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1.  High Prevalence of Exfoliative Toxins Among Carrier Isolates of Staphylococcus aureus from Healthy Individuals from Various Communities in Chennai, South India 
Indian Journal of Microbiology  2013;53(3):288-290.
Staphylococcusaureus causes infections both in community and hospital settings, nasal carriage is the important source of these infections. A total of 103 carrier isolates of S. aureus from 352 asymptomatic individuals were screened for methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) and exfoliative toxins (A, B and D) by two sets of multiplex PCRs. The overall nasal carriage of MRSA was found to be 13/352 (3.7 %), of which 4 were found to be positive for Panton valentine leucocidin (PVL). Twelve (11.65 %) strains were found to carry exfoliative toxins and belonged to one of the following spa types t159, t209 and t1515. High prevalence of exfoliative toxins, pvl and MRSA pose a major threat to public health, since the isolates were from the healthy in various community settings.
PMCID: PMC3689394  PMID: 24426124
CA-MRSA; pvl; Exfoliative toxins; t159; t209; SCCmec
7.  Use of Triplex PCR for Rapid Detection of PVL and Differentiation of MRSA from Methicillin Resistant Coagulase Negative Staphylococci 
Introduction: Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has become a major public health problem in both hospitals and communities. Panton – Valentine Leucocidin (PVL) has been reported to be an important marker for the highly pathogenic community acquired S. aureus infections. A rapid detection of these MRSA is very important for its treatment. The specific detection of MRSA is always a problem due to the prevalence of methicillin resistance among the coagulase negative Staphylococci. Hence, this study was done to develop a rapid triplex PCR for the detection of PVL positive MRSA and for the simultaneous differentiation of MRSA from Coagulase Negative Staphylococci (CoNS).
Materials and Methods: We developed a triplex PCR for the specific detection of PVL positive Community Acquired (CA) – MRSA and for its simultaneous differentiation from the coagulase negative Staphylococci. We used PCR for targeting the fem A gene which is specific for S. aureus, mecA which is specific for methicillin-resistance and luk - PV which is specific for the PVL toxin. The method was evaluated with a total of 100 clinical isolates of Staphylococcus spp.
Results: The triplex PCR was successfully standardized by using the reference strains and it was evaluated by using clinical strains. The method was found to be rapid, highly sensitive (100%), specific (99%) and cost effective.
Conclusion: Triplex PCR can be used as a diagnostic tool for the detection of the highly pathogenic strains of CA-MRSA.
PMCID: PMC3592277  PMID: 23542876
PVL MRSA; MRCoNS; Triplex PCR; femA; mecA
8.  AmpC β-lactamases in nosocomial isolates of Klebsiella pneumoniae from India 
Background & objectives:
AmpC β-lactamases are clinically significant since these confer resistance to cephalosporins in the oxyimino group, 7-α methoxycephalosporins and are not affected by available β-lactamase inhibitors. In this study we looked for both extended spectrum β-lactamases (ESBL) and AmpC β-lactamases in Klebsiella pneumoniae clinical isolates.
One hundred consecutive, non-duplicate clinical isolates of K. pneumoniae collected over a period of one year (June 2008 - June 2009) were included in the study. An antibiotic susceptibility method was used with 10 antibiotics for Gram-negative infections which helped in screening for ESBL and AmpC β-lactamases and also in confirmation of ESBL production. The detection of AmpC β-lactamases was done based on screening and confirmatory tests. For screening, disc diffusion zones of cefoxitin <18 mm was taken as cefoxitin resistant. All cefoxitin resistant isolates were tested further by AmpC disk test and modified three dimensional test. Multiplex-PCR was performed for screening the presence of plasmid-mediated AmpC genes.
Of the 100 isolates of K. pneumoniae studied, 48 were resistant to cefoxitin on screening. AmpC disk test was positive in 32 (32%) isolates. This was also confirmed with modified three dimensional test. Indentation indicating strong AmpC producer was observed in 25 isolates whereas little distortion (weak AmpC) was observed in 7 isolates. ESBL detection was confirmed by a modification of double disk synergy test in 56 isolates. Cefepime was the best cephalosporin in synergy with tazobactam for detecting ESBL production in isolates co-producing AmpC β-lactamases. The subsets of isolates phenotypically AmpC β-lactamase positive were subjected to amplification of six different families of AmpC gene using multiplex PCR. The sequence analysis revealed 12 CMY-2 and eight DHA-1 types.
Interpretation & conclusions:
Tazobactam was the best β-lactamase inhibitor for detecting ESBL in presence of AmpC β-lactamase as this is a very poor inducer of AmpC gene. Amongst cephalosporins, cefepime was the best cephalosporin in detecting ESBL in presence of AmpC β-lactamase as it is least hydrolyzed by AmpC enzymes. Cefepime-tazobactam combination disk test would be a simple and best method in detection of ESBLs in Enterobacteriaceae co-producing AmpC β-lactamase in the routine diagnostic microbiology laboratories.
PMCID: PMC3461735  PMID: 22960890
AmpC enzyme; β-lactamases; ESBL; Klebsiella pneumoniae; plasmid mediated; resistance
17.  Emergence of a new antibiotic resistance mechanism in India, Pakistan, and the UK: a molecular, biological, and epidemiological study 
The Lancet Infectious Diseases  2010;10(9):597-602.
Gram-negative Enterobacteriaceae with resistance to carbapenem conferred by New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase 1 (NDM-1) are potentially a major global health problem. We investigated the prevalence of NDM-1, in multidrug-resistant Enterobacteriaceae in India, Pakistan, and the UK.
Enterobacteriaceae isolates were studied from two major centres in India—Chennai (south India), Haryana (north India)—and those referred to the UK's national reference laboratory. Antibiotic susceptibilities were assessed, and the presence of the carbapenem resistance gene blaNDM-1 was established by PCR. Isolates were typed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis of XbaI-restricted genomic DNA. Plasmids were analysed by S1 nuclease digestion and PCR typing. Case data for UK patients were reviewed for evidence of travel and recent admission to hospitals in India or Pakistan.
We identified 44 isolates with NDM-1 in Chennai, 26 in Haryana, 37 in the UK, and 73 in other sites in India and Pakistan. NDM-1 was mostly found among Escherichia coli (36) and Klebsiella pneumoniae (111), which were highly resistant to all antibiotics except to tigecycline and colistin. K pneumoniae isolates from Haryana were clonal but NDM-1 producers from the UK and Chennai were clonally diverse. Most isolates carried the NDM-1 gene on plasmids: those from UK and Chennai were readily transferable whereas those from Haryana were not conjugative. Many of the UK NDM-1 positive patients had travelled to India or Pakistan within the past year, or had links with these countries.
The potential of NDM-1 to be a worldwide public health problem is great, and co-ordinated international surveillance is needed.
European Union, Wellcome Trust, and Wyeth.
PMCID: PMC2933358  PMID: 20705517

Results 1-17 (17)