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  1. Zong Z, Wang X, Deng Y, Zhou T
    J. Med. Microbiol., 2012 Oct;61(Pt 10):1483-1484.
    PMID: 22820689 DOI: 10.1099/jmm.0.041525-0
    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.
  2. Thong KL, Ling GY, Kong LW, Theam LC, Ngeow YF
    J. Med. Microbiol., 2004 Oct;53(Pt 10):991-997.
    PMID: 15358821 DOI: 10.1099/jmm.0.05384-0
    Streptococcus agalactiae or group B streptococci (GBS) often colonize the gastrointestinal and urogenital tracts of women, who may transmit these organisms to their offspring during the birth process. Using PFGE analysis, the genetic diversity of GBS was studied for strains isolated from pregnant women and their newborn infants in a teaching hospital. A total of 48 different PFGE profiles were obtained from 123 strains, with one profile (S1) appearing to be predominant among both groups studied. There was good overall correlation between the profiles obtained for strains from mother-infant pairs and for strains isolated from different body sites in the same individual. Occasional discrepancies seen in related body sites and among mother-infant pairs suggest concurrent carriage of different strains in the same individual as well as the possibility of an environmental source of organism for the neonate. The overall results demonstrated that many variants of GBS strains occur in Malaysia.
  3. Wu H, Nakano T, Daikoku E, Morita C, Kohno T, Lian HH, et al.
    J. Med. Microbiol., 2005 Dec;54(Pt 12):1117-1125.
    PMID: 16278423 DOI: 10.1099/jmm.0.46158-0
    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.
  4. Naidu AJ, Yadav M
    J. Med. Microbiol., 1997 Oct;46(10):833-8.
    PMID: 9364139
    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.
  5. Ahmad N, Nawi S, Rajasekaran G, Maning N, Aziz MN, Husin A, et al.
    J. Med. Microbiol., 2010 Dec;59(Pt 12):1530-1532.
    PMID: 20724515 DOI: 10.1099/jmm.0.022079-0
  6. Pang T, Wong PY, Puthucheary SD, Sihotang K, Chang WK
    J. Med. Microbiol., 1987 May;23(3):193-8.
    PMID: 3585956
    Studies were performed on a cytotoxin (CT) from human strains of Campylobacter jejuni isolated in Malaysia. CT was detected by cytopathic effect (CPE) on HeLa cells at titres from 8 to 32, in culture filtrates from 14 (48%) of 29 human isolates. The CPE correlated well with a quantitative 51Cr-release assay where a specific release of 54-68% was noted. CT production was lost after 5-7 subcultures. CT activity was also detected in 5 (26%) of 19 faecal filtrates from which CT-producing isolates were subsequently obtained. The mol. wt of CT was estimated by Sephadex G-50 chromatography to be greater than 30,000. In a suckling-mouse assay, CT consistently failed to demonstrate fluid accumulation after intragastric inoculation of culture filtrate. The Removable Intestinal Tie Adult Rabbit Diarrhoea (RITARD) assay was also used. Rabbits given CT-producing strains of C. jejuni developed bacteraemia and severe watery mucus-containing diarrhoea for the duration of the experiment with death of some animals. Rabbits given CT non-producing strains had less severe disease and none died. Rabbits given partially-purified CT had diarrhoea for 3 days but none died.
  7. Amran F, Aziz MN, Ibrahim HM, Atiqah NH, Parameswari S, Hafiza MR, et al.
    J. Med. Microbiol., 2011 Sep;60(Pt 9):1312-1316.
    PMID: 21459913 DOI: 10.1099/jmm.0.027631-0
    The in vitro antifungal susceptibilities of 159 clinical isolates of Candida species from patients with invasive candidiasis in Kuala Lumpur Hospital, Malaysia, were determined against amphotericin B, fluconazole, voriconazole, itraconazole and caspofungin. The most common species were Candida albicans (71 isolates), Candida parapsilosis (42 isolates), Candida tropicalis (27 isolates) and Candida glabrata (12 isolates). The susceptibility tests were carried out using an E-test. The MIC breakpoints were based on Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute criteria. Amphotericin B and voriconazole showed the best activities against all the isolates tested, with MIC(90) values of ≤1 µg ml(-1) for all major species. Only one Candida lusitaniae isolate was resistant to amphotericin B, and all the isolates were susceptible to voriconazole. In total, six isolates were resistant to fluconazole, comprising two isolates of C. albicans, two of C. parapsilosis, one C. tropicalis and one C. glabrata, and all of these isolates showed cross-resistance to itraconazole. The MIC(90) of itraconazole was highest for C. glabrata and C. parapsilosis. Caspofungin was active against most of the isolates except for five isolates of C. parapsilosis. The MIC(90) of caspofungin against C. parapsilosis was 3 µg ml(-1). In conclusion, amphotericin B remains the most active antifungal agent against most Candida species except for C. lusitaniae. Voriconazole is the best alternative for fluconazole- or itraconizole-resistant isolates. Although five of the C. parapsilosis isolates showed in vitro resistance to caspofungin, more clinical correlation studies need to be carried out to confirm the significance of these findings. Currently, despite the increase in usage of antifungals in our hospitals, especially in the management of febrile neutropenia patients, the antifungal-resistance problem among clinically important Candida isolates in Kuala Lumpur Hospital is not yet worrying. However, continued antifungal-susceptibility surveillance needs to be conducted to monitor the antifungal-susceptibility trends of Candida species and other opportunistic fungal pathogens.
  8. VasanthaKumari N, Alshrari ASD, Rad EG, Moghaddam HG, van Belkum A, Alreshidi MA, et al.
    J. Med. Microbiol., 2009 Nov;58(Pt 11):1531-1532.
    PMID: 19589902 DOI: 10.1099/jmm.0.011692-0
  9. Issa R, Abdul H, Hashim SH, Seradja VH, Shaili N', Hassan NAM
    J. Med. Microbiol., 2014 Oct;63(Pt 10):1284-1287.
    PMID: 25038139 DOI: 10.1099/jmm.0.072611-0
    A quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) followed by high resolution melting (HRM) analysis was developed for the differentiation of Mycobacterium species. Rapid differentiation of Mycobacterium species is necessary for the effective diagnosis and management of tuberculosis. In this study, the 16S rRNA gene was tested as the target since this has been identified as a suitable target for the identification of mycobacteria species. During the temperature gradient and primer optimization process, the melting peak (Tm) analysis was determined at a concentration of 50 ng DNA template and 0.3, 0.4 and 0.5 µM primer. The qPCR assay for the detection of other mycobacterial species was done at the Tm and primer concentration of 62 °C and 0.4 µM, respectively. The HRM analysis generated cluster patterns that were specific and sensitive to distinguished small sequence differences of the Mycobacterium species. This study suggests that the 16S rRNA-based real-time PCR followed by HRM analysis produced unique cluster patterns for species of Mycobacterium and could differentiate the closely related mycobacteria species.
  10. Adhikary AK
    J. Med. Microbiol., 2017 Nov;66(11):1616-1622.
    PMID: 29068283 DOI: 10.1099/jmm.0.000625
    Recently, human adenovirus type 3 (HAdV-3) has become the most isolated HAdV worldwide. Restriction endonuclease analysis of globally isolated strains of HAdV-3 has uncovered 51 genome types to date. Information on the genome type is important to the epidemiological study of HAdV-3. In this study, analysis of 75 isolates of HAdV- 3 collected over a 24-year period in Fukui revealed: (1) the emergence of three novel genome types (HAdV-3a52, HAdV-3a53 and HAdV-3a54) and two known genome types (HAdV-3a and HAdV-3a54); (2) the spectrum of diseases caused by individual genome types and their major involvement in the paediatric age population; and (3) the co-circulation and replacement of genome types as a usual phenomenon. The rising number of HAdV-3 genome types indicates that the genetic variation of HAdV-3 is more than other HAdVs. Considering the clinical importance of HAdV-3 infection, its genetic diversity underscores the need for its continuous surveillance and genetic characterization.
  11. Chong PP, Lee YL, Tan BC, Ng KP
    J. Med. Microbiol., 2003 Aug;52(Pt 8):657-66.
    PMID: 12867559
    The aims of this study were to compare the genetic relatedness of: (i) sequential and single isolates of Candida strains from women with recurrent vaginal candidiasis (RVC); and (ii) Candida strains from women who had only one episode of infection within a 1-year period. In total, 87 isolates from 71 patients were cultured, speciated and genotyped by random amplification of polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis. Patients were categorized into three groups, namely those with: (i) a history of RVC from whom two or more yeast isolates were obtained (group A); (ii) a history of RVC from whom only a single isolate was obtained (group B); and (iii) a single episode of vaginal candidiasis within a 1-year period (group C). Six yeast species were detected: Candida albicans, Candida glabrata, Candida lusitaniae, Candida famata, Candida krusei and Candida parapsilosis. Interestingly, the prevalence of non-albicans species was higher in group A patients (50 %) than in patients in groups B (36 %) or C (18.9 %). Eighty RAPD profiles were observed, with a total of 61 polymorphic PCR fragments of distinct sizes. Clustering analysis showed that, overall, the majority of patients in group A had recurrent infections caused by highly similar, but not identical, sequential strains [mean pairwise similarity coefficient (S(AB)) = 0.721 +/- 0.308]. The range of mean S(AB) values for intergroup comparisons for C. albicans isolates alone was 0.50-0.56, suggesting that there was no significant relatedness between strains from different groups. Genetic similarity of C. albicans isolates from patients in group A was lower than that of C. albicans isolates from patients in group C (mean S(AB) = 0.532 +/- 0.249 and 0.636 +/- 0.206, respectively); this difference was statistically significant (P = 0.036). These results demonstrate that the cause of recurrent infections varies among individuals and ranges between strain maintenance, strain microevolution and strain replacement; the major scenario is strain maintenance with microevolution. They also show that C. albicans strains that cause recurrent infections are less similar to each other than strains that cause one-off infections, suggesting that the former may represent more virulent subtypes.
  12. Nor Shamsudin M, Sekawi Z, van Belkum A, Neela V
    J. Med. Microbiol., 2008 Sep;57(Pt 9):1180-1181.
    PMID: 18719195 DOI: 10.1099/jmm.0.47844-0
  13. Vadivelu J, Puthucheary SD, Navaratnam P
    J. Med. Microbiol., 1991 Jun;34(6):363-7.
    PMID: 2056519
    Eighty-six clinical isolates of Aeromonas hydrophila were studied for their ability to produce four exotoxins: a haemolysin active against rabbit erythrocytes, cytotoxin and enterotoxin detectable with Vero cell cultures, and the cholera toxin-like factor detected by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. At least one exotoxin was produced by 80% of enteric and 96% of non-enteric isolates. The exotoxin profiles of non-enteric isolates were more restricted than those of enteric isolates, with haemolysin and cytotoxin producers preponderant. Although haemolysin and cytotoxin were produced by isolates from all sources, the enterotoxin and cholera toxin-like factor were more common amongst enteric isolates. The production of haemolysin and cytotoxin were closely related but the association between the enterotoxin and the cholera toxin-like factor was not significant.
  14. Ong CS, Ngeow YF, Yap SF, Tay ST
    J. Med. Microbiol., 2010 Nov;59(Pt 11):1311-1316.
    PMID: 20688949 DOI: 10.1099/jmm.0.021139-0
    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.
  15. Chenthamarakshan V, Kumutha MV, Vadivelu J, Puthucheary SD
    J. Med. Microbiol., 2001 Jan;50(1):55-61.
    PMID: 11192506 DOI: 10.1099/0022-1317-50-1-55
    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.
  16. Foo PC, Chan YY, See Too WC, Tan ZN, Wong WK, Lalitha P, et al.
    J. Med. Microbiol., 2012 Sep;61(Pt 9):1219-1225.
    PMID: 22556327 DOI: 10.1099/jmm.0.044552-0
    Entamoeba histolytica is the only Entamoeba species that causes amoebiasis in humans. Approximately 50 million people are infected, with 100, 000 deaths annually in endemic countries. Molecular diagnosis of Entamoeba histolytica is important to differentiate it from the morphologically identical Entamoeba dispar to avoid unnecessary medication. Conventional molecular diagnostic tests require trained personnel, cold-chain transportation and/or are storage-dependent, which make them user-unfriendly. The aim of this study was to develop a thermostabilized, one-step, nested, tetraplex PCR assay for the detection of Entamoeba histolytica, Entamoeba dispar and Entamoeba species in cold-chain-free and ready-to-use form. The PCR test was designed based on the Entamoeba small subunit rRNA (SSU-rRNA) gene, which detects the presence of any Entamoeba species, and simultaneously can be used to differentiate Entamoeba histolytica from Entamoeba dispar. In addition, a pair of primers was designed to serve as an internal amplification control to help identify inhibitors in the samples. All PCR reagents together with the designed primers were thermostabilized by lyophilization and were stable at 24 °C for at least 6 months. The limit of detection of the tetraplex PCR was found to be 39 pg DNA or 1000 cells for Entamoeba histolytica and 78 pg DNA or 1000 cells for Entamoeba dispar, and the specificity was 100 %. In conclusion, this cold-chain-free, thermostabilized, one-step, nested, multiplex PCR assay was found to be efficacious in differentiating Entamoeba histolytica from other non-pathogenic Entamoeba species.
  17. Puah SM, Khor WC, Kee BP, Tan JAMA, Puthucheary SD, Chua KH
    J. Med. Microbiol., 2018 Sep;67(9):1271-1278.
    PMID: 30024365 DOI: 10.1099/jmm.0.000796
    PURPOSE: The taxonomy of Aeromonas keeps expanding and their identification remains problematic due to their phenotypic and genotypic heterogeneity. In this study, we aimed to develop a rapid and reliable polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism assay targeting the rpoD gene to enable the differentiation of aeromonads into 27 distinct species using microfluidic capillary electrophoresis.

    METHODOLOGY: A pair of degenerate primers (Aero F: 5'-YGARATCGAYATCGCCAARCGB-3' and Aero R: 5'-GRCCDATGCTCATRCGRCGGTT-3') was designed that amplified the rpoD gene of 27 Aeromonas species. Subsequently, in silico analysis enabled the differentiation of 25 species using the single restriction endonuclease AluI, while 2 species, A. sanarelli and A. taiwanensis, required an additional restriction endonuclease, HpyCH4IV. Twelve type strains (A. hydrophila ATCC7966T, A. caviae ATCC15468T, A. veronii ATCC9071T, A. media DSM4881T, A. allosaccharophila DSM11576T, A. dhakensis DSM17689T, A. enteropelogens DSM7312T, A. jandaei DSM7311T, A. rivuli DSM22539T, A. salmonicida ATCC33658T, A. taiwanensis DSM24096T and A. sanarelli DSM24094T) were randomly selected from the 27 Aeromonas species for experimental validation.Results/key findings. The twelve type strains demonstrated distinctive RFLP patterns and supported the in silico digestion. Subsequently, 60 clinical and environmental strains from our collection, comprising nine Aeromonas species, were used for screening examinations, and the results were in agreement.

    CONCLUSION: This method provides an alternative method for laboratory identification, surveillance and epidemiological investigations of clinical and environmental specimens.

  18. Chua AL, Elina HT, Lim BH, Yean CY, Ravichandran M, Lalitha P
    J. Med. Microbiol., 2011 Apr;60(Pt 4):481-485.
    PMID: 21183596 DOI: 10.1099/jmm.0.027433-0
    Vibrio cholerae has caused severe outbreaks of cholera worldwide with thousands of recorded deaths annually. Molecular diagnosis for cholera has become increasingly important for rapid detection of cholera as the conventional methods are time-consuming and labour intensive. However, traditional PCR tests still require cold-chain transportation and storage as well as trained personnel to perform, which makes them user-unfriendly. The aim of this study was to develop a thermostabilized triplex PCR test for cholera which is in a ready-to-use form and requires no cold chain. The PCR test specifically detects both toxigenic and non-toxigenic strains of V. cholerae based on the cholera toxin A (ctxA) and outer-membrane lipoprotein (lolB) genes. The thermostabilized triplex PCR also incorporates an internal amplification control that helps to check for PCR inhibitors in samples. PCR reagents and the specific primers were lyophilized into a pellet form in the presence of trehalose, which acts as an enzyme stabilizer. The triplex PCR was validated with 174 bacteria-spiked stool specimens and was found to be 100 % sensitive and specific. The stability of the thermostabilized PCR was evaluated using the Q10 method and it was found to be stable for approximately 7 months at 24 °C. The limit of detection of the thermostabilized triplex PCR assay was 2×10(4) c.f.u. at the bacterial cell level and 100 pg DNA at the genomic DNA level, comparable to conventional PCR methods. In conclusion, a rapid thermostabilized triplex PCR assay was developed for detecting toxigenic and non-toxigenic V. cholerae which requires minimal pipetting steps and is cold chain-free.
  19. Tay ST, Devi S, Puthucheary SD, Kautner IM
    J. Med. Microbiol., 1995 Mar;42(3):175-80.
    PMID: 7884798
    There are several methods for the detection of haemolytic activity in campylobacters. However, we found the haemolytic effect of campylobacters on conventional blood agar plates to be variable, inconsistent and difficult to interpret. Blood agarose plates showed campylobacter haemolytic activity more clearly. The incubation conditions (temperature and gaseous) appear to be important for the expression of this activity. Ninety four percent of the Campylobacter isolates examined were found to be haemolytic by the microplate assay with minimal haemolytic units that ranged from 1 to 64. Haemolytic activity was detected only from live bacterial cultures and not from any of the 50 bacterial culture supernates, which suggests that campylobacters may possess a cell-associated haemolysin. The identification of such haemolytic activity in a large number of campylobacters (94%) suggests its potential role as a virulence factor in campylobacter gastroenteritis.
  20. Rao M, Atiqah N, Dasiman M, Amran F
    J. Med. Microbiol., 2020 Mar;69(3):451-456.
    PMID: 31846413 DOI: 10.1099/jmm.0.001127
    Introduction. Co-infection of leptospirosis-malaria is not uncommon due to their overlapping geographical distribution in the tropics.Aim. This study aimed to describe and compare the demographic, clinical and laboratory features of leptospirosis-malaria co-infection (LMCI) against leptospirosis mono-infection (LMI) in Peninsular Malaysia.Methodology. Data of patients admitted to various hospitals in Peninsular Malaysia from 2011 to 2014 diagnosed with leptospirosis in our laboratory were obtained from their admission records. Co-infections with malaria were identified via blood film for malaria parasites (BFMP). Description with inferential statistics analysis and multiple logistic regressions were used to distinguish features between dual and mono-infections.Results. Of 111 leptospirosis-positive patients, 26 (23.4 %) tested positive for malaria. Co-infections were predominant among male patients with a mean age of 33 years and were prevalent among immigrant populations who had settled in high-density suburban areas. Chills and rigor with splenomegaly were the only significant distinguishing clinical features of LMCI while leukocytosis and raised transaminases were significant laboratory parameters. Only chills and rigor demonstrated a predictive value for LMCI from analysis of multiple logistic regressions. No death was attributed to co-infection in this study, in contrast to LMI (11.8 %, n=10).Conclusion. The significant prevalence of LMCI found in this study with overlapping demographic, clinical and laboratory parameters makes diagnosis of co-infection challenging. It is essential to evaluate co-infection in endemic areas. Strengthened awareness of LMCI, comprehensive diagnostic services and further prospective studies are warranted.
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