Displaying publications 41 - 59 of 59 in total

  1. Swathirajan CR, Vignesh R, Boobalan J, Solomon SS, Saravanan S, Balakrishnan P
    J. Med. Microbiol., 2017 Oct;66(10):1379-1382.
    PMID: 28901908 DOI: 10.1099/jmm.0.000514
    BACKGROUND: Sustainable suppression of HIV replication forms the basis of anti-retroviral therapy (ART) medication. Thus, reliable quantification of HIV viral load has become an essential factor to monitor the effectiveness of the ART. Longer turnaround-time (TAT), batch testing and technical skills are major drawbacks of standard real-time PCR assays.

    METHODS: The performance of the point-of-care Xpert HIV-1 viral load assay was evaluated against the Abbott RealTime PCR m2000rt system. A total of 96 plasma specimens ranging from 2.5 log10 copies ml-1 to 4.99 log10 copies ml-1 and proficiency testing panel specimens were used. Precision and accuracy were checked using the Pearson correlation co-efficient test and Bland-Altman analysis.

    RESULTS: Compared to the Abbott RealTime PCR, the Xpert HIV-1 viral load assay showed a good correlation (Pearson r=0.81; P<0.0001) with a mean difference of 0.27 log10 copies ml-1 (95 % CI, -0.41 to 0.96 log10 copies ml-1; sd, 0.35 log10 copies ml-1).

    CONCLUSION: Reliable and ease of testing individual specimens could make the Xpert HIV-1 viral load assay an efficient alternative method for ART monitoring in clinical management of HIV disease in resource-limited settings. The rapid test results (less than 2 h) could help in making an immediate clinical decision, which further strengthens patient care.

  2. Ng HF, Tan JL, Zin T, Yap SF, Ngeow YF
    J. Med. Microbiol., 2018 Dec;67(12):1676-1681.
    PMID: 30351265 DOI: 10.1099/jmm.0.000857
    In this study, we characterized 7C, a spontaneous mutant selected from tigecycline-susceptible Mycobacterium abscessus ATCC 19977. Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) was used to identify possible resistance determinants in this mutant. Compared to the wild-type, 7C demonstrated resistance to tigecycline as well as cross-resistance to imipenem, and had a slightly retarded growth rate. WGS and subsequent biological verifications showed that these phenotypes were caused by a point mutation in MAB_3542c, which encodes an RshA-like protein. In Mycobacterium tuberculosis, RshA is an anti-sigma factor that negatively regulates the heat/oxidative stress response mechanisms. The MAB_3542c mutation may represent a novel determinant of tigecycline resistance. We hypothesize that this mutation may dysregulate the stress-response pathways which have been shown to be linked to antibiotic resistance in previous studies.
  3. Mohd Rani F, A Rahman NI, Ismail S, Abdullah FH, Othman N, Alattraqchi AG, et al.
    J. Med. Microbiol., 2018 Nov;67(11):1538-1543.
    PMID: 30251951 DOI: 10.1099/jmm.0.000844
    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.
  4. Mohd Khalid MKN, Ahmad N, Hii SYF, Abd Wahab MA, Hashim R, Liow YL
    J. Med. Microbiol., 2019 Jan;68(1):105-110.
    PMID: 30465638 DOI: 10.1099/jmm.0.000881
    Sporadic diphtheria cases in Malaysia have remained low in number since the 1990s. However, in 2016 a total of 31 cases were reported nationwide and to investigate this we performed molecular characterization of 30 Corynebacterium diphtheriae isolates collected from 1981 to 2016 using multilocus sequence typing (MLST). C. diphtheriae isolates were identified and biotyped using the API Coryne kit, while the toxigenicity was determined by PCR and the Elek test. All of the 2016 isolates belonged to biotype mitis, caused respiratory diphtheria and were toxigenic strains. MLST analysis identified 17 sequence types (STs), including 11 new ones. ST453 was the most common clone (7/30, 23.3 %), followed by ST141 (5/30, 16.7 %), ST451 (3/30, 10.0 %) and ST248 (2/30, 6.7 %). The clones identified in 2016 had not been detected in previous isolations and they were phylogenetically distinct. Our results suggest that the diphtheria cases in 2016 were caused by the emergence and spread of new clones in Malaysia.
  5. 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.
  6. Ong LY, Pang T, Lim SH, Tan EL, Puthucheary SD
    J. Med. Microbiol., 1989 Jul;29(3):195-8.
    PMID: 2473209
    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.
  7. Hii SYF, Ali NA, Ahmad N, Amran F
    J. Med. Microbiol., 2017 Nov;66(11):1623-1627.
    PMID: 29048275 DOI: 10.1099/jmm.0.000611
    Melioidosis is an endemic infectious disease in Southeast Asia and northern Australia, caused by Burkholderia pseudomallei. However, the incidence rate in Malaysia is not well documented. The high mortality rate and broad range of clinical presentations require rapid and accurate diagnosis for appropriate treatment. This study compared the efficacy of in-house IgM and IgG ELISA methods using a local B. pseudomallei strain. The diagnostic accuracy of the in-house IgG ELISA was better than that of the IgM ELISA: sensitivity (IgG: 84.71 %, IgM: 76.14 %) and specificity (IgG: 93.64 %, IgM: 90.17 %); positive predictive value (IgG: 86.75 %, IgM: 79.76 %) and negative predictive value (IgG: 92.57 %, IgM: 89.66 %); likelihood ratio (LR) [IgG: 13.32, IgM: 7.75 (LR+); IgG: 0.16, IgM: 0.26 (LR-)], and was supported by the observation of the absorbance value in comparisons between culture and serology sampling. In-house IgG ELISA was shown to be useful as an early diagnostic tool for melioidosis.
  8. 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.
  9. Peremalo T, Madhavan P, Hamzah S, Than L, Wong EH, Nasir MDM, et al.
    J. Med. Microbiol., 2019 Mar;68(3):346-354.
    PMID: 30724730 DOI: 10.1099/jmm.0.000940
    PURPOSE: Non-albicansCandida species have emerged as fungal pathogens that cause invasive infections, with many of these species displaying resistance to commonly used antifungal agents. This study was confined to studying the characteristics of clinical isolates of the C. rugosa complex and C. pararugosa species.

    METHODOLOGY: Seven isolates of the C. rugosa complex and one isolate of C. pararugosa were obtained from two tertiary referral hospitals in Malaysia. Their antifungal susceptibilities, biofilm, proteinase, phospholipase, esterase and haemolysin activities were characterized. Biofilms were quantified using crystal violet (CV) and tetrazolium (XTT) reduction assays at 1.5, 6, 18, 24, 48 and 72 h.Results/Key findings. The E-test antifungal tests showed that both species have elevated MICs compared to C. albicans and C. tropicalis. The highest biomass was observed in one of the C. rugosa isolates (0.237), followed by C. pararugosa (0.206) at 18 h of incubation. However, the highest bioactivity was observed in the C. rugosa ATCC 10571 strain at 24 h (0.075), followed by C. pararugosa at 48 h (0.048) and the same C. rugosa strain at 24 h (0.046), with P<0.05. All isolates exhibited high proteinase activity (+++) whereas six isolates showed very strong esterase activity (++++). All the isolates were alpha haemolytic producers. None of the isolates exhibited phospholipase activity.

    CONCLUSION: Elevated MICs were shown for the C. rugosa complex and C. pararugosa for commonly used antifungal drugs. Further studies to identify virulence genes involved in the pathogenesis and genes that confer reduced drug susceptibility in these species are proposed.

  10. 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.

  11. Hishamshah M, Ahmad N, Mohd Ibrahim H, Nur Halim NA, Nawi S, Amran F
    J. Med. Microbiol., 2018 Jun;67(6):806-813.
    PMID: 29724267 DOI: 10.1099/jmm.0.000750
    Purpose. In this study, we aim to describe and compare the demographical, clinical and laboratory features of leptospirosis and dengue co-infections (LDCI) against single leptospirosis infections in Malaysia.Methodology. Data of patients admitted to various hospitals in Malaysia from 2011 to 2015 diagnosed with leptospirosis in our laboratory were obtained from their admission records. Co-infection with dengue was determined by collecting dengue serology results. Multivariate analysis and multiple logistic regression were used to differentiate features between single leptospirosis infection and confirmed LDCI.Results/Key findings. Only 602 (29.11 %) out of 2068 leptospira-positive patients were concurrently tested for dengue during their admission in which 44 (7.31 %) patients had positive non-structural protein 1 (confirmed LDCI) while 140 (23.26 %) were positive for dengue IgM (probable LDCI) with the highest number of cases recorded in high-density suburban districts. Myalgia and arthralgia were the only significant distinguishing clinical feature of LDCI while significant laboratory features were thrombocytopenia and high levels of alanine and aspartate transaminases. Only thrombocytopenia displayed a predictive value for LDCI from analysis of multiple logistic regression. Death occurred in 19 (3.16 %) patients in this dataset studied but only three (0.50 %) were attributed to LDCI.Conclusion. There is a considerable prevalence of LDCI in this country of which overlapping demographic, clinical and laboratory presentations pose diagnostic and therapeutic challenges. Efforts to raise awareness regarding LDCI, better access to diagnostic services and further prospective studies are warranted.
  12. Che Hamzah AM, Yeo CC, Puah SM, Chua KH, A Rahman NI, Abdullah FH, et al.
    J. Med. Microbiol., 2019 Sep;68(9):1299-1305.
    PMID: 31140965 DOI: 10.1099/jmm.0.000993
    The spread of multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is a public health concern. The inducible macrolide-lincosamide-streptogrammin B (iMLSB ) phenotype (or inducible clindamycin resistance) is associated with false clindamycin susceptibility in routine laboratory testing and may lead to treatment failure. Tigecycline resistance remains rare in S. aureus worldwide. This study aims to determine the antimicrobial susceptibility profiles of clinical isolates of S. aureus obtained from the main tertiary hospital in Terengganu state, Malaysia, from July 2016 to June 2017. The antimicrobial susceptibilities of 90 methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) and 109 methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) isolates were determined by disc diffusion with the iMLSB phenotype determined by D-test. Multidrug resistance (MDR) and the iMLSB phenotype were more prevalent in MRSA (84.4 and 46.7  %, respectively) compared to MSSA isolates. All five tigecycline-resistant isolates were MRSA. The high incidence of MDR and the iMLSB phenotype and the emergence of tigecycline resistance in the Terengganu S. aureus isolates warrants continuous vigilance.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Neela V, Thomas R, Rankouhi SZR, Karunanidhi A, Shueh CS, Hamat RA, et al.
    J. Med. Microbiol., 2012 Dec;61(Pt 12):1792-1794.
    PMID: 22956752 DOI: 10.1099/jmm.0.049403-0
  17. Mokaddas E, Burhamah MHA, Ahmad S, Khan ZU
    J. Med. Microbiol., 2010 Dec;59(Pt 12):1519-1523.
    PMID: 20724511 DOI: 10.1099/jmm.0.023630-0
    A case of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis caused by Aspergillus terreus is described. The diagnosis was based on demonstration of branched septate hyphae in a sputum specimen and isolation of the fungus in culture. The diagnosis was further supported by detection of A. terreus-specific DNA, galactomannan (GM) and (1→3)-β-D-glucan (BDG) in consecutive serum specimens. The patient was treated for about 10 weeks with voriconazole. The decreasing levels of GM and BDG in serum samples were accompanied by symptomatic and radiological improvement. The report highlights the value of surrogate markers in the diagnosis and for monitoring the course of invasive aspergillosis during therapy.
  18. Subakir H, Chong YM, Chan YF, Hasan MS, Jamaluddin MFH, Pang YK, et al.
    J. Med. Microbiol., 2020 Jan;69(1):49-51.
    PMID: 31750812 DOI: 10.1099/jmm.0.001108
    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.
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