Displaying publications 1 - 20 of 161 in total

  1. Thong KL, Bhutta ZA, Pang T
    Int J Infect Dis, 2000;4(4):194-7.
    PMID: 11231181
    OBJECTIVE: The goal of this study was to report the molecular analysis of antibiotic-sensitive and multidrug-resistant (MDR) strains of Salmonella typhi, using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), with a particular emphasis on the coexistence of these strains in a typhoid-endemic region of Karachi, Pakistan.

    METHODS: One hundred isolates of S. typhi in humans (50 MDR and 50 antibiotic-sensitive isolates) from sporadic cases of typhoid fever were analyzed by Vi-phage typing, antibiograms and PFGE.

    RESULTS: The MDR S. typhi strains were resistant to ampicillin, chloramphenicol, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. Analysis by PFGE showed that 50 MDR isolates of S. typhi had a single, homogenous PFGE profile, which was distinctly different from that of 50 antibiotic-sensitive isolates obtained in the same time frame from the same area. This latter group of isolates showed much greater diversity of PFGE profiles, as has been observed in other endemic regions.

    CONCLUSIONS: Multidrug-resistant and antibiotic-susceptible strains of S. typhi can coexist in endemic areas as epidemiologically independent pathogens and are not in competition for continued persistence and transmission.

  2. Paydar M, Thong KL
    J Food Prot, 2013 Oct;76(10):1797-800.
    PMID: 24112583 DOI: 10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-13-141
    Vibrio vulnificus is a highly invasive human pathogen that exists naturally in estuarine environment and coastal waters. In this study, we used different PCR assays to detect V. vulnificus in 260 seafood and 80 seawater samples. V. vulnificus was present in about 34 (13%) of the 260 seafood samples and 18 (23%) of the 80 seawater samples. Repetitive extragenic palindromic PCR (REP-PCR) and enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus PCR (ERIC-PCR) were applied to subtype the V. vulnificus isolates. Twenty-five REP profiles and 45 ERIC profiles were observed, and the isolates were categorized into 9 and 10 distinct clusters at the similarity of 80%, by REP-PCR and ERIC-PCR, respectively. ERIC-PCR is more discriminative than REP-PCR in subtyping V. vulnificus, demonstrating high genetic diversity among the isolates.
  3. Ngoi ST, Thong KL
    Biomed Res Int, 2014;2014:718084.
    PMID: 25371903 DOI: 10.1155/2014/718084
    The increased Salmonella resistance to quinolones and fluoroquinolones is a public health concern in the Southeast Asian region. The objective of this study is to develop a high resolution melt curve (HRM) assay to rapidly screen for mutations in quinolone-resistant determining region (QRDR) of gyrase and topoisomerase IV genes. DNA sequencing was performed on 62 Salmonella strains to identify mutations in the QRDR of gyrA, gyrB, parC, and parE genes. Mutations were detected in QRDR of gyrA (n = 52; S83F, S83Y, S83I, D87G, D87Y, and D87N) and parE (n = 1; M438I). Salmonella strains with mutations within QRDR of gyrA are generally more resistant to nalidixic acid (MIC 16 > 256 μg/mL). Mutations were uncommon within the QRDR of gyrB, parC, and parE genes. In the HRM assay, mutants can be distinguished from the wild-type strains based on the transition of melt curves, which is more prominent when the profiles are displayed in difference plot. In conclusion, HRM analysis allows for rapid screening for mutations at the QRDRs of gyrase and topoisomerase IV genes in Salmonella. This assay markedly reduced the sequencing effort involved in mutational studies of quinolone-resistance genes.
  4. Ngoi ST, Thong KL
    Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis, 2013 Dec;77(4):304-11.
    PMID: 24139970 DOI: 10.1016/j.diagmicrobio.2013.09.004
    Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis (S. Enteritidis) is the most common causative agent of non-typhoidal salmonellosis in Malaysia. We aimed to characterize S. Enteritidis isolated from humans and animals by analyzing their antimicrobial resistance profiles and genotypes. A total of 111 strains were characterized using multiple-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, and antimicrobial susceptibility testing. Both typing methods revealed that genetically similar S. Enteritidis strains had persisted among human and animal populations within the period of study (2003-2008). Only 39% of the strains were multi-drug resistant (i.e., resistant to 3 or more classes of antimicrobial agents), with a majority (73%) of these in low-risk phase (multiple antibiotic resistant index <0.20). Limited genetic diversity among clinical and zoonotic S. Enteritidis suggested that animals are possible sources of human salmonellosis. The degree of multi-drug resistance among the strains was generally low during the study period.
  5. Thong KL, Ang CP
    PMID: 22299444
    Abstract. Salmonella enterica serovar Paratyphi B is known to cause either paratyphoid fever or gastroenteritis. Differentiation of Salmonella ser. Paratyphi B into biotype Java (d-tartrate fermenting, dT+) and biotype Paratyphi B (d-tartrate non-fermenting, dT) is important for Salmonella epidemiology. This study applied a PCR approach to differentiate the two biotypes to augment the conventional biochemical method and to determine the antibiograms and genomic diversity of Malaysian S. Paratyphi B. Among 100 strains tested (clinical, 86; non-humans, 14), only two clinical strains were confirmed as biotype Paratyphi B as indicated by both lead acetate test and PCR. Antibiotic resistance rates were as follows: streptomycin 18%, sulphonamides 13%, ampicillin 10%, chloramphenicol 4%, tetracycline 3%, cefotaxime 2%, cefpodoxime 2%, ceftazidime 2%, gentamicin 1% and trimethoprim 1%. None showed resistance towards amoxicillin-clavulanic acid, ceftiofur, ciprofloxacin, nalidixic acid and trimethoprim-sulphamethoxazole. Seven strains showed multidrug resistance towards 3 or more classes of antimicrobial agents. REP-PCR and PFGE generated 32 and 76 different profiles, respectively. PFGE (D = 0.99) was more discriminative than REP-PCR (D = 0.93) and antimicrobial susceptibility test (D = 0.48) in subtyping the strains. Strains isolated 18 years apart (1982 - 2008) from different localities in Malaysia were clonally related as demonstrated by REP-PCR and PFGE, indicating that these strains were stable and widely distributed. In some clusters, strains isolated from different sources (clinical, food and animal) were grouped together. Thus, biotype Java was the most common biotype of Salmonella ser. Paratyphi B in Malaysia. The PCR approach is highly recommended due to its simplicity, specificity and ease of operation. The level of antimicrobial resistance among Salmonella ser. Paratyphi B remained relatively low in Malaysia but the emergence of resistance to cephalosporins is a cause for concern.
  6. Lim BK, Thong KL
    J Infect Dev Ctries, 2009 Jul 01;3(6):420-8.
    PMID: 19762954
    BACKGROUND: Differentiation of Salmonella enterica into its serogroups is important for epidemiological study. The objective of the study was to apply a multiplex PCR targeting serogroups A, B, C1, D, E and Vi-positive strains of Salmonella enterica commonly found in Malaysia. A separate H-typing multiplex PCR which identified flagellar antigen "a", "b" or "d" was also optimized to confirm clinical serotypes, S. Paratyphi A and S. Typhi.

    METHODOLOGY: Sixty-seven laboratory Salmonella enterica strains were tested. Six sets of primers targeting defined regions of the O antigen synthesis genes (rfb gene cluster) and Vi antigen gene (viaB) were selected and combined into a multiplex PCR for O-grouping. Four primers (H-for, Ha-rev, Hb-rev and Hd-rev) were used in the second step multiplex PCR for H-typing. The optimized mPCR assays were further evaluated with 58 blind-coded Salmonella strains.

    RESULTS: The multiplex PCR results obtained showed 100% concordance to the conventionally typed serogroups. Validation with 58 blind coded Salmonella strains yield 100% accuracy and specificity.

    CONCLUSION: Based on this study, PCR serogrouping proved to be a rapid, alternative method for further differentiation of Salmonella enterica.

  7. Thong KL, Puthucheary S, Pang T
    Int J Infect Dis, 1998 Jan-Mar;2(3):159-63.
    PMID: 9531664
    OBJECTIVE: Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) was used to investigate an outbreak of gastroenteritis caused by Salmonella enteritidis. The outbreak occurred among university undergraduates who consumed contaminated food.
    METHOD: Molecular typing was done by analyzing DNA band patterns of isolates of S. enteritidis after digestion of chromosomal DNA with infrequently-cutting restriction endonucleases XbaI, AvrII, and SpeI and separation of DNA fragments using PFGE.
    RESULTS: Twenty-nine outbreak isolates of S. enteritidis had identical or highly similar PFGE patterns, whereas different PFGE patterns were observed among three epidemiologically unrelated isolates obtained during the same period.
    CONCLUSION: The data obtained confirm the value of PFGE in epidemiologic investigations of outbreaks caused by S. enteritidis.
  8. Yap KP, Thong KL
    Trop Med Int Health, 2017 08;22(8):918-925.
    PMID: 28544285 DOI: 10.1111/tmi.12899
    Next-generation whole-genome sequencing has revolutionised the study of infectious diseases in recent years. The availability of genome sequences and its understanding have transformed the field of molecular microbiology, epidemiology, infection treatments and vaccine developments. We review the key findings of the publicly accessible genomes of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi since the first complete genome to the most recent release of thousands of Salmonella Typhi genomes, which remarkably shape the genomic research of S. Typhi and other pathogens. Important new insights acquired from the genome sequencing of S. Typhi, pertaining to genomic variations, evolution, population structure, antibiotic resistance, virulence, pathogenesis, disease surveillance/investigation and disease control are discussed. As the numbers of sequenced genomes are increasing at an unprecedented rate, fine variations in the gene pool of S. Typhi are captured in high resolution, allowing deeper understanding of the pathogen's evolutionary trends and its pathogenesis, paving the way to bringing us closer to eradication of typhoid through effective vaccine/treatment development.
  9. Elemfareji OI, Thong KL
    Indian J Microbiol, 2013 Dec;53(4):410-7.
    PMID: 24426144 DOI: 10.1007/s12088-013-0407-y
    Members of Salmonella enterica are important foodborne pathogens of significant public health concern worldwide. This study aimed to determine a range of virulence genes among typhoidal (S. typhi) and non-typhoidal (S. enteritidis) strains isolated from different geographical regions and different years. A total of 87 S. typhi and 94 S. enteritidis strains were tested for presence of 22 virulence genes by employing multiplex PCR and the genetic relatedness of these strains was further characterized by REP-PCR. In S. typhi, invA, prgH, sifA, spiC, sopB, iroN, sitC, misL, pipD, cdtB, and orfL were present in all the strains, while sopE, agfC, agfA, sefC, mgtC, and sefD were present in 98.8, 97.7, 90.8, 87.4, 87.4 and 17.2 %, of the strains, respectively. No lpfA, lpfC, pefA, spvB, or spvC was detected. Meanwhile, in S. enteritidis, 15 genes, agfA, agfC, invA, lpfA, lpfC, sefD, prgH, spiC, sopB, sopE, iroN, sitC, misL, pipD, and orfL were found in all S. enteritidis strains 100 %, followed by sifA and spvC 98.9 %, pefA, spvB and mgtC 97.8 %, and sefC 90.4 %. cdtB was absent from all S. enteritidis strains tested. REP-PCR subtyped S. typhi strains into 18 REP-types and concurred with the virulotyping results in grouping the strains, while in S. enteritidis, REP-PCR subtyped the strains into eight profiles and they were poorly distinguishable between human and animal origins. The study showed that S. typhi and S. enteritidis contain a range of virulence factors associated with pathogenesis. Virulotyping is a rapid screening method to identify and profile virulence genes in Salmonella strains, and improve an understanding of potential risk for human and animal infections.
  10. Wong YP, Chua KH, Thong KL
    J Microbiol Methods, 2014 Dec;107:133-7.
    PMID: 25307691
    Nosocomial infections are a major public health concern worldwide. Early and accurate identification of nosocomial pathogens which are often multidrug resistant is crucial for prompt treatment. Hence, an alternative real-time polymerase chain reaction coupled with high resolution melting-curve analysis (HRMA) was developed for identification of five nosocomial bacteria. This assay targets species-specific regions of each nosocomial bacteria and produced five distinct melt curves with each representing a particular bacterial species. The melting curves were characterized by peaks of 78.8 ± 0.2 °C for Acinetobacter baumannii, 82.7 ± 0.2 °C for Escherichia coli, 86.3 ± 0.3 °C for Klebsiella pneumoniae, 88.8 ± 0.2 °C for Pseudomonas aeruginosa and 74.6 ± 02 °C for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. The assay was able to specifically detect the five bacterial species with an overall detection limit of 2 × 10(-2) ng/μL. In conclusion, the HRM assay developed is a simple and rapid method for identification of the selected nosocomial pathogens.
  11. Thavanathan J, Huang NM, Thong KL
    Biosens Bioelectron, 2014 May 15;55:91-8.
    PMID: 24368225 DOI: 10.1016/j.bios.2013.11.072
    The unique property of gold nanoparticles (Au NP) to induce colour change and the versatility of graphene oxides (GO) in surface modification makes them ideal in the application of colorimetric biosensor. Thus we developed a label free optical method to detect DNA hybridization through a visually observed colour change. The Au NP is conjugated to a DNA probe and is allowed to hybridize with the DNA target to the GO thus causing a change in colour from pinkish-red to purplish blue. Spectrophometry analysis gave a wavelength shift of 22 nm with 1 µM of DNA target. Sensitivity testing using serially diluted DNA conjugated GO showed that the optimum detection was at 63 nM of DNA target with the limit at 8 nM. This proves the possibility for the detection of DNA hybridization through the use of dual nanoparticle system by visual observation.
  12. Thong KL, Lai WL, Dhanoa A
    J Infect Public Health, 2011 Jun;4(2):65-72.
    PMID: 21663875 DOI: 10.1016/j.jiph.2011.03.003
    Salmonella infections remain a major public health problem in developing countries. The occurrence of infections caused by antimicrobial-resistant Salmonella has been on the rise complicating the available therapeutic options. The study aimed to determine the antibiograms and genotypes of prevalent Salmonella serotypes.
  13. Yuen HL, Shamala D, Thong KL
    J Infect Dev Ctries, 2008 Aug 30;2(4):313-23.
    PMID: 19741295
    BACKGROUND: Heat shock proteins (HSPs) are known to be involved in the pathogenesis of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi (S. Typhi), the causative agent of typhoid fever. The objective of this study was to apply a phage display library to identify mimotopes of two HSPs, HSP90 and DnaK in S. Typhi.

    METHODOLOGY: A 12-mer random peptide library expressed on the surface of the filamentous phage, M13, was used to select the mimotopes of two S. Typhi heat shock proteins by biopanning with monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), DnaK and HSP90. The immunogenicity of the selected peptides was determined through binding affinity with polyclonal antibodies from pooled typhoid-confirmed patients' sera and purified HSPs mAb using Western blotting and ELISA.

    RESULTS: Five rounds of biopanning resulted in enrichment of phage clones expressing the binding motifs TDxSTRP and FPSHYWLYPPPT, respectively. The selected peptides showed strong immunoreactivity with patients' sera. Thus, monoclonal antibodies against HSP and patient sera can select common mimotopes from the random peptide library.

    CONCLUSION: These findings may provide fundamental information for further studies on diagnostic application or vaccine design against this aetiologic agent of typhoid fever.

  14. Thavanathan J, Huang NM, Thong KL
    Int J Nanomedicine, 2015;10:2711-22.
    PMID: 25897217 DOI: 10.2147/IJN.S74753
    We have developed a colorimetric biosensor using a dual platform of gold nanoparticles and graphene oxide sheets for the detection of Salmonella enterica. The presence of the invA gene in S. enterica causes a change in color of the biosensor from its original pinkish-red to a light purplish solution. This occurs through the aggregation of the primary gold nanoparticles-conjugated DNA probe onto the surface of the secondary graphene oxide-conjugated DNA probe through DNA hybridization with the targeted DNA sequence. Spectrophotometry analysis showed a shift in wavelength from 525 nm to 600 nm with 1 μM of DNA target. Specificity testing revealed that the biosensor was able to detect various serovars of the S. enterica while no color change was observed with the other bacterial species. Sensitivity testing revealed the limit of detection was at 1 nM of DNA target. This proves the effectiveness of the biosensor in the detection of S. enterica through DNA hybridization.
  15. Nair S, Schreiber E, Thong KL, Pang T, Altwegg M
    J Microbiol Methods, 2000 Jun;41(1):35-43.
    PMID: 10856775
    Amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) is a recently developed, PCR-based high resolution fingerprinting method that is able to generate complex banding patterns which can be used to delineate intraspecific genetic relationships among bacteria. In the present study, AFLP was evaluated for its usefulness in the molecular typing of Salmonella typhi in comparison to ribotyping and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Six S. typhi isolates from diverse geographic areas (Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Chile, Papua New Guinea and Switzerland) gave unique, heterogeneous profiles when typed by AFLP, a result which was consistent with ribotyping and PFGE analysis. In a further study of selected S. typhi isolates from Papua New Guinea which caused fatal and non-fatal disease previously shown to be clonally related by PFGE, AFLP discriminated between these isolates but did not indicate a linkage between genotype with virulence. We conclude that AFLP (discriminatory index=0.88) has a higher discriminatory power for strain differentiation among S. typhi than ribotyping (DI=0.63) and PFGE (DI=0.74).
  16. Goh YL, Puthucheary SD, Thong KL
    PMID: 11414415
    A representative sample of 20 isolates of Salmonella weltevreden strains from stool cultures of patients admitted at the University Hospital, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia were analyzed. All the strains were susceptible to ampicillin, ceftriaxone, ciprofloxacin, chloramphenicol, tetracycline, trimethoprim, gentamicin and co-trimoxazole. Ribosomal RNA gene restriction pattern analysis of PstI-digested DNA gave three ribotypes while pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) analysis of XbaI-digested DNA gave ten distinct profiles. PFGE was more discriminative than ribotyping in distinguishing the strains. The majority of the strains analyzed were very closely related with similarity coefficient values ranging from 0.8 to 1.0. Both PFGE and ribotyping could distinguish one of the strains which was obtained from a patient following a bone marrow transplant for beta-thalassemia major, indicating that this particular strain was unrelated to the rest of the strains from patients with acute gastroenteritis.
  17. Thong KL, Puthucheary SD, Pang T
    Res. Microbiol., 1997 Mar-Apr;148(3):229-35.
    PMID: 9765803
    We performed genome size estimation of 17 recent human isolates of Salmonella typhi from geographically diverse regions using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) after digestion of chromosomal DNA with restriction endonucleases XbaI (5'-TCTAGA-3'), AvrII (5'-CCTAGG-3') and SpeI (5'-ACTAGT-3'), and summation of the sizes of restriction fragments obtained. All 17 isolates had circular chromosomes, and genome sizes differed by as much as 959 kb, ranging from 3,964 to 4,923 kb (mean genome size = 4,528 kb). The data obtained confirm the usefulness of PFGE in studies of bacterial genome size and are in agreement with recent results indicating considerable genetic diversity and genomic plasticity of S. typhi. The variation in genome sizes noted may be relevant to the observed biological properties of this important human pathogen, including its virulence.
  18. Ngoi ST, Yap KP, Thong KL
    Infect Genet Evol, 2018 08;62:109-121.
    PMID: 29684710 DOI: 10.1016/j.meegid.2018.04.027
    Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium) and the monophasic variant Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:- are two clinically-important non-typhoidal Salmonella serovars worldwide. However, the genomic information of these two organisms, especially the monophasic variant, is still lacking in Malaysia. The objective of the study was to compare the genomic features of a monophasic variant and two endemic S. Typhimurium strains isolated from humans. All three strains were subjected to whole genome sequencing followed by comparative genomic and phylogenetic analyses. Extensive genomic deletion in the fljAB operon (from STM2757 to iroB) is responsible for the monophasic phenotype of STM032/04. The two S. Typhimurium genomes (STM001/70 and STM057/05) were essentially identical, despite being isolated 35 years apart. All three strains were of sequence type ST19. Both S. Typhimurium genomes shared unique prophage regions not identified in the monophasic STM032/04 genome. Core genome phylogenetic analyses showed that the monophasic STM032/04 was closely-related to the S. Typhimurium LT2, forming a distinctive clade separated from the two endemic S. Typhimurium strains in Malaysia. The presence of serovar Typhimurium-specific mdh gene, conserved Gifsy and Fels-1 prophages, and the close genomic resemblance with S. Typhimurium LT2 suggested that the monophasic STM032/04 was originated from an LT2-like S. Typhimurium ancestor in Malaysia, following an evolutionary path different from the S. Typhimurium strains. In conclusion, the monophasic Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:- and the S. Typhimurium strains isolated in Malaysia descended from different phylogenetic lineages. The high genomic resemblance between the two S. Typhimurium strains isolated for at least 35 years apart indicated their successful evolutionary lineage. The identification of multiple virulence and antimicrobial resistance determinants in the Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:- and S. Typhimurium genomes explained the pathogenic nature of the organisms.
  19. Lim SY, Yap KP, Thong KL
    Gut Pathog, 2016;8:65.
    PMID: 27999619 DOI: 10.1186/s13099-016-0147-8
    BACKGROUND: Listeria monocytogenes is an important foodborne pathogen that causes considerable morbidity in humans with high mortality rates. In this study, we have sequenced the genomes and performed comparative genomics analyses on two strains, LM115 and LM41, isolated from ready-to-eat food in Malaysia.

    RESULTS: The genome size of LM115 and LM41 was 2,959,041 and 2,963,111 bp, respectively. These two strains shared approximately 90% homologous genes. Comparative genomics and phylogenomic analyses revealed that LM115 and LM41 were more closely related to the reference strains F2365 and EGD-e, respectively. Our virulence profiling indicated a total of 31 virulence genes shared by both analysed strains. These shared genes included those that encode for internalins and L. monocytogenes pathogenicity island 1 (LIPI-1). Both the Malaysian L. monocytogenes strains also harboured several genes associated with stress tolerance to counter the adverse conditions. Seven antibiotic and efflux pump related genes which may confer resistance against lincomycin, erythromycin, fosfomycin, quinolone, tetracycline, and penicillin, and macrolides were identified in the genomes of both strains.

    CONCLUSIONS: Whole genome sequencing and comparative genomics analyses revealed two virulent L. monocytogenes strains isolated from ready-to-eat foods in Malaysia. The identification of strains with pathogenic, persistent, and antibiotic resistant potentials from minimally processed food warrant close attention from both healthcare and food industry.

  20. Kalai Chelvam K, Chai LC, Thong KL
    Gut Pathog, 2014;6(1):2.
    PMID: 24499680 DOI: 10.1186/1757-4749-6-2
    Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi (S. Typhi) exhibits unique characteristics as an intracellular human pathogen. It causes both acute and chronic infection with various disease manifestations in the human host only. The principal factors underlying the unique lifestyle of motility and biofilm forming ability of S. Typhi remain largely unknown. The main objective of this study was to explore and investigate the motility and biofilm forming behaviour among S. Typhi strains of diverse background.
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