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1.  Bacteriophage types of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in a tertiary care hospital 
The Australasian Medical Journal  2013;6(10):496-503.
Phage typing had been utilised extensively to characterise methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) outbreak strains in the past. It is an invaluable tool even today to monitor emergence and dissemination of MRSA strains.
The aim of this study was to determine the prevalent phage types of MRSA in south India and the association between phage types, antibiotic resistance pattern and risk factors.
A total of 48 non-duplicate MRSA strains recovered from various clinical samples during January to December, 2010 were tested against a panel of anti-staphylococcal antibiotics. Phage typing was carried out at the National Staphylococcal Phage Typing Centre, New Delhi. Out of 48, 32 hospitalised patients were followed up for risk factors and response to empirical and post sensitivity antibiotic therapy. The risk factors were compared with a control group of 30 patients with methicillin sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) infection.
Amongst the five prevalent phage types, 42E was most common (52%), followed by a non-typable variant (22.9%), 42E/47/54/75 (16.6%), 42E/47 (6.2%) and 47 (2%). Phage type 42E was the predominant strain in all wards and OPDs except in the ICU where 42E/47/54/75 was most common. Although not statistically significant, strain 42E/47/54/75 (n=8) showed higher resistance to all drugs, except ciprofloxacin and amikacin, and were mostly D-test positive (87.5%) compared to the 42E strain (32%). Duration of hospital stay, intravenous catheterisation and breach in skin were the most significant risk factors for MRSA infection.
We found MRSA strain diversity in hospital wards with differences in their antibiotic susceptibility pattern. The findings may impact infection control and antibiotic policy significantly.
PMCID: PMC3821046  PMID: 24223065
MRSA; phage types; stairs; risk factors
2.  Aetiological agents of ventilator-associated pneumonia and its resistance pattern – a threat for treatment 
The Australasian Medical Journal  2013;6(9):430-434.
Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is a common type of nosocomial pneumonia encountered in intensive care units. There are several aetiological agents which make treatment challenging. Improper antibiotic treatment of ventilated patients may lead to the emergence of multidrug resistant (MDR) pathogens.
A prospective study was performed over a period of 20 months. Our study had two arms: the first, ‘Incidence and risk factors of VAP in a tertiary care hospital’ was the subject of an earlier publication; we therefore present the second investigative arm in this work. The aetiological agents of patients on mechanical ventilation (MV) were identified by standard bacteriological method. The susceptibility pattern was evaluated by Kirby-Bauer disc diffusion method. Extended spectrum beta lactamase (ESBL) testing was performed by combination disc method, and metallo-beta lactamase (MBL) testing was performed by EDTA disk synergy test (EDS).
Late-onset VAP was associated with Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Escherichia coli, while early-onset VAP was commonly caused by members of Enterobacteriaceae, Candida albicans and Staphylococcus aureus. 72.2 per cent of VAP patients had monomicrobial and 27.8 per cent had polymicrobial infection. Out of the 24 isolates obtained from patients with VAP, seven (29.2 per cent) were MDR pathogens. ESBL and MBL production was detected in 40 per cent and 20 per cent of Klebsiella pneumoniae isolated in our study. Around 50 per cent of isolates associated with late-onset VAP were MDR, while 22.2 per cent isolates obtained from patients with earlyonset VAP were MDR.
VAP is a nosocomial pneumonia that is common among ventilated patients. The aetiological agents vary from common organisms to MDR pathogens that are difficult to treat. A proper knowledge of MDR pathogens and early isolation followed by prevention of prolonged antibiotic therapy can reduce the mortality of late onset VAP.
PMCID: PMC3794413  PMID: 24133535
Ventilator associated pneumonia; aetiology; drug resistance
3.  Prevalence of Candida co-infection in patients with pulmonary tuberculosis 
The Australasian Medical Journal  2013;6(8):387-391.
Candida species are emerging as a potentially pathogenic fungus in patients with broncho-pulmonary diseases. The synergistic growth promoting association of Candida and Mycobacterium tuberculosis has raised increased concern for studying the various Candida spp . and its significance in pulmonary tuberculosis patients during current years.
This study was undertaken with the objective of discovering the prevalence of co-infection caused by different Candida species in patients with pulmonary tuberculosis.
A total of 75 patients with pulmonary tuberculosis diagnosed by sputum Ziehl-Neelsen staining were included in the study. Candida co-infection was confirmed using the Kahanpaa et al. criteria. Candida species were identified using gram stain morphology, germ tube formation, morphology on cornmeal agar with Tween-80, sugar fermentation tests and HiCrome Candida Agar.
Candida co-infection was observed in 30 (40%) of patients with pulmonary tuberculosis. Candida albicans was the most common isolate observed in 50% of the patients with co-infection, followed by C. tropicalis (20%) and C. glabrata (20%). Candida co-infection was found in 62.5% of female patients, while it was observed in only 29.4% of the male patients (P value 0.0133). Mean ± SD age of the patients with C. glabrata infection was 65.83 ± 3.19, while the mean ± SD age of the patients with other Candida infections was 43.25 ± 20.44 (P value 0.0138).
Many patients with pulmonary tuberculosis have co-infection with Candida spp. The prevalence of non-albicans Candida species is increasing and may be associated with inadequate response to anti-tubercular drugs. C. glabrata infection has a strong association with old age.
PMCID: PMC3767025  PMID: 24039631
Candida co-infection; C. glabrata; prevalence; tuberculosis
4.  Neonatal sepsis and multiple skin abscess in a newborn with Down’s syndrome: A case report 
Neonatal sepsis is a leading cause of neonatal mortality. Congenital heart disease accounts for additional risk of sepsis in neonates. Here we report a case of Down’s syndrome with late onset neonatal sepsis associated with multiple superficial skin abscesses simulating staphylococcal infection. The baby was empirically treated with vancomycin. Subsequently, multidrug resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae was detected from both pus and blood culture. Change to appropriate antibiotic resulted in clinical recovery. Although sepsis is one of the major ailments in neonates, atypical presentations of neonatal sepsis in Down’s syndrome patients are underreported. Here we highlight the atypical presentation of Klebsiella sepsis and the importance of early antibiogram in such cases.
PMCID: PMC3593526  PMID: 23483739
Down’s syndrome; Klebsiella pneumoniae; Extended spectrum beta-lactamase; Neonatal sepsis
5.  Antiobiotic resistance pattern of biofilm-forming uropathogens isolated from catheterised patients in Pondicherry, India 
The Australasian Medical Journal  2012;5(7):344-348.
Microbial biofilms pose a public health problem for persons requiring indwelling medical devices, as micro-organisms in biofilms are difficult to treat with antimicrobial agents. Thus the present study includes biofilm formation and antibiotic resistance pattern of uropathogens in hospitalised patients with catheter associated urinary tract infections (UTI).
This prospective analysis included 100 urine samples from catheterised patients with symptoms of UTI over a period of six months. Following identification, all isolates were subjected to antibiotic sensitivity using modified Kirby- Bauer disc diffusion method. Detection of biofilms was done by tube adherence method and Congo red agar method.
E.coli was found to be the most frequently isolated uropathogen 70%, followed by Klebsiella pneumoniae 16%, Pseudomonas aeruginosa 4%, Acinetobacter spp 2%, coagulase negative Staphylococci 6% and Enterococci Spp 2%. In the current study 60% of strains were in vitro positive for biofilm production. Biofilm positive isolates showed 93.3%, 83.3%, 73.3% and 80% resistance to nalidixic acid, ampicillin, cephotaxime and cotrimoxazole, respectively, compared to 70%, 60%, 35%, 60% resistance showed by biofilm non-producers for the respective antibiotics. Approximately 80% of the biofilm producing strains showed multidrug resistant phenotype
To conclude E.coli was the most frequent isolate, of which 63% were biofilm producers. The antibiotic susceptibility pattern in the present study showed quinolones were the least active drug against uropathogens. The uropathogens showed the highest sensitivity to carbapenems. The next best alternatives were aminoglycosides. Significant correlation between biofilm production and multi-drug resistance was observed in our study.
PMCID: PMC3412999  PMID: 22905060
Biofilm; Uropathogens; Tube adherence method; Congo red agar method

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