Search tips
Search criteria

Results 1-21 (21)

Clipboard (0)

Select a Filter Below

more »
Year of Publication
1.  Standardising and Assessing Digital Images for Use in Clinical Trials: A Practical, Reproducible Method That Blinds the Assessor to Treatment Allocation 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(11):e110395.
With the increasing availability of high quality digital cameras that are easily operated by the non-professional photographer, the utility of using digital images to assess endpoints in clinical research of skin lesions has growing acceptance. However, rigorous protocols and description of experiences for digital image collection and assessment are not readily available, particularly for research conducted in remote settings. We describe the development and evaluation of a protocol for digital image collection by the non-professional photographer in a remote setting research trial, together with a novel methodology for assessment of clinical outcomes by an expert panel blinded to treatment allocation.
PMCID: PMC4222834  PMID: 25375169
2.  Virulence of Endemic Nonpigmented Northern Australian Staphylococcus aureus Clone (Clonal Complex 75, S. argenteus) Is Not Augmented by Staphyloxanthin 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2013;208(3):520-527.
Staphylococcus aureus clonal complex 75 (herein referred to as S. argenteus) lacks the carotenoid pigment operon, crtOPQMN, responsible for production of the putative virulence factor, staphyloxanthin. Although a common cause of community-onset skin infections among Indigenous populations in northern Australia, this clone is infrequently isolated from hospital-based patients with either bacteremic or nonbacteremic infections. We hypothesized that S. argenteus would have attenuated virulence compared to other S. aureus strains due to its staphyloxanthin “deficiency.” Compared to prototypical S. aureus strains, S. argenteus was more susceptible to oxidative stress and neutrophil killing in vitro and had reduced virulence in murine sepsis and skin infection models. Transformation with pTX-crtOPQMN resulted in staphyloxanthin expression and increased resistance to oxidative stress in vitro. However, neither resistance to neutrophil killing nor in vivo virulence was increased. Thus, reduced virulence of S. argenteus in these models is due to mechanisms unrelated to lack of staphyloxanthin production.
PMCID: PMC3699000  PMID: 23599317
Staphylococcus aureus; staphyloxanthin; virulence; Australia; carotenoid pigment
3.  Multisite Direct Determination of the Potential for Environmental Contamination of Urine Samples Used for Diagnosis of Sexually Transmitted Infections 
The detection of a sexually transmitted infection (STI) agent in a urine specimen from a young child is regarded as an indicator of sexual contact. False positives may conceivably arise from the transfer of environmental contaminants in clinic toilet or bathroom facilities into urine specimens.
The potential for contamination of urine specimens with environmental STI nucleic acid was tested empirically in the male and female toilets or bathrooms at 10 Northern Territory (Australia) clinics, on 7 separate occasions at each. At each of the 140 experiments, environmental contamination with Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and Trichomonas vaginalis nucleic acid contamination was determined by swabbing 10 locations, and urine collection was simulated 5 times, using a (1) synthetic urine surrogate and (2) a standardized finger contamination procedure.
The most contaminated toilets and bathrooms were in remote Indigenous communities. No contamination was found in the Northern Territory Government Sexual Assault Referral Centre clinics, and intermediate levels of contamination were found in sexual health clinics and in clinics in regional urban centres. The frequency of surrogate urine sample contamination was low but non-zero. For example, 4 of 558 of the urine surrogate specimens from remote clinics were STI positive.
This is by far the largest study addressing the potential environmental contamination of urine samples with STI agents. Positive STI tests arising from environmental contamination of urine specimens cannot be ruled out. The results emphasize that urine specimens from young children taken for STI testing should be obtained by trained staff in clean environments, and duplicate specimens should be obtained if possible.
PMCID: PMC4208730  PMID: 25349693
contamination; diagnosis; false positive; sexually transmitted infection; urine
5.  A Novel Clinical Grading Scale to Guide the Management of Crusted Scabies 
Crusted scabies, or hyperinfestation with Sarcoptes scabiei, occurs in people with an inadequate immune response to the mite. In recent decades, data have emerged suggesting that treatment of crusted scabies with oral ivermectin combined with topical agents leads to lower mortality, but there are no generally accepted tools for describing disease severity. Here, we describe a clinical grading scale for crusted scabies and its utility in real world practice.
Methodology/Principal Findings
In 2002, Royal Darwin Hospital (RDH), a hospital in tropical Australia developed and began using a clinical grading scale to guide the treatment of crusted scabies. We conducted a retrospective observational study including all episodes of admission to RDH for crusted scabies during the period October 2002–December 2010 inclusive. Patients who were managed according to the grading scale were compared with those in whom the scale was not used at the time of admission but was calculated retrospectively. There were 49 admissions in 30 patients during the study period, of which 49 (100%) were in Indigenous Australians, 29 (59%) were male and the median age was 44.1 years. According to the grading scale, 8 (16%) episodes were mild, 24 (49%) were moderate, and 17 (35%) were severe. Readmission within the study period was significantly more likely with increasing disease severity, with an odds ratio (95% CI) of 12.8 (1.3–130) for severe disease compared with mild. The patients managed according to the grading scale (29 episodes) did not differ from those who were not (20 episodes), but they received fewer doses of ivermectin and had a shorter length of stay (11 vs. 16 days, p = 0.02). Despite this the outcomes were no different, with no deaths in either group and a similar readmission rate.
Our grading scale is a useful tool for the assessment and management of crusted scabies.
Author Summary
Crusted scabies is a severe skin condition caused by a microscopic parasitic mite. It occurs in people whose immune system does not react properly to the mite and it leads to crusting and cracking of the skin and can cause death. The usual treatment for crusted scabies is a tablet called ivermectin combined with anti-scabies skin creams. However, there is no current method of measuring the severity of crusted scabies and thus deciding how long to continue the treatment for. We have developed a grading scale based on examination of the skin, which classifies patients as mild, moderate or severe, and uses this grading to suggest the duration of treatment. We have trialed this grading scale over an 8-year period in 49 episodes of crusted scabies requiring hospital admission, and have found that it leads to a shorter length of hospital stay and treatment, but equivalent outcomes compared to those who were treated without the use of the grading scale.
PMCID: PMC3772049  PMID: 24069468
6.  Genomic Insights to Control the Emergence of Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci 
mBio  2013;4(4):e00412-13.
Nosocomial outbreaks of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VREfm) are thought to occur by transmission of VREfm between patients, predicting that infection control interventions will limit cross-transmission. Despite implementation of such strategies, the incidence of VREfm infections continues to rise. We aimed to use genomics to better understand the epidemiology of E. faecium within a large hospital and investigate the reasons for failure of infection control strategies. Whole-genome sequencing was performed on 61 E. faecium (36 VREfm) isolates, predominately from blood cultures collected at a single hospital between 1998 and 2009, and on five vanB-positive anaerobic commensal bacteria isolated from human feces. Phylogenomic analysis and precise mapping of the vanB gene, which contains the Tn1549 transposon, showed that at least 18 of the 36 VREfm isolates had acquired the transposon via independent insertion events, indicating de novo generation of VREfm rather than cross-transmission. Furthermore, Tn1549 sequences found in 15 of the 36 VREfm isolates were the same as the Tn1549 sequence from one of the gut anaerobes. National and international comparator E. faecium isolates were phylogenetically interspersed with isolates from our hospital, suggesting that our findings might be globally representative. These data demonstrate that VREfm generation within a patient is common, presumably occurring in the human bowel during antibiotic therapy, and help explain our inability to reduce VREfm infections. A recommendation from our findings is that infection control practices should include screening patients for specific hospital clones of vancomycin-susceptible E. faecium rather than just VREfm.
Enterococcus faecium is an increasingly important human pathogen causing predominantly antibiotic-resistant infections in hospitalized patients. Large amounts of health care funding are spent trying to control antibiotic-resistant bacteria in hospitals globally, yet in many institutions around the world, vancomycin-resistant E. faecium (VREfm) infections continue to rise. The new findings from this study help explain the failures of our current approaches to controlling vanB VREfm in health care institutions. Given the importance of this bacterium as a cause of hospital-acquired infections and the difficulties faced by infection control units in trying to prevent colonization in their institutions, the novel findings from this study provide evidence that a new approach to controlling VREfm in hospitals is required. In particular, more attention should be given to understanding the epidemiology of hospital-adapted vancomycin-susceptible E. faecium, and patients at higher risk for de novo generation of VREfm need to be identified and optimally managed.
PMCID: PMC3747580  PMID: 23943759
7.  Is Streptococcus pyogenes Resistant or Susceptible to Trimethoprim-Sulfamethoxazole? 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2012;50(12):4067-4072.
Streptococcus pyogenes is commonly believed to be resistant to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (SXT), resulting in reservations about using SXT for skin and soft tissue infections (SSTI) where S. pyogenes is involved. S. pyogenes' in vitro susceptibility to SXT depends on the medium's thymidine content. Thymidine allows S. pyogenes to bypass the sulfur-mediated inhibition of folate metabolism and, historically, has resulted in apparently reduced susceptibility of S. pyogenes to sulfur antibacterials. The low thymidine concentration in Mueller-Hinton agar (MHA) is now regulated. We explored S. pyogenes susceptibility to SXT on various media. Using two sets of 100 clinical S. pyogenes isolates, we tested for susceptibility using SXT Etests on MHA containing defibrinated horse blood and 20 mg/liter β-NAD (MHF), MHA with sheep blood (MHS), MHA alone, MHA with horse blood (MHBA), and MHA with lysed horse blood (MHLHBA). European Committee on Antibacterial Susceptibility Testing (EUCAST) breakpoints defined susceptibility (MIC, ≤1 mg/liter) and resistance (MIC, >2 mg/liter). In study 1, 99% of S. pyogenes isolates were susceptible to SXT on MHA, MHBA, and MHLHBA, with geometric mean MICs of 0.04, 0.04, and 0.05 mg/liter, respectively. In study 2, all 100 S. pyogenes isolates were susceptible to SXT on MHF, MHS, MHA, and MHLHBA with geometric mean MICs of 0.07, 0.16, 0.07, and 0.09 mg/liter, respectively. This study confirms the in vitro susceptibility of S. pyogenes to SXT, providing support for the use of SXT for SSTIs. A clinical trial using SXT for impetigo is ongoing.
PMCID: PMC3502963  PMID: 23052313
8.  Microbiological Applications of High-Resolution Melting Analysis 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2012;50(11):3418-3421.
High-resolution melting (HRM) analysis uses real-time PCR instrumentation to interrogate DNA sequence variation and is a low-cost, single-step, closed-tube method. Here we describe HRM technology and provide examples of varied clinical microbiological applications to highlight the strengths and limitations of HRM analysis.
PMCID: PMC3486245  PMID: 22875887
9.  Colonization, Pathogenicity, Host Susceptibility and Therapeutics for Staphylococcus aureus: What is the Clinical Relevance?1 
Seminars in Immunopathology  2011;34(2):185-200.
Staphylococcus aureus is a human commensal that can also cause a broad spectrum of clinical disease. Factors associated with clinical disease are myriad and dynamic and include pathogen virulence, antimicrobial resistance and host susceptibility. Additionally, infection control measures aimed at the environmental niches of S. aureus and therapeutic advances continue to impact upon the incidence and outcomes of staphylococcal infections. This review article focuses on the clinical relevance of advances in our understanding of staphylococcal colonization, virulence, host susceptibility and therapeutics.
Over the past decade key developments have arisen. First, rates of nosocomial methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) infections have significantly declined in many countries. Second, we have made great strides in our understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of S. aureus in general and community-associated MRSA in particular. Third, host risk factors for invasive staphylococcal infections, such as advancing age, increasing numbers of invasive medical interventions, and a growing proportion of patients with healthcare contact, remain dynamic. Finally, several new antimicrobial agents active against MRSA have become available for clinical use.
Humans and S. aureus co-exist and the dynamic interface between host, pathogen and our attempts to influence these interactions will continue to rapidly change. Although progress has been made in the past decade, we are likely to face further surprises such as the recent waves of community-associated MRSA.
PMCID: PMC3272122  PMID: 22160374
Staphylococcus aureus; methicillin-resistant; MRSA; epidemiology; pathogenesis; treatment
10.  Impact of Results of a Rapid Staphylococcus aureus Diagnostic Test on Prescribing of Antibiotics for Patients with Clustered Gram-Positive Cocci in Blood Cultures 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2012;50(6):2056-2058.
In tropical northern Australia, approximately 20% of Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia is caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). We prospectively evaluated the impact on clinician antibiotic prescribing of the results obtained from performing the GeneXpert MRSA/SA test on 151 positive blood cultures with clustered Gram-positive cocci. The GeneXpert result led to earlier appropriate prescription of vancomycin for 54% of patients with MRSA; 25% of patients avoided vancomycin, and 16% of patients had all antibiotics ceased.
PMCID: PMC3372134  PMID: 22493335
11.  Impact of ethnicity and socio-economic status on Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia incidence and mortality: a heavy burden in Indigenous Australians 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2012;12:249.
Investigations of the impact of ethnicity and socio-economic status on incidence and outcomes of Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia are limited.
We prospectively identified all S. aureus bacteraemia episodes in the Australian New Zealand Cooperative on Outcomes in Staphylococcal Sepsis cohort study between 2007 and 2010. We calculated population level incidence rates using regional postcodes and stratified the analysis by ethnicity, age and socio-economic status indexes.
There were 7539 episodes of S. aureus bacteraemia with an annual incidence of 11·2 episodes per 100,000 population. The age-adjusted incidence in the Indigenous population was 62·5 per 100,000 population with an age standardized incidence rate ratio of 5·9 compared to the non-Indigenous population and an incidence rate ratio of 29.2 for community-associated methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA). Populations in the lowest socio-economic status quintile had an increased S. aureus bacteraemia incidence compared to higher quintiles. However, there was a disparity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations across all socio-economic status quintiles. The lower 30-day mortality for Indigenous patients (7%) compared to non-Indigenous patients (17%) was explained by differences in age.
Indigenous Australians suffer from a higher rate of S. aureus bacteraemia than non-Indigenous Australians, particularly for community-associated MRSA. Ethnicity and socio-economic status had little impact on subsequent mortality, with other host factors contributing more significantly.
PMCID: PMC3548680  PMID: 23043704
Staphylococcus aureus; Bacteremia; Ethnicity; Socio-economic status; Indigenous
12.  Presence of Genes Encoding Panton-Valentine Leukocidin Is Not the Primary Determinant of Outcome in Patients with Hospital-Acquired Pneumonia Due to Staphylococcus aureus 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2012;50(3):848-856.
The impact of Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) on the outcome in Staphylococcus aureus pneumonia is controversial. We genotyped S. aureus isolates from patients with hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP) enrolled in two registrational multinational clinical trials for the genetic elements carrying pvl and 30 other virulence genes. A total of 287 isolates (173 methicillin-resistant S. aureus [MRSA] and 114 methicillin-susceptible S. aureus [MSSA] isolates) from patients from 127 centers in 34 countries for whom clinical outcomes of cure or failure were available underwent genotyping. Of these, pvl was detected by PCR and its product confirmed in 23 isolates (8.0%) (MRSA, 18/173 isolates [10.4%]; MSSA, 5/114 isolates [4.4%]). The presence of pvl was not associated with a higher risk for clinical failure (4/23 [17.4%] versus 48/264 [18.2%]; P = 1.00) or mortality. These findings persisted after adjustment for multiple potential confounding variables. No significant associations between clinical outcome and (i) presence of any of the 30 other virulence genes tested, (ii) presence of specific bacterial clone, (iii) levels of alpha-hemolysin, or (iv) delta-hemolysin production were identified. This study suggests that neither pvl presence nor in vitro level of alpha-hemolysin production is the primary determinant of outcome among patients with HAP caused by S. aureus.
PMCID: PMC3295120  PMID: 22205797
13.  Panton-Valentine Leukocidin Is Not the Primary Determinant of Outcome for Staphylococcus aureus Skin Infections: Evaluation from the CANVAS Studies 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(5):e37212.
The impact of Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) on the severity of complicated skin and skin structure infections (cSSSI) caused by Staphylococcus aureus is controversial. We evaluated potential associations between clinical outcome and PVL presence in both methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) and methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) isolates from patients enrolled in two large, multinational phase three clinical trials assessing ceftaroline fosamil for the treatment of cSSSI (the CANVAS 1 and 2 programs). Isolates from all microbiologically evaluable patients with monomicrobial MRSA or MSSA infections (n = 473) were genotyped by PCR for pvl and underwent pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Genes encoding pvl were present in 266/473 (56.2%) isolates. Infections caused by pvl-positive S. aureus were associated with younger patient age, North American acquisition, and presence of major abscesses (P<0.001 for each). Cure rates of patients infected with pvl-positive and pvl-negative S. aureus were similar overall (93.6% versus 92.8%; P = 0.72), and within MRSA-infected (94.5% vs. 93.1%; P = 0.67) and MSSA-infected patients (92.2% vs. 92.7%; P = 1.00). This finding persisted after adjustment for multiple patient characteristics. Outcomes were also similar when USA300 PVL+ and non-USA300 PVL+ infections were compared. The results of this contemporary, international study suggest that pvl presence was not the primary determinant of outcome in patients with cSSSI due to either MRSA or MSSA.
PMCID: PMC3356380  PMID: 22623995
14.  Minim Typing – A Rapid and Low Cost MLST Based Typing Tool for Klebsiella pneumoniae 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(3):e33530.
Here we report a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) based genotyping method for Klebsiella pneumoniae utilising high-resolution melting (HRM) analysis of fragments within the multilocus sequence typing (MLST) loci. The approach is termed mini-MLST or Minim typing and it has previously been applied to Streptococcus pyogenes, Staphylococcus aureus and Enterococcus faecium. Six SNPs were derived from concatenated MLST sequences on the basis of maximisation of the Simpsons Index of Diversity (D). DNA fragments incorporating these SNPs and predicted to be suitable for HRM analysis were designed. Using the assumption that HRM alleles are defined by G+C content, Minim typing using six fragments was predicted to provide a D = 0.979 against known STs. The method was tested against 202 K. pneumoniae using a blinded approach in which the MLST analyses were performed after the HRM analyses. The HRM-based alleles were indeed in accordance with G+C content, and the Minim typing identified known STs and flagged new STs. The tonB MLST locus was determined to be very diverse, and the two Minim fragments located herein contribute greatly to the resolving power. However these fragments are refractory to amplification in a minority of isolates. Therefore, we assessed the performance of two additional formats: one using only the four fragments located outside the tonB gene (D = 0.929), and the other using HRM data from these four fragments in conjunction with sequencing of the tonB MLST fragment (D = 0.995). The HRM assays were developed on the Rotorgene 6000, and the method was shown to also be robust on the LightCycler 480, allowing a 384-well high through-put format. The assay provides rapid, robust and low-cost typing with fully portable results that can directly be related to current MLST data. Minim typing in combination with molecular screening for antibiotic resistance markers can be a powerful surveillance tool kit.
PMCID: PMC3299796  PMID: 22428067
15.  High-Resolution Melting Genotyping of Enterococcus faecium Based on Multilocus Sequence Typing Derived Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(12):e29189.
We have developed a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) nucleated high-resolution melting (HRM) technique to genotype Enterococcus faecium. Eight SNPs were derived from the E. faecium multilocus sequence typing (MLST) database and amplified fragments containing these SNPs were interrogated by HRM. We tested the HRM genotyping scheme on 85 E. faecium bloodstream isolates and compared the results with MLST, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and an allele specific real-time PCR (AS kinetic PCR) SNP typing method. In silico analysis based on predicted HRM curves according to the G+C content of each fragment for all 567 sequence types (STs) in the MLST database together with empiric data from the 85 isolates demonstrated that HRM analysis resolves E. faecium into 231 “melting types” (MelTs) and provides a Simpson's Index of Diversity (D) of 0.991 with respect to MLST. This is a significant improvement on the AS kinetic PCR SNP typing scheme that resolves 61 SNP types with D of 0.95. The MelTs were concordant with the known ST of the isolates. For the 85 isolates, there were 13 PFGE patterns, 17 STs, 14 MelTs and eight SNP types. There was excellent concordance between PFGE, MLST and MelTs with Adjusted Rand Indices of PFGE to MelT 0.936 and ST to MelT 0.973. In conclusion, this HRM based method appears rapid and reproducible. The results are concordant with MLST and the MLST based population structure.
PMCID: PMC3241712  PMID: 22195020
16.  A Very Early-Branching Staphylococcus aureus Lineage Lacking the Carotenoid Pigment Staphyloxanthin 
Here we discuss the evolution of the northern Australian Staphylococcus aureus isolate MSHR1132 genome. MSHR1132 belongs to the divergent clonal complex 75 lineage. The average nucleotide divergence between orthologous genes in MSHR1132 and typical S. aureus is approximately sevenfold greater than the maximum divergence observed in this species to date. MSHR1132 has a small accessory genome, which includes the well-characterized genomic islands, νSAα and νSaβ, suggesting that these elements were acquired well before the expansion of the typical S. aureus population. Other mobile elements show mosaic structure (the prophage φSa3) or evidence of recent acquisition from a typical S. aureus lineage (SCCmec, ICE6013 and plasmid pMSHR1132). There are two differences in gene repertoire compared with typical S. aureus that may be significant clues as to the genetic basis underlying the successful emergence of S. aureus as a pathogen. First, MSHR1132 lacks the genes for production of staphyloxanthin, the carotenoid pigment that confers upon S. aureus its characteristic golden color and protects against oxidative stress. The lack of pigment was demonstrated in 126 of 126 CC75 isolates. Second, a mobile clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) element is inserted into orfX of MSHR1132. Although common in other staphylococcal species, these elements are very rare within S. aureus and may impact accessory genome acquisition. The CRISPR spacer sequences reveal a history of attempted invasion by known S. aureus mobile elements. There is a case for the creation of a new taxon to accommodate this and related isolates.
PMCID: PMC3175761  PMID: 21813488
bacterial species; staphyloxanthin; CRISPR; positive selection
17.  Rapid Detection of the H275Y Oseltamivir Resistance Mutation in Influenza A/H1N1 2009 by Single Base Pair RT-PCR and High-Resolution Melting 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(6):e21446.
We aimed to design a real-time reverse-transcriptase-PCR (rRT-PCR), high-resolution melting (HRM) assay to detect the H275Y mutation that confers oseltamivir resistance in influenza A/H1N1 2009 viruses.
A novel strategy of amplifying a single base pair, the relevant SNP at position 823 of the neuraminidase gene, was chosen to maintain specificity of the assay. Wildtype and mutant virus were differentiated when using known reference samples of cell-cultured virus. However, when dilutions of these reference samples were assayed, amplification of non-specific primer-dimer was evident and affected the overall melting temperature (Tm) of the amplified products. Due to primer-dimer appearance at >30 cycles we found that if the cycle threshold (CT) for a dilution was >30, the HRM assay did not consistently discriminate mutant from wildtype. Where the CT was <30 we noted an inverse relationship between CT and Tm and fitted quadratic curves allowed the discrimination of wildtype, mutant and 30∶70 mutant∶wildtype virus mixtures. We compared the CT values for a TaqMan H1N1 09 detection assay with those for the HRM assay using 59 clinical samples and demonstrated that samples with a TaqMan detection assay CT>32.98 would have an H275Y assay CT>30. Analysis of the TaqMan CT values for 609 consecutive clinical samples predicted that 207 (34%) of the samples would result in an HRM assay CT>30 and therefore not be amenable to the HRM assay.
The use of single base pair PCR and HRM can be useful for specifically interrogating SNPs. When applied to H1N1 09, the constraints this placed on primer design resulted in amplification of primer-dimer products. The impact primer-dimer had on HRM curves was adjusted for by plotting Tm against CT. Although less sensitive than TaqMan assays, the HRM assay can rapidly, and at low cost, screen samples with moderate viral concentrations.
PMCID: PMC3123348  PMID: 21731753
18.  The Utility of High-Resolution Melting Analysis of SNP Nucleated PCR Amplicons—An MLST Based Staphylococcus aureus Typing Scheme 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(6):e19749.
High resolution melting (HRM) analysis is gaining prominence as a method for discriminating DNA sequence variants. Its advantage is that it is performed in a real-time PCR device, and the PCR amplification and HRM analysis are closed tube, and effectively single step. We have developed an HRM-based method for Staphylococcus aureus genotyping. Eight single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were derived from the S. aureus multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) database on the basis of maximized Simpson's Index of Diversity. Only G↔A, G↔T, C↔A, C↔T SNPs were considered for inclusion, to facilitate allele discrimination by HRM. In silico experiments revealed that DNA fragments incorporating the SNPs give much higher resolving power than randomly selected fragments. It was shown that the predicted optimum fragment size for HRM analysis was 200 bp, and that other SNPs within the fragments contribute to the resolving power. Six DNA fragments ranging from 83 bp to 219 bp, incorporating the resolution optimized SNPs were designed. HRM analysis of these fragments using 94 diverse S. aureus isolates of known sequence type or clonal complex (CC) revealed that sequence variants are resolved largely in accordance with G+C content. A combination of experimental results and in silico prediction indicates that HRM analysis resolves S. aureus into 268 “melt types” (MelTs), and provides a Simpson's Index of Diversity of 0.978 with respect to MLST. There is a high concordance between HRM analysis and the MLST defined CCs. We have generated a Microsoft Excel key which facilitates data interpretation and translation between MelT and MLST data. The potential of this approach for genotyping other bacterial pathogens was investigated using a computerized approach to estimate the densities of SNPs with unlinked allelic states. The MLST databases for all species tested contained abundant unlinked SNPs, thus suggesting that high resolving power is not dependent upon large numbers of SNPs.
PMCID: PMC3120814  PMID: 21731606
19.  Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli Genotyping by High-Resolution Melting Analysis of a flaA Fragment▿ †  
The highly variable flagellin-encoding flaA gene has long been used for genotyping Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli. High-resolution melting (HRM) analysis is emerging as an efficient and robust method for discriminating DNA sequence variants. The objective of this study was to apply HRM analysis to flaA-based genotyping. The initial aim was to identify a suitable flaA fragment. It was found that the PCR primers commonly used to amplify the flaA short variable repeat (SVR) yielded a mixed PCR product unsuitable for HRM analysis. However, a PCR primer set composed of the upstream primer used to amplify the fragment used for flaA restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis and the downstream primer used for flaA SVR amplification generated a very pure PCR product, and this primer set was used for the remainder of the study. Eighty-seven C. jejuni and 15 C. coli isolates were analyzed by flaA HRM and also partial flaA sequencing. There were 47 flaA sequence variants, and all were resolved by HRM analysis. The isolates used had previously also been genotyped using single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), binary markers, CRISPR HRM, and flaA RFLP. flaA HRM analysis provided resolving power multiplicative to the SNPs, binary markers, and CRISPR HRM and largely concordant with the flaA RFLP. It was concluded that HRM analysis is a promising approach to genotyping based on highly variable genes.
PMCID: PMC2805211  PMID: 19933351
20.  Phylogenetically Distinct Staphylococcus aureus Lineage Prevalent among Indigenous Communities in Northern Australia▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2009;47(7):2295-2300.
The aim was to determine the evolutionary position of the Staphylococcus aureus clonal complex 75 (CC75) that is prevalent in tropical northern Australia. Sequencing of gap, rpoB, sodA, tuf, and hsp60 and the multilocus sequence typing loci revealed a clear separation between conventional S. aureus and CC75 and significant diversity within CC75.
PMCID: PMC2708510  PMID: 19420161
21.  Analysis of blaSHV Codon 238 and 240 Allele Mixtures Using Sybr Green High-Resolution Melting Analysis▿  
Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates frequently contain complex mixtures of blaSHV alleles. A high-resolution melting-based method for interrogating the extended-spectrum activity conferring codon 238 and 240 polymorphisms was developed. This detects minority extended-spectrum β-lactamase-encoding alleles, allows estimation of allele ratios, and discriminates between single and double mutants.
PMCID: PMC2687234  PMID: 19349515

Results 1-21 (21)