Displaying publications 1 - 20 of 34 in total

  1. V K, Neela VK
    Virulence, 2020 12;11(1):104-112.
    PMID: 31957553 DOI: 10.1080/21505594.2020.1713649
    This study investigates the twitching ability of 28 clinical and five environmental strains of S. maltophilia grown under iron-depleted condition through in-silico, phenotypic and proteomics approaches. Rapid Annotations using Subsystem Technology (RAST) analysis revealed the presence of 21 targets of type IV pilus shared across S. maltophilia strains K279a, R551-3, D457 and JV3. The macroscopic twitching assay showed that only clinical isolates produced a zone of twitching with a mean of 22.00 mm under normal and 25.00 mm under iron-depleted conditions. (p = 0.002). Environmental isolates did not show any significant twitching activity in both conditions tested. Isobaric Tags for Relative and Absolute Quantification (ITRAQ) analysis showed altered expression of twitching motility protein PilT (99.08-fold change), flagellar biosynthesis protein FliC (20.14-fold change), and fimbrial protein (0.70-fold change) in response to iron-depleted condition. Most of the strains that have the ability to twitch under the normal condition, exhibit enhanced twitching during iron limitation.
  2. Gunasegar S, Neela VK
    Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis, 2021 Jul;100(3):115369.
    PMID: 33845305 DOI: 10.1016/j.diagmicrobio.2021.115369
    Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) test is widely used in molecular diagnostics as a point-of-care technique alternative to traditional PCR especially in resource-limited countries. LAMP has been recently used to diagnose leptospirosis. Therefore, we undertook a systematic review and meta-analysis to compare the accuracy of LAMP with PCR in the diagnosis of leptospirosis. Sixty-one studies were extracted from three international databases and analyzed throughout using the PRISMA guideline. The pooled sensitivity of LAMP and PCR technique was 0.80 (95% CI: 0.58-0.90) and 0.54 (95% CI: 0.35-0.67) respectively indicating that LAMP is more sensitive than PCR. The Q* value of LAMP and PCR-based technique is 274.61 and 397.95, respectively. Among the analyzed studies, significant heterogeneity was observed where I2 is 90.90% for LAMP-based and 86.18% for PCR-based. Our study suggests that LAMP has better diagnostic accuracy than PCR. However, future work should be carried out to reduce heterogeneity as well as to improve and develop effective intervention strategies.
  3. Philip N, Garba B, Neela VK
    Appl Microbiol Biotechnol, 2018 Jul;102(13):5427-5435.
    PMID: 29736823 DOI: 10.1007/s00253-018-9047-9
    Preservation of leptospiral cultures is tantamount to success in leptospiral diagnostics, research, and development of preventive strategies. Each Leptospira isolate has imperative value not only in disease diagnosis but also in epidemiology, virulence, pathogenesis, and drug development studies. As the number of circulating leptospires is continuously increasing and congruent with the importance to retain their original characteristics and properties, an efficient long-term preservation is critically needed to be well-established. However, the preservation of Leptospira is currently characterized by difficulties and conflicting results mainly due to the biological nature of this organism. Hence, this review seeks to describe the efforts in developing efficient preservation methods, to discover the challenges in preserving this organism and to identify the factors that can contribute to an effective long-term preservation of Leptospira. Through the enlightenment of the previous studies, a potentially effective method has been suggested. The article also attempts to evaluate novel strategies used in other industrial and biotechnological preservation efforts and consider their potential application to the conservation of Leptospira spp.
  4. Kalidasan V, Joseph N, Kumar S, Hamat RA, Neela VK
    Indian J. Microbiol., 2018 Sep;58(3):257-267.
    PMID: 30013269 DOI: 10.1007/s12088-018-0740-2
    Iron is an essential nutrient for all living organisms with critical roles in many biological processes. The mammalian host maintains the iron requirements by dietary intake, while the invading pathogenic bacteria compete with the host to obtain those absorbed irons. In order to limit the iron uptake by the bacteria, the human host employs numerous iron binding proteins and withholding defense mechanisms that capture iron from the microbial invaders. To counteract, the bacteria cope with the iron limitation imposed by the host by expressing various iron acquisition systems, allowing them to achieve effective iron homeostasis. The armamentarium used by the human host and invading bacteria, leads to the dilemma of who wins the ultimate war for iron.
  5. Ghasemzadeh-Moghaddam H, van Wamel W, van Belkum A, Hamat RA, Neela VK
    Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis, 2017 Mar;36(3):451-458.
    PMID: 27815779 DOI: 10.1007/s10096-016-2817-3
    The humoral immune response against 43 staphylococcal antigens was compared among hospitalized patients where none of them had any staphylococcal infection on the day of admission with or without nasal Staphylococcus aureus carriage. Fifty-nine carriers and 59 matched non-carriers were studied. The carriers harbored S. aureus of 35 different spa types, including three t037/ST239 methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) (5.1%). Among the 118 patients, 31 acquired S. aureus during hospitalization. In colonized and non-colonized patients, unique patterns of S. aureus-specific immune responses were observed. The mean fluorescence indices (MFIs) of antibodies against 36/43 (83.7%) antigens were seen to be elevated among carriers. The MFI among carriers with acquisition was significantly higher for staphylococcal superantigen-like protein 5 (SSL5, p = 0.028) when compared to carriers without acquisition. High antibody levels against staphylococcal enterotoxin A (SEA) among carriers illustrate its role as a superantigen in both infection and colonization. We also report a dynamic immune response in S. aureus-carrying patients against the recently reported formyl peptide receptor-like inhibitory (FLIPr)-like protein. In the current study, the dynamics of antibodies against staphylococcal antigens among carrier patients seem quite similar to non-carrier patients. To better understand the dynamic immunogenicity during S. aureus infection and colonization, artificial colonization studies and investigation of the changes in the levels of antibodies against other staphylococcal antigens are recommended.
  6. Kalidasan V, Joseph N, Kumar S, Awang Hamat R, Neela VK
    PMID: 30483485 DOI: 10.3389/fcimb.2018.00401
    Stenotrophomonas maltophilia is a multi-drug-resistant global opportunistic nosocomial pathogen, which possesses a huge number of virulence factors and antibiotics resistance characteristics. Iron has a crucial contribution toward growth and development, cell growth and proliferation, and pathogenicity. The bacterium found to acquire iron for its cellular process through the expression of two iron acquisition systems. Two distinct pathways for iron acquisition are encoded by the S. maltophilia genome-a siderophore-and heme-mediated iron uptake system. The entAFDBEC operon directs the production of the enterobactin siderophore of catecholate in nature, while heme uptake relies on hgbBC and potentially hmuRSTUV operon. Fur and sigma factors are regulators of S. maltophilia under iron-limited condition. Iron potentially act as a signal which plays an important role in biofilm formation, extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), extracellular enzymes production, oxidative stress response, diffusible signal factor (DSF) and siderophore production in S. maltophilia. This review summarizes the current knowledge of iron acquisition in S. maltophilia and the critical role of iron in relation to its pathogenicity.
  7. Philip N, Jani J, Azhari NN, Sekawi Z, Neela VK
    Front Microbiol, 2021;12:753328.
    PMID: 34803975 DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2021.753328
    The zoonotic disease leptospirosis is caused by pathogenic species of the genus Leptospira. With the advancement of studies in leptospirosis, several new species are being reported. It has always been a query, whether Leptospira species, serovars, and strains isolated from different geographical locations contribute to the difference in the disease presentations and severity. In an epidemiological surveillance study performed in Malaysia, we isolated seven novel intermediate and saprophytic species (Leptospira semungkisensis, Leptospira fletcheri, Leptospira langatensis, Leptospira selangorensis, Leptospira jelokensis, Leptospira perdikensis, Leptospira congkakensis) from environments and three pathogenic species from rodents (Leptospira borgpetersenii strain HP364, Leptospira weilii strain SC295, Leptospira interrogans strain HP358) trapped in human leptospirosis outbreak premises. To evaluate the pathogenic potential of these isolates, we performed an in vivo and in silico virulence analysis. Environmental isolates and strain HP364 did not induce any clinical manifestations in hamsters. Strain SC295 caused inactivity and weight loss with histopathological changes in kidneys, however, all hamsters survived until the end of the experiment. Strain HP358 showed a high virulent phenotype as all infected hamsters died or were moribund within 7 days postinfection. Lungs, liver, and kidneys showed pathological changes with hemorrhage as the main presentation. In silico analysis elucidated the genome size of strain HP358 to be larger than strains HP364 and SC295 and containing virulence genes reported in Leptospira species and a high number of specific putative virulence factors. In conclusion, L. interrogans strain HP358 was highly pathogenic with fatal outcome. The constituent of Leptospira genomes may determine the level of disease severity and that needs further investigations.
  8. Karami A, Groman DB, Wilson SP, Ismail P, Neela VK
    Environ Pollut, 2017 Apr;223:466-475.
    PMID: 28129952 DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2017.01.047
    There are serious concerns over the adverse impacts of microplastics (MPs) on living organisms. The main objective of this study was to test the effects of MPs on the total length, weight, condition factor (CF), transcriptional level of antioxidant, anti and pro-apoptotic, and neurotransmitter genes, and the histopathology of the gill, liver, brain, kidney, and intestine in the larvae of zebrafish (Danio rerio). Fish were exposed to one of three levels of pristine low-density polyethylene (LDPE) fragments (5, 50, or 500 μg/L) for 10 or 20 days. No significant changes were observed in any of the selected biomarkers across MP concentrations at days 10 or 20. The expression of casp9 (caspase 9, apoptosis-related cysteine protease), casp3a (caspase 3, apoptosis-related cysteine protease a) and cat (catalase), however, were significantly lower in the larvae sampled at day 20 than day 10. We provide evidence that virgin short-term exposure to LDPE fragments has minimal impact on biomarker responses in D. rerio larvae.
  9. Dakheel KH, Abdul Rahim R, Neela VK, Al-Obaidi JR, Hun TG, Yusoff K
    Biomed Res Int, 2016;2016:4708425.
    PMID: 28078291 DOI: 10.1155/2016/4708425
    Twenty-five methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) isolates were characterized by staphylococcal protein A gene typing and the ability to form biofilms. The presence of exopolysaccharides, proteins, and extracellular DNA and RNA in biofilms was assessed by a dispersal assay. In addition, cell adhesion to surfaces and cell cohesion were evaluated using the packed-bead method and mechanical disruption, respectively. The predominant genotype was spa type t127 (22 out of 25 isolates); the majority of isolates were categorized as moderate biofilm producers. Twelve isolates displayed PIA-independent biofilm formation, while the remaining 13 isolates were PIA-dependent. Both groups showed strong dispersal in response to RNase and DNase digestion followed by proteinase K treatment. PIA-dependent biofilms showed variable dispersal after sodium metaperiodate treatment, whereas PIA-independent biofilms showed enhanced biofilm formation. There was no correlation between the extent of biofilm formation or biofilm components and the adhesion or cohesion abilities of the bacteria, but the efficiency of adherence to glass beads increased after biofilm depletion. In conclusion, nucleic acids and proteins formed the main components of the MRSA clone t127 biofilm matrix, and there seems to be an association between adhesion and cohesion in the biofilms tested.
  10. Ghasemzadeh-Moghaddam H, van Wamel W, van Belkum A, Hamat RA, Tavakol M, Neela VK
    Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis, 2018 Feb;37(2):255-263.
    PMID: 29103153 DOI: 10.1007/s10096-017-3124-3
    The humoral immune responses against 46 different staphylococcal antigens in 27 bacteremia patients infected by clonally related methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains of a single sequence type (ST) 239 were investigated. A group of non-infected patients (n = 31) hospitalized for different reasons served as controls. All strains were confirmed as ST 239 by S. aureus and mecA-specific PCR, spa, and multi-locus sequence typing (MLST). In each bacteremia patient, a unique pattern of S. aureus antigen-specific immune responses after infection was observed. Antibody levels among bacteremia patients were significantly higher than controls for HlgB (P = 0.001), LukD (P = 0.009), LukF (P = 0.0001), SEA (P = 0.0001), SEB (P = 0.011), SEC (P = 0.010), SEQ (P = 0.049), IsaA (P = 0.043), IsdA (P = 0.038), IsdH (P = 0.01), SdrD (P = 0.001), SdrE (P = 0.046), EsxA (P = 0.0001), and SA0104 (P = 0.0001). On the other hand, the antibody levels were significantly higher among controls for SSL3 (P = 0.009), SSL9 (P = 0.002), and SSL10 (P = 0.007) when the IgG level on the day of infection was compared with that measured on the day of admission. Diversity was observed in the immune response against the antigens. However, a set of antigens (IsaA, IsdA, IsdH, SdrD, and HlgB) triggered a similar type of immune response in different individuals. We suggest that these antigens could be considered when developing a multi-component (passive) vaccine. SEA and/or its specific antibodies seem to play a critical role during ST239 MRSA bacteremia and SEA-targeted therapy may be a strategy to be considered.
  11. Philip N, Affendy NB, Masri SN, Yuhana MY, Than LTL, Sekawi Z, et al.
    PLoS One, 2020;15(9):e0239069.
    PMID: 32915919 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0239069
    The diagnosis of leptospirosis remains a challenge due to its non-specific symptoms and the biphasic nature of the illness. A comprehensive diagnosis that includes both molecular (polymerase chain reaction (PCR)) and serology is vital for early detection of leptospirosis and to avoid misdiagnosis. However, not all samples could be subjected to both tests (serology and molecular) due to budget limitation, infrastructure, and technical expertise at least in resource-limited countries. We evaluated the usefulness of testing the clinically suspected leptospirosis cases with both techniques on all samples collected from the patients on the day of admission. Among the 165 patient's blood/serum samples tested (from three hospitals in Central Malaysia), 43 (26%) showed positivity by microscopic agglutination test (MAT), 63 (38%) by PCR, while 14 (8%) were positive by both MAT and PCR. For PCR, we tested two molecular targets (lipL32 by qPCR and 16S rDNA or rrs by nested PCR) and detected lipL32 in 47 (29%) and rrs gene in 63 (38%) patients. The use of more than one target gene for PCR increased the detection rates. Hence, a highly sensitive multiplex PCR targeting more than one diagnostic marker is recommended for the early detection of Leptospira in suspected patients. When the frequencies for positivity detected either by MAT or PCR combined, leptospirosis was diagnosed in a total of 92 (56%) patients, a higher frequency compared to when samples were only tested by a single method (MAT or PCR). The results from this study suggest the inclusion of both serology and molecular methods for every first sample irrespective of the days post-onset of symptoms (DPO) collected from patients for early diagnosis of leptospirosis.
  12. Alia SN, Joseph N, Philip N, Azhari NN, Garba B, Masri SN, et al.
    J Infect Public Health, 2018 11 27;12(2):263-269.
    PMID: 30502041 DOI: 10.1016/j.jiph.2018.10.137
    BACKGROUND: Leptospirosis is often misdiagnosed with several other tropical febrile illnesses in Malaysia due to similarities in clinical manifestations. Although treatment regimens could be started based on clinical judgments, early diagnosis has become paramount as a guide to chemotherapeutic interventions. Confirmed laboratory diagnosis through MAT or PCR is time consuming and usually available only in reference laboratories and not practical in healthcare settings. Rapid and easy to perform diagnostic tests are widely used in these settings as the point of care diagnosis. The present study was undertaken to compare the diagnostic performance of two IgM based immunodiagnostic assay kits for acute leptospirosis.

    METHODS: A total of 50 serum samples were collected from patients clinically suspected for acute leptospirosis on admission in the Hospital Serdang, from June 2016 to June 2017. All the samples were subjected to MAT, lipL32 PCR and the two rapid tests (Leptocheck-WB and ImmuneMed Leptospira IgM Duo Rapid test).

    RESULTS: Out of the 50 clinically suspected patients sampled, 19 were confirmed positive for leptospirosis. Six (12%) were confirmed by MAT and 13 (26%) by PCR. Similarly, of the 50 clinically suspected cases, 17 (34%) showed positivity for Leptocheck-WB and 7 (14%) for ImmuneMed Leptospira IgM Duo Rapid test. The overall sensitivity and specificity was 47.37% and 80.65% for Leptocheck-WB, and 21.05% and 90.32% for ImmuneMed Leptospira IgM Duo Rapid test. In another set of previously confirmed MAT positive samples (1:400-1:3600) obtained from a reference laboratory, Leptocheck-WB showed higher sensitivity (90.72%) than ImmuneMed Leptospira IgM Duo Rapid test (40.21%), and comparable specificity for ImmuneMed Leptospira IgM Duo Rapid test (88.89%) and Leptocheck-WB (82.86%).

    CONCLUSION: The sensitivity was higher for Leptocheck-WB and had a comparable specificity with ImmuneMed Leptospira IgM Duo Rapid test. Therefore, based on the present study, Leptocheck-WB is found to be a more sensitive rapid immunodiagnostic test for acute leptospirosis screening in hospital settings.

  13. Putsathit P, Neela VK, Joseph NMS, Ooi PT, Ngamwongsatit B, Knight DR, et al.
    Vet Microbiol, 2019 Oct;237:108408.
    PMID: 31585650 DOI: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2019.108408
    Information on the epidemiology of C. difficile infection (CDI) in South-East Asian countries is limited, as is data on possible animal reservoirs of C. difficile in the region. We investigated the prevalence and molecular epidemiology of C. difficile in piglets and the piggery environment in Thailand and Malaysia. Piglet rectal swabs (n = 224) and piggery environmental specimens (n = 23) were collected between 2015 and 2016 from 11 farms located in Thailand and Malaysia. All specimens were tested for the presence of C. difficile with toxigenic culture. PCR assays were performed on isolates to determine the ribotype (RT), and the presence of toxin genes. Whole genome sequencing was used on a subset of isolates to determine the evolutionary relatedness of RT038 (the most prevalent RT identified) common to pigs and humans from Thailand and Indonesia. C. difficile was recovered from 35% (58/165) and 92% (54/59) of the piglets, and 89% (8/9) and 93% (13/14) of the environmental specimens from Thailand and Malaysia, respectively. All strains from Thailand, and 30 strains from Malaysia (23 piglet and 7 environmental isolates) were non-toxigenic. To our knowledge, this is the first and only report with a complete lack of toxigenic C. difficile among piglets, a feature which could have a protective effect on the host. The most common strain belonged to RT038 (ST48), accounting for 88% (51/58) of piglet and 78% (7/9) of environmental isolates from Thailand, and all 30 isolates tested from Malaysia. Piglet RT038 isolates from Thailand and Malaysia differed by only 18 core-genome single nucleotide variants (cgSNVs) and both were, on average, 30 cgSNVs different from the human strains from Thailand and Indonesia, indicating a common ancestor in the last two decades.
  14. Shinkafi SH, Umar S, Neela VK, Noordin SM, Noordin SA, Hudu SA, et al.
    Afr Health Sci, 2019 Sep;19(3):2378-2389.
    PMID: 32127808 DOI: 10.4314/ahs.v19i3.11
    Background: The term early onset neonatal septicaemia (EONS) refers to invasive bacterial infections that primarily involve the blood stream of neonates during the first 3 days of life. Although early onset neonatal septicaemia is relatively uncommon, it may be associated with case fatality rates of 15-30% and substantial morbidity in surviving infants.

    Objectives: This study describes an unusual septicaemia cases with Janthinobacterium lividum in neonatal Intensive Care Units.

    Methods: Bacterial causes of early onset neonatal sepsis in Kuala Lumpur Hospital Malaysia were investigated using broad range 16S rDNA PCR and sequencing. The bacterial DNA was isolated directly from blood without pre-incubation. All samples collected were equally cultured and incubated in automated BACTEC system.

    Results: Two hundred and fifty two neonates were recruited in this study with mean (SD) gestational age of 35.9. Neonates with J. lividum infection lacked microbiological evidence of septicaemia as their blood culture yielded no bacterial growth. However, the PCR analysis of these samples yielded 1100bp corresponding to bacteria species.

    Conclusion: This study demonstrates the value of PCR in detecting bacteria where special growth requirement is involved.

  15. Casanovas-Massana A, Vincent AT, Bourhy P, Neela VK, Veyrier FJ, Picardeau M, et al.
    Int J Syst Evol Microbiol, 2019 Jun;71(3).
    PMID: 33620308 DOI: 10.1099/ijsem.0.004713
    Leptospira dzianensis and Leptospira putramalaysiae were recently described as novel species and published almost concurrently with Leptospira yasudae and Leptospira stimsonii. Genome comparisons based on average nucleotide identity of the type strain genomes indicate that L. dzianensis and L. putramalaysiae are conspecific with L. yasudae and L. stimsonii, respectively. Based on the rules of priority, L. dzianensis should be reclassified as a later heterotypic synonym of L. yasudae, and L. putramalaysiae should be reclassified as a later heterotypic synonym of L. stimsonii.
  16. Philip N, Lung Than LT, Shah AM, Yuhana MY, Sekawi Z, Neela VK
    BMC Infect Dis, 2021 Oct 19;21(1):1081.
    PMID: 34666707 DOI: 10.1186/s12879-021-06766-5
    BACKGROUND: Leptospirosis is a re-emerging disease with vast clinical presentations, that ranges from subclinical or mild to severe and fatal outcomes. Leptospirosis can be managed well if diagnosed earlier, however, similar clinical presentations by several other febrile illnesses or co-infections, and laboratory diagnostic challenges due to the biphasic nature of the illness, often result in mis- or underdiagnosis, thereby lead to severe illness. Identification of clinical predictors for the severe form of the disease plays a crucial role in reducing disease complication and mortality. Therefore, we aimed to determine the clinical predictors associated with severe illness among leptospirosis patients from Central Malaysia through a prospective multicenter observational study.

    METHODS: A prospective multicenter observational study was performed on patients admitted for clinically suspected leptospirosis. Three hospitals namely Hospital Serdang, Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah and Hospital Teluk Intan were included in the study. Among a total of 165 clinically suspected leptospirosis patients, 83 confirmed cases were investigated for clinical predictors for severe illness. Qualitative variables were performed using χ2 and the relationship between mild and severe cases was evaluated using logistic regression. Multivariable logistic regression was used to predict the independent variable for severity.

    RESULTS: Among the 83 patients, 50 showed mild disease and 33 developed severe illness. The mean age of the patients was 41.92 ± 17.99 and most were males (n = 54, 65.06%). We identified mechanical ventilation, acute kidney injury, septic shock, creatinine level of > 1.13 mg/dL, urea > 7 mmol/L, alanine aminotransferase > 50 IU, aspartate aminotransferase > 50 IU, and platelet  50 IU and platelet 

  17. Yap ML, Chew LJ, Pritpal Singh SS, Sekawi Z, Chee HY, Ong HKO, et al.
    Trop Biomed, 2021 Jun 01;38(2):122-128.
    PMID: 34172700 DOI: 10.47665/tb.38.2.047
    Leptospirosis is an emerging zoonotic disease endemic in tropical regions. Aiming at assessing the potential infection risks via recreational exposure, the molecular prevalence of pathogenic Leptospira in 14 amenity forests in five selected districts of the state of Perak was determined. Water and soil samples along streams and waterfalls were subjected to culture of leptospires and the pathogenic Leptospira spp. was detected by lipL32-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Twenty out of 154 samples (13%) that tested positive for leptospires were mostly soils and still water recorded with tolerable temperatures (22.2- 26.5°C) and pHs (5.73-6.70). The localised prevalence was highly varied among eight positive forests (6.7-41.7%), particularly higher in Kampar and Kinta districts which are the more populated urban areas. The importance of public health surveillance should not be underrated given the high prevalence of Leptospira spp. in forests in close proximity to indigenous settlements, even where the places are clean. Overall, this study discovered a wide distribution of pathogenic Leptospira spp. in recreational areas.
  18. Suhaimi MES, Desa MNM, Eskandarian N, Pillay SG, Ismail Z, Neela VK, et al.
    J Infect Public Health, 2017 Jan-Feb;10(1):14-21.
    PMID: 27095302 DOI: 10.1016/j.jiph.2016.01.009
    BACKGROUND/PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to characterize GBS isolates that were collected from three major hospitals in a densely populated area of Klang Valley for their demographics, serotypes, antibiotic susceptibility patterns and genetic background.

    METHODS: Sixty GBS isolates from sterile and non-sterile samples in three major hospitals in the Klang Valley area of Malaysia were collected by convenience sampling from 2012 until March 2014. These isolates were studied for their antimicrobial susceptibilities, serotypes and genotypes. Patients' demographic data and clinical information were collected from lab request forms.

    RESULTS: Diabetes mellitus was the only underlying condition (7 patients, 23.3%); the remaining samples were from patients who were immunocompromised due to medications. Fifty-nine (98%) isolates were sensitive to penicillin, while 78.3% and 88.3% of the isolates were sensitive to erythromycin and clindamycin, respectively. Serotype Ia was the most common serotype (n=27, 45%), followed by serotype III (n=10, 16.7%), V (n=9, 15%), VI (n=8, 13.3%), VIII (n=2, 3.3%) and VII (n=1, 1.7%). Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA (RAPD) typing showed a diverse genetic pedigree for all isolates, including four major groups that clustered according to geographical location.

    CONCLUSION: This preliminary study determines the prevalence of limited common serotypes and antimicrobial resistance in distinct GBS isolates. Nonetheless, the RAPD clustering pattern suggests a close genetic lineage of the GBS isolates based on their isolation sites and location of hospitals.
  19. Soheili S, Ghafourian S, Sekawi Z, Neela VK, Sadeghifard N, Taherikalani M, et al.
    Drug Des Devel Ther, 2015;9:2553-61.
    PMID: 26005332 DOI: 10.2147/DDDT.S77263
    The toxin-antitoxin (TA) system is a regulatory system where two sets of genes encode the toxin and its corresponding antitoxin. In this study, the prevalence of TA systems in independently isolated clinical isolates of Enterococcus faecium and Enterococcus faecalis was determined, the dominant TA system was identified, different virulence genes in E. faecium and E. faecalis were surveyed, the level of expression of the virulence and TA genes in normal and stress conditions was determined, and finally their associations with the TA genes were defined. Remarkably, the analysis demonstrated higBA and mazEF in all clinical isolates, and their locations were on chromosomes and plasmids, respectively. On the other hand, a quantitative analysis of TA and virulence genes revealed that the expression level in both genes is different under normal and stress conditions. The results obtained by anti-mazF peptide nucleic acids demonstrated that the expression level of virulence genes had decreased. These findings demonstrate an association between TA systems and virulence factors. The mazEF on the plasmids and the higBA TA genes on the chromosomes of all E. faecium and E. faecalis strains were dominant. Additionally, there was a decrease in the expression of virulence genes in the presence of anti-mazF peptide nucleic acids. Therefore, it is suggested that mazEF TA systems are potent and sensitive targets in all E. faecium and E. faecalis strains.
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