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1.  Genotypes and serotype distribution of macrolide resistant invasive and non- invasive Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates from Lebanon 
Background
This study determined macrolide resistance genotypes in clinical isolates of Streptococcus pneumoniae from multiple medical centers in Lebanon and assessed the serotype distribution in relation to these mechanism(s) of resistance and the source of isolate recovery.
Methods
Forty four macrolide resistant and 21 macrolide susceptible S. pneumoniae clinical isolates were tested for antimicrobial susceptibility according to CLSI guidelines (2008) and underwent molecular characterization. Serotyping of these isolates was performed by Multiplex PCR-based serotype deduction using CDC protocols. PCR amplification of macrolide resistant erm (encoding methylase) and mef (encoding macrolide efflux pump protein) genes was carried out.
Results
Among 44 isolates resistant to erythromycin, 35 were resistant to penicillin and 18 to ceftriaxone. Examination of 44 macrolide resistant isolates by PCR showed that 16 isolates harbored the erm(B) gene, 8 isolates harbored the mef gene, and 14 isolates harbored both the erm(B) and mef genes. There was no amplification by PCR of the erm(B) or mef genes in 6 isolates. Seven different capsular serotypes 2, 9V/9A,12F, 14,19A, 19F, and 23, were detected by multiplex PCR serotype deduction in 35 of 44 macrolide resistant isolates, with 19F being the most prevalent serotype. With the exception of serotype 2, all serotypes were invasive. Isolates belonging to the invasive serotypes 14 and 19F harbored both erm(B) and mef genes. Nine of the 44 macrolide resistant isolates were non-serotypable by our protocols.
Conclusion
Macrolide resistance in S. pneumoniae in Lebanon is mainly through target site modification but is also mediated through efflux pumps, with serotype 19F having dual resistance and being the most prevalent and invasive.
doi:10.1186/1476-0711-11-2
PMCID: PMC3371826  PMID: 22248318
Antimicrobials; Macrolides; Resistance; Genes; Serotyping
2.  Validation and implementation of array comparative genomic hybridisation as a first line test in place of postnatal karyotyping for genome imbalance 
Background
Several studies have demonstrated that array comparative genomic hybridisation (CGH) for genome-wide imbalance provides a substantial increase in diagnostic yield for patients traditionally referred for karyotyping by G-banded chromosome analysis. The purpose of this study was to demonstrate the feasibility of and strategies for, the use of array CGH in place of karyotyping for genome imbalance, and to report on the results of the implementation of this approach.
Results
Following a validation period, an oligoarray platform was chosen. In order to minimise costs and increase efficiency, a patient/patient hybridisation strategy was used, and analysis criteria were set to optimise detection of pathogenic imbalance. A customised database application with direct links to a number of online resources was developed to allow efficient management and tracking of patient samples and facilitate interpretation of results. Following introduction into our routine diagnostic service for patients with suspected genome imbalance, array CGH as a follow-on test for patients with normal karyotypes (n = 1245) and as a first-line test (n = 1169) gave imbalance detection rates of 26% and 22% respectively (excluding common, benign variants). At least 89% of the abnormalities detected by first line testing would not have been detected by standard karyotype analysis. The average reporting time for first-line tests was 25 days from receipt of sample.
Conclusions
Array CGH can be used in a diagnostic service setting in place of G-banded chromosome analysis, providing a more comprehensive and objective test for patients with suspected genome imbalance. The increase in consumable costs can be minimised by employing appropriate hybridisation strategies; the use of robotics and a customised database application to process multiple samples reduces staffing costs and streamlines analysis, interpretation and reporting of results. Array CGH provides a substantially higher diagnostic yield than G-banded chromosome analysis, thereby alleviating the burden of further clinical investigations.
doi:10.1186/1755-8166-3-9
PMCID: PMC2885406  PMID: 20398301
3.  Correlation between Group B Streptococcal Genotypes, Their Antimicrobial Resistance Profiles, and Virulence Genes among Pregnant Women in Lebanon 
The antimicrobial susceptibility profiles of 76 Streptococcus agalactiae (Group B Streptococci [GBS]) isolates from vaginal specimens of pregnant women near term were correlated to their genotypes generated by Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA analysis and their virulence factors encoding genes cylE, lmb, scpB, rib, and bca by PCR. Based on the distribution of the susceptibility patterns, six profiles were generated. RAPD analysis detected 7 clusters of genotypes. The cylE gene was present in 99% of the isolates, the lmb in 96%, scpB in 94.7%, rib in 33%, and bca in 56.5% of isolates. The isolates demonstrated a significant correlation between antimicrobial resistance and genotype clusters denoting the distribution of particular clones with different antimicrobial resistance profiles, entailing the practice of caution in therapeutic options. All virulence factors encoding genes were detected in all seven genotypic clusters with rib and bca not coexisting in the same genome.
doi:10.1155/2009/796512
PMCID: PMC2817894  PMID: 20148175

Results 1-3 (3)