Over the past decade, a number of unique zoonotic and non-zoonotic viruses have emerged in Malaysia. Several of these viruses have resulted in significant morbidity and mortality to those affected and they have imposed a tremendous public health and economic burden on the state. Amongst the most devastating was the outbreak of Nipah virus encephalitis in 1998, which resulted in 109 deaths. The culling of more than a million pigs, identified as the amplifying host, ultimately brought the outbreak under control. A year prior to this, and subsequently again in 2000 and 2003, large outbreaks of hand-foot-and-mouth disease due to enterovirus 71, with rare cases of fatal neurological complications, were reported in young children. Three other new viruses - Tioman virus (1999), Pulau virus (1999), and Melaka virus (2006) - whose origins have all been linked to bats, have been added to the growing list of novel viruses being discovered in Malaysia. The highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has also been detected in Malaysia with outbreaks in poultry in 2004, 2006, and 2007. Fortunately, no human infections were reported. Finally, the HIV/AIDS epidemic has seen the emergence of an HIV-1 recombinant form (CRF33_01B) in HIV-infected individuals from various risk groups, with evidence of ongoing and rapid expansion.
To assess the prevalence of mutations associated with drug resistance in antiretroviral-naive patients in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, genotypic resistance testing was conducted among drug-naive HIV-1 patients attending the University Malaya Medical Center (UMMC) between July 2003 and June 2004. Reverse transcriptase (RT) and protease genes of plasma virions were sequenced from 100 individuals. The majority of the patients were recently diagnosed. Codons 20-255 of the RT and 1-96 of the protease gene were examined for major and minor mutations associated with antiretroviral resistance reported by the International AIDS Society- USA (IAS-USA) Drug Resistance Mutations Group. The prevalence of patients with at least one major mutation conferring drug resistance was 1%, with only one patient having a Y181C amino acid substitution in the RT gene that confers high-level resistance to nevirapine and delavirdine. Minor mutations were detected in high prevalence in the protease gene. Amino acid substitutions I13V, E35D, and M36I were associated with CRF01_AE while L63P, V77I, and I93L were associated with subtype B. Baseline prevalence of major mutations associated with resistance to antiretroviral drugs was low among antiretroviral-naive HIV-1 patients, suggesting that routine drug resistance testing may be unnecessary for all individuals newly diagnosed with HIV or all patients beginning antiretroviral therapy.
To assess the prevalence of major drug resistance mutations in antiretroviral (ARV)-treated patients with detectable viral load (VL) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, genotypic resistance testing was performed among treated human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) patients attending the University Malaya Medical Center between July 2003 and November 2004. The reverse transcriptase (RT) and protease genes from 36 plasma samples with detectable VL were examined for major mutations associated with ARV resistance as reported by the International AIDS Society-USA Drug Resistance Mutations Group. The prevalence of patients with at least one major mutation conferring drug resistance to nucleoside RT inhibitors (NRTIs), non-NRTIs (NNRTIs) or protease inhibitors (PIs) was 77.8%. In the RT gene, the frequency of mutations associated with NRTIs and NNRTIs resistance was 52.8 and 63.9%, respectively, with M184V and K103N mutations being selected most frequently by these drugs. A patient with Q151M mutation complex was also detected. Twenty-two percent of the patients had mutations associated with PIs. The following pattern of prevalence of ARV-resistant HIV-1 variants was observed: NNRTI-resistant > NRTI-resistant > PI-resistant. The prevalence of major drug resistance mutations among ARV-treated patients with detectable VL is high in Kuala Lumpur. Genotypic drug resistance testing is therefore important for monitoring patients experiencing ARV regimen failure.
Pluralibacter gergoviae FB2, a bacterial strain isolated from packed food, has been found to exhibit quorum-quenching properties. Hence, we report the first, complete genome of P. gergoviae sequenced using the Pacific Biosciences single-molecule, real-time (SMRT) platform.
To date, information on plasmid analysis in Pandoraea spp. is scarce. To address the gap of knowledge on this, the complete sequences of eight plasmids from Pandoraea spp. namely Pandoraea faecigallinarum DSM 23572(T) (pPF72-1, pPF72-2), Pandoraea oxalativorans DSM 23570(T) (pPO70-1, pPO70-2, pPO70-3, pPO70-4), Pandoraea vervacti NS15 (pPV15) and Pandoraea apista DSM 16535(T) (pPA35) were studied for the first time in this study. The information on plasmid sequences in Pandoraea spp. is useful as the sequences did not match any known plasmid sequence deposited in public databases. Replication genes were not identified in some plasmids, a situation that has led to the possibility of host interaction involvement. Some plasmids were also void of par genes and intriguingly, repA gene was also not discovered in these plasmids. This further leads to the hypothesis of host-plasmid interaction. Plasmid stabilization/stability protein-encoding genes were observed in some plasmids but were not established for participating in plasmid segregation. Toxin-antitoxin systems MazEF, VapBC, RelBE, YgiT-MqsR, HigBA, and ParDE were identified across the plasmids and their presence would improve plasmid maintenance. Conjugation genes were identified portraying the conjugation ability amongst Pandoraea plasmids. Additionally, we found a shared region amongst some of the plasmids that consists of conjugation genes. The identification of genes involved in replication, segregation, toxin-antitoxin systems and conjugation, would aid the design of drugs to prevent the survival or transmission of plasmids carrying pathogenic properties. Additionally, genes conferring virulence and antibiotic resistance were identified amongst the plasmids. The observed features in the plasmids shed light on the Pandoraea spp. as opportunistic pathogens.
Quorum sensing (QS) is a cell-to-cell communication system that uses autoinducers as signaling molecules to enable inter-species and intra-species interactions in response to external stimuli according to the population density. QS allows bacteria such as Acinetobacter baumannii to react rapidly in response to environmental changes and hence, increase the chances of survival. A. baumannii is one of the causative agents in hospital-acquired infections and the number of cases has increased remarkably in the past decade. In this study, A. baumannii strain 863, a multidrug-resistant pathogen, was found to exhibit QS activity by producing N-acyl homoserine lactone. We identified the autoinducer synthase gene, which we named abaI, by performing whole genome sequencing analysis of A. baumannii strain 863. Using high resolution tandem triple quadrupole mass spectrometry, we reported that abaI of A. baumannii strain 863 produced 3-hydroxy-dodecanoyl-homoserine lactone. A gene deletion mutant was constructed, which confirmed the functionality of abaI. A growth defect was observed in the QS-deficient mutant strain. Transcriptome profiling was performed to determine the possible genes regulated by QS. Four groups of genes that showed differential expression were discovered, namely those involved in carbon source metabolism, energy production, stress response and the translation process.
Bacterial cell-to-cell communication (quorum sensing) refers to the regulation of bacterial gene expression in response to changes in microbial population density. Quorum sensing bacteria produce, release and respond to chemical signal molecules called autoinducers. Bacteria use two types of autoinducers, namely autoinducer-1 (AI-1) and autoinducer-2 (AI-2) where the former are N-acylhomoserine lactones and the latter is a product of the luxS gene. Most of the reported literatures show that the majority of oral bacteria use AI-2 for quorum sensing but rarely the AI-1 system. Here we report the isolation of Pseudomonas putida strain T2-2 from the oral cavity. Using high resolution mass spectrometry, it is shown that this isolate produced N-octanoylhomoserine lactone (C8-HSL) and N-dodecanoylhomoserine lactone (C12-HSL) molecules. This is the first report of the finding of quorum sensing of P. putida strain T2-2 isolated from the human tongue surface and their quorum sensing molecules were identified.
Serratia marcescens is an opportunistic bacterial pathogen with broad range of host ranging from vertebrates, invertebrates and plants. S. marcescens strain W2.3 was isolated from a diseased tilapia fish and it was suspected to be the causal agent for the fish disease as virulence genes were found within its genome. In this study, for the first time, the genome sequences of S. marcescens strain W2.3 were sequenced using the Illumina MiSeq platform.
HIV-1 epidemics among men who have sex with men (MSM) continue to expand in developed and developing countries. Although HIV infection in MSM is amongst the highest of the key affected populations in many countries in Southeast Asia, comprehensive molecular epidemiological study of HIV-1 among MSM remains inadequate in the region including in Malaysia. Here, we reported the phylodynamic profiles of HIV-1 genotypes circulating among MSM population in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A total of n = 459 newly-diagnosed treatment-naïve consenting subjects were recruited between March 2006 and August 2012, of whom 87 (18.9%) were self-reported MSM. Transmitted drug resistance mutations were absent in these isolates. Cumulatively, phylogenetic reconstructions of the pro-rt gene (HXB2∶2253-3275) showed that HIV-1 subtype B and CRF01_AE were predominant and contributed to approximately 80% of the total HIV-1 infection among MSM. In addition to numerous unique transmission lineages within these genotypes, twelve monophyletic transmission clusters of different sizes (2-7 MSM sequences, supported by posterior probability value of 1) were identified in Malaysia. Bayesian coalescent analysis estimated that the divergence times for these clusters were mainly dated between 1995 and 2005 with four major transmission clusters radiating at least 12 years ago suggesting that active spread of multiple sub-epidemic clusters occurred during this period. The changes in effective population size of subtype B showed an exponential growth within 5 years between 1988 and 1993, while CRF01_AE lineage exhibited similar expansion between 1993 and 2003. Our study provides the first insight of the phylodynamic profile of HIV-1 subtype B and CRF01_AE circulating among MSM population in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, unravelling the importance of understanding transmission behaviours as well as evolutionary history of HIV-1 in assessing the risk of outbreak or epidemic expansion.
A molecular epidemiological investigation was conducted among various risk populations (n = 184) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 2003 to 2005, on the basis of nucleotide sequences of protease and reverse transcriptase regions. In addition to circulating HIV-1 strains, including CRF01_AE (57.1%), subtype B (20.1%), and subtype C (0.5%), we detected a candidate with a new circulating recombinant form (CRF). We determined four near-full-length nucleotide sequences with identical subtype structure from epidemiologically unlinked individuals of different risk and ethnic groups. In this chimera, two short subtype B segments were inserted into the gag-RT region in a backbone of CRF01_AE. The recombinant structure was distinct from previously identified CRF15_01B in Thailand. In agreement with the current HIV nomenclature system, this constitutes a novel CRF (CRF33_01B). The overall prevalence of CRF33_01B is 19.0% (35/184). Although the prevalence of CRF33_01B is particularly high among injecting drug users (42.0%, 21/50), it is also detected in a substantial proportion of homo-/bisexual males (18.8%, 3/16) and heterosexuals (9.8%, 9/92). Moreover, unique recombinant forms composed of CRF01_AE and subtype B that have a significant structural relationship with CRF33_01B were detected in 1.6% (3/184) of study subjects, suggesting an ongoing recombination process in Malaysia. This new CRF seems to be bridging viral transmission between different risk populations in this country.
Earlier studies in the 1990s indicate that human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) subtype B has been the predominant subtype among injecting drug users (IDUs) in Malaysia. More recent studies performed between 2003 and 2004, however, show a high prevalence of unique CRF01_AE/B intersubtype recombinants among IDUs. To determine the subtype distribution among IDUs in Kuala Lumpur prior to the emergence of CRF01_AE/B intersubtype recombinants, the gag-pol or the reverse transcriptase gene was sequenced from IDUs who were diagnosed as HIV positive between 1993 and 2002. Subtype B was present at 50.0% followed by CRF01_AE/B recombinant at 41.7%, with more CRF01_AE/B recombinants detected between 2000 and 2002. All CRF01_AE/B recombinants shared similar recombination patterns. Interestingly, we found that this potential new candidate of circulating recombinant form (CRF) could have emerged as early as the mid-1990s. The results showed evidence of changing HIV-1 molecular epidemiology toward the predominance of CRF01_AE/B intersubtype recombinants among IDUs in Kuala Lumpur.
We report here the first novel HIV-1 circulating recombinant form (CRF) 54_01B (CRF54_01B) isolated from three epidemiologically unlinked subjects of different risk groups in Malaysia. These recently sampled recombinants showed a complex genome organization composed of parental subtype B' and CRF01_AE, with identical recombination breakpoints observed in the gag, pol, and vif genes. Such a discovery highlights the ongoing active generation and spread of intersubtype recombinants involving the subtype B' and CRF01_AE lineages and indicates the potential of the new CRF in bridging HIV-1 transmission among different risk groups in Southeast Asia.
A novel HIV-1 genotype designated CRF53_01B was recently characterized from three epidemiologically unrelated persons in Malaysia. Here we announced three recently isolated full-length genomes of CRF53_01B, which is likely to be phylogenetically linked to CRF33_01B, circulating widely in Southeast Asia. The genome sequences may contribute to HIV-1 molecular surveillance and future vaccine development in the region.
A novel Streptomyces strain, MUSC 119(T), was isolated from a soil collected from a mangrove forest. Cells of MUSC 119(T) stained Gram-positive and formed light brownish grey aerial mycelium and grayish yellowish brown substrate mycelium on ISP 2 medium. A polyphasic approach was used to determine the taxonomic status of strain MUSC 119(T), which shows a range of phylogenetic and chemotaxonomic properties consistent with those of the genus Streptomyces. The cell wall peptidoglycan consisted of LL-diaminopimelic acid. The predominant menaquinones were identified as MK-9(H8), MK-9(H6) and MK-9(H4). The polar lipid profile consisted of phosphatidylinositol, phosphatidylethanolamine, glycolipids, diphosphatidylglycerol and four phospholipids. The predominant cellular fatty acids were anteiso-C15:0, iso-C16:0, and anteiso-C17:0. The cell wall sugars were glucose, mannose, ribose and rhamnose. The phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity showed that strain MUSC119(T) to be closely related to Streptomyces rhizophilus JR-41(T) (99.0 % sequence similarity), S. panaciradicis 1MR-8(T) (98.9 %), S. gramineus JR-43(T) (98.8 %) and S. graminisoli JR-19(T) (98.7 %). These results suggest that MUSC 119(T) should be placed within the genus Streptomyces. DNA-DNA relatedness values between MUSC 119(T) to closely related strains ranged from 14.5 ± 1.3 to 27.5 ± 0.7 %. The G+C content was determined to be 72.6 mol %. The polyphasic study of MUSC 119(T) showed that this strain represents a novel species, for which the name Streptomyces humi sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain of S. humi is MUSC 119(T) (=DSM 42174(T) = MCCC 1K00505(T)).
Cell-cell communication is also known as quorum sensing (QS) that happens in the bacterial cells with the aim to regulate their genes expression in response to increased cell density. In this study, a bacterium (L8A) isolated from dental plaque biofilm was identified as Citrobacter amalonaticus by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry (MS). Its N-acylhomoserine-lactone (AHL) production was screened by using two types of AHL biosensors namely Chromobacterium violaceum CV026 and Escherichia coli [pSB401]. Citrobacter amalonaticus strain L8A was identified and confirmed producing numerous types of AHL namely N-butyryl-L-homoserine lactone (C4-HSL), N-hexanoyl-L-homoserine lactone (C6-HSL), N-octanoyl-L-homoserine lactone (C8-HSL) and N-hexadecanoyl-L-homoserine lactone (C16-HSL). We performed the whole genome sequence analysis of this oral isolate where its genome sequence reveals the presence of QS signal synthase gene and our work will pave the ways to study the function of the related QS genes in this bacterium.
Staphylococcus haemolyticus is one of the pathogens that harbor a high level of antibiotic resistance. Here, we highlighted the potential determinants for multidrug resistance and virulence from the draft genome of Staphylococcus haemolyticus strain C10A, isolated from a patient with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbation.
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) subtypes have been shown to differ in the rate of clinical progression. We studied the association between HIV-1 subtypes and the rate of CD4+ T-cell recovery in a longitudinal cohort of patients on combination antiretroviral therapy (cART). We studied 103 patients infected with CRF01_AE (69%) and subtype B (31%) who initiated cART between 2006 and 2013. Demographic data, CD4+ T-cell counts and HIV-1 viral load were abstracted from patient medical charts. Kaplan-Meier was used to estimate the time to CD4+ T-cell count increase to ≥350 between subtypes and effects of covariates were analysed using Cox proportional hazards. An 87% of the study population were male adults (mean age of 38.7 years old). Baseline CD4+ T-cell counts and viral loads, age at cART initiation, sex, ethnicity and co-infection did not differ significantly between subtypes. A shorter median time for CD4+ T-cell count increase to ≥350 cells/μL was observed for CRF01_AE (546 days; 95% confidence interval [CI], 186-906 days; P = .502) compared to subtype B (987 days; 95% CI, 894-1079 days). In multivariate analysis, female sex was significantly associated with a 2.7 times higher chance of achieving CD4+ T-cell recovery (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 2.75; 95% CI, 1.21-6.22; P = .025) and both baseline CD4+ T-cell count (P = .001) and viral load (P = .001) were important predictors for CD4+ T-cell recovery. Immunological recovery correlated significantly with female sex, baseline CD4+ T-cell counts and viral load but not subtype.
Here, we present the first complete genome sequence of Serratia fonticola DSM 4576(T), a potential plant growth promoting (PGP) bacterium which confers solubilization of inorganic phosphate, indole-3-acetic acid production, hydrogen cyanideproduction, siderophore production and assimilation of ammonia through the glutamate synthase (GS/GOGAT) pathway. This genome sequence is valuable for functional genomics and ecological studies which are related to PGP and biocontrol activities.