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1.  Molecular Characterization of Uropathogenic Escherichia coli: Nalidixic Acid and Ciprofloxacin Resistance, Virulent Factors and Phylogenetic Background 
Background and Objective: A proficient pathogen should be virulent, resistant to antibiotics, and epidemic. However, the interplay between resistance and virulence is poorly understood. Perhaps, the most commonly accepted view is that resistance to quinolones is linked to a loss of virulence factors. However, the low virulent phylogenetic groups may be more prone to acquire resistance to quinolones. The aim of this study was to identify and characterise the Nalidixic Acid (NA) and ciprofloxacin (CIP) resistant uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) isolates with respect to virulence and phylogenetic background, from hospital settings in Kolkata, an eastern region in India. Research based on these bacterial populations will help in understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying the association between resistance and virulence, that in turn, may help in managing the future disseminations of UTIs in their entirety.
Material and Methods: One hundred and ten E. coli isolates were screened against NA and CIP using Kirby-Bauer disk diffusion technique, following CLSI guidelines. Prevalence of virulent factor genes and distribution of phylogenetic groups amongst the isolates was determined by PCR, using gene specific primers against the different virulent factors and DNA markers (chuA, yjaA and DNA fragment, TSPE4.C2) respectively. Statistical analysis of the data was performed using SPSS software.
Results: Resistance to both NA and CIP was reported in 75.5 % of the isolates which were analysed. The virulent determinants, papC, pap GII, papEF, afa, cnf1, hlyA and iroN were significantly predominant in the drug susceptible than the resistant isolates. A significant reduction of phylogroup B2 in NA (85.7% versus 64.6%, χ2P<0.001) and CIP (85.2 % versus 61.4%, χ2P<0.001) resistant UPEC isolates, followed by increase in predominance of non-B2 phylotypes (group D and group B1), were observed.
Conclusion: This is the first report from India that has indicated possible evidence on horizontal gene transfer from pathogenic to commensal strains and selection of the latter, on extensive usage of this group of antimicrobials in hospital settings, where these drugs were routinely prescribed for treating urinary tract infection. Therefore, this information necessitates surveillance programs and administration of effective strategies, to put an end to random prescription policies involving this group of antimicrobials.
PMCID: PMC3919340  PMID: 24551624
Ciprofloxacin; Drug resistance; Virulence; Phylogeny
2.  Multidrug-Resistance and Extended Spectrum Beta-Lactamase Production in Uropathogenic E. Coli which were Isolated from Hospitalized Patients in Kolkata, India 
Background and Objective: Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are mostly caused by Escherichia coli. The appropriate therapy demands a current knowledge on the antimicrobial susceptibility pattern amongst these pathogens, as an inappropriate use of antibiotics may lead to complications and treatment failure. The UTIs which are caused by multidrug resistant Extended-Spectrum Beta-Lactamase (ESBL) producing bacteria further pose a severe problem, as the treatment options are limited. The aim of this study was to identify the pattern of multi drug resistance amongst the uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC) isolates which were obtained from hospitalized patients.
Materials and Methods: Forty UPEC were isolated from 200 urine samples of hospitalized patients who were clinically suspected for UTIs. Antimicrobial susceptibility screening was performed by using 16 antibiotics, by the Kirby Bauer disk diffusion technique. The isolates which were resistant to the third generation cephalosporins were subjected to the ESBL confirmatory test by using drug and drug-inhibitor combination disks by following the CLSI guidelines.
Results: All the 40 isolates except three were multidrug resistant. They showed the highest sensitivities for nitrofurantoin (72.5%) and amikacin (70%). A high level of resistance was observed against ampicillin (97.5%), nalidixic acid and cefelexin (95%), amoxicillin (92.5%), cotrimoxazole (82.5%) and ciprofloxacin (80%) respectively. Thirty different antibiotic resistance patterns were observed against the different antibiotics. Twenty-eight out of the 40 isolates were resistant to the third generation cephalosporins. However, the phenotypic test for the ESBL confirmation indicated that eighteen out of the twenty-eight isolates were ESBL producers and that eleven different drug resistance patterns were observed amongst them.
Conclusions: Therefore, this study accounts for the varied multidrug resistance pattern amongst the uropathogenic E. coli which were isolated from hospitalized patients in Kolkata, an eastern region of India. Nitrofurantoin and amikacin should be assigned as potent drugs to treat this infection in this region of the country. These varied resistance patterns present major therapeutic and infection control challenges and they suggest a heterogeneous population of the uropathogenic E. coli isolates which circulate in this sector of India.
PMCID: PMC3616554  PMID: 23634394
Antibiotic susceptibility; Urinary tract infection; Uropathogenic E. coli; Extended- spectrum beta lactamase
3.  Draft Genome Sequence of the Sexually Transmitted Pathogen Trichomonas vaginalis 
Science (New York, N.Y.)  2007;315(5809):207-212.
We describe the genome sequence of the protist Trichomonas vaginalis, a sexually transmitted human pathogen. Repeats and transposable elements comprise about two-thirds of the ~160-megabase genome, reflecting a recent massive expansion of genetic material. This expansion, in conjunction with the shaping of metabolic pathways that likely transpired through lateral gene transfer from bacteria, and amplification of specific gene families implicated in pathogenesis and phagocytosis of host proteins may exemplify adaptations of the parasite during its transition to a urogenital environment. The genome sequence predicts previously unknown functions for the hydrogenosome, which support a common evolutionary origin of this unusual organelle with mitochondria.
PMCID: PMC2080659  PMID: 17218520
4.  Identification and Biochemical Characterization of Serine Hydroxymethyl Transferase in the Hydrogenosome of Trichomonas vaginalis▿ †  
Eukaryotic Cell  2006;5(12):2072-2078.
Serine hydroxymethyl transferase (SHMT) is a pyridoxal phosphate (PLP)-dependent enzyme that catalyzes the reversible conversion of serine and tetrahydrofolate to glycine and methylenetetrahydrofolate. We have identified a single gene encoding SHMT in the genome of Trichomonas vaginalis, an amitochondriate, deep-branching unicellular protist. The protein possesses a putative N-terminal hydrogenosomal presequence and was shown to localize to hydrogensomes by immunofluorescence analysis, providing evidence of amino acid metabolism in this unusual organelle. In contrast to the tetrameric SHMT that exists in the mammalian host, we found that the T. vaginalis SHMT is a homodimer, as found in prokaryotes. All examined SHMT contain an 8-amino-acid conserved sequence, VTTTTHKT, containing the active-site lysyl residue (Lys 251 in TvSHMT) that forms an internal aldimine with PLP. We mutated this Lys residue to Arg and Gln and examined structural and catalytic properties of the wild-type and mutant enzymes in comparison to that reported for the mammalian protein. The oligomeric structure of the mutant K251R and K251Q TvSHMT was not affected, in contrast to that observed for comparable mutations in the mammalian enzyme. Likewise, contrary to that observed for mammalian SHMT, the catalytic activity of K251R TvSHMT was unaffected in the presence of PLP. The K251Q TvSHMT, however, was found to be inactive. These studies indicate that the active site of the parasite enzyme is distinct from its prokaryotic and eukaryotic counterparts and identify TvSHMT as a potential drug target.
PMCID: PMC1694819  PMID: 16980404
5.  Proteins of the Glycine Decarboxylase Complex in the Hydrogenosome of Trichomonas vaginalis†  
Eukaryotic Cell  2006;5(12):2062-2071.
Trichomonas vaginalis is a unicellular eukaryote that lacks mitochondria and contains a specialized organelle, the hydrogenosome, involved in carbohydrate metabolism and iron-sulfur cluster assembly. We report the identification of two glycine cleavage H proteins and a dihydrolipoamide dehydrogenase (L protein) of the glycine decarboxylase complex in T. vaginalis with predicted N-terminal hydrogenosomal presequences. Immunofluorescence analyses reveal that both H and L proteins are localized in hydrogenosomes, providing the first evidence for amino acid metabolism in this organelle. All three proteins were expressed in Escherichia coli and purified to homogeneity. The experimental Km of L protein for the two H proteins were 2.6 μM and 3.7 μM, consistent with both H proteins serving as substrates of L protein. Analyses using purified hydrogenosomes showed that endogenous H proteins exist as monomers and endogenous L protein as a homodimer in their native states. Phylogenetic analyses of L proteins revealed that the T. vaginalis homologue shares a common ancestry with dihydrolipoamide dehydrogenases from the firmicute bacteria, indicating its acquisition via a horizontal gene transfer event independent of the origins of mitochondria and hydrogenosomes.
PMCID: PMC1694811  PMID: 17158739
6.  Characterization of the DNA-binding domain and identification of the active site residue in the ‘Gyr A’ half of Leishmania donovani topoisomerase II 
Nucleic Acids Research  2005;33(8):2364-2373.
DNA topoisomerase II is a multidomain homodimeric enzyme that changes DNA topology by coupling ATP hydrolysis to the transport of one DNA helix through a transient double-stranded break in another. To investigate the biochemical properties of the individual domains of Leishmania donovani topoisomerase II, four truncation mutants were generated. Deletion of 178 aminoacids from the C-terminus (core and LdΔC1058) had no apparent effect on the DNA-binding or cleavage activities of the enzymes. However, when 429 aminoacids from the N-terminus and 451 aminoacids from the C-terminus were removed (LdΔNΔC), the enzyme was no longer active. Moreover, the removal of 429 aminoacids from the N-terminus (LdΔNΔC, core and LdΔN429) render the mutant proteins incapable of performing ATP hydrolysis. The mutant proteins show cleavage activities at wide range of KCl concentrations (25–350 mM). In addition, the mutant proteins, excepting LdΔNΔC, can also act on kDNA and linearize the minicircles. Surprisingly, the mutant proteins fail to show the formation of the enhanced cleavable complex in the presence of etoposide. Our findings suggest that the conformation required for interaction with the drug is absent in the mutant proteins. Here, we have also identified Tyr775 through direct sequencing of the DNA linked peptide as the catalytic residue implicated in DNA-breakage and rejoining. Taken together, our results demonstrate that topoisomerase II are functionally and mechanistically conserved enzymes and the variations in activity seem to reflect functional optimization for its physiological role during parasite genome replication.
PMCID: PMC1087781  PMID: 15860773
7.  Functional dissection of the C-terminal domain of type II DNA topoisomerase from the kinetoplastid hemoflagellate Leishmania donovani 
Nucleic Acids Research  2003;31(18):5305-5316.
The amino acid sequences of the C-terminal domain (CTD) of the type II DNA topoisomerases are divergent and species specific as compared with the highly conserved N-terminal and central domains. A set of C-terminal deletion mutants of Leishmania donovani topoisomerase II was constructed. Removal of more than 178 amino acids out of 1236 amino acid residues from the C-terminus inactivates the enzyme, whereas removal of 118 amino acids or less has no apparent effect on the ability of the parasite enzyme to complement a temperature-sensitive mutation of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae topoisomerase II gene. Deletion analysis revealed a potent nuclear localization signal (NLS) within the amino acid residues 998–1058. Immunomicroscopy results suggest that the removal of an NLS in the CTD is likely to contribute to the physiological dysfunction of these proteins. Modeling of the LdTOP2 based on the crystal structure of the yeast type II DNA topoisomerase showed that the parasite protein assumes a structure similar to its yeast counterpart harboring all the conserved residues in a structurally similar position. However, a marked difference in electrostatic potential was found in a span of 60 amino acid residues (998–1058), which also do not have any homology with topoisomerase II sequences. Such significant differences can be exploited by the structure-based design of selective inhibitors using the structure of the Leishmania enzyme as a template.
PMCID: PMC203312  PMID: 12954766

Results 1-7 (7)