Joanne Malkin

University of Leicester, Leiscester, England, United Kingdom

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Publications (7)23.32 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Background: Although tuberculosis is transmitted by the airborne route, direct information on the natural output of bacilli into air by source cases is very limited. We sought to address this through sampling of expelled aerosols in face masks that were subsequently analyzed for mycobacterial contamination. Methods: In series 1, 17 smear microscopy positive patients wore standard surgical face masks once or twice for periods between 10 minutes and 5 hours; mycobacterial contamination was detected using a bacteriophage assay. In series 2, 19 patients with suspected tuberculosis were studied in Leicester UK and 10 patients with at least one positive smear were studied in The Gambia. These subjects wore one FFP30 mask modified to contain a gelatin filter for one hour; this was subsequently analyzed by the Xpert MTB/RIF system. Results: In series 1, the bacteriophage assay detected live mycobacteria in 11/17 patients with wearing times between 10 and 120 minutes. Variation was seen in mask positivity and the level of contamination detected in multiple samples from the same patient. Two patients had non-tuberculous mycobacterial infections. In series 2, 13/20 patients with pulmonary tuberculosis produced positive masks and 0/9 patients with extrapulmonary or non-tuberculous diagnoses were mask positive. Overall, 65% of patients with confirmed pulmonary mycobacterial infection gave positive masks and this included 3/6 patients who received diagnostic bronchoalveolar lavages. Conclusion: Mask sampling provides a simple means of assessing mycobacterial output in non-sputum expectorant. The approach shows potential for application to the study of airborne transmission and to diagnosis.
    PLoS ONE 08/2014; 9(8):e104921. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0104921 · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • American Thoracic Society 2010 International Conference, May 14-19, 2010 • New Orleans; 05/2010
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    ABSTRACT: We have developed a novel real-time PCR assay to identify and perform preliminary genotyping of mycobacteria in a manner tailored to our local service. Within a single thermocycler run, mycobacterial 16S rDNA and the Mycobacterium tuberculosis global lineage-defining RD750 polymorphism are targeted in separate reaction tubes, each of which includes both TaqMan and SYBR Green chemistries. The results of this 16S-RD assay differentiate M. tuberculosis complex (MTBC) from nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) and recognize whether or not MTBC isolates belong to the East African-Indian lineage, the single most frequently isolated global MTBC lineage in our service. If required, NTM amplicons may be sequenced to provide more specific identities. We report the technical performance of this assay on 88 mycobacteria-positive cultures and discuss its use in the initial management of mycobacterial infections. The 16S-RD assay correctly identified all 70 MTBC-positive cultures and 17 NTM-positive cultures while contemporaneously recognizing 26 MTBC isolates as within and 44 outside the East African-Indian lineage. In artificial samples, the combined assay also showed limited potential to detect mixed mycobacterial infections (MTBC/NTM) and tuberculosis infections involving more than one global MTBC lineage. The approach we have established can be readily tailored to targets of particular value for any mycobacterial diagnostic service, thereby optimizing the value of the results for local clinical and public health management of mycobacterial infections.
    The Journal of molecular diagnostics: JMD 03/2010; 12(2):250-6. DOI:10.2353/jmoldx.2010.090030 · 3.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Resuscitation-promoting factors (Rpfs) are a family of secreted proteins produced by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) that stimulate mycobacterial growth. Although mouse infection studies show that they support bacterial survival and disease reactivation, it is currently unknown whether Rpfs influence human infection. We hypothesized that tuberculous sputum might include a population of Rpf-dependent Mtb cells. To determine whether Rpf-dependent Mtb cells are present in human sputum and explore the impact of chemotherapy on this population. In tuberculous sputum samples we compared the number of cells detected by conventional agar colony-forming assay with that determined by limiting dilution, most-probable number assay in the presence or absence of Rpf preparations. In 20 of 25 prechemotherapy samples from separate patients, 80-99.99% of the cells demonstrated by cultivation could be detected only with Rpf stimulation. Mtb cells with this phenotype were not generated on specimen storage or by inoculating sputum samples with a selection of clinical isolates; moreover, Rpf dependency was lost after primary isolation. During chemotherapy, the proportion of Rpf-dependent cells was found to increase relative to the surviving colony-forming population. Smear-positive sputum samples are dominated by a population of Mtb cells that can be grown only in the presence of Rpfs. These intriguing proteins are therefore relevant to human infection. The Rpf-dependent population is invisible to conventional culture and is progressively enhanced in relative terms during chemotherapy, indicating a form of phenotypic resistance that may be significant for both chemotherapy and transmission.
    American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 10/2009; 181(2):174-80. DOI:10.1164/rccm.200905-0661OC · 11.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present a case of Mycobacterium kansasii olecranon bursitis in a woman with known immunosuppression secondary to the treatment received for her Behçet's disease. We found only one other case report of olecranon bursitis caused by M. kansasii in the literature, which, unlike our case, presented in an immunocompetent adult following trauma. This case extends the range of opportunistic mycobacterial infections that are associated with anti-tumour necrosis factor therapy.
    Journal of Medical Microbiology 04/2009; 58(Pt 3):371-3. DOI:10.1099/jmm.0.006809-0 · 2.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Today, PCR using broad-range primers is being used increasingly to detect pathogens from resected heart valves. Herein is described the first case of multivalve infective endocarditis where 16S rDNA PCR was used to detect a single pathogen from two affected valves in a 61-year-old man. Triple heart valve replacement was required despite six weeks of appropriate antimicrobial therapy. The organism was confirmed as Streptococcus gallolyticus subsp. macedonicus, a member of the 'S. equinus/S. bovis' complex. To date, only one report has been made of human infection due to this organism. This may be due to the limited resolution of the routine diagnostic methods used and/or as a consequence of the complex nomenclature associated with this group of organisms.
    The Journal of heart valve disease 10/2008; 17(5):589-92. · 0.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A case of purpura fulminans (PF) in a child secondary to infection with meticillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) encoding the Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) toxin genes is presented. Occasional cases of PF have been documented secondary to S. aureus infection in adults, but, to the authors' knowledge, not in children. Here the first UK case of MSSA-PVL leading to PF is presented.
    Journal of Medical Microbiology 11/2007; 56(Pt 10):1407-9. DOI:10.1099/jmm.0.47374-0 · 2.27 Impact Factor