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1.  First description of Escherichia coli producing CTX-M-15- extended spectrum beta lactamase (ESBL) in out-patients from south eastern Nigeria 
We studied the presence of extended spectrum beta lactamases (ESBLs) in 44 clinical isolates of Escherichia coli collected from out-patients in two university teaching hospitals in South-Eastern Nigeria. Species identification was performed by standard microbiology methods and re-confirmed by MALDI-TOF technology. Phenotypic characterization of ESBL enzymes was done by double disc synergy test and presence of ESBL genes was determined by specific PCR followed by sequencing. Transfer of plasmid DNA was carried out by transformation using E. coli DH5 as recipient strain. Phenotypic characterization identified all isolates to be ESBL positive. 77% of strains were from urine, 13.6% from vaginal swabs and 9.0% from wound swabs. 63.6% were from female patients, 68% were from outpatients and 95.5% from patients younger than 30 years. All ESBL producers were positive in a PCR for blaCTX-M-1 cluster, in exemplary strains blaCTX-M-15 was found by sequencing. In all strains ISEcp1 was found upstream and ORF477 downstream of blaCTX-M. PCR for blaTEM and blaOXA-1 was positive in 93.1% of strains, whereas blaSHV was not detected, aac(6′)-Ib-cr was found in 97.7% of strains. RAPD analysis revealed seven different clonal groups named A through G with the majority of the strains (65.9%) belonging to clone A. Transfer of an ESBL plasmid with co-resistance to gentamicin, kanamycin, tobramycin, doxycycline and trimethropim-sulfamethoxazole was successful in 19 (43.2%) strains. This study showed a high rate of CTX-M-1 cluster - ESBLs in South-Eastern Nigeria and further confirms the worldwide spread of CTX-M ESBL in clinical isolates.
PMCID: PMC3473344  PMID: 22824236
Outpatients; ESBL; CTX-M; Escherichia coli
2.  Occurrence of genes of putative fibrinogen binding proteins and hemolysins, as well as of their phenotypic correlates in isolates of S. lugdunensis of different origins 
BMC Research Notes  2011;4:113.
Staphylococcus lugdunensis is an important human pathogen that causes potentially fatal endocarditis, osteomyelitis and skin and soft tissue infections similar to diseases caused by Staphylococcus aureus. Nevertheless, in contrast to S. aureus, data on pathogenicity factors of S. lugdunensis is scarce. Two adhesins, a fibrinogen and a von Willebrand factor binding protein, and a S. lugdunensis synergistic hemolysin (SLUSH) have been previously described. Moreover, the newly sequenced genome of S. lugdunensis revealed genes of other putative fibrinogen binding adhesins and hemolysins. The aim of this study was to gain more insight into the occurrence of genes likely coding for fibrinogen binding adhesins and hemolysins using clinical strains of S. lugdunensis.
Most of the putative adhesin genes and hemolysin genes investigated in this study were highly prevalent, except for the SLUSH gene cluster. In contrast to previous reports, binding to fibrinogen was detected in 29.3% of the S. lugdunensis strains. In most strains, hemolysis on blood agar plates was weak after 24 h and distinct after 48 h of incubation. The fibrinogen binding and hemolysis phenotypes were also independent of the type of clinical specimen, from which the isolates were obtained.
In this study we described a pyrrolidonyl arylamidase negative S. lugdunensis isolate. Our data indicate that a matrix-assisted laser desorption ionisation time-of-flight MS-based identification of S. lugdunensis or species-specific PCR's should be performed in favour of pyrrolidonyl arylamidase testing. In contrast to the high occurrence of putative fibrinogen binding protein genes, 29.3% of the S. lugdunensis strains bound to fibrinogen. Putative hemolysin genes were also prevalent in most of the S. lugdunensis strains, irrespective of their hemolysis activity on Columbia blood agar plates. Similar to a previous report, hemolysis after 48 h of incubation is also indicative for S. lugdunensis. The SLUSH gene cluster was detected in an estimated 50% of the strains, indicating that this locus is different or non-prevalent in many strains.
PMCID: PMC3089787  PMID: 21477287
3.  Specific Interactions between Four Molybdenum-Binding Proteins Contribute to Mo-Dependent Gene Regulation in Rhodobacter capsulatus▿  
Journal of Bacteriology  2009;191(16):5205-5215.
The phototrophic purple bacterium Rhodobacter capsulatus encodes two transcriptional regulators, MopA and MopB, with partially overlapping and specific functions in molybdate-dependent gene regulation. Both MopA and MopB consist of an N-terminal DNA-binding helix-turn-helix domain and a C-terminal molybdate-binding di-MOP domain. They formed homodimers as apo-proteins and in the molybdate-bound state as shown by yeast two-hybrid (Y2H) studies, glutaraldehyde cross-linking, gel filtration chromatography, and copurification experiments. Y2H studies suggested that both the DNA-binding and the molybdate-binding domains contribute to dimer formation. Analysis of molybdate binding to MopA and MopB revealed a binding stoichiometry of four molybdate oxyanions per homodimer. Specific interaction partners of MopA and MopB were the molybdate transporter ATPase ModC and the molbindin-like Mop protein, respectively. Like other molbindins, the R. capsulatus Mop protein formed hexamers, which were stabilized by binding of six molybdate oxyanions per hexamer. Heteromer formation of MopA and MopB was shown by Y2H studies and copurification experiments. Reporter gene activity of a strictly MopA-dependent mop-lacZ fusion in mutant strains defective for either mopA, mopB, or both suggested that MopB negatively modulates expression of the mop promoter. We propose that depletion of the active MopA homodimer pool by formation of MopA-MopB heteromers might represent a fine-tuning mechanism controlling mop gene expression.
PMCID: PMC2725593  PMID: 19502397
5.  The Codes of Practice 
PMCID: PMC2249711  PMID: 18390094
8.  Identification of 113 conserved essential genes using a high-throughput gene disruption system in Streptococcus pneumoniae 
Nucleic Acids Research  2002;30(14):3152-3162.
The recent availability of bacterial genome sequence information permits the identification of conserved genes that are potential targets for novel antibiotic drug discovery. Using a coupled bioinformatic/experimental approach, a list of candidate conserved genes was generated using a Microbial Concordance bioinformatics tool followed by a targeted disruption campaign. Pneumococcal sequence data allowed for the design of precise PCR primers to clone the desired gene target fragments into the pEVP3 ‘suicide vector’. An insertion–duplication approach was employed that used the pEVP3 constructs and resulted in the introduction of a selectable chloramphenicol resistance marker into the chromosome. In the case of non-essential genes, cells can survive the disruption and form chloramphenicol-resistant colonies. A total of 347 candidate reading frames were subjected to disruption analysis, with 113 presumed to be essential due to lack of recovery of antibiotic-resistant colonies. In addition to essentiality determination, the same high-throughput methodology was used to overexpress gene products and to examine possible polarity effects for all essential genes.
PMCID: PMC135739  PMID: 12136097
9.  Selection and Genetic Characterization of Streptococcus pneumoniae Mutants Resistant to the Des-F(6) Quinolone BMS-284756 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2001;45(10):2865-2870.
Existing quinolones are known to target the type II topoisomerases in bacteria. In order to determine which of these targets are of key importance in Streptococcus pneumoniae treated with BMS-284756 (T-3811ME), a novel des-F(6) quinolone, resistant mutants were selected in several steps of increasing resistance by plating pneumococci on a series of blood agar plates containing serial twofold-increasing concentrations of drug. After incubation, colonies that arose were selected and passaged twice on antibiotic-containing media at the selection level. Mutants generally showed increases in resistance of four- to eightfold over the prior level of susceptibility. Mutants in the next-higher level of resistance were selected from the previous round of resistant mutants. Subsequently, chromosomal DNA was prepared from parental (R6) pneumococci and from at least three clones from each of four levels of increasing antibiotic resistance. Using PCR primers, 500- to 700-bp amplicons surrounding the quinolone resistance determining regions (QRDR) of gyrA, gyrB, parC, and parE genes were prepared from each strain. Internal primers were used to sequence both DNA strands in the regions of approximately 400 bp centered on the QRDR. Mutations identified with increasing levels of resistance included changes in GyrA at Ser-81 and Glu-85 and changes in ParC at Ser-79 and Asp-83. Changes in GyrB and ParE were not observed at the levels of resistance obtained in this selection. The resistance to comparator quinolones (levofloxacin, ciprofloxacin, and moxifloxacin) also increased in four- to eightfold steps with these mutations. The intrinsically greater level of antibacterial activity and thus lower MICs of BMS-284756 observed at all resistance levels in this study may translate to coverage of these resistant pneumococcal strains in the clinic.
PMCID: PMC90744  PMID: 11557482
10.  Purification and Properties of the F1Fo ATPase of Ilyobacter tartaricus, a Sodium Ion Pump 
Journal of Bacteriology  1998;180(13):3312-3316.
The ATPase of Ilyobacter tartaricus was solubilized from the bacterial membranes and purified. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of the purified enzyme revealed the usual subunit pattern of a bacterial F1Fo ATPase. The polypeptides with apparent molecular masses of 56, 52, 35, 16.5, and 6.5 kDa were identified as the α, β, γ, ɛ, and c subunits, respectively, by N-terminal protein sequencing and comparison with the sequences of the corresponding subunits from the Na+-translocating ATPase of Propionigenium modestum. Two overlapping sequences were obtained for the polypeptides moving with an apparent molecular mass of 22 kDa (tentatively assigned as b and δ subunits). No sequence could be determined for the putative a subunit (apparent molecular mass, 25 kDa). The c subunits formed a strong aggregate with the apparent molecular mass of 50 kDa which required treatment with trichloroacetic acid for dissociation. The ATPase was inhibited by dicyclohexyl carbodiimide, and Na+ ions protected the enzyme from this inhibition. The ATPase was specifically activated by Na+ or Li+ ions, markedly at high pH. After reconstitution into proteoliposomes, the enzyme catalyzed the ATP-dependent transport of Na+, Li+, or H+. Proton transport was specifically inhibited by Na+ or Li+ ions, indicating a competition between these alkali ions and protons for binding and translocation across the membrane. These experiments characterize the I. tartaricus ATPase as a new member of the family of FS-ATPases, which use Na+ as the physiological coupling ion for ATP synthesis.
PMCID: PMC107283  PMID: 9642181

Results 1-10 (10)