G M Eliopoulos

Monash University (Australia), Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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Publications (180)891.07 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The genetic mechanisms that contribute to reduced susceptibility to vancomycin in Staphylococcus aureus are complex and heterogeneous. In addition, debate is emerging as to the true effect of reduced susceptibility to vancomycin on staphylococcal virulence. To investigate this, comparative genomics was performed on a collection of vancomycin-exposed isogenic S. aureus pairs (14 strains in total). Previously described mutations were observed in genes such as vraG, agrA, yvqF, and rpoB; however, a new mechanism was identified involving a serine/threonine phosphatase, Stp1. After constructing an stp1 deletion mutant, we showed that stp1 is important in vancomycin susceptibility and cell wall biosynthesis. Gene expression studies showed that stp1 also regulates virulence genes, including a hemolysin, superantigen-like protein, and phenol-soluble modulin, and that the deletion mutant is attenuated in virulence in vivo. Stp1 provides a new link between vancomycin susceptibility and virulence in S. aureus.
    The Journal of Infectious Diseases 04/2012; 205(11):1677-87. · 5.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Daptomycin remains one of our last-line anti-staphylococcal agents. This study aims to characterize the genetic evolution to daptomycin resistance in S. aureus. Whole genome sequencing was performed on a unique collection of isogenic, clinical (21 strains) and laboratory (12 strains) derived strains that had been exposed to daptomycin and developed daptomycin-nonsusceptibility. Electron microscopy (EM) and lipid membrane studies were performed on selected isolates. On average, six coding region mutations were observed across the genome in the clinical daptomycin exposed strains, whereas only two mutations on average were seen in the laboratory exposed pairs. All daptomycin-nonsusceptible strains had a mutation in a phospholipid biosynthesis gene. This included mutations in the previously described mprF gene, but also in other phospholipid biosynthesis genes, including cardiolipin synthase (cls2) and CDP-diacylglycerol-glycerol-3-phosphate 3-phosphatidyltransferase (pgsA). EM and lipid membrane composition analyses on two clinical pairs showed that the daptomycin-nonsusceptible strains had a thicker cell wall and an increase in membrane lysyl-phosphatidylglycerol. Point mutations in genes coding for membrane phospholipids are associated with the development of reduced susceptibility to daptomycin in S. aureus. Mutations in cls2 and pgsA appear to be new genetic mechanisms affecting daptomycin susceptibility in S. aureus.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(1):e28316. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    The Journal of Infectious Diseases 01/2010; 201(2):312-313. · 5.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: With the current high prevalence of infection caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains but in light of the general belief that beta-lactam antibiotics are more effective than vancomycin against infections caused by methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) isolates, clinicians may utilize antistaphylococcal penicillins in combination with vancomycin for the empirical treatment of S. aureus infections. Vancomycin is considered to kill MSSA more slowly than oxacillin. Thus, we sought to evaluate the interaction of the combination of oxacillin and vancomycin on bacterial killing in vitro. Ten clinical isolates of MSSA isolated in the year 2000 were investigated. The killing observed at 24 h by vancomycin at 20 microg/ml, oxacillin at 16 microg/ml, or the combination did not differ (approximately 2.5 to 3.5 log10 CFU/ml). In a separate experiment, we assessed bacterial killing in a dynamic model simulating the free plasma concentration profiles expected following the administration of a combination of vancomycin at 1 g every 12 h and oxacillin at 1 g every 6 h. The time-kill profiles of these regimens against S. aureus ATCC 29213 were comparable to those observed in the fixed-concentration experiments. Using these methods, we found no evidence that vancomycin antagonized the bactericidal effect of oxacillin or that there was any benefit from use of the combination.
    Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 11/2009; 54(2):773-7. · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Most cases of reduced vancomycin susceptibility in Staphylococcus aureus reported in the literature have been in methicillin-resistant strains. We report the development of reduced vancomycin susceptibility in a series of clonally related, methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) clinical isolates. This isogenic series permitted us to determine whether the evolution of reduced vancomycin susceptibility in MSSA is similar to that seen in MRSA. Differences in vancomycin population analysis profiles; chemical autolysis; vancomycin, oxacillin, and daptomycin minimum inhibitory concentrations; and bactericidal activities were examined. Progressive vancomycin resistance correlated with increasing daptomycin nonsusceptibility. Chemical autolysis and the bactericidal activity of vancomycin, oxacillin, and daptomycin were reduced in the final, vancomycin-intermediate S. aureus isolate, compared with the vancomycin-susceptible MSSA progenitor. Clinicians should recognize that reduced vancomycin susceptibility can occur in S. aureus irrespective of background methicillin susceptibility and that development of intermediate vancomycin susceptibility in MSSA may result in increased tolerance to several classes of anti-staphylococcal antibiotics.
    Clinical Infectious Diseases 10/2009; 49(8):1169-74. · 9.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Enterococcus faecium genogroup, referred to as clonal complex 17 (CC17), seems to possess multiple determinants that increase its ability to survive and cause disease in nosocomial environments. Using 53 clinical and geographically diverse US E. faecium isolates dating from 1971 to 1994, we determined the multilocus sequence type; the presence of 16 putative virulence genes (hyl(Efm), esp(Efm), and fms genes); resistance to ampicillin (AMP) and vancomycin (VAN); and high-level resistance to gentamicin and streptomycin. Overall, 16 different sequence types (STs), mostly CC17 isolates, were identified in 9 different regions of the United States. The earliest CC17 isolates were part of an outbreak that occurred in 1982 in Richmond, Virginia. The characteristics of CC17 isolates included increases in resistance to AMP, the presence of hyl(Efm) and esp(Efm), emergence of resistance to VAN, and the presence of at least 13 of 14 fms genes. Eight of 41 of the early isolates with resistance to AMP, however, were not in CC17. Although not all early US AMP isolates were clonally related, E. faecium CC17 isolates have been circulating in the United States since at least 1982 and appear to have progressively acquired additional virulence and antibiotic resistance determinants, perhaps explaining the recent success of this species in the hospital environment.
    The Journal of Infectious Diseases 10/2009; 200(10):1566-73. · 5.85 Impact Factor
  • George M Eliopoulos
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    ABSTRACT: Several new antimicrobials demonstrate in vitro activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), and other Gram-positive bacteria. Data from large surveys indicate that linezolid, daptomycin, and tigecycline are almost universally active against MRSA. Linezolid and tigecycline inhibit both Enterococcus faecium and Enterococcus faecalis at low concentrations; daptomycin is somewhat more potent against the latter. The investigational agents dalbavancin and telavancin are more potent than vancomycin against vancomycin-susceptible organisms. Dalbavancin inhibits vanB type VRE at low concentrations, but is not active against vanA type VRE. Telavancin is less active against VRE than against vancomycin-susceptible enterococci, but minimum inhibitory concentrations are lower than those of vancomycin against VRE. With continued careful use of available antimicrobials, the vast majority of these organisms should remain susceptible to 1 or more of the agents discussed for the foreseeable future.
    The Journal of infection 09/2009; 59 Suppl 1:S17-24. · 4.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nonmammalian model systems of infection such as Galleria mellonella (caterpillars of the greater wax moth) have significant logistical and ethical advantages over mammalian models. In this study, we utilize G. mellonella caterpillars to study host-pathogen interactions with the gram-negative organism Acinetobacter baumannii and determine the utility of this infection model to study antibacterial efficacy. After infecting G. mellonella caterpillars with a reference A. baumannii strain, we observed that the rate of G. mellonella killing was dependent on the infection inoculum and the incubation temperature postinfection, with greater killing at 37 degrees C than at 30 degrees C (P = 0.01). A. baumannii strains caused greater killing than the less-pathogenic species Acinetobacter baylyi and Acinetobacter lwoffii (P < 0.001). Community-acquired A. baumannii caused greater killing than a reference hospital-acquired strain (P < 0.01). Reduced levels of production of the quorum-sensing molecule 3-hydroxy-C(12)-homoserine lactone caused no change in A. baumannii virulence against G. mellonella. Treatment of a lethal A. baumannii infection with antibiotics that had in vitro activity against the infecting A. baumannii strain significantly prolonged the survival of G. mellonella caterpillars compared with treatment with antibiotics to which the bacteria were resistant. G. mellonella is a relatively simple, nonmammalian model system that can be used to facilitate the in vivo study of host-pathogen interactions in A. baumannii and the efficacy of antibacterial agents.
    Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 04/2009; 53(6):2605-9. · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In the present study, we demonstrated the utility of the nonmammalian model system Galleria mellonella for studying the pathogenesis of Staphylococcus aureus infection. By use of clinical and laboratory strains that had been exposed to vancomycin, we showed that both agr functional status and vancomycin minimum inhibitory concentration are determinants associated with the virulence of S. aureus in G. mellonella. These results show that G. mellonella can be effectively used to facilitate the in vivo study of S. aureus virulence and, more specifically, the relationship between antibiotic drug resistance and the pathogenesis of infection.
    The Journal of Infectious Diseases 02/2009; 199(4):532-6. · 5.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The utility of peptide nucleic acid fluorescence in situ hybridization (PNA FISH) for the detection of Acinetobacter spp. and Pseudomonas aeruginosa was evaluated on broth suspensions and spiked blood cultures of ATCC strains and clinical isolates with select gram-negative rods. After testing 60 clinical isolates, PNA FISH had a sensitivity and specificity of 100% and 100%, respectively, for Acinetobacter spp. and 100% and 95%, respectively, for P. aeruginosa. PNA FISH was able to detect both pathogens simultaneously and directly from spiked blood cultures.
    Journal of clinical microbiology 01/2009; 47(3):830-2. · 4.16 Impact Factor
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    Dean Shinabarger, George M. Eliopoulos
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    ABSTRACT: The fi rst description of oxazolidinones as antibacterials was reported by researchers from the DuPont company in 1987. Compounds Dup-105 and DuP-721 (Fig. 1) were introduced as clinical candidates with good activity against Gram-positive pathogens, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, in an in vivo animal effi cacy model (1). These compounds demonstrated lethal toxicity in animal models and were not further developed (2). Researchers at Pharmacia (now Pfi zer) became interested in these molecules and began a chemistry/screening effort to improve the in vitro, in vivo, and safety profi les of oxazolidinones.
    12/2008: pages 247-257;
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    ABSTRACT: Prokaryote-eukaryote interactions are ubiquitous and have important medical and environmental significance. Despite this, a paucity of data exists on the mechanisms and pathogenic consequences of bacterial-fungal encounters within a living host. We used the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as a substitute host to study the interactions between two ecologically related and clinically troublesome pathogens, the prokaryote, Acinetobacter baumannii, and the eukaryote, Candida albicans. After co-infecting C. elegans with these organisms, we observed that A. baumannii inhibits filamentation, a key virulence determinant of C. albicans. This antagonistic, cross-kingdom interaction led to attenuated virulence of C. albicans, as determined by improved nematode survival when infected with both pathogens. In vitro coinfection assays in planktonic and biofilm environments supported the inhibitory effects of A. baumannii toward C. albicans, further showing a predilection of A. baumannii for C. albicans filaments. Interestingly, we demonstrate a likely evolutionary defense by C. albicans against A. baumannii, whereby C. albicans inhibits A. baumannii growth once a quorum develops. This counteroffensive is at least partly mediated by the C. albicans quorum-sensing molecule farnesol. We used the C. elegans-A. baumannii-C. albicans coinfection model to screen an A. baumannii mutant library, leading to the identification of several mutants attenuated in their inhibitory activity toward C. albicans. These findings present an extension to the current paradigm of studying monomicrobial pathogenesis in C. elegans and by use of genetic manipulation, provides a whole-animal model system to investigate the complex dynamics of a polymicrobial infection.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 10/2008; 105(38):14585-90. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A recent case report by Sakoulas et al. demonstrated ac- quired daptomycin (lipopeptide) resistance in an immune- competent adult patient with native valve endocarditis due to methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) (8). Daptomycin resistance developed following exposure to levo- floxacin and vancomycin prior to daptomycin treatment. The observation that vancomycin exposure may induce resistance mechanisms in staphylococcal species is consistent with an- other recent report in which vancomycin exposure was accom- panied by decreased expression of agr, resulting in resistance to platelet microbicidal proteins (6). It is believed that daptomy- cin's mechanism of action involves functional disruption of the bacterial plasma membrane (1, 4, 7). However, what is most striking about the article is the im- pression that the patient was not managed optimally. Nafcillin/ cloxacillin (with/without an aminoglycoside) would be widely accepted as the drug of choice to treat MSSA native valve endocarditis; comparative studies have confirmed cloxacillin/ nafcillin to have superior efficacy to vancomycin in patients with MSSA bacteremia (2, 5). Despite confirmation that the offending organism was methicillin sensitive, the patient was first managed on levofloxacin and then switched to vancomy- cin. Following a poor response to vancomycin, the patient was placed on nafcillin for a very brief period (3 days only), before switching to daptomycin monotherapy. The clinical rationale applied is not explained in the methods section nor taken up in the discussion. Resistance to daptomycin was documented after 6 to 7 days of treatment. Only after 17 days of antibiotic treatment did the patient receive a prolonged course of nafcillin and gentamicin. Unfortunately, the patient's mitral valve was destroyed by the time infection was brought under control and he underwent successful valve replacement, which remains a suboptimal out- come. It would be interesting to know why first vancomycin and then daptomycin were regarded as the drugs of choice to treat a patient with MSSA bacteremia. According to the clin- ical trial (3) of daptomycin versus standard therapy of S. aureus bacteremia and right-sided endocarditis referred to in the re- port by Sakoulas et al., success rates favored daptomycin over vancomycin among patients with methicillin-resistant S. aureus but were higher for MSSA infection treated with an antistaphy- lococcal penicillin (nafcillin, oxacillin, or flucloxacillin) com- pared to daptomycin. Despite the fact that one of the authors is affiliated with the company producing daptomycin, no conflict of interest was declared. We believe it is essential that every publication should include a conflict of interest statement. This article demonstrates the importance of ensuring transparency in or- der to protect the best interests of our patients.
    Journal of clinical microbiology 08/2008; 46(7):2471; author reply 2471-2. · 4.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: An abstract is unavailable. This article is available as HTML full text and PDF.
    Infectious Disease in Clinical Practice 02/2008; 16(2).
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    ABSTRACT: We examined sequential methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus isolates from a patient with mitral valve endocarditis recovered during persistent bacteremia on standard therapy and relapse after treatment with daptomycin. An isolate obtained after 5 days of antimicrobial therapy, but before exposure to daptomycin, showed subtle physiological changes in response to daptomycin, with significant regrowth in the daptomycin killing assay compared to the treatment-naive strain. Once daptomycin was started, the population became more heterogeneous and tested as nonsusceptible. These organisms were examined in a simulated-vegetation in vitro pharmacodynamic model, which confirmed progressive decreases in killing with daptomycin concentrations that simulate those attained in humans with 6-mg/kg of body weight daily dosing. Early surgical intervention or combination therapy or both might have prevented the loss of daptomycin susceptibility.
    Journal of clinical microbiology 02/2008; 46(1):220-4. · 4.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The G2576T mutation in domain V of 23S rRNA has been most often associated with the rare cases of linezolid resistance in Staphylococcus aureus. In a linezolid-susceptible S. aureus (A8761B) possessing a single mutated (G2576T) copy, originally derived from a resistant clinical isolate, we assessed the persistence of the mutation on further passage on antibiotic-free medium and the selection of resistance upon re-exposure of the susceptible strain to linezolid. The stability of the mutant rRNA copy was tested through 40 serial passages on antibiotic-free medium. The re-emergence of linezolid-resistant mutants was examined after serial passage on successively increasing linezolid concentrations. The efficacy of novobiocin, at subinhibitory concentrations, to prevent or delay the emergence of resistant mutants was examined. Strain relatedness was confirmed by PFGE and domain V of individual rRNA copies was sequenced. After 40 passages in antibiotic-free medium, the linezolid MIC of derived strain A9584 remained stable at 2 mg/L and the G2576T mutation persisted in one 23S rRNA gene copy (copy number 2). Upon re-exposure of the strain to increasing concentrations of linezolid, linezolid resistance (MIC of 64 mg/L) emerged rapidly. In a representative derivative (A9753), the G2576T mutation was found in four of the five rRNA copies. All laboratory derivates were closely related by PFGE. When A9584 was applied to plates containing linezolid at 4 x MIC, resistant colonies emerged at a frequency of 8 x 10(-6). Novobiocin at 1/4 x MIC prevented the emergence of resistant colonies. The persistence of the G2576T mutation in one rRNA operon copy in the absence of selective pressure suggests that the mutation has a minimal impact on the organism's fitness in vitro. Resistance to linezolid, associated with acquisition of multiple mutant copies, emerges rapidly upon re-exposure to linezolid. Novobiocin, predicted to interfere with gene conversion, may reduce the likelihood of rapid development of linezolid resistance.
    Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy 10/2007; 60(3):649-51. · 5.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A previous study documented the presence of mutations in mprF that accompanied the loss of daptomycin susceptibility among Staphylococcus aureus isolates following exposure to the drug. An association between the development of glycopeptide-intermediate S. aureus and daptomycin nonsusceptibility has also been recently described. We report that among three clinical S. aureus isolates which developed vancomycin heteroresistance, as well as daptomycin nonsusceptibility despite a lack of exposure to this drug, there were no mutations resulting in amino acid substitutions in MprF.
    Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 06/2007; 51(6):2223-5. · 4.57 Impact Factor
  • Infectious Diseases in Clinical Practice - INFECT DIS CLIN PRAC. 01/2007; 15(5):324-329.
  • George M Eliopoulos
    Current Infectious Disease Reports 10/2006; 8(5):333-6.
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    ABSTRACT: We studied vancomycin and daptomycin susceptibility in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus from patients exposed to vancomycin, glycopeptide-intermediate S. aureus, and S. aureus passaged in vancomycin-containing medium. A correlation between vancomycin and daptomycin heteroresistance was noted in some strains, suggesting that exposure of S. aureus to vancomycin may affect susceptibility to daptomycin.
    Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 05/2006; 50(4):1581-5. · 4.57 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

7k Citations
891.07 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2012
    • Monash University (Australia)
      • Department of Microbiology
      Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • 1995–2012
    • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
      • • Division of Infectious Diseases
      • • Department of Medicine
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
    • Bozeman Deaconess Hospital
      Bozeman, Montana, United States
  • 1994–2010
    • Massachusetts General Hospital
      • • Division of Infectious Diseases
      • • Department of Medicine
      Boston, MA, United States
  • 2009
    • Medical University of Graz
      Gratz, Styria, Austria
  • 2006–2008
    • New York Medical College
      • Department of Medicine
      New York City, NY, United States
  • 1987–2007
    • Harvard Medical School
      • Department of Medicine
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2005
    • University of Nottingham
      Nottigham, England, United Kingdom
  • 2004
    • University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
      • Pharmaceutical Sciences Department
      Buffalo, NY, United States
    • Crystal Run Healthcare
      Goshen, New York, United States
  • 2002
    • Partners HealthCare
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 1988–1995
    • Beverly Hospital, Boston MA
      Beverly, Massachusetts, United States