PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) and PCR-single-strand conformation polymorphism (PCR-SSCP) analyses were carried out on the 1.6-kb groEL gene from 41 strains of 10 different Salmonella serovars. Three HaeIII RFLP profiles were recognized, but no discrimination between the serovars could be achieved by this technique. However, PCR-SSCP analysis of the groEL genes of various Salmonella serovars produced 14 SSCP profiles, indicating the potential of this technique to differentiate different Salmonella serovars (interserovar differentiation). Moreover, PCR-SSCP could differentiate strains within a subset of serovars (intraserovar discrimination), as three SSCP profiles were produced for the 11 Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis strains, and two SSCP profiles were generated for the 7 S. enterica serovar Infantis and five S. enterica serovar Newport strains. PCR-SSCP has the potential to complement classical typing methods such as serotyping and phage typing for the typing of Salmonella serovars due to its rapidity, simplicity, and typeability.
The incidence of diarrhea and the prevalence of bacterial enteropathogens, viruses, and parasites in feces of subjects with and without diarrhea were evaluated in 204 Finns traveling round the world (from Finland to China, Malaysia, Australia, Fiji, Chile, and Brazil and back to Finland). Special emphasis was placed on the finding of diarrheagenic Escherichia coli (enterotoxigenic, enteropathogenic, Shiga toxin-producing, and enteroaggregative strains) by PCR from growth on primary culture plates. From the PCR-positive samples, corresponding strains were isolated, confirmed as E. coli, and O serotyped. Of all the subjects, 37% experienced a total of 90 episodes of diarrhea. No adenoviruses or rotaviruses were detected, and findings of parasites were insignificant. In contrast, enteropathogenic bacteria were present in 62% of the 65 diarrheal and in 33% of the 127 nondiarrheal samples (P < 0.001); diarrheagenic E. coli strains were found in 35 and 26% of these, respectively (not statistically significant). As a single pathogen, E. coli was found in 20 and 24% of samples (not significant). Of all diarrheagenic E. coli strains, enteropathogenic strains were the most commonly found independently of the clinical picture of the subjects, whereas Salmonella enterica as a single pathogen was the most common non-E. coli organism found in diarrheal samples. Multiple bacterial pathogens were found 10 times more commonly in diarrheal than in nondiarrheal samples (20 versus 2%; P < 0.001).
Two high-copy-number insertion sequences, IS2404 and IS2606, were recently identified in Mycobacterium ulcerans and were shown by Southern hybridization to possess restriction fragment length polymorphism between strains from different geographic origins. We have designed a simple genotyping method that captures these differences by PCR amplification of the region between adjacent copies of IS2404 and IS2606. We have called this system 2426 PCR. The method is rapid, reproducible, sensitive, and specific for M. ulcerans, and it has confirmed previous studies suggesting a clonal population structure of M. ulcerans within a geographic region. M. ulcerans isolates from Australia, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, Surinam, Mexico, Japan, China, and several countries in Africa were easily differentiated based on an array of 4 to 14 PCR products ranging in size from 200 to 900 bp. Numerical analysis of the banding patterns suggested a close evolutionary link between M. ulcerans isolates from Africa and southeast Asia. The application of 2426 PCR to total DNA, extracted directly from M. ulcerans-infected tissue specimens without culture, demonstrated the sensitivity and specificity of this method and confirmed for the first time that both animal and human isolates from areas of endemicity in southeast Australia have the same genotype.
Molecular analysis of chromosomal DNA from 193 multidrug-resistant (MDR) Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi isolates from 1990 to 1995 from Pakistan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Bangladesh, and India produced a total of five major different pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) patterns. Even within a particular country MDR S. enterica serovar Typhi DNA was found to be in different PFGE groups. Similar self-transferable 98-MDa plasmids belonging to either incompatibility group incHI1 or incHI1/FIIA were implicated in the MDR phenotype in S. enterica serovar Typhi isolates from all the locations except Quetta, Pakistan, where the majority were of incFIA. A total of five different PFGE genotypes with six different plasmids, based on incompatibility and restriction endonuclease analysis groups, were found among these MDR S. enterica serovar Typhi isolates.
Molecular typing with IS6110 was applied to Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates from all parts of Malaysia. The degree of clustering increased with patient age, suggesting that reactivation may contribute to clustering. Identical banding patterns were also obtained for isolates from widely separate regions. Therefore, the use of clustering as a measure of recent transmission must be treated with caution. Strains related to the Beijing family were common in Peninsular Malaysia but were less common in Sabah and Sarawak, while a distinct group of strains comprised nearly 40% of isolates from East Malaysia but such strains were rare in Peninsular Malaysia. Single-copy strains, common in South and Southeastern Asia, constituted nearly 20% of isolates from the peninsula but were virtually absent in East Malaysia. The marked geographical difference in the prevailing strains indicates not only a restricted dissemination of M. tuberculosis but also a considerable degree of stability in the banding patterns.
An influenza C virus was isolated from a Japanese traveler who had visited Malaysia in April 1999. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that the genome composition of this virus was distinct from that of any other strain isolated in Japan. The possibility that a genetically unique influenza C virus was introduced into Japan by a traveler is shown.
A multiplex PCR method incorporating primers flanking three variable-number tandem repeat (VNTR) loci (arbitrarily labeled TR1, TR2, and TR3) in the CT18 strain of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi has been developed for molecular typing of S. enterica serovar Typhi clinical isolates from several Asian countries, including Singapore, Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, and Nepal. We have demonstrated that the multiplex PCR could be performed on crude cell lysates and that the VNTR banding profiles produced could be easily analyzed by visual inspection after conventional agarose gel electrophoresis. The assay was highly discriminative in identifying 49 distinct VNTR profiles among 59 individual isolates. A high level of VNTR profile heterogeneity was observed in isolates from within the same country and among countries. These VNTR profiles remained stable after the strains were passaged extensively under routine laboratory culture conditions. In contrast to the S. enterica serovar Typhi isolates, an absence of TR3 amplicons and a lack of length polymorphisms in TR1 and TR2 amplicons were observed for other S. enterica serovars, such as Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis, and Salmonella enterica serovar Paratyphi A, B, and C. DNA sequencing of the amplified VNTR regions substantiated these results, suggesting the high stability of the multiplex PCR assay. The multiplex-PCR-based VNTR profiling developed in this study provides a simple, rapid, reproducible, and high-resolution molecular tool for the epidemiological analysis of S. enterica serovar Typhi strains.
Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) of XbaI-digested chromosomal DNA was performed on 133 strains of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi obtained from Papua New Guinea, with the objective of assessing the temporal variation of these strains. Fifty-two strains that were isolated in 1992 and 1994 were of one phage type, D2, and only two predominant PFGE profiles, X1 and X2, were present. Another 81 strains isolated between 1997 and 1999 have shown divergence, with four new phage types, UVS I (n = 63), UVS (n = 5), VNS (n = 4), and D1 (n = 9), and more genetic variability as evidenced by the multiple and new PFGE XbaI profiles (21 profiles; Dice coefficient, F = 0.71 to 0.97). The two profiles X1 and X2 have remained the stable, dominant subtypes since 1992. Cluster analysis based on the unweighted pair group method using arithmetic averages algorithm identifies two main clusters (at 87% similarity), indicating that the divergence of the PFGE subtypes was probably derived from some genomic mutations of the X1 and X2 subtypes. The majority of isolates were from patients with mild and moderate typhoid fever and had various XbaI profiles. A single isolate from a patient with fatal typhoid fever had a unique X11 profile, while four of six isolates from patients with severe typhoid fever had the X1 pattern. In addition, 12 paired serovar Typhi isolates recovered from the blood and fecal swabs of individual patients exhibited similar PFGE patterns, while in another 11 individuals paired isolates exhibited different PFGE patterns. Three pairs of isolates recovered from three individuals had different phage types and PFGE patterns, indicating infection with multiple strains. The study reiterates the usefulness of PFGE in assessing the genetic diversity of S. enterica serovar Typhi for both long-term epidemiology and in vivo stability and instability within an individual patient.
The incidence of food-borne salmonellosis due to Salmonella enterica serotype Weltevreden is reported to be on the increase in Malaysia. The pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) subtyping method was used to assess the extent of genetic diversity and clonality of Salmonella serotype Weltevreden strains from humans and the environment. PFGE of XbaI-digested chromosomal DNA from 95 strains of Salmonella serotype Weltevreden gave 39 distinct profiles with a wide range of Dice coefficients (0.27 to 1.00), indicating that PFGE is very discriminative and that multiple clones of Salmonella serotype Weltevreden exist among clinical and environmental isolates. Strains of one dominant pulsotype (pulsotype X1/X2) appeared to be endemic in this region, as they were consistently recovered from humans with salmonellosis between 1996 and 2001 and from raw vegetables. In addition, the sharing of similar PFGE profiles among isolates from humans, vegetables, and beef provides indirect evidence of the possible transmission of salmonellosis from contaminated raw vegetables and meat to humans. Furthermore, the recurrence of PFGE profile X21 among isolates found in samples of vegetables from one wet market indicated the persistence of this clone. The environment in the wet markets may represent a major source of cross-contamination of vegetables with Salmonella serotype Weltevreden. Antibiotic sensitivity tests showed that the clinical isolates of Salmonella serotype Weltevreden remained drug sensitive but that the vegetable isolates were resistant to at least two antibiotics. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to compare clinical and environmental isolates of Salmonella serotype Weltevreden in Malaysia.
Nipah virus, a paramyxovirus related to Hendra virus, first emerged in Malaysia in 1998. Clinical presentation ranges from asymptomatic infection to fatal encephalitis. Malaysia has had no more cases since 1999, but outbreaks continue to occur in Bangladesh and India. In the Malaysia-Singapore outbreak, transmission occurred primarily through contact with pigs, whereas in Bangladesh and India, it is associated with ingestion of contaminated date palm sap and human-to-human transmission. Bats are the main reservoir for this virus, which can cause disease in humans and animals. There are currently no effective therapeutics, and supportive care and prevention are the mainstays of management.
This study demonstrates that the clinical sensitivity, specificity, and reproducibility of the novel cobas human papillomavirus (HPV) test on the cobas 6800 system for high-risk HPV types fulfills the criteria for use in population-based cervical screening. The criteria were formulated by an international consortium, using the cobas 4800 HPV test as a validated reference assay. The cobas HPV test detected over 98% of histologically confirmed cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2+ (CIN2+) lesions in women age 30 years or older, with a specificity of 98.9% compared with the reference cobas 4800 test. Both the intra- and interlaboratory agreement for the cobas HPV test were 98%. The clinical performance of the cobas HPV test is comparable to those of longitudinally validated HPV assays and fulfills the criteria for its use in primary cervical screening.
An analysis of rotavirus electropherotypes circulating in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, over 7 years showed that all except 1 of the 360 electropherotypes encountered were characteristic of group A rotaviruses. The long electropherotype predominated annually, and there was a rarity of short electropherotypes. Extensive genome variability and cocirculation of different electropherotypes were observed annually. A sequential appearance of the predominant electropherotype was observed in all years of the study, except for 1985 and 1988, when one electropherotype predominated throughout the study periods. There was no shift in the predominant electropherotype over a 6-year period.
Treponema pallidum infections can have severe complications if not diagnosed and treated at an early stage. Screening and diagnosis of syphilis require assays with high specificity and sensitivity. The Elecsys Syphilis assay is an automated treponemal immunoassay for the detection of antibodies against T. pallidum The performance of this assay was investigated previously in a multicenter study. The current study expands on that evaluation in a variety of diagnostic settings and patient populations, at seven independent laboratories. The samples included routine diagnostic samples, blood donation samples, samples from patients with confirmed HIV infections, samples from living organ or bone marrow donors, and banked samples, including samples previously confirmed as syphilis positive. This study also investigated the seroconversion sensitivity of the assay. With a total of 1,965 syphilis-negative routine diagnostic samples and 5,792 syphilis-negative samples collected from blood donations, the Elecsys Syphilis assay had specificity values of 99.85% and 99.86%, respectively. With 333 samples previously identified as syphilis positive, the sensitivity was 100% regardless of disease stage. The assay also showed 100% sensitivity and specificity with samples from 69 patients coinfected with HIV. The Elecsys Syphilis assay detected infection in the same bleed or earlier, compared with comparator assays, in a set of sequential samples from a patient with primary syphilis. In archived serial blood samples collected from 14 patients with direct diagnoses of primary syphilis, the Elecsys Syphilis assay detected T. pallidum antibodies for 3 patients for whom antibodies were not detected with the Architect Syphilis TP assay, indicating a trend for earlier detection of infection, which may have the potential to shorten the time between infection and reactive screening test results.
Acanthamoeba spp. and Balamuthia mandrillaris are causative agents of granulomatous amoebic encephalitis (GAE), while Naegleria fowleri causes primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). PAM is an acute infection that lasts a few days, while GAE is a chronic to subacute infection that can last up to several months. Here, we present a literature review of 86 case reports from 1968 to 2016, in order to explore the affinity of these amoebae for particular sites of the brain, diagnostic modalities, treatment options, and disease outcomes in a comparative manner.
Between 1992 and 1994, 253 tetracycline-resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae (TRNG) strains were isolated and characterized by auxotype and serogroup (A/S) classes to study TRNG prevalence in different years. TRNG accounted for 28.1, 42.5, and 51.9% of the strains isolated in 1992, 1993, and 1994, respectively, showing a significant increase in each successive year (chi square = 26.7, P < 0.001). There was no significant increase in penicillinase-producing TRNG, which accounted for 53.1, 53.8, and 63.2% of the TRNG isolates. The 253 TRNG isolates belonged to 53 A/S classes. Eighteen A/S classes not observed in 1992 were detected in 1993, and 11 A/S classes not observed in 1992 and 1993 were isolated in 1994, indicating dissemination of the tetracycline resistance gene among the N. gonorrhoeae strains in Malaysia. Its emergence and subsequent rapid spread are alarming. The plasmid is capable of self-transfer (S.A. Morse, S.R. Johnson, J.W. Biddle, and M.C. Roberts, J. Infect. Dis. 155:819-822, 1987), allowing further dissemination of tetracycline resistance.
A 6-year-old boy presented to a university hospital in Malaysia with infective endocarditis complicating cyanotic congenital heart disease. Blood cultures showed a gram-positive, aerobic, coryneform-like bacillus identified by the hospital laboratory as Corynebacterium xerosis, but a reference laboratory identified the organism as a toxigenic strain of Corynebacterium diphtheriae. The two laboratories concurred on all biochemical test results except for sucrose fermentation.
Molecular characterization of a total of 52 human isolates of Salmonella typhi from Papua New Guinea was performed by using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) after digestion of chromosomal DNA with three restriction endonucleases, XbaI (5'-TCTAGA-3'), AvrII (5'-CCTAGG-3'), and SpeI (5'-ACTAGT-3'). Of the 52 isolates tested, 11 were obtained from patients with fatal typhoid fever and 41 were obtained from patients with nonfatal disease. The 52 isolates showed limited genetic diversity as evidenced by only three different PFGE patterns detected following digestion with XbaI (patterns X1 to X3; F [coefficient of similarity] = 0.86 to 1.0), four patterns detected following digestion with AvrII (patterns A1 to A4; F =0.78 to 1.0), and two patterns detected following digestion with SpeI (patterns S1 and S2; F = 0.97 to 1.0). Of the 52 isolates, 37 were phage typed, and all belonged to phage type D2. All 11 isolates obtained from patients with fatal typhoid fever were identical (F = 1.0) and possessed the PFGE pattern combination X1S1A1, whereas the 41 isolates from patients with nonfatal typhoid fever had various PFGE pattern combinations, the most common being X2S1A2 (39%), X1S1A1 (24%), and X1S1A2 (15%). Thus, all the isolates from patients with the fatal disease had the X1 and A1 patterns, whereas the majority of the isolates from patients with nonfatal typhoid fever possessed the X2 and A2 patterns. The data suggest that there is an association among strains of S. typhi between genotype, as assessed by PFGE patterns, and the capability to cause fatal illness. Analysis of blood and fecal isolates of S. typhi from the same patient also indicated that some genetic changes occur in vivo during the course of infection.
Previous surveys of the prevalences of genotypes of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in different populations have often used genotyping assays based upon analysis of amplified sequences from the 5' noncoding region (5'NCR), such as restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) or hybridization with type-specific probes (e.g., InnoLipa). Although highly conserved, this region contains several type-specific nucleotide polymorphisms that allow major genotypes 1 to 6 to be reliably identified. Recently, however, novel HCV variants found in Vietnam and Thailand that are distantly related to the type 6a genotype (type 6 group) by phylogenetic analysis of coding regions of the genome often have sequences in the 5'NCR that are similar or identical to those of type 1 and could therefore not be identified by an assay of sequences in this region. We developed a new genotyping assay based upon RFLP of sequences amplified from the more variable core region to investigate their distribution elsewhere in southeast (SE) Asia. Among 108 samples from blood donors in seven areas that were identified as type 1 by RFLP in the 5'NCR, type 6 group variants were found in Thailand (7 from 28 samples originally identified as type 1) and Burma (Myanmar) (1 of 3) but were not found in Hong Kong (n = 43), Macau (n = 8), Taiwan (n = 6), Singapore (n = 2), or Malaysia (n = 18). Although this small survey suggests a relatively limited distribution for type 6 group variants in SE Asia, larger studies will be required to explore their distribution in other geographical regions and the extent to which their presence would limit the practical usefulness of 5'NCR-based genotyping assays for clinical or epidemiological purposes.
Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) revealed that multiple genetic variants of Salmonella typhi are simultaneously present in Southeast Asia and are associated with sporadic cases of typhoid fever and occasional outbreaks. Comparative analysis of PFGE patterns also suggested that considerable genetic diversity exists among S. typhi strains and that some PFGE patterns are shared between isolates obtained from Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand, implying movement of these strains within these regions of Southeast Asia, where they are endemic.
A total of 61 isolates of Salmonella enteritidis were analyzed by the techniques of pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and ribotyping. Twenty-three of the isolates were from Zurich, Switzerland, and 38 isolates were from the University Hospital, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Five of the Malaysian isolates were hospital-related outbreak strains and were shown to be indistinguishable by PFGE analysis following digestion with three different restriction endonucleases, XbaI (5'-TCTAGA-3'), SpeI (5'-ACTAGT-3'), and AvrII (5'-CCTAGG-3'). The PFGE pattern of an isolate from a suspected carrier staff nurse was found to be identical to those of the hospital outbreak isolates. These isolates were also indistinguishable by ribotyping with SmaI and SphI. The same single PFGE pattern was also detected in 29 of 32 sporadic isolates of S. enteritidis. Four closely related ribotypes were detected among these 29 isolates. Similarly, outbreak-related strains from Switzerland showed close genetic identity by PFGE and ribotyping. Strains obtained from poultry showed more variations in their PFGE patterns and ribotypes, although the patterns were still closely related. In addition, SphI ribotypes A and D among the Swiss strains correlated with phage types 4 and 8, respectively. No correlation of phage types with PFGE pattern was noted. Both PFGE and ribotyping indicate that the S. enteritidis strains circulating in Malaysia and Switzerland are very similar and may be clonally related. Comparison of the PFGE patterns with the ribotypes for 23 Swiss and 16 Malaysian isolates showed that there was a 69% concordance in the grouping of isolates. We conclude that the close genetic similarity observed between epidemiologically unrelated and outbreak-related isolates of S. enteritidis suggests that both PFGE and ribotyping are of limited value in the epidemiological analysis of these particular isolates, possibly because of the highly clonal nature of pathogenic strains of S. enteritidis.