) and was significantly associated (P<0.001) with carbapenem resistance. However, no significant association was found for carbapenem resistance and isolates that contained the ISAba1-blaOXA-51 configuration.
Aeromonas hydrophila strains obtained from diarrhoeal samples of human patients (19 isolates) and freshwater ponds (11 isolates) were analysed for siderophore production. Both clinical and environmental isolates showed significantly increased siderophore production under iron-limiting conditions both at 28 degrees C and at 37 degrees C. Clinical isolates consistently produced higher levels of siderophores than did the environmental isolates. The role of plasmids in moderating siderophore production was studied after curing with acridine orange. Treatment with acridine orange for 24 h removed the larger plasmids but the smaller plasmids (< 5 MDa), more common in the environmental isolates, were resistant to curing. As found in the untreated isolates, the cured clinical isolates produced higher mean levels of siderophores than the cured environmental isolates. Siderophore production in A. hydrophila was significantly influenced by iron-limiting cultural conditions and the source of isolates, but plasmid content and growth temperature at 28 degrees C or 37 degrees C had little effect on production. The basis for the greater production of siderophores in clinical isolates than in environmental isolates needs further study.
In this study, 90 non-replicate imipenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (IRPA) Malaysian isolates collected between October 2005 and March 2008 were subjected to a screening test for detection of the integron and the gene cassette. Class 1 integrons were detected in 54 IRPA clinical isolates, whilst three isolates contained class 2 integrons. Analysis of the gene cassettes associated with the class 1 integrons showed the detection of accC1 in isolates carrying bla(IMP-7) and aacA7 in isolates carrying bla(VIM-2). aadA6 was detected in two isolates carrying bla(IMP-4). Using random amplification of polymorphic DNA analysis, 14 PCR fingerprint patterns were generated from the 32 isolates carrying metallo-β-lactamase (MBL) genes (35.5 %), whilst 20 patterns were generated from the 58 non-MBL gene isolates (64.4 %). Based on the differences in the fingerprinting patterns, two clusters (A and B) were identified among the MBL-producing isolates. Cluster A comprised 18 isolates (56 %) carrying the bla(VIM) gene, whereas cluster B comprised 14 (44 %) isolates carrying the bla(IMP) gene. The non-MBL isolates were divided into clusters C and D. Cluster C comprised 22 non-MBL isolates harbouring class 1 integrons, whilst cluster D consisted of three isolates carrying class 2 integrons. These findings suggest that the class 1 integron is widespread among P. aeruginosa isolated in Malaysia and that characterization of cassette arrays of integrons will be a useful epidemiological tool to study the evolution of multidrug resistance and the dissemination of antibiotic resistance genes.
The emergence of multidrug-resistant (MDR) and extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae poses a serious antibiotic management problem as resistance genes are easily transferred from one organism to another. Fifty-one strains of K. pneumoniae isolated from sporadic cases in various hospitals throughout Malaysia were analysed by antimicrobial susceptibility testing, PCR detection of ESBL-encoding genes and DNA fingerprinting. Although 27 of the 51 K. pneumoniae strains were MDR (i.e. resistant to three or more classes of antibiotics), the majority of the strains (98 %) were sensitive to imipenem. PCR detection using ESBL gene-specific primers showed that 46 of the K. pneumoniae strains harboured bla(SHV), 19 harboured bla(CTX-M), 5 harboured bla(OXA-1) and 4 harboured bla(TEM-1). Class 1 integron-encoded intI1 integrase was detected in 21 of the 51 K. pneumoniae strains and amplification of the integron 5'CS region showed the presence of several known antibiotic resistance gene cassettes of various sizes. Results of conjugation and transformation experiments indicated that some of the ESBL-encoding genes (i.e. bla(SHV), bla(CTX-M) and bla(TEM-1)) were transmissible and were likely plasmid-encoded. DNA fingerprinting using PFGE and PCR-based methods indicated that the 51 K. pneumoniae strains were genetically diverse and heterogeneous.
The suitability of a PCR procedure using a pair of primers targeting the hilA gene was evaluated as a means of detecting Salmonella species. A total of 33 Salmonella strains from 27 serovars and 15 non-Salmonella strains from eight different genera were included. PCR with all the Salmonella strains produced a 784 bp DNA fragment that was absent from all the non-Salmonella strains tested. The detection limit of the PCR was 100 pg with genomic DNA and 3 x 10(4) c.f.u. ml(-1) with serial dilutions of bacterial culture. An enrichment-PCR method was further developed to test the sensitivity of the hilA primers for the detection of Salmonella in faecal samples spiked with different concentrations of Salmonella choleraesuis subsp. choleraesuis serovar Typhimurium. The method described allowed the detection of Salmonella Typhimurium in faecal samples at a concentration of 3 x 10(2) c.f.u. ml(-1). In conclusion, the hilA primers are specific for Salmonella species and the PCR method presented may be suitable for the detection of Salmonella in faeces.
In this study, PCR-RFLP analysis (PRA) targeting hsp65 and rpoB gene regions was evaluated for the identification of mycobacterial species isolated from Malaysian patients. Overall, the hsp65 PRA identified 92.2 % of 90 isolates compared to 85.6 % by the rpoB PRA. With 47 rapidly growing species, the hsp65 PRA identified fewer (89.4 %) species than the rpoB PRA (95.7 %), but with 23 slow-growing species the reverse was true (91.3 % identification by the hsp65 PRA but only 52.5 % by the rpoB PRA). There were 16 isolates with discordant PRA results, which were resolved by 16S rRNA and hsp65 gene sequence analysis. The findings in this study suggest that the hsp65 PRA is more useful than the rpoB PRA for the identification of Mycobacterium species, particularly with the slow-growing members of the genus. In addition, this study reports 5 and 12 novel restriction patterns for inclusion in the hsp65 and rpoB PRA algorithms, respectively.
Cellulitis of the orbit is a common cause of proptosis in children, and also frequently arises in the elderly and the immunocompromised. The condition is characterized by infection and swelling of the soft tissues lining the eye socket, pushing the eye ball outwards and causing severe pain, redness, discharge of pus and some degree of blurred vision. There is a small risk of infection spreading to the meninges of the brain and causing meningitis. This paper reports the case of an adult in whom polymicrobial bilateral orbital cellulitis had developed due to Staphylococcus aureus and Neisseria gonorrhoeae infection. N. gonorrhoeae infections are acquired by sexual contact. Although the infection may disseminate to a variety of tissues, it usually affects the mucous membranes of the urethra in males and the endocervix and urethra in females. To the authors' knowledge this is the first report of polymicrobial bilateral orbital cellulitis due to S. aureus and N. gonorrhoeae in medical literature.
Helicobacter pylori CagA modifies the signalling of host cells and causes gastric diseases. Although CagA is injected into gastric epithelial cells through the type IV secretion machinery, it remains unclear how CagA is transported towards the machinery in the bacterial cytoplasm. In this study, it was determined that the proton-dependent intracytoplasmic transport system correlates with the priming of CagA secretion from H. pylori. The cytotoxicity of neutral-pH- and acidic-pH-treated H. pylori was examined in the AGS cell line. The amount of phosphorylated CagA in AGS cells incubated with acidic-pH- and neutral-pH-treated H. pylori was determined by enzyme immunoassay and Western blot. The production of CagA and adherence of the treated bacteria were examined by enzyme immunoassay and light microscopy, respectively. To clarify how CagA is transported towards the inner membrane of the treated bacteria, the localization of CagA was analysed by immunoelectron microscopy. The proportion of hummingbird cells in the AGS cell line rapidly increased following the inoculation of acidic-pH-treated H. pylori but increased more slowly with neutral-pH-treated H. pylori, and the phenomenon correlated with the amount of phosphorylated CagA in AGS cells. CagA was densely localized near the inner membrane in the acidic-pH-treated bacterial cytoplasm, but this localization was not observed in the neutral-pH-treated bacterial cytoplasm, suggesting that CagA shifts from the centre to the peripheral portion of the cytoplasm as a result of an extracellular decrease in pH. This phenomenon depended on the presence of UreI, a proton-dependent urea channel, but not on the presence of urea. The pH treatments did not enhance CagA production or the adherence of the bacterium to AGS cells. The authors propose that H. pylori possesses a proton-dependent intracytoplasmic transport system that probably accelerates priming for CagA injection.
Introduction.Burkholderia pseudomallei (melioidosis) is an important cause of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) in the tropics. Selective medium is recommended for laboratory diagnosis with non-sterile respiratory samples, while PCR is not routinely used due to variable reported performance. The effectiveness of these diagnostic modalities varies by site.Aim. To compare selective media and real-time PCR (qPCR) with routine media in detecting B. pseudomallei in CAP respiratory samples in a low-incidence setting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.Methodology. Respiratory samples were routinely cultured on blood, chocolate and MacConkey agar (RESP-ROUTINE), and compared to culture on selective Ashdown medium (RESP-SELECTIVE) and qPCR. The gold standard was routine culture of B. pseudomallei from any site (ALL-ROUTINE).Results.B. pseudomallei was detected in 8/204 (3.9 %) samples. Overall sensitivity rates differed (P=0.03) for qPCR (100%), RESP-SELECTIVE (87.5%) and RESP-ROUTINE (50%). There was a trend towards lower median days to positive culture for RESP-SELECTIVE (1 day) compared to RESP-ROUTINE (2 days, P=0.08) and ALL-ROUTINE (2 days, P=0.06). Reagent costs for each additional detection were USD59 for RESP-SELECTIVE and USD354 for PCR.Conclusions. In a low-incidence setting, selective culture of respiratory samples on Ashdown was more sensitive and allowed quicker identification than routine media, at reasonable cost. Blood cultures are critical, confirming four cases missed by routine respiratory culture. Selective medium is useful in early pneumonia (pre-sepsis) and resource-limited settings where blood cultures are infrequently done. Real-time PCR is costly, but highly sensitive and useful for high-risk patients with diabetes, cancer or immunosuppressants, or requiring ventilation or intensive care.
Antibiotic resistance is increasing worldwide, and it has been regarded as the main factor reducing the efficacy of Helicobacter pylori therapy. The aim of this study was to determine the phenotype and genotype of antibiotic-resistant strains of H. pylori in the Malaysian population and to evaluate the impact of antibiotic resistance to eradication outcome. One hundred and sixty-one H. pylori isolates were analysed in this study. Metronidazole, clarithromycin, fluoroquinolone, amoxicillin and tetracycline susceptibilities were determined by Etest. PCR followed by DNA sequencing was carried out to determine mutations. The medical records of the patients infected with resistant strains were reviewed to determine the eradication outcome. Metronidazole resistance was encountered in 36.6 % of H. pylori isolates, whereas clarithromycin and fluoroquinolone resistance was observed in 1.2 and 1.9 % of isolates, respectively. All strains tested were susceptible to amoxicillin and tetracycline. Frameshift and nonsense mutations in rdxA and frxA genes resulting in stop codons contributed to metronidazole resistance, which leads to reduced eradication efficacy. A2142G and A2143G mutations of 23S rRNA were identified as causing failure of the eradication therapy. Mutation at either codon 87 or 91 of the gyrA gene was identified in fluoroquinolone-resistant strains. However, the effect of resistance could not be assessed. This study showed that frameshift and nonsense mutations in rdxA or frxA genes and point mutations in the 23S rRNA affected the efficacy of H. pylori eradication therapy.
Antimicrobial resistance in Acinetobacter baumannii is a growing public health concern and an important pathogen in nosocomial infections. We investigated the genes involved in resistance to carbapenems and cephalosporins in clinical A. baumannii isolates from a tertiary medical centre in Malaysia. A. baumannii was isolated from 167 clinical specimens and identified by sequencing of the 16S rRNA and rpoB genes. The MIC for imipenem, meropenem, ceftazidime and cefepime were determined by the E-test method. The presence of carbapenemase and cephalosporinase genes was investigated by PCR. The isolates were predominantly nonsusceptible to carbapenems and cephalosporins (>70 %) with high MIC values. ISAba1 was detected in all carbapenem-nonsusceptible A. baumannii harbouring the blaOXA-23-like gene. The presence of blaOXA-51-like and ISAba1 upstream of blaOXA-51 was not associated with nonsusceptibility to carbapenems. A. baumannii isolates harbouring ISAba1-blaADC (85.8 %) were significantly associated with nonsusceptibility to cephalosporins (P<0.0001). However, ISAba1-blaADC was not detected in a minority (<10 %) of the isolates which were nonsusceptible to cephalosporins. The acquired OXA-23 enzymes were responsible for nonsusceptibility to carbapenems in our clinical A. baumannii isolates and warrant continuous surveillance to prevent further dissemination of this antibiotic resistance gene. The presence of ISAba1 upstream of the blaADC was a determinant for cephalosporin resistance. However, the absence of this ISAba1-blaADC in some of the isolates may suggest other resistance mechanisms and need further investigation.
The class and subclass distribution of antibody response to the culture filtrate antigen (CFA) of Burkholderia pseudomallei was examined in the sera of 45 septicaemic and 17 localised melioidosis cases and 40 cases clinically suspected of melioidosis and the results were compared with those from high-risk and healthy control groups. The geometric mean titre index (GMTI) values for all classes and subclasses of immunoglobulins examined were higher for sera from the proven and clinically suspected melioidosis cases than for the control groups. However, the highest response in the three patient groups was that of IgG with GMTIs ranging from 219.4 to 291.6 and the lowest was for IgM with GMTIs of 22.5, 24.3 and 28.7. The IgA response was intermediate with GMTIs ranging from 119.2 to 170. The GMTIs were highest for IgG in septicaemic and localised infections and for IgA and IgM in localised infections. As regards IgG subclass distribution, IgG1 and IgG2 were the predominant subclasses produced against the CFA in contrast to IgG3 and IgG4, which were produced in low amounts. None of the sera from the control groups had any significant titres of antibodies.
A simple adherence test to detect IgM antibodies in patients with typhoid is described. The test utilises the IgM-"capture" approach, in which the test serum is applied to microtitration plate wells previously coated with anti-human IgM, followed by application of a stained Salmonella typhi antigen suspension which shows adherence in positive cases. By this test, 58 (95%) of 61 sera from confirmed cases of typhoid possessed IgM antibodies to the H or O or both antigens of S. typhi. In patients for whom a diagnosis of typhoid was based only on a significant Widal-test titre, 31 (41%) of 76 sera had IgM antibodies to the H or O or both antigens of S. typhi. Some cross-reactivity of the IgM antibodies was detected, especially with the O antigens of S. paratyphi A and B. A total of 82 sera from non-typhoidal fevers (leptospirosis, typhus, dengue fever) showed no reactivity in this test. In normal sera there was no detectable IgM to the O antigen of S. typhi and only a small number (3.9%) had low levels of IgM to the H antigen. The significance and potential importance of this simple, sensitive, specific and economical test is discussed.