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1.  Mechanisms Accounting for Fluoroquinolone Resistance in Escherichia coli Clinical Isolates▿  
Fluoroquinolone MICs are increased through the acquisition of chromosomal mutations in the genes encoding gyrase (gyrA and gyrB) and topoisomerase IV (parC and parE), increased levels of the multidrug efflux pump AcrAB, and the plasmid-borne genes aac(6′)-Ib-cr and the qnr variants in Escherichia coli. In the accompanying report, we found that ciprofloxacin, gatifloxacin, levofloxacin, and norfloxacin MICs for fluoroquinolone-resistant E. coli clinical isolates were very high and widely varied (L. Becnel Boyd, M. J. Maynard, S. K. Morgan-Linnell, L. B. Horton, R. Sucgang, R. J. Hamill, J. Rojo Jimenez, J. Versalovic, D. Steffen, and L. Zechiedrich, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 53:229-234, 2009). Here, we sequenced gyrA, gyrB, parC, and parE; screened for aac(6′)-Ib-cr and qnrA; and quantified AcrA levels in E. coli isolates for which patient sex, age, location, and site of infection were known. We found that (i) all fluoroquinolone-resistant isolates had gyrA mutations; (ii) ∼85% of gyrA mutants also had parC mutations; (iii) the ciprofloxacin and norfloxacin MICs for isolates harboring aac(6′)-Ib-cr (∼23%) were significantly higher, but the gatifloxacin and levofloxacin MICs were not; (iv) no isolate had qnrA; and (v) ∼33% of the fluoroquinolone-resistant isolates had increased AcrA levels. Increased AcrA correlated with nonsusceptibility to the fluoroquinolones but did not correlate with nonsusceptibility to any other antimicrobial agents reported from hospital antibiograms. Known mechanisms accounted for the fluoroquinolone MICs of 50 to 70% of the isolates; the remaining included isolates for which the MICs were up to 1,500-fold higher than expected. Thus, additional, unknown fluoroquinolone resistance mechanisms must be present in some clinical isolates.
PMCID: PMC2612180  PMID: 18838592
2.  Restoration of Susceptibility of Intracellular Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus to β-Lactams: Comparison of Strains, Cells, and Antibiotics▿ †  
Staphylococcus aureus invades eukaryotic cells. When methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) ATCC 33591 is phagocytized by human THP-1 macrophages, complete restoration of susceptibility to cloxacillin and meropenem is shown and the strain becomes indistinguishable from MSSA ATCC 25923 due to the acid pH prevailing in phagolysosomes (S. Lemaire et al., Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 51:1627-1632, 2007). We examined whether this observation can be extended to (i) strains of current clinical and epidemiological interest (three hospital-acquired MRSA [HA-MRSA] strains, two community-acquired MRSA [CA-MRSA] strains, two HA-MRSA strains with the vancomycin-intermediate phenotype, one HA-MRSA strain with the vancomycin-resistant phenotype, and one animal [porcine] MRSA strain), (ii) activated THP-1 cells and nonprofessional phagocytes (keratinocytes, Calu-3 bronchial epithelial cells), and (iii) other β-lactams (imipenem, oxacillin, cefuroxime, cefepime). All strains showed (i) a marked reduction in MICs in broth at pH 5.5 compared with the MIC at pH 7.4 and (ii) sigmoidal dose-response curves with cloxacillin (0.01× to 100× MIC, 24 h of incubation) after phagocytosis by THP-1 macrophages that were indistinguishable from each other and from the dose-response curve for methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) ATCC 25923 (relative potency [50% effect], 6.09× MIC [95% confidence interval {CI}, 4.50 to 8.25]; relative efficacy [change in bacterial counts over the original inoculum for an infinitely large cloxacillin concentration, or maximal effect], −0.69 log CFU [95% CI, −0.79 to −0.58]). Similar dose-response curves for cloxacillin were also observed with MSSA ATCC 25923 and MRSA ATCC 33591 after phagocytosis by activated THP-1 macrophages, keratinocytes, and Calu-3 cells. By contrast, there was a lower level of restoration of susceptibility of MRSA ATCC 33591 to cefuroxime and cefepime after phagocytosis by THP-1 macrophages, even when the data were normalized for differences in MICs. We conclude that the restoration of MRSA susceptibility to β-lactams after phagocytosis is independent of the strain and the types of cells but varies between β-lactams.
PMCID: PMC2493141  PMID: 18519727
3.  Production of Enterocins L50A, L50B, and IT, a New Enterocin, by Enterococcus faecium IT62, a Strain Isolated from Italian Ryegrass in Japan▿  
Enterococcus faecium IT62, isolated from ryegrass in Japan, was shown to produce three different bacteriocins, two of which had molecular masses and amino acid sequences that corresponded to those of enterocin L50A and enterocin L50B. These peptides existed, however, as chemically modified forms that were either N formylated or N formylated and oxidized at Met24. The third bacteriocin, named enterocin IT, had a molecular mass of 6,390 Da, was made up of 54 amino acids, and did not correspond to any known bacteriocin. However, enterocin IT was identical to the C-terminal part of the 16-amino-acid-longer bacteriocin 32 (T. Inoue, H. Tomita, and Y. Ike, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother., 50:1202-1212, 2006). For the first time, the antimicrobial activity spectra for enterocins L50A and L50B were determined separately and included a wide range of gram-positive bacteria but also a few gram-negative strains that were weakly sensitive. Slight differences in the activities of enterocins L50A and L50B were observed, as gram-positive bacteria showed an overall higher level of sensitivity to L50A than to L50B, as opposed to gram-negative ones. Conversely, enterocin IT showed a very narrow antimicrobial spectrum that was limited to E. faecium strains, one strain of Bacillus subtilis, and one strain of Lactococcus lactis. This study showed that E. faecium IT62, a grass-borne strain, produces bacteriocins with very different activity features and structures that may be found in strains associated with food or those of clinical origin, which demonstrates that a particular enterocin structure may be widespread and not related to the producer's origin.
PMCID: PMC2415771  PMID: 18391036
4.  Drug-Regulated Expression of Plasmodium falciparum P-Glycoprotein Homologue 1: a Putative Role for Nuclear Receptors▿  
Acquired resistance to therapeutic agents is a major clinical concern in the prevention/treatment of malaria. The parasite has developed resistance to specific drugs through two mechanisms: mutations in target proteins such as dihydrofolate reductase and the bc1 complex for antifolates and nathoquinones, respectively, and alterations in predicted parasite transporter molecules such as P-glycoprotein homologue 1 (Pgh1) and Plasmodium falciparum CRT (PfCRT). Alterations in the expression of Pgh1 have been associated with modified susceptibility to a range of unrelated drugs. The molecular mechanism(s) that is responsible for this phenotype is unknown. We have shown previously (A. M. Ndifor, R. E. Howells, P. G. Bray, J. L. Ngu, and S. A. Ward, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 37:1318-1323, 2003) that the anticonvulsant phenobarbitone (PB) can induce reduced susceptibility to chloroquine (CQ) in P. falciparum, and in the current study, we provide the first evidence for a molecular mechanism underlying this phenomenon. We demonstrate that pretreatment with PB can elicit decreased susceptibility to CQ in both CQ-resistant and CQ-sensitive parasite lines and that this is associated with the increased expression of the drug transporter Pgh1 but not PfCRT. Furthermore, we have investigated the proximal promoter regions from both pfmdr1 and pfcrt and identified a number of putative binding sites for nuclear receptors with sequence similarities to regions known to be activated by PB in mammals. Whole-genome analysis has revealed a putative nuclear receptor gene, providing the first evidence that nuclear receptor-mediated responses to drug exposure may be a mechanism of gene regulation in P. falciparum.
PMCID: PMC2292565  PMID: 18195056
11.  Smqnr, a New Chromosome-Carried Quinolone Resistance Gene in Stenotrophomonas maltophilia▿  
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2008;52(10):3823-3825.
A new chromosome-carried quinolone resistance gene from Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, Smqnr, was characterized. The gene was present in type strain CCUG 5866 and was also detected in 24 clinical isolates and showed some allelic diversity. The expression of Smqnr in Escherichia coli decreased the susceptibilities of the E. coli isolates to several fluoroquinolones.
PMCID: PMC2565915  PMID: 18644963
15.  Antifungal Activity of Caspofungin in Combination with Amphotericin B against Candida glabrata: Comparison of Disk Diffusion, Etest, and Time-Kill Methods▿  
The in vitro activities of caspofungin plus amphotericin B against 50 Candida glabrata isolates were evaluated by the time-kill, disk diffusion, and Etest methods. In vitro experiments showed a positive interaction. Even though each of these methods uses different conditions and endpoints, the results of the different methods frequently agreed.
PMCID: PMC2630607  PMID: 19029317
22.  Genome Size and Antibiotic Resistance  
PMCID: PMC2443919  PMID: 18577753
23.  Interactions of DB75, a Novel Antimalarial Agent, with Other Antimalarial Drugs In Vitro▿  
Pafuramidine is a novel orally active antimalarial. To identify a combination partner, we measured the in vitro antimalarial activities of the active metabolite, DB75, with amodiaquine, artemisinin, atovaquone, azithromycin, chloroquine, clindamycin, mefloquine, piperaquine, pyronaridine, tafenoquine, and tetracycline. None of the drugs tested demonstrated antagonistic or synergistic activity in combination with pafuramidine.
PMCID: PMC2415804  PMID: 18362196

Results 1-25 (788)