Publications by authors named "Peter A Lambert"

35 Publications

A Revised Understanding of Clostridioides difficile Spore Germination.

Trends Microbiol 2020 09 23;28(9):744-752. Epub 2020 Apr 23.

Aston University, School of Life and Health Sciences, Birmingham B4 7ET, UK.

The dormant resistant spores of Clostridioides difficile are transformed into metabolically active cells through the process of germination. Spore germination in C. difficile is regulated by the detection of bile salt germinants and amino acid cogerminants by pseudoproteases CspC and CspA, respectively. The germinant signal is transduced to the serine protease CspB, which processes the cortex lytic enzyme SleC, leading to degradation of the spore cortex peptidoglycan and subsequent reactivation of the spore. Divergent C. difficile germination models have been proposed to explain interactions between key regulators and transduction of germinant and cogerminant signals. This review summarises advances in understanding C. difficile germination and outlines current models of germination regulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tim.2020.03.004DOI Listing
September 2020

Author Correction: Effect of Amoxicillin in combination with Imipenem-Relebactam against Mycobacterium abscessus.

Sci Rep 2020 Mar 6;10(1):4540. Epub 2020 Mar 6.

School of Life and Health Sciences, Aston University, Aston Triangle, B4 7ET, Birmingham, UK.

An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-61546-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7058606PMC
March 2020

Effect of Amoxicillin in combination with Imipenem-Relebactam against Mycobacterium abscessus.

Sci Rep 2020 Jan 27;10(1):928. Epub 2020 Jan 27.

School of Life and Health Sciences, Aston University, Aston Triangle, B4 7ET, Birmingham, UK.

Infections caused by Mycobacterium abscessus are increasing in prevalence in cystic fibrosis patients. This opportunistic pathogen's intrinsic resistance to most antibiotics has perpetuated an urgent demand for new, more effective therapeutic interventions. Here we report a prospective advance in the treatment of M. abscessus infection; increasing the susceptibility of the organism to amoxicillin, by repurposing the β-lactamase inhibitor, relebactam, in combination with the front line M. abscessus drug imipenem. We establish by multiple in vitro methods that this combination works synergistically to inhibit M. abscessus. We also show the direct competitive inhibition of the M. abscessus β-lactamase, Bla, using a novel assay, which is validated kinetically using the nitrocefin reporter assay and in silico binding studies. Furthermore, we reverse the susceptibility by overexpressing Bla in M. abscessus, demonstrating relebactam-Bla target engagement. Finally, we highlight the in vitro efficacy of this combination against a panel of M. abscessus clinical isolates, revealing the therapeutic potential of the amoxicillin-imipenem-relebactam combination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-57844-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6985242PMC
January 2020

Anaerobiosis influences virulence properties of Pseudomonas aeruginosa cystic fibrosis isolates and the interaction with Staphylococcus aureus.

Sci Rep 2019 05 1;9(1):6748. Epub 2019 May 1.

School of Life and Health Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham, UK.

The airways of individuals with cystic fibrosis (CF) are abundantly colonised by Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Co-infecting hypoxic regions of static mucus within CF airways, together with decreases in pulmonary function, mucus plugging and oxygen consumption by host neutrophils gives rise to regions of anoxia. This study determined the impact of anaerobiosis upon S. aureus-P. aeruginosa interactions in planktonic co-culture and mixed species biofilms in vitro. Whilst anoxia reduced the ability for P. aeruginosa CF isolates to dominate over S. aureus, this occurred in an isolate dependent manner. Investigations into the underlying mechanisms suggest that the anti-staphylococcal compound facilitating P. aeruginosa dominance under normoxia and anoxia is greater than 3 kDa in size and is heat-stable. Not all interspecies interactions studied were antagonistic, as S. aureus exoproducts were shown to restore and enhance P. aeruginosa motility under normoxia and anoxia in an isolate dependent manner. Collectively, this study suggests changes in oxygen availability within regions of the CF lung is likely to influence interspecies interactions and in turn, potentially influence disease progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-42952-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6494883PMC
May 2019

Importance of Propionibacterium acnes hemolytic activity in human intervertebral discs: A microbiological study.

PLoS One 2018 29;13(11):e0208144. Epub 2018 Nov 29.

Central European Institute of Technology (CEITEC), Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic.

Most patients with chronic lower back pain (CLBP) exhibit degenerative disc disease. Disc specimens obtained during initial therapeutic discectomies are often infected/colonized with Propionibacterium acnes, a Gram-positive commensal of the human skin. Although pain associated with infection is typically ascribed to the body's inflammatory response, the Gram-positive bacterium Staphylococcus aureus was recently observed to directly activate nociceptors by secreting pore-forming α-hemolysins that disrupt neuronal cell membranes. The hemolytic activity of P. acnes in cultured disc specimens obtained during routine therapeutic discectomies was assessed through incubation on sheep-blood agar. The β-hemolysis pattern displayed by P. acnes on sheep-blood agar was variable and phylogroup-dependent. Their molecular phylogroups were correlated with their hemolytic patterns. Our findings raise the possibility that pore-forming proteins contribute to the pathogenesis and/or symptomology of chronic P. acnes disc infections and CLBP, at least in a subset of cases.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0208144PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6264842PMC
May 2019

Knowledge, perception and practice towards oxytocin stability and quality: A qualitative study of stakeholders in three resource-limited countries.

PLoS One 2018 25;13(9):e0203810. Epub 2018 Sep 25.

Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Background: Oxytocin is the gold standard drug for the prevention of postpartum haemorrhage, but limitations in cold chain systems in resource-constrained settings can severely compromise the quality of oxytocin product available in these environments. This study investigated the perspectives and practices of stakeholders in low and lower-middle income countries towards oxytocin, its storage requirements and associated barriers, and the quality of product available.

Methods: Qualitative inquiries were undertaken in Ethiopia, India and Myanmar, where data was collected through Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) and In-Depth Interviews (IDIs). A total of 12 FGDs and 106 IDIs were conducted with 158 healthcare providers (pharmacists, midwives, nurses, doctors and obstetricians) and 40 key informants (supply chain experts, program managers and policy-makers). Direct observations of oxytocin storage practices and cold chain resources were conducted at 51 healthcare facilities. Verbatim transcripts of FGDs and IDIs were translated to English and analysed according to a thematic content analysis framework.

Findings: Stakeholder awareness of oxytocin heat sensitivity and the requirement for cold storage of the drug was widespread in Ethiopia but more limited in Myanmar and India. A consistent finding across all study regions was the significant barriers to maintaining a consistent cold chain, with the lack of refrigeration facilities and unreliability of electricity cited as major challenges. Perceptions of compromised oxytocin quality were expressed by some stakeholders in each country.

Conclusion: Knowledge of the heat sensitivity of oxytocin and the potential impacts of inconsistent cold storage on product quality is not widespread amongst healthcare providers, policy makers and supply chain experts in Myanmar, Ethiopia and India. Targeted training and advocacy messages are warranted to emphasise the importance of cold storage to maintain oxytocin quality.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0203810PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6156023PMC
February 2019

Porphyromonas gingivalis gingipains cause defective macrophage migration towards apoptotic cells and inhibit phagocytosis of primary apoptotic neutrophils.

Cell Death Dis 2017 03 2;8(3):e2644. Epub 2017 Mar 2.

School of Life & Health Sciences and Aston Research Centre for Healthy Ageing, Aston University, Birmingham B4 7ET, UK.

Periodontal disease is a prevalent chronic inflammatory condition characterised by an aberrant host response to a pathogenic plaque biofilm resulting in local tissue damage and frustrated healing that can result in tooth loss. Cysteine proteases (gingipains) from the key periodontal pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis have been implicated in periodontal disease pathogenesis by inhibiting inflammation resolution and are linked with systemic chronic inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. Efficient clearance of apoptotic cells is essential for the resolution of inflammation and tissue restoration. Here we sought to characterise the innate immune clearance of apoptotic cells and its modulation by gingipains. We examined the capacity of gingipain-treated macrophages to migrate towards and phagocytose apoptotic cells. Lysine gingipain treatment of macrophages impaired macrophage migration towards apoptotic neutrophils. Furthermore, lysine gingipain treatment reduced surface expression levels of CD14, a key macrophage receptor for apoptotic cells, which resulted in reduced macrophage interactions with apoptotic cells. Additionally, while apoptotic cells and their derived secretome were shown to inhibit TNF-α-induced expression by P. gingivalis lipopolysaccharide, we demonstrated that gingipain preparations induced a rapid inflammatory response in macrophages that was resistant to the anti-inflammatory effects of apoptotic cells or their secretome. Taken together, these data indicate that P. gingivalis may promote the chronic inflammation seen in periodontal disease patients by multiple mechanisms, including rapid, potent gingipain-mediated inflammation, coupled with receptor cleavage leading to defective clearance of apoptotic cells and reduced anti-inflammatory responses. Thus, gingipains represent a potential therapeutic target for intervention in the management of chronic periodontal disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/cddis.2016.481DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5386511PMC
March 2017

The N-terminus of CD14 acts to bind apoptotic cells and confers rapid-tethering capabilities on non-myeloid cells.

PLoS One 2013 30;8(7):e70691. Epub 2013 Jul 30.

School of Life & Health Sciences & Aston Research Centre for Healthy Ageing, Aston University, Birmingham, United Kingdom.

Cell death and removal of cell corpses in a timely manner is a key event in both physiological and pathological situations including tissue homeostasis and the resolution of inflammation. Phagocytic clearance of cells dying by apoptosis is a complex sequential process comprising attraction, recognition, tethering, signalling and ultimately phagocytosis and degradation of cell corpses. A wide range of molecules acting as apoptotic cell-associated ligands, phagocyte-associated receptors or soluble bridging molecules have been implicated within this process. The role of myeloid cell CD14 in mediating apoptotic cell interactions with macrophages has long been known though key molecules and residues involved have not been defined. Here we sought to further dissect the function of CD14 in apoptotic cell clearance. A novel panel of THP-1 cell-derived phagocytes was employed to demonstrate that CD14 mediates effective apoptotic cell interactions with macrophages in the absence of detectable TLR4 whilst binding and responsiveness to LPS requires TLR4. Using a targeted series of CD14 point mutants expressed in non-myeloid cells we reveal CD14 residue 11 as key in the binding of apoptotic cells whilst other residues are reported as key for LPS binding. Importantly we note that expression of CD14 in non-myeloid cells confers the ability to bind rapidly to apoptotic cells. Analysis of a panel of epithelial cells reveals that a number naturally express CD14 and that this is competent to mediate apoptotic cell clearance. Taken together these data suggest that CD14 relies on residue 11 for apoptotic cell tethering and it may be an important tethering molecule on so called 'non-professional' phagocytes thus contributing to apoptotic cell clearance in a non-myeloid setting. Furthermore these data establish CD14 as a rapid-acting tethering molecule, expressed in monocytes, which may thus confer responsiveness of circulating monocytes to apoptotic cell derived material.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0070691PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3728300PMC
April 2014

A comparative study to evaluate surface microbial contamination associated with copper-containing and stainless steel pens used by nurses in the critical care unit.

Am J Infect Control 2011 Oct 12;39(8):e52-e54. Epub 2011 Jun 12.

University Hospitals Birmingham, National Health Service Foundation Trust, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital,. Electronic address:

A clinical study was undertaken to compare the surface microbial contamination associated with pens constructed of either a copper alloy or stainless steel used by nurses on intensive care units. A significantly lower level of microbial contamination was found on the copper alloy pens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajic.2010.12.012DOI Listing
October 2011

Antimicrobial activity of a chlorhexidine intravascular catheter site gel dressing.

J Antimicrob Chemother 2011 Aug 24;66(8):1777-84. Epub 2011 May 24.

Department of Clinical Microbiology and Infection Control, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, UK.

Objectives: The antimicrobial efficacy of a chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) intravascular catheter gel dressing was evaluated against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and an extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli. Chlorhexidine deposition on the skin surface and release from the gel were determined.

Methods: The antimicrobial efficacy was evaluated in in vitro studies following microbial inoculation of the dressing and application of the dressing on the inoculated surface of a silicone membrane and donor skin [with and without a catheter segment and/or 10% (v/v) serum] on diffusion cells. Antimicrobial activity was evaluated for up to 7 days. Chlorhexidine skin surface deposition and release were also determined.

Results: MRSA and E. coli were not detectable within 5 min following direct inoculation onto the CHG gel dressing. On the silicone membrane, 3 log and 6 log inocula of MRSA were eradicated within 5 min and 1 h, respectively. Time to kill was prolonged in the presence of serum and a catheter segment. Following inoculation of donor skin with 6 log cfu of MRSA, none was detected after 24 h. Chlorhexidine was released from the gel after a lag time of 30 min and increasing amounts were detected on the donor skin surface over the 48 h test period. The CHG gel dressing retained its antimicrobial activity on the artificial skin for 7 days.

Conclusions: The CHG intravascular catheter site gel dressing had detectable antimicrobial activity for up to 7 days, which should suppress bacterial growth on the skin at the catheter insertion site, thereby reducing the risk of infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jac/dkr191DOI Listing
August 2011

Genetic characterization of clinical isolates of Clostridium difficile using an optimized RAPD protocol and PCR ribotyping reveals strain diversity between two tertiary referral Trusts in the West Midlands, UK.

J Med Microbiol 2011 Sep 21;60(Pt 9):1287-1291. Epub 2011 Apr 21.

Aston University, School of Life & Health Sciences, Aston Triangle, Birmingham B4 7ET, UK.

Epidemiological investigations of Clostridium difficile often focus on differences between separate geographical areas. In this investigation, two populations of C. difficile recovered from separate tertiary referral Trusts within the West Midlands, UK, were characterized using both PCR ribotyping and an optimized RAPD (random amplification of polymorphic DNA) protocol. The PCR ribotyping and RAPD methodologies identified differences between the two C. difficile populations, in both the prevalence and the diversity of types identified. The use of PCR ribotyping in conjunction with RAPD further categorized different types within defined PCR ribotypes, identifying different types within the same PCR ribotype and therefore providing a greater discriminatory power than either of the methods when used alone. The differences observed in this study between the two Trusts in the distribution of both RAPD 'type' and PCR ribotype demonstrate the diversity that is present amongst isolates of C. difficile within a relatively small geographical area and warrants a need for further investigation into the local epidemiology of C. difficile.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1099/jmm.0.030999-0DOI Listing
September 2011

A novel multilocus sequence typing scheme for the opportunistic pathogen Propionibacterium acnes and characterization of type I cell surface-associated antigens.

Microbiology (Reading) 2011 Jul 21;157(Pt 7):1990-2003. Epub 2011 Apr 21.

Centre for Infection and Immunity, School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Queen's University, 97 Lisburn Road, Belfast BT9 7BL, UK.

We have developed a novel multilocus sequence typing (MLST) scheme and database (http://pubmlst.org/pacnes/) for Propionibacterium acnes based on the analysis of seven core housekeeping genes. The scheme, which was validated against previously described antibody, single locus and random amplification of polymorphic DNA typing methods, displayed excellent resolution and differentiated 123 isolates into 37 sequence types (STs). An overall clonal population structure was detected with six eBURST groups representing the major clades I, II and III, along with two singletons. Two highly successful and global clonal lineages, ST6 (type IA) and ST10 (type IB(1)), representing 64 % of this current MLST isolate collection were identified. The ST6 clone and closely related single locus variants, which comprise a large clonal complex CC6, dominated isolates from patients with acne, and were also significantly associated with ophthalmic infections. Our data therefore support an association between acne and P. acnes strains from the type IA cluster and highlight the role of a widely disseminated clonal genotype in this condition. Characterization of type I cell surface-associated antigens that are not detected in ST10 or strains of type II and III identified two dermatan-sulphate-binding proteins with putative phase/antigenic variation signatures. We propose that the expression of these proteins by type IA organisms contributes to their role in the pathophysiology of acne and helps explain the recurrent nature of the disease. The MLST scheme and database described in this study should provide a valuable platform for future epidemiological and evolutionary studies of P. acnes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1099/mic.0.049676-0DOI Listing
July 2011

Proteomic analysis of the anti-inflammatory action of minocycline.

Proteomics 2011 Jan 6;11(1):42-51. Epub 2010 Dec 6.

Life and Health Sciences, Aston University, Aston Triangle, Birmingham, UK.

Minocycline possesses anti-inflammatory properties independently of its antibiotic activity although the underlying molecular mechanisms are unclear. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced cytokines and pro-inflammatory protein expression are reduced by minocycline in cultured macrophages. Here, we tested a range of clinically important tetracycline compounds (oxytetracycline, doxycycline, minocycline and tigecycline) and showed that they all inhibited LPS-induced nitric oxide production. We made the novel finding that tigecycline inhibited LPS-induced nitric oxide production to a greater extent than the other tetracycline compounds tested. To identify potential targets for minocycline, we assessed alterations in the macrophage proteome induced by LPS in the presence or absence of a minocycline pre-treatment using 2-DE and nanoLC-MS. We found a number of proteins, mainly involved in cellular metabolism (ATP synthase β-subunit and aldose reductase) or stress response (heat shock proteins), which were altered in expression in response to LPS, some of which were restored, at least in part, by minocycline. This is the first study to document proteomic changes induced by minocycline. The observation that minocycline inhibits some, but not all, of the LPS-induced proteomic changes shows that minocycline specifically affects some signalling pathways and does not completely inhibit macrophage activation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pmic.201000273DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3430857PMC
January 2011

Enhanced chlorhexidine skin penetration with eucalyptus oil.

BMC Infect Dis 2010 Sep 22;10:278. Epub 2010 Sep 22.

Life & Health Sciences, Aston University, Aston Triangle, Birmingham, UK.

Background: Chlorhexidine digluconate (CHG) is a widely used skin antiseptic, however it poorly penetrates the skin, limiting its efficacy against microorganisms residing beneath the surface layers of skin. The aim of the current study was to improve the delivery of chlorhexidine digluconate (CHG) when used as a skin antiseptic.

Method: Chlorhexidine was applied to the surface of donor skin and its penetration and retention under different conditions was evaluated. Skin penetration studies were performed on full-thickness donor human skin using a Franz diffusion cell system. Skin was exposed to 2% (w/v) CHG in various concentrations of eucalyptus oil (EO) and 70% (v/v) isopropyl alcohol (IPA). The concentration of CHG (μg/mg of skin) was determined to a skin depth of 1500 μm by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC).

Results: The 2% (w/v) CHG penetration into the lower layers of skin was significantly enhanced in the presence of EO. Ten percent (v/v) EO in combination with 2% (w/v) CHG in 70% (v/v) IPA significantly increased the amount of CHG which penetrated into the skin within 2 min.

Conclusion: The delivery of CHG into the epidermis and dermis can be enhanced by combination with EO, which in turn may improve biocide contact with additional microorganisms present in the skin, thereby enhancing antisepsis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2334-10-278DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2955684PMC
September 2010

Peptidoglycan derived from Staphylococcus epidermidis induces Connexin43 hemichannel activity with consequences on the innate immune response in endothelial cells.

Biochem J 2010 Nov;432(1):133-43

Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Glasgow Caledonian University, Scotland, UK.

Gram-positive bacterial cell wall components including PGN (peptidoglycan) elicit a potent pro-inflammatory response in diverse cell types, including endothelial cells, by activating TLR2 (Toll-like receptor 2) signalling. The functional integrity of the endothelium is under the influence of a network of gap junction intercellular communication channels composed of Cxs (connexins) that also form hemichannels, signalling conduits that are implicated in ATP release and purinergic signalling. PGN modulates Cx expression in a variety of cell types, yet effects in endothelial cells remain unresolved. Using the endothelial cell line b.End5, a 6 h challenge with PGN induced IL-6 (interleukin 6), TLR2 and Cx43 mRNA expression that was associated with enhanced Cx43 protein expression and gap junction coupling. Cx43 hemichannel activity, measured by ATP release from the cells, was induced following 15 min of exposure to PGN. Inhibition of hemichannel activity with carbenoxolone or apyrase prevented induction of IL-6 and TLR2 mRNA expression by PGN, but had no effect on Cx43 mRNA expression levels. In contrast, knockdown of TLR2 expression had no effect on PGN-induced hemichannel activity, but reduced the level of TLR2 and Cx43 mRNA expression following 6 h of PGN challenge. PGN also acutely induced hemichannel activity in HeLa cells transfected to express Cx43, but had no effect in Cx43-deficient HeLa OHIO cells. All ATP responses were blocked with Cx-specific channel blockers. We conclude that acute Cx43 hemichannel signalling plays a role in the initiation of early innate immune responses in the endothelium.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1042/BJ20091753DOI Listing
November 2010

The proinflammatory environment in potential heart and lung donors: prevalence and impact of donor management and hormonal therapy.

Transplantation 2009 Aug;88(4):582-8

Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University Hospital Birmingham NHS Trust, Edgbaston, Birmingham, United Kingdom.

Background: Brain stem death can elicit a potentially manipulable cardiotoxic proinflammatory cytokine response. We investigated the prevalence of this response, the impact of donor management with tri-iodothyronine (T3) and methylprednisolone (MP) administration, and the relationship of biomarkers to organ function and transplant suitability.

Methods: In a prospective randomized double-blinded factorially designed study of T3 and MP therapy, we measured serum levels of interleukin-1 and -6 (IL-1 and IL-6), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), C-reactive protein, and procalcitonin (PCT) levels in 79 potential heart or lung donors. Measurements were performed before and after 4 hr of algorithm-based donor management to optimize cardiorespiratory function and +/-hormone treatment. Donors were assigned to receive T3, MP, both drugs, or placebo.

Results: Initial IL-1 was elevated in 16% donors, IL-6 in 100%, TNF-alpha in 28%, CRP in 98%, and PCT in 87%. Overall biomarker concentrations did not change between initial and later measurements and neither T3 nor MP effected any change. Both PCT (P =0.02) and TNF-alpha (P =0.044) levels were higher in donor hearts with marginal hemodynamics at initial assessment. Higher PCT levels were related to worse cardiac index and right and left ventricular ejection fractions and a PCT level more than 2 ng x mL(-1) may attenuate any improvement in cardiac index gained by donor management. No differences were observed between initially marginal and nonmarginal donor lungs. A PCT level less than or equal to 2 ng x mL(-1) but not other biomarkers predicted transplant suitability following management.

Conclusions: There is high prevalence of a proinflammatory environment in the organ donor that is not affected by tri-iodothyronine or MP therapy. High PCT and TNF-alpha levels are associated with donor heart dysfunction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/TP.0b013e3181b11e5dDOI Listing
August 2009

Evaluation of disinfecting procedures for aseptic transfer in hospital pharmacy departments.

PDA J Pharm Sci Technol 2009 Mar-Apr;63(2):123-38

School of Life and Health Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham, UK.

Current practice in National Health Service (NHS) hospitals employs 70% Industrial Methylated Spirit spray for surface disinfection of components required in Grade A pharmaceutical environments. This study seeks to investigate other agents and procedures that may provide more effective sanitisation. Several methods are available to test the efficacy of disinfectants against vegetative organisms. However, no methods currently available test the efficacy of disinfectants against spores on the hard surfaces encountered in the pharmacy aseptic processing environment. Therefore, a method has been developed to test the efficacy of disinfectants against spores, modified from British Standard 13697 and Association of Analytical Chemists standards. The testing procedure was used to evaluate alternative biocides and disinfection methods for transferring components into hospital pharmacy cleanrooms, and to determine which combinations of biocide and application method have the greatest efficacy against spores of Bacillus subtilis subspecies subtilis 168, Bacillus subtilis American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) 6633, and Bacillus pumilis ATCC 27142. Stainless steel carrier test plates were used to represent the hard surfaces in hospital pharmacy cleanrooms. Plates were inoculated with 10(7)-10(8) colony-forming units per milliliter (CFU/mL) and treated with the various biocide formulations, using different disinfection methods. Sporicidal activity was calculated as log reduction in CFU. Of the biocides tested, 6% hydrogen peroxide and a quaternary ammonium compound/chlorine dioxide combination were most effective compared to a Quat/biguanide, amphoteric surfactant, 70% v/v ethanol in deionised water and isopropyl alcohol in water for injection. Of the different application methods tested, spraying followed by wiping was the most effective, followed closely by wiping alone. Spraying alone was least effective.
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August 2009

Efficacy of adding 2% (w/v) chlorhexidine gluconate to 70% (v/v) isopropyl alcohol for skin disinfection prior to peripheral venous cannulation.

Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2008 Oct;29(10):963-5

Department of Clinical Microbiology and Infection Control, University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Edgbaston, England.

We undertook a clinical trial to compare the efficacy of 2% (w/v) chlorhexidine gluconate in 70% (v/v) isopropyl alcohol with the efficacy of 70% (v/v) isopropyl alcohol alone for skin disinfection to prevent peripheral venous catheter colonization and contamination. We found that the addition of 2% chlorhexidine gluconate reduced the number of peripheral venous catheters that were colonized or contaminated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/590664DOI Listing
October 2008

Thiosemicarbazones active against Clostridium difficile.

Bioorg Med Chem Lett 2008 Mar 18;18(5):1708-11. Epub 2008 Jan 18.

School of Life and Health Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham B4 7ET, UK.

A set of closely related furylidene thiosemicarbazones was prepared and screened against various clinically important Gram-positive bacteria. One compound containing an ethylene spacer and a 5-nitrofuryl group was found to have promising activity against Clostridium difficile.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bmcl.2008.01.041DOI Listing
March 2008

A new phylogenetic group of Propionibacterium acnes.

J Med Microbiol 2008 Feb;57(Pt 2):218-224

School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen's University, Belfast BT12 6BN, UK.

Immunofluorescence microscopy-based identification of presumptive Propionibacterium acnes isolates, using the P. acnes-specific mAb QUBPa3, revealed five organisms with an atypical cellular morphology. Unlike the coryneform morphology seen with P. acnes types I and II, these isolates exhibited long slender filaments (which formed large tangled aggregates) not previously described in P. acnes. No reaction with mAbs that label P. acnes types IA (QUBPa1) and II (QUBPa2) was observed. Nucleotide sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene (1484 bp) revealed the isolates to have between 99.8 and 99.9 % identity to the 16S rRNA gene of the P. acnes type IA, IB and II strains NCTC 737, KPA171202 and NCTC 10390, respectively. Analysis of the recA housekeeping gene (1047 bp) did reveal, however, a greater number of conserved nucleotide polymorphisms between the sequences from these isolates and those from NCTC 737 (98.9 % identity), KPA171202 (98.9 % identity) and NCTC 10390 (99.1 % identity). Phylogenetic investigations demonstrated that the isolates belong to a novel recA cluster or lineage distinct from P. acnes types I and II. We now propose this new grouping as P. acnes type III. The prevalence and clinical importance of this novel recA lineage amongst isolates of P. acnes remains to be determined.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1099/jmm.0.47489-0DOI Listing
February 2008

Gingipains from Porphyromonas gingivalis increase the chemotactic and respiratory burst-priming properties of the 77-amino-acid interleukin-8 variant.

Infect Immun 2008 Jan 19;76(1):317-23. Epub 2007 Nov 19.

School of Life and Health Sciences, Aston University, Aston Triangle, Birmingham B4 7ET, United Kingdom.

Porphyromonas gingivalis, a gram-negative anaerobe which is implicated in the etiology of active periodontitis, secretes degradative enzymes (gingipains) and sheds proinflammatory mediators (e.g., lipopolysaccharides [LPS]). LPS triggers the secretion of interleukin-8 (IL-8) from immune (72-amino-acid [aa] variant [IL-8(72aa)]) and nonimmune (IL-8(77aa)) cells. IL-8(77aa) has low chemotactic and respiratory burst-inducing activity but is susceptible to cleavage by gingipains. This study shows that both R- and K-gingipain treatments of IL-8(77aa) significantly enhance burst activation by fMLP and chemotactic activity (P < 0.05) but decrease burst activation and chemotactic activity of IL-8(72aa) toward neutrophil-like HL60 cells and primary neutrophils (P < 0.05). Using tandem mass spectrometry, we have demonstrated that R-gingipain cleaves 5- and 11-aa peptides from the N-terminal portion of IL-8(77aa) and the resultant peptides are biologically active, while K-gingipain removes an 8-aa N-terminal peptide yielding a 69-aa isoform of IL-8 that shows enhanced biological activity. During periodontitis, secreted gingipains may differentially affect neutrophil chemotaxis and activation in response to IL-8 according to the cellular source of the chemokine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/IAI.00618-07DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2223636PMC
January 2008

Evaluation of routine microbiological techniques for establishing the diagnosis of catheter-related bloodstream infection caused by coagulase-negative staphylococci.

J Med Microbiol 2007 Feb;56(Pt 2):172-176

Department of Clinical Microbiology and Infection Control, University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TH, UK.

Microbiological diagnosis of catheter-related bloodstream infection (CR-BSI) is often based on isolation of indistinguishable micro-organisms from an explanted catheter tip and blood culture, confirmed by antibiograms. Whether phenotypic identification of coagulase-negative staphylococci (CoNS) allows an accurate diagnosis of CR-BSI to be established was evaluated. Eight patients with a diagnosis of CR-BSI had CoNS isolated from pure blood cultures and explanted catheter tips which were considered as indistinguishable strains by routine microbiological methods. For each patient, an additional three colonies of CoNS isolated from the blood and five from the catheter tip were subcultured and further characterized by antibiogram profiles, analytical profile index (API) biotyping and PFGE. PFGE distinguished more strains of CoNS compared to API biotyping or antibiograms (17, 10 and 11, respectively). By PFGE, indistinguishable micro-organisms were only isolated from pure blood and catheter tip cultures in four out of eight (50%) patients thus supporting the diagnosis of CR-BSI. In another patient, indistinguishable micro-organisms were identified in both cultures; however, other strains of CoNS were also present. The remaining three patients had multiple strains of CoNS, none of which were indistinguishable in the tip and blood cultures, thus questioning the diagnosis of CR-BSI. Phenotypic characterization of CoNS lacked discriminatory power. Current routine methods of characterizing a limited number of pooled colonies may generate misleading results as multiple strains may be present in the cultures. Multiple colonies should be studied using a rapid genotypic characterization method to confirm or refute the diagnosis of CR-BSI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1099/jmm.0.46568-0DOI Listing
February 2007

Discovery of a potent phenolic N1-benzylidene-pyridinecarboxamidrazone selective against Gram-positive bacteria.

Bioorg Med Chem Lett 2006 Feb 18;16(4):879-83. Epub 2005 Nov 18.

School of Life and Health Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham B4 7ET, UK.

As part of a study into antimycobacterial compounds a set of phenolic N1-benzylidene-pyridinecarboxamidrazones was prepared and evaluated. This report describes the unexpected discovery of a potent compound with a pronounced selectivity for Gram-positive bacteria over Gram-negative micro-organisms. In addition, this compound is active against various drug-resistant Gram-positive bacteria.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bmcl.2005.11.005DOI Listing
February 2006

Description and critical appraisal of principal components analysis (PCA) methodology applied to pulsed-field gel electrophoresis profiles of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus isolates.

J Microbiol Methods 2006 Apr 1;65(1):87-95. Epub 2005 Aug 1.

Life and Health Sciences, Aston University, Aston Triangle, Birmingham, B4 7ET, UK.

Principal components analysis (PCA) has been described for over 50 years; however, it is rarely applied to the analysis of epidemiological data. In this study PCA was critically appraised in its ability to reveal relationships between pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) profiles of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in comparison to the more commonly employed cluster analysis and representation by dendrograms. The PFGE type following SmaI chromosomal digest was determined for 44 multidrug-resistant hospital-acquired methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MR-HA-MRSA) isolates, two multidrug-resistant community-acquired MRSA (MR-CA-MRSA), 50 hospital-acquired MRSA (HA-MRSA) isolates (from the University Hospital Birmingham, NHS Trust, UK) and 34 community-acquired MRSA (CA-MRSA) isolates (from general practitioners in Birmingham, UK). Strain relatedness was determined using Dice band-matching with UPGMA clustering and PCA. The results indicated that PCA revealed relationships between MRSA strains, which were more strongly correlated with known epidemiology, most likely because, unlike cluster analysis, PCA does not have the constraint of generating a hierarchic classification. In addition, PCA provides the opportunity for further analysis to identify key polymorphic bands within complex genotypic profiles, which is not always possible with dendrograms. Here we provide a detailed description of a PCA method for the analysis of PFGE profiles to complement further the epidemiological study of infectious disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mimet.2005.06.017DOI Listing
April 2006

Bacterial resistance to antibiotics: modified target sites.

Authors:
Peter A Lambert

Adv Drug Deliv Rev 2005 Jul;57(10):1471-85

Pharmaceutical and Biological Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham B4 7ET, United Kingdom.

Alteration in the target sites of antibiotics is a common mechanism of resistance. Examples of clinical strains showing resistance can be found for every class of antibiotic, regardless of the mechanism of action. Target site changes often result from spontaneous mutation of a bacterial gene on the chromosome and selection in the presence of the antibiotic. Examples include mutations in RNA polymerase and DNA gyrase, resulting in resistance to the rifamycins and quinolones, respectively. In other cases, acquisition of resistance may involve transfer of resistance genes from other organisms by some form of genetic exchange (conjugation, transduction, or transformation). Examples of these mechanisms include acquisition of the mecA genes encoding methicillin resistance in Staphylococcus aureus and the various van genes in enterococci encoding resistance to glycopeptides.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.addr.2005.04.003DOI Listing
July 2005

Molecular analysis of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus reveals an absence of plasmid DNA in multidrug-resistant isolates.

FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol 2005 Jun;44(3):297-302

Department of Molecular Biosciences, Aston University, Aston Triangle, Birmingham B4 7ET, UK.

The number, diversity and restriction enzyme fragmentation patterns of plasmids harboured by 44 multidrug-resistant hospital-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MR-HA-MRSA) isolates, two multidrug-resistant community-acquired MRSA (MR-CA-MRSA), 50 hospital-acquired MRSA (HA-MRSA) isolates (from the University Hospital Birmingham, NHS Trust, UK) and 34 community-acquired MRSA (CA-MRSA) isolates (from general practitioners in Birmingham, UK) were compared. In addition, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) type following SmaI chromosomal digest and SCCmec element type assignment were ascertained for each isolate. All MR-HA-MRSA and MR-CA-MRSA isolates possessed the type II SCCmec, harboured no plasmid DNA and belonged to one of five PFGE types. Forty-three out of 50 HA-MRSA isolates and all 34 CA-MRSA isolates possessed the type IV SCCmec and all but 10 of the type IV HA-MRSA isolates and nine CA-MRSA isolates carried one or two plasmids. The 19 non-multidrug-resistant isolates (NMR) that did not harbour plasmids were only resistant to methicillin whereas all the NMR isolates harbouring at least one plasmid were resistant to at least one additional antibiotic. We conclude that although plasmid carriage plays an important role in antibiotic resistance, especially in NMR-HA-MRSA and CA-MRSA, the multidrug resistance phenotype from HA-MRSA is not associated with increased plasmid carriage and indeed is characterised by an absence of plasmid DNA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.femsim.2004.12.014DOI Listing
June 2005

Induction of inflammatory cytokines and nitric oxide in J774.2 cells and murine macrophages by lipoteichoic acid and related cell wall antigens from Staphylococcus epidermidis.

J Med Microbiol 2005 Apr;54(Pt 4):315-321

Molecular Biosciences Research Group, Life and Health Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham B4 7ET, UK 2Department of Clinical Microbiology, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, University Hospital Trust, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TH, UK.

Staphylococcus epidermidis causes infections associated with medical devices including central venous catheters, orthopaedic prosthetic joints and artificial heart valves. This coagulase-negative staphylococcus produces a conventional cellular lipoteichoic acid (LTA) and also releases a short-glycerophosphate-chain-length form of LTA (previously termed lipid S) into the medium during growth. The relative pro-inflammatory activities of cellular and short-chain-length exocellular LTA were investigated in comparison with peptidoglycan and wall teichoic acid from S. epidermidis and LPS from Escherichia coli O111. The ability of these components to stimulate the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines [interleukin (IL)-1beta, IL-6 and tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha] and nitric oxide was investigated in a murine macrophage-like cell line (J774.2), and in peritoneal and splenic macrophages. On a weight-for-weight basis the short-chain-length exocellular LTA was the most active of the S. epidermidis products, stimulating significant amounts of each of the inflammatory cytokines and nitric oxide, although it was approximately 100-fold less active than LPS from E. coli. By comparison the full-chain-length cellular LTA and peptidoglycan were less active and the wall teichoic acid had no activity. As an exocellular product potentially released from S. epidermidis biofilms, the short-chain-length exocellular LTA may act as the prime mediator of the host inflammatory response to device-related infection by this organism and act as the Gram-positive equivalent of LPS in Gram-negative sepsis. The understanding of the role of short-chain-length exocellular LTA in Gram-positive sepsis may lead to improved treatment strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1099/jmm.0.45872-0DOI Listing
April 2005

Effects of glutathione, N-acetyl-cysteine, α-lipoic acid and dihydrolipoic acid on the cytotoxicity of a 2-pyridylcarboxamidrazone antimycobacterial agent in human mononuclear leucocytes in vitro.

Environ Toxicol Pharmacol 2004 Jul;17(3):143-8

Mechanisms of Drug Toxicity Group, Pharmaceutical Sciences Institute, Aston University, Aston Triangle, Birmingham B4 7ET, UK.

A series of antioxidants was used to explore the cytotoxicity of one particularly toxic antimycobacterial 2-pyridylcarboxamidrazone anti-tuberculosis agent against human mononuclear leucocytes (MNL), in comparison with isoniazid (INH) to aid future compound design. INH caused a significant reduction of nearly 40% in cell recovery compared with control (P < 0.0001), although the co-incubation with either glutathione (GSH, 1mM) or (NAC, 1mM) showed abolition of INH toxicity. In contrast, the addition of GSH or NAC 1h after INH failed to protect the cells from INH toxicity (P < 0.0001). The 2-pyridyl-carboxamidrazone 'Compound 1' caused a 50% reduction in cell recovery compared with control (P < 0.001), although this was abolished by the presence of either GSH or NAC. A 1h post incubation with either NAC or GSH after Compound 1 addition failed to protect the cells from toxicity (P < 0.001). Co-administration of lipoic acid (LA) abolished Compound 1-mediated toxicity, although again, this effect did not occur after LA addition 1h post incubation with Compound 1 (P < 0.001). However, co-administration of dihydrolipoic acid (DHLA) prevented Compound 1-mediated cell death when incubated with the compound and also after 1h of Compound 1 alone. Pre-treatment with GSH, then removal of the antioxidant resulted in abolition of Compound 1 toxicity (vehicle control, 63.6 ± 16.7 versus Compound 1 alone 26.1 ± 13.6% versus GSH pre-treatment, 65.7 ± 7.3%). In a cell-free incubation, NMR analysis revealed that GSH does not react with Compound 1, indicating that this agent is not likely to directly deplete membrane thiols. Compound 1's MNL toxicity is more likely to be linked with changes in cell membrane conformation, which may induce consequent thiol depletion that is reversible by exogenous thiols.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.etap.2004.04.002DOI Listing
July 2004