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1.  The dissemination of ST80-SCCmec-IV community-associated methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus clone in Kuwait hospitals 
Background
Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) is a global healthcare problem. The purpose of this study was to characterize CA-MRSA clones and their distribution in Kuwait hospitals.
Methods
In total, 135 CA-MRSA isolates, carrying the SCCmec IV or V genetic elements, isolated in eight hospitals were characterized using antibiogram, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, multilocus sequence typing, and carriage of genes for Panton-Valentine Leukocidin (PVL), capsular polysaccharides types (cap) 5 and 8, accessory genes regulators (agr), Staphylococcal enterotoxins (SE) and toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 (tst).
Results
They were susceptible to vancomycin, teicoplanin and linezolid but resistant to kanamycin (62%), fusidic acid (42.2%), tetracycline (39.3%), erythromycin and clindamycin (21.5%), gentamicin (5.9%), streptomycin (6.7%), trimethoprim (5.9%), mupirocin (6.6%) and cadmium acetate (82.2%). They consisted of 10 pulsotypes with the majority belonging to PFGE type I (51.1%), type II (22.2%), type IV (13.3%) and type III (3.7%). They belonged to 10 sequence types (ST) comprising ST80 (51.1%), ST30 (22.2%), ST5 (14.1%), ST1 (4.45), ST6 (3.7%), ST88 (1.5%), ST834 (1.5%), ST8 (0.7%), ST46 (0.7%) and ST950 (0.7%). Genes for PVL, cap 8, cap 5 and agr III, agr I and agr II were detected in 61.5%, 77.3%, 20.7% and 62.2%, 17% and 8.1% of the isolates respectively. Nine (6.7%) isolates contained tst while 103 isolates were positive for SE genes with sei (63.0%), seg (41.5%) and sed (29.6%) as the common SE genes.
Conclusions
ST80-SCCmecIV was the most common CA-MRSA clone in Kuwait hospitals presenting new challenges for infection control.
doi:10.1186/1476-0711-9-31
PMCID: PMC2989929  PMID: 21050425
2.  Automated cleaning of fan coil units with a natural detergent-disinfectant product 
Background
Air conditioning systems represent one important source of microbial pollutants for indoor air. In the past few years, numerous strategies have been conceived to reduce the contamination of air conditioners, mainly in hospital settings. The biocidal detergent BATT2 represents a natural product obtained through extraction from brown seaweeds, that has been tested previously on multidrug-resistant microorganisms.
Methods
BATT2 has been utilized for the disinfection of fan coil units from four air conditioning systems located in hospital environments with a mean degree of risk. Samples were collected from the air supplied by the conditioning systems and from the surfaces of fan coil units, before and after sanitization procedures. Total microbial counts at 37°C and 22°C and mycotic count at 32°C were evaluated. Staphylococci and Pseudomonas aeruginosa were also detected on surfaces samples.
Results
The biodetergent was able to reduce up 50% of the microbial pollution of fan coil units surfaces and air supplied by the air conditioners.
Conclusions
BATT2 could be considered for cleaning/disinfection of air conditioning systems, that should be performed on the basis of accurate and verifiable sanitization protocols.
doi:10.1186/1476-0711-9-29
PMCID: PMC2964557  PMID: 20939877
3.  Antifungal activity of schinol and a new biphenyl compound isolated from Schinus terebinthifolius against the pathogenic fungus Paracoccidioides brasiliensis 
Background
The aim of this study was to isolate and identify the antifungal compounds from the extracts of Schinus terebinthifolius (Anacardiaceae) against clinical isolates of the pathogenic fungus Paracoccidioides brasiliensis.
Methods
The hexane and dichlomethane fractions from leaves and stems of S. terebinthifolius were fractionated using several chromatography techniques to afford four compounds.
Results
The compounds isolated from S. terebinthifolius were identified as schinol (1), a new biphenyl compound, namely, 4'-ethyl-4-methyl-2,2',6,6'-tetrahydroxy[1,1'-biphenyl]-4,4'-dicarboxylate (2), quercetin (3), and kaempferol (4). Compounds 1 and 2 were active against different strains of P. brasiliensis, showing a minimal inhibitory concentration value against the isolate Pb B339 of 15.6 μg/ml. The isolate Pb 1578 was more sensitive to compound 1 with a MIC value of 7.5 μg/ml. Schinol presented synergistic effect only when combined with itraconazole. The compounds isolated from S. terebinthifolius were not able to inhibit cell wall synthesis or assembly using the sorbitol assay.
Conclusion
This work reveals for the first time the occurrence of compound 2 and discloses activity of compounds 1 and 2 against several clinical isolates of P. brasiliensis. These results justify further studies to clarify the mechanisms of action of these compounds.
doi:10.1186/1476-0711-9-30
PMCID: PMC2964558  PMID: 20939907
4.  Strongyloides stercoralis hyperinfection in a patient with rheumatoid arthritis and bronchial asthma: a case report 
Objective
Strongyloides stercoralis is a soil-transmitted intestinal nematode that has been estimated to infect at least 60 million people, especially in tropical and subtropical regions. Strongyloides infection has been described in immunosupressed patients with lymphoma, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes mellitus etc. Our case who has rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and bronchial asthma was treated with low dose steroids and methotrexate.
Methods
A 68 year old woman has bronchial asthma for 55 years and also diagnosed RA 7 years ago. She received immunusupressive agents including methotrexate and steroids. On admission at hospital, she was on deflazacort 5 mg/day and methotrexate 15 mg/week. On her physical examination, she was afebrile, had rhonchi and mild epigastric tenderness. She had joint deformities at metacarpophalengeal joints and phalanges but no active arthritis finding.
Results
Oesophagogastroduodenoscopy was performed and it showed hemorrhagic focus at bulbus. Gastric biopsy obtained and showed evidence of S.Stercoralis infection. Stool and sputum parasitological examinations were also all positive for S.stercoralis larvae. Chest radiography result had no pathologic finding. Albendazole 400 mg/day was started for 23 days. After the ivermectin was retrieved, patient was treated with oral ivermectin 200 μg once a day for 3 days. On her outpatient control at 15th day, stool and sputum samples were all negative for parasites.
Conclusion
S.stercoralis may cause mortal diseases in patients. Immunosupression frequently causes disseminated infections. Many infected patients are completely asymptomatic. Although it is important to detect latent S. stercoralis infections before administering chemotherapy or before the onset of immunosuppression in patients at risk, a specific and sensitive diagnostic test is lacking. In immunosupressed patients, to detect S.stercoralis might help to have the patient survived and constitute the exact therapy.
doi:10.1186/1476-0711-9-27
PMCID: PMC2949791  PMID: 20849666
5.  Fungal colonization in patients with chronic respiratory diseases from Himalayan region of India 
Background
We screened patients with chronic respiratory diseases for microbiological and serological evidences of fungal colonisation; in order to determine its prevalence in this group of patients, examine potential clinical and radiological predictors of fungal colonisation and characterise fungal agents associated with individual diseases.
Methods
BAL samples from 60 consecutive patients were subjected to microscopy and culture for fungal agents. Serum samples were analysed for precipitin antibodies to Aspergillus antigen and Candida cytoplasmic antigen. Statistical significance in the difference of fungal recovery between patient groups was determined using the Chi-square test.
Results
The major diagnostic groups included patients with bronchogenic carcinoma (n = 31) and tubercular sequelae (n = 16). In all, 28 patients (46.7%) were culture-positive, with Candida and Aspergillus being recovered from 14 and 13 patients respectively. Twenty-one patients (35%) showed presence of precipitin antibodies. Patients with bronchogenic carcinoma showed increased predilection for colonisation with Aspergillus, while Candida was recovered more commonly in tubercular sequelae (p = 0.02). There was no statistically significant association between culture-positivity and specific risk factors/radiological findings.
Conclusion
The point-prevalence of fungal colonization was almost 50%. The combination of fungal culture and serology helped improve diagnostic sensitivity. An interesting predilection was observed for Aspergillus and Candida, to preferentially infect patients with Bronchogenic carcinoma and Tubercular sequelae respectively. In absence of specific predictors, the possibility of fungal colonization needs to be explored actively in these patients.
doi:10.1186/1476-0711-9-28
PMCID: PMC2949792  PMID: 20854652
6.  Effects of antibacterial mineral leachates on the cellular ultrastructure, morphology, and membrane integrity of Escherichia coli and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus 
Background
We have previously identified two mineral mixtures, CB07 and BY07, and their respective aqueous leachates that exhibit in vitro antibacterial activity against a broad spectrum of pathogens. The present study assesses cellular ultrastructure and membrane integrity of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Escherichia coli after exposure to CB07 and BY07 aqueous leachates.
Methods
We used scanning and transmission electron microscopy to evaluate E. coli and MRSA ultrastructure and morphology following exposure to antibacterial leachates. Additionally, we employed Baclight LIVE/DEAD staining and flow cytometry to investigate the cellular membrane as a possible target for antibacterial activity.
Results
Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) imaging of E. coli and MRSA revealed intact cells following exposure to antibacterial mineral leachates. TEM images of MRSA showed disruption of the cytoplasmic contents, distorted cell shape, irregular membranes, and distorted septa of dividing cells. TEM images of E. coli exposed to leachates exhibited different patterns of cytoplasmic condensation with respect to the controls and no apparent change in cell envelope structure. Although bactericidal activity of the leachates occurs more rapidly in E. coli than in MRSA, LIVE/DEAD staining demonstrated that the membrane of E. coli remains intact, while the MRSA membrane is permeabilized following exposure to the leachates.
Conclusions
These data suggest that the leachate antibacterial mechanism of action differs for Gram-positive and Gram-negative organisms. Upon antibacterial mineral leachate exposure, structural integrity is retained, however, compromised membrane integrity accounts for bactericidal activity in Gram-positive, but not in Gram-negative cells.
doi:10.1186/1476-0711-9-26
PMCID: PMC2949790  PMID: 20846374
7.  Superhydrophilicity and antibacterial property of a Cu-dotted oxide coating surface 
Background
Aluminum-made settings are widely used in healthcare, schools, public facilities and transit systems. Frequently-touched surfaces of those settings are likely to harbour bacteria and be a potential source of infection. One method to utilize the effectiveness of copper (Cu) in eliminating pathogens for these surfaces would be to coat the aluminum (Al) items with a Cu coating. However, such a combination of Cu and Al metals is susceptible to galvanic corrosion because of their different electrochemical potentials.
Methods
In this work, a new approach was proposed in which electrolytic plasma oxidation (EPO) of Al was used to form an oxide surface layer followed by electroplating of Cu metal on the top of the oxide layer. The oxide was designed to function as a corrosion protective and biocompatible layer, and the Cu in the form of dots was utilized as an antibacterial material. The antibacterial property enhanced by superhydrophilicity of the Cu-dotted oxide coating was evaluated.
Results
A superhydrophilic surface was successfully prepared using electrolytic plasma oxidation of aluminum (Al) followed by electroplating of copper (Cu) in a Cu-dotted form. Both Cu plate and Cu-dotted oxide surfaces had excellent antimicrobial activities against E. coli ATCC 25922, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) ATCC 43300 and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VRE) ATCC 51299. However, its Cu-dotted surface morphology allowed the Cu-dotted oxide surface to be more antibacterial than the smooth Cu plate surface. The enhanced antibacterial property was attributed to the superhydrophilic behaviour of the Cu-dotted oxide surface that allowed the bacteria to have a more effective killing contact with Cu due to spreading of the bacterial suspension media.
Conclusion
The superhydrophilic Cu-dotted oxide coating surface provided an effective method of controlling bacterial growth and survival on contact surfaces and thus reduces the risk of infection and spread of bacteria-related diseases particularly in moist or wet environments.
doi:10.1186/1476-0711-9-25
PMCID: PMC2946264  PMID: 20843373
8.  Prevalence of Chlamydia infection among women visiting a gynaecology outpatient department: evaluation of an in-house PCR assay for detection of Chlamydia trachomatis 
Background
Screening women for Chlamydia trachomatis infection in developing countries is highly desirable because of asymptomatic infection. The existing diagnostic methods in developing countries are not effective and their sensitivity fall below 45.0% which leads to further spread of infection. There is an urgent need for improved and cost effective diagnostic tests that will reduce the burden of sexually transmitted infections in the developing world.
Methods
Prevalence of C. trachomatis infection among women visiting gynaecology department of Hindu Rao hospital in Delhi, India was determined using Roche Amplicor Multi Well Plate kit (MWP) as well as using in-house PCR assay. We used 593 endocervical swabs for clinical evaluation of the in-house developed assay against Direct Fluorescence Assay (DFA; Group I n = 274) and Roche Amplicor MWP kit (Group II, n = 319 samples) and determined the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV) of the in-house developed assay.
Results
We detected 23.0% positive cases and there was a higher representation of women aged 18-33 in this group. An in-house PCR assay was developed and evaluated by targeting unique sequence within the gyrA gene of C. trachomatis. Specificity of the reaction was confirmed by using genomic DNA of human and other STI related microorganisms as template. Assay is highly sensitive and can detect as low as 10 fg of C. trachomatis DNA. The resolved sensitivity of in-house PCR was 94.5% compared with 88.0% of DFA assay. The high specificity (98.4%) and sensitivity (97.1%) of the in-house assay against Roche kit and availability of test results within 3 hours allowed for immediate treatment and reduced the risk of potential onward transmission.
Conclusions
The in-house PCR method is cost effective (~ 20.0% of Roche assay) and hence could be a better alternative for routine diagnosis of genital infection by C. trachomatis to facilitate improved screening and treatment management.
doi:10.1186/1476-0711-9-24
PMCID: PMC2944303  PMID: 20822551
9.  Identification of Staphylococcus aureus: DNase and Mannitol salt agar improve the efficiency of the tube coagulase test 
Background
The ideal identification of Staphylococcus aureus clinical isolates requires a battery of tests and this is costly in resource limited settings. In many developing countries, the tube coagulase test is usually confirmatory for S. aureus and is routinely done using either human or sheep plasma. This study evaluated Mannitol salt agar and the deoxyribonuclease (DNase) test for improving the efficiency of the tube coagulase test in resource limited settings. The efficiency of human and sheep plasma with tube coagulase tests was also evaluated.
Methods
One hundred and eighty Gram positive, Catalase positive cocci occurring in pairs, short chains or clusters were subjected to growth on Mannitol salt agar, deoxyribonuclease and tube coagulase tests. Of these, isolates that were positive for at least two of the three tests (n = 60) were used to evaluate the performance of the tube coagulase test for identification of S. aureus, using PCR-amplification of the nuc gene as a gold standard.
Results
Human plasma was more sensitive than sheep plasma for the tube coagulase test (sensitivity of 91% vs. 81% respectively), but both plasmas had very low specificity (11% and 7% respectively). The sensitivity and specificity of the tube coagulase test (human plasma) was markedly improved when Mannitol salt agar and DNase were introduced as a tri-combination test for routine identification of Staphylococcus aureus (100% specificity and 75% sensitivity). The specificity and sensitivity of Mannitol salt agar/DNase/tube coagulase (sheep plasma) combination was 100% and 67%, respectively.
Conclusion
The efficiency of the tube coagulase test can be markedly improved by sequel testing of the isolates with Mannitol salt agar, DNase and Tube coagulase. There is no single phenotypic test (including tube coagulase) that can guarantee reliable results in the identification of Staphylococcus aureus.
doi:10.1186/1476-0711-9-23
PMCID: PMC2927478  PMID: 20707914
10.  Primary resistance to clarithromycin, metronidazole and amoxicillin of Helicobacter pylori isolated from Tunisian patients with peptic ulcers and gastritis: a prospective multicentre study 
Background
The frequency of primary resistance to antibiotics in H. pylori isolates is increasing worldwide. In Tunisia, there are limited data regarding the pattern of H. pylori antibiotic primary resistance.
Aim
To evaluate the primary resistance of H. pylori to clarithromycin, metronidazole and amoxicillin and to detect the mutations involved in clarithromycin resistance.
Materials and methods
273 strains isolated from adults and children were enrolled. The primary resistance to clarithromycin, metronidazole and amoxicillin was evaluated by means of E-test minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC). The real-time PCR using Scorpion primers was performed in all cases to assess clarithromycin primary resistance and point mutations involved.
Results
No resistance to amoxicillin was detected. For adults, resistance to clarithromycin and metronidazole was found respectively in 14.6% and 56.8%, and respectively in 18.8% and 25% in children. Overall, the rates of global primary resistance to clarithromycin and metronidazole in Tunisia were respectively determined in 15.4% and 51.3%.
By the use of Scorpion PCR, the A2143G was the most frequent point mutation observed (88.1%), followed by the A2142G (11.9%); the A2142C was not found and 18 of 42 patients (42.8%) were infected by both the resistant and the susceptible genotype.
The association of clarithromycin resistance with gender was not statistically significant, but metronidazole resistant strains were isolated more frequently in females (67.8%) than in males (32.2%) and the difference was significant. As for gastroduodenal diseases, the difference between strains isolated from patients with peptic ulceration and those with non peptic ulceration was not statistically significant. When about the distribution of resistant strains to clarithromycin and metronidazole between the three Tunisian cities (Tunis, Menzel Bourguiba and Mahdia), the difference was not statistically significant.
Conclusion
Local data regarding the primary resistance of H. pylori to clarithromycin, metronidazole and amoxicillin and the main genetic mutation involved in clarithromycin resistance in vivo (A2143G) are necessary to prove a clear need for a periodic evaluation of antibiotic consumption and new therapeutic strategies in Tunisia in order to avoid the emergence of resistant strains.
doi:10.1186/1476-0711-9-22
PMCID: PMC2928169  PMID: 20707901
11.  Rapid detection of Pseudomonas aeruginosa from positive blood cultures by quantitative PCR 
Background
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is responsible for numerous bloodstream infections associated with severe adverse outcomes in case of inappropriate initial antimicrobial therapy. The present study was aimed to develop a novel quantitative PCR (qPCR) assay, using ecfX as the specific target gene, for the rapid and accurate identification of P. aeruginosa from positive blood cultures (BCs).
Methods
Over the period August 2008 to June 2009, 100 BC bottles positive for gram-negative bacilli were tested in order to evaluate performances of the qPCR technique with conventional methods as gold standard (i.e. culture and phenotypic identification).
Results
Thirty-three strains of P. aeruginosa, 53 strains of Enterobactericaeae, nine strains of Stenotrophomonas maltophilia and two other gram-negative species were isolated while 3 BCs were polymicrobial including one mixture containing P. aeruginosa. All P. aeruginosa clinical isolates were detected by qPCR except a single strain in mixed culture. Performances of the qPCR technique were: specificity, 100%; positive predictive value, 100%; negative predictive value, 98.5%; and sensitivity, 97%.
Conclusions
This reliable technique may offer a rapid (<1.5 h) tool that would help clinicians to initiate an appropriate treatment earlier. Further investigations are needed to assess the clinical benefit of this novel strategy as compared to phenotypic methods.
doi:10.1186/1476-0711-9-21
PMCID: PMC2928764  PMID: 20684778
12.  The need for continued monitoring of antibiotic resistance patterns in clinical isolates of Staphylococcus aureus from London and Malta 
Background
Antibiotic resistance is an increasing problem in isolates of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) worldwide. In 2001 The National Health Service in the UK introduced a mandatory bacteraemia surveillance scheme for the reporting of S. aureus and methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA). This surveillance initiative reports on the percentage of isolates that are methicillin resistant. However, resistance to other antibiotics is not currently reported and therefore the scale of emerging resistance is currently unclear in the UK. In this study, multiple antibiotic resistance (MAR) profiles against fourteen antimicrobial drugs were investigated for 705 isolates of S. aureus collected from two European study sites in the UK (London) and Malta.
Results
All isolates were susceptible to linezolid, teicoplanin and vancomycin. Multiple antibiotic resistance profiles from both countries were determined, a total of forty-two and forty-five profiles were seen in the UK cohort (MRSA and MSSA respectively) and comparatively, sixty-two and fifty-two profiles were shown in the Maltese group. The largest MAR profile contained six antibiotics (penicillin G, methicillin, erythromycin, ciprofloxacin, clindamycin and clarithromycin) and was observed in the MRSA isolates in both the UK and Maltese cohorts.
Conclusion
The data presented here suggests that the monitoring of changing resistance profiles locally in maintaining treatment efficacy to resistant pathogens.
doi:10.1186/1476-0711-9-20
PMCID: PMC2914044  PMID: 20663145
13.  Frequency of conjugative transfer of plasmid-encoded ISEcp1 - blaCTX-M-15 and aac(6')-lb-cr genes in Enterobacteriaceae at a tertiary care center in Lebanon - role of transferases 
Background
The frequency of transfer of genes encoding resistance to antimicrobial agents was determined by conjugation in ESBL-producing and/or fluoroquinolone or aminoglycoside resistant Enterobacteriaceae clinical isolates at a tertiary care center in Lebanon. In addition, the role of tra genes encoding transferases in mediating conjugation was assessed.
Methods
Conjugation experiments were done on 53 ESBL-producing and/or fluoroquinolone resistant E. coli and K. pneumoniae and ESBL-producing S. sonnei isolates. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing on parent and transconjugant isolates, and PCR amplifications on plasmid extracts of the resistance-encoding genes: blaCTX-M-15 with the ISEcp1 insertion sequence, the aac(6')-lb-cr and qnrS genes, as well as tra encoding transferases genes were done. Random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis was performed to demonstrate whether conjugative isolates are clonal and whether they are linked epidemiologically to a particular source.
Results
Antimicrobial susceptibility testing on transconjugants revealed that 26 out of 53 (49%) ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae were able to transfer antimicrobial resistance to the recipients. Transfer of high-level resistance to the transconjugants encoded by the blaCTX-M-15 gene downstream the ISEcp1 insertion sequence against 3rd generation cephalosporins, and of low-level resistance against ciprofloxacin, and variable levels of resistance against aminoglycosides encoded by aac(6')-lb-cr gene, were observed in transconjugants. tra encoding transferase genes were detected exclusively in conjugative isolates.
Conclusion
In conclusion, the frequency of transfer of antimicrobial resistance in non clonal Enterobacteriaceae at the tertiary care center by conjugation was 49%. Conjugation occurred in isolates expressing the tra encoding transferase genes. Multiple conjugative strains harboring the plasmid encoded antimicrobial resistant genes were circulating in the medical center. Molecular epidemiology analysis showed that conjugative isolates are neither clonal nor linked to a particular site and transfer of antimicrobial resistance is by horizontal transfer of plasmids.
doi:10.1186/1476-0711-9-19
PMCID: PMC2919444  PMID: 20646305
14.  A diagnostic PCR assay for the detection of an Australian epidemic strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa 
Background
Chronic lung infection with the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa is one of the hallmarks of cystic fibrosis (CF) and is associated with worsening lung function, increased hospitalisation and reduced life expectancy. A virulent clonal strain of P. aeruginosa (Australian epidemic strain I; AES-I) has been found to be widespread in CF patients in eastern Australia.
Methods
Suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) was employed to identify genetic sequences that are present in the AES-I strain but absent from the sequenced reference strain PAO1. We used PCR to evaluate the distribution of several of the AES-I loci amongst a collection of 188 P. aeruginosa isolates which was comprised of 35 AES-I isolates (as determined by PFGE), 78 non-AES-I CF isolates including other epidemic CF strains as well as 69 P. aeruginosa isolates from other clinical and environmental sources.
Results
We have identified a unique AES-I genetic locus that is present in all 35 AES-I isolates tested and not present in any of the other 153 P. aeruginosa strains examined. We have used this unique AES-I locus to develop a diagnostic PCR and a real-time PCR assay to detect the presence of P. aeruginosa and AES-I in patient sputum samples.
Conclusions
We have developed diagnostic PCR assays that are 100% sensitive and 100% specific for the P. aeruginosa strain AES-I. We have also shown that Whatman FTA® Elute cards may be used with PCR-based assays to rapidly detect the presence of P. aeruginosa strains in CF sputum.
doi:10.1186/1476-0711-9-18
PMCID: PMC2912777  PMID: 20637114
15.  Dissemination of multidrug resistant Acinetobacter baumannii in various hospitals of Antananarivo Madagascar 
This study reports the dissemination of multidrug-resistant (MDR) OXA-23-producing Acinetobacter baumannii clones in hospitals in Antananarivo, Madagascar. A total of 53 carbapenem-resistant A. baumannii isolates were obtained from September 2006 to March 2009 in five hospitals. These resistant strains represent 44% of all A. baumannii isolates. The double disk synergy test was performed to screen for production of metallo-beta-lactamases. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and DNA sequencing were performed for the detection of bla(AmpC), bla(OXA-51),bla(OXA-23), bla(OXA-24), bla(IMP), bla(VIM). The presence of the insertion sequence ISAba1 relative to blaOXA-23 and blaOXA-51 was assessed by PCR. Isolates were typed by Rep-PCR. All the isolates were MDR and produced the OXA-23 carbapenemase, which was confirmed by sequencing. PCR analysis for AmpC and OXA-51 gave positive results for all strains studied. No isolates produced metallo-beta-lactamases. In all isolates ISAba1 laid upstream of blaOXA-23. The A. baumannii isolates were separated into two genotypes; genotype A had a higher prevalence (41 strains) than genotype B (12 strains). Genotype A was present in four hospitals, whilst genotype B had spread in two hospitals. The high frequency of MDR OXA-23-producing A. baumannii in various hospitals in Antananarivo is curious since carbapenems are not available in Madagascar, but it emphasises the need for infection control procedures and strict adherence to them to prevent the spread of these resistant organisms in Antananarivo and also the need to control the use of carbapenems in the future.
doi:10.1186/1476-0711-9-17
PMCID: PMC2910008  PMID: 20591154
16.  Antibiotic susceptibility of coagulase-negative staphylococci isolated from very low birth weight babies: comprehensive comparisons of bacteria at different stages of biofilm formation 
Background
Coagulase-negative staphylococci are major causes of bloodstream infections in very low birth weight babies cared for in Neonatal Intensive Care Units. The virulence of these bacteria is mainly due to their ability to form biofilms on indwelling medical devices. Biofilm-related infections often fail to respond to antibiotic chemotherapy guided by conventional antibiotic susceptibility tests.
Methods
Coagulase-negative staphylococcal blood culture isolates were grown in different phases relevant to biofilm formation: planktonic cells at mid-log phase, planktonic cells at stationary phase, adherent monolayers and mature biofilms and their susceptibilities to conventional antibiotics were assessed. The effects of oxacillin, gentamicin, and vancomycin on preformed biofilms, at the highest achievable serum concentrations were examined. Epifluorescence microscopy and confocal laser scanning microscopy in combination with bacterial viability staining and polysaccharide staining were used to confirm the stimulatory effects of antibiotics on biofilms.
Results
Most coagulase-negative staphylococcal clinical isolates were resistant to penicillin G (100%), gentamicin (83.3%) and oxacillin (91.7%) and susceptible to vancomycin (100%), ciprofloxacin (100%), and rifampicin (79.2%). Bacteria grown as adherent monolayers showed similar susceptibilities to their planktonic counterparts at mid-log phase. Isolates in a biofilm growth mode were more resistant to antibiotics than both planktonic cultures at mid-log phase and adherent monolayers; however they were equally resistant or less resistant than planktonic cells at stationary phase. Moreover, for some cell-wall active antibiotics, concentrations higher than conventional MICs were required to prevent the establishment of planktonic cultures from biofilms. Finally, the biofilm-growth of two S. capitis isolates could be enhanced by oxacillin at the highest achievable serum concentration.
Conclusion
We conclude that the resistance of coagulase-negative staphylococci to multiple antibiotics initially remain similar when the bacteria shift from a planktonic growth mode into an early attached mode, then increase significantly as the adherent mode further develops. Furthermore, preformed biofilms of some CoNS are enhanced by oxacillin in a dose-dependent manner.
doi:10.1186/1476-0711-9-16
PMCID: PMC2902406  PMID: 20504376
17.  Hospital infection after major amputations 
The aim of the current study was to evaluate the prevalence of stump infections after major amputations of the lower extremities.
Patients rehospitalized in Hospital de Base of the Medicine School in São José do Rio Preto in the period from January 2005 to January 2007 due to stump infection after major amputations of lower extremities were evaluated in a retrospective study. All the patients underwent prophylactic antibiotic therapy at the time of the surgery. The Fisher exact test was utilized for statistical analysis with an alpha error of 5% (p-value < 0.05) being considered acceptable.
A total of 231 patients were submitted to major amputations during this period and 17 (7.3%) were rehospitalized due to amputation stump infections of which 5 (29.4%) died within one month. The association between death due to stump infection and other causes of death during rehospitalizations was not significant (Fisher exact test: p < 0.1). However, death during rehospitalizations was significantly higher than in the initial hospitalization.
doi:10.1186/1476-0711-9-15
PMCID: PMC2887772  PMID: 20482827
18.  A fast and highly sensitive blood culture PCR method for clinical detection of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi 
Background
Salmonella Typhi causes an estimated 21 million new cases of typhoid fever and 216,000 deaths every year. Blood culture is currently the gold standard for diagnosis of typhoid fever, but it is time-consuming and takes several days for isolation and identification of causative organisms. It is then too late to initiate proper antibiotic therapy. Serological tests have very low sensitivity and specificity, and no practical value in endemic areas. As early diagnosis of the disease and prompt treatment are essential for optimal management, especially in children, a rapid sensitive detection method for typhoid fever is urgently needed. Although PCR is sensitive and rapid, initial research indicated similar sensitivity to blood culture and lower specificity. We developed a fast and highly sensitive blood culture PCR method for detection of Salmonella Typhi, allowing same-day initiation of treatment after accurate diagnosis of typhoid.
Methods
An ox bile tryptone soy broth was optimized for blood culture, which allows the complete lysis of blood cells to release intracellular bacteria without inhibiting the growth of Salmonella Typhi. Using the optimised broth Salmonella Typhi bacteria in artificial blood samples were enriched in blood culture and then detected by a PCR targeting the fliC-d gene of Salmonella Typhi.
Results
Tests demonstrated that 2.4% ox bile in blood culture not only lyzes blood cells completely within 1.5 hours so that the intracellular bacteria could be released, but also has no inhibiting effect on the growth of Salmonella Typhi.
Three hour enrichment of Salmonella Typhi in tryptone soya broth containing 2.4% ox bile could increase the bacterial number from 0.75 CFU per millilitre of blood which is similar to clinical typhoid samples to the level which regular PCR can detect. The whole blood culture PCR assay takes less than 8 hours to complete rather than several days for conventional blood culture.
Conclusions
This novel blood culture PCR method is superior in speed and sensitivity to both conventional blood culture and PCR assays. Its use in clinical diagnosis may allow early detection of the causative organism and facilitate initiation of prompt treatment among patients with typhoid fever.
doi:10.1186/1476-0711-9-14
PMCID: PMC2873252  PMID: 20403166
19.  Antimicrobial resistance of H. pylori to the outcome of 10-days vs. 7-days Moxifloxacin based therapy for the eradication: a randomized controlled trial 
Introduction
Antibiotic resistance decreases success of Helicobacter pylori (Hp) eradication. Recently published results show low rate of resistance and better compliance with moxifloxacin based regiments.
Aims&methods
Whether 7 days moxifloxacin with lansoprasole and amoxycillin can be compared with 10 days moxifloxacin with lansoprasole and amoxycillin according to moxifloxacin resistance. Patients with non-ulcer dyspepsia who had culture and histology positive Hp infection (n = 150) were randomly assigned into two groups. The first group (n = 75) received moxifloxacin 400 mg/d during 7 days and the other (n = 75) received moxifloxacin 400 mg/d during 10 days. All patients received amoxycillin 1 g twice daily, lansoprasole 30 mg twice daily. All Hp cultures were tested for sensitivity to moxifloxacin.
Results
138 patients (92%) completed the study, 68 in the first group and 70 in the second. Eradication rates were 84% (57/68) and 76% (57/75) in the 7 days moxifloxacin group and 90% and 84% in the second group (63/70, 63/75) according to the PP and ITT analysis; p = n.s. Among 129 patients (86% of study group), 6% of strains were primary resistant to moxifloxacin.
Eradication of moxifloxacin sensitive/resistant strains was 98%/66%, p < 0.05
Conclusion
According to our results we recommend 7 days moxiflixacin based triple therapy.
doi:10.1186/1476-0711-9-13
PMCID: PMC2867970  PMID: 20398300
20.  Antimicrobial resistance in equine faecal Escherichia coli isolates from North West England 
Background
Escherichia coli isolates of equine faecal origin were investigated for antibiotic resistance, resistance genes and their ability to perform horizontal transfer.
Methods
In total, 264 faecal samples were collected from 138 horses in hospital and community livery premises in northwest England, yielding 296 resistant E. coli isolates. Isolates were tested for susceptibility to antimicrobial drugs by disc diffusion and agar dilution methods in order to determine minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC). PCR amplification was used to detect genes conferring resistance to: ampicillin (TEM and SHV beta-lactamase), chloramphenicol (catI, catII, catIII and cml), tetracycline (tetA, tetB, tetC, tetD, tet E and tetG), and trimethoprim (dfrA1, dfrA9, dfrA12, dfrA13, dfr7, and dfr17).
Results
The proportion of antibiotic resistant isolates, and multidrug resistant isolates (MDR) was significantly higher in hospital samples compared to livery samples (MDR: 48% of hospital isolates; 12% of livery isolates, p < 0.001). Resistance to ciprofloxacin and florfenicol were identified mostly within the MDR phenotypes. Resistance genes included dfr, TEM beta-lactamase, tet and cat, conferring resistance to trimethoprim, ampicillin, tetracycline and chloramphenicol, respectively. Within each antimicrobial resistance group, these genes occurred at frequencies of 93% (260/279), 91%, 86.8% and 73.5%, respectively; with 115/296 (38.8%) found to be MDR isolates. Conjugation experiments were performed on selected isolates and MDR phenotypes were readily transferred.
Conclusions
Our findings demonstrate that E. coli of equine faecal origin are commonly resistant to antibiotics used in human and veterinary medicine. Furthermore, our results suggest that most antibiotic resistance observed in equine E. coli is encoded by well-known and well-characterized resistant genes common to E. coli from man and domestic animals. These data support the ongoing concern about antimicrobial resistance, MDR, antimicrobial use in veterinary medicine and the zoonotic risk that horses could potentially pose to public health.
doi:10.1186/1476-0711-9-12
PMCID: PMC2867969  PMID: 20374640
21.  Multidrug resistant yeasts in synanthropic wild birds 
Background
The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of multidrug resistant yeasts in the faeces of synanthropic wild birds from the Bangsar suburb of Kuala Lumpur.
Methods
Species characterisations of yeast isolates and determinations of antimycotic susceptibility profiles were undertaken using the commercial characterization kit, Integral System Yeasts Plus (Liofilchem, Italy).
Results
Fourteen species of yeasts were detected in the bird faecal samples.Candida albicans was present in 28.89% of bird faecal samples, Candida krusei (13.33%), Candida tropicalis (4.44%), Candida glabrata (4.44%), Candida parapsilosis (2.22%), Candida lambica (2.22%), Candida stellatoidea (2.22%), Candida rugosa (2.22%) and Candida lusitaniae (2.22%). Amongst the non-candidal yeast isolates, Cryptococcus laurentii was present in 6.67% of bird faecal samples, Cryptococcus uniguttulatus (4.44%), Saccharomyces cerevisiae (4.44%), Trichosporon pullulans (2.22%), Trichosporon pullulans/Cryptococcus albidus (8.89%) and Rhodotorula rubra/Rhodotorula glutinis (4.44%). Of the isolated yeasts, 18.1% (or 26/144) were found to be resistant to all 11 antimycotic agents they were tested against i.e. Nystatin, Amphotericin B, Flucytosine, Econazole, Ketoconazole, Clotrimazole, Miconazole, Itraconazole, Voriconazole, Fluconazole 16 and Fluconazole 64. 45.8% (or 66/144) of the bird faecal yeast isolates were resistant to four or more of the 11 antimycotic agents they were tested against.
Conclusions
This finding is of public health significance as these synanthropic wild birds may be reservoirs for transmission of drug resistant yeast infections to humans.
doi:10.1186/1476-0711-9-11
PMCID: PMC2852373  PMID: 20307325
22.  Prevalence of Helicobacter pylori vacA, cagA, iceA and oipA genotypes in Tunisian patients 
Background
Distinct virulence factors of H. pylori have been described: the vaculating cytotoxin (vacA), the cytotoxin associated gene (cagA), the induced by contact with epithelium factor Antigen (iceA gene) and the outer membrane protein oipA. In Tunisia, there are no data regarding the pattern of H. pylori genotypes; therefore, this prospective and multicentre study was the first to be done in Tunisia and aimed to investigate the prevalence of the vacA, cagA, iceA and oipA genotypes of H. pylori isolates from Tunisian patients with peptic ulceration, gastric cancer, MALT lymphoma and gastritis.
Methods
H. pylori was cultured from endoscopic biopsies obtained from 281 Tunisian patients. The vacA alleles, cagA, iceA and oipA genotypes were determined by PCR.
Results
The vacA s1m1, s1m2 and s2m2 were respectively found in 10.7%, 12.5% and 45.6% of strains. The s2m1 genotype was not detected in our study. The cagA was found in 61.6% of isolates. The iceA1 and the iceA2 genotypes were respectively isolated in 60.2% and in 16% of strains. The oipA genotype was detected in 90.8% of strains. Considering the vacA and iceA genotypes, the presence of multiple H. pylori strains in a single biopsy specimen was found respectively in 31.4% and 23.8%. The comparison between strains isolated from antrum and fundus showed that Tunisian patients were infected with two or more strains of different cagA, vacA, iceA and oipA genotypes and the discordance was respectively in 9.6%, 4.6%, 8.9% and 8.5% of strains.
Conclusion
Our results showed that in 46% (131 strains among 281), the H. pylori strains were highly virulent in relation of the three or four virulent factors they could carry. These finding were described before in the literature. Tunisian patients were colonized by one or multiple strains of H. pylori in the same time in relation of presence of vacA m1/m2 and iceA1/iceA2 in the same biopsy. The discordance between strains isolated from antrum and fundus was high, and it is in favour of multicolonization.
doi:10.1186/1476-0711-9-10
PMCID: PMC2855517  PMID: 20302630
23.  Daptomycin for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus epidermidis native-valve endocarditis: a case report 
Coagulase-negative staphylococci (CoNS) have been increasing in importance as a cause of native valve endocarditis (NVE). Most cases of NVE caused by CoNS are attributable to Staphylococcus epidermidis. NVE caused by CoNS acquired in a nosocomial setting may differ from cases acquired in the community in several ways. It may be associated with hemodialysis, the presence of a long-term indwelling central catheter or pacemaker, or a recent invasive procedure; nosocomial cases may have a higher rate of methicillin resistance among CoNS isolates, and so be more likely to be treated with vancomycin. Unfortunately, NVE caused by methicillin-resistant CoNS has been associated with significantly higher rates of persistent bacteremia and in-hospital mortality than methicillin-susceptible isolates. The poor outcomes in these cases point to the need for alternative therapies with potent activity against methicillin-resistant CoNS. In our medical center, a 76-year-old man presented with native-valve endocarditis and positive blood cultures for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus epidermidis (MRSE). During each of three 6-week courses of treatment with vancomycin, blood cultures were negative, but they once again became positive for MRSE when vancomycin was discontinued. The minimum inhibitory concentration of the MRSE isolates for vancomycin remained stable at 2 μg/mL. Eventually, treatment with daptomycin was initiated (500 mg [7 mg/kg]) 3 times/week for 6 weeks. Over the following year, no positive cultures for MRSE were detected.
doi:10.1186/1476-0711-9-9
PMCID: PMC2836277  PMID: 20167084
24.  Spondylodiscitis and an aortic aneurysm due to Campylobacter coli 
Campylobacter coli is a rare cause of bacteremia. We report here the first case of C.coli spondylodiscitis complicated by an aortic aneurysm. Outcome was favourable with surgery and antibiotic therapy.
doi:10.1186/1476-0711-9-8
PMCID: PMC2828987  PMID: 20132561
25.  In vitro antifungal activity of hydroxychavicol isolated from Piper betle L 
Background
Hydroxychavicol, isolated from the chloroform extraction of the aqueous leaf extract of Piper betle L., (Piperaceae) was investigated for its antifungal activity against 124 strains of selected fungi. The leaves of this plant have been long in use tropical countries for the preparation of traditional herbal remedies.
Methods
The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum fungicidal concentration (MFC) of hydroxychavicol were determined by using broth microdilution method following CLSI guidelines. Time kill curve studies, post-antifungal effects and mutation prevention concentrations were determined against Candida species and Aspergillus species "respectively". Hydroxychavicol was also tested for its potential to inhibit and reduce the formation of Candida albicans biofilms. The membrane permeability was measured by the uptake of propidium iodide.
Results
Hydroxychavicol exhibited inhibitory effect on fungal species of clinical significance, with the MICs ranging from 15.62 to 500 μg/ml for yeasts, 125 to 500 μg/ml for Aspergillus species, and 7.81 to 62.5 μg/ml for dermatophytes where as the MFCs were found to be similar or two fold greater than the MICs. There was concentration-dependent killing of Candida albicans and Candida glabrata up to 8 × MIC. Hydroxychavicol also exhibited an extended post antifungal effect of 6.25 to 8.70 h at 4 × MIC for Candida species and suppressed the emergence of mutants of the fungal species tested at 2 × to 8 × MIC concentration. Furthermore, it also inhibited the growth of biofilm generated by C. albicans and reduced the preformed biofilms. There was increased uptake of propidium iodide by C. albicans cells when exposed to hydroxychavicol thus indicating that the membrane disruption could be the probable mode of action of hydroxychavicol.
Conclusions
The antifungal activity exhibited by this compound warrants its use as an antifungal agent particularly for treating topical infections, as well as gargle mouthwash against oral Candida infections.
doi:10.1186/1476-0711-9-7
PMCID: PMC2841090  PMID: 20128889

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