Antibiotic Resistance and Mobile Elements Group (ARMEG)
ARMEG is a recently established group founded by the Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Unit, School of Medicine (Liverpool Clinical School). Our laboratory is located within the Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research, a new purpose-built institute which serves as the centre of medical research in southwest Sydney.
Areas of Research
Strains of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are a major cause of hospital-acquired infections around the world and are an emerging cause of infections in the wider community. In an attempt to address this global healthcare issue the laboratory's research program focuses predominantly on various aspects of this important human pathogen and current research areas include MRSA ST239 genome evolution (Liverpool Hospital). Research from this project was recently presented as a late-breaker poster at the 51st Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.
Research from the Staphylococcal multiresistance plasmids project was recently presented as a poster at the 2011 Molecular Biology of Bacterial Pathogens Conference.
Other areas of research include:
Community MRSA in southwest Sydney
Mechanisms of antibiotic resistance in clinically-important bacteria
Infection prevention and control of multiresistant bacteria.
Dr. Björn Espedido, Dr. Slade Jensen, Prof. Iain Gosbell
Prof. Iain Gosbell - Foundation Professor/Head of Unit (Microbiology and Infectious Diseases), Clinical Research
Dr. Slade Jensen - Senior Lecturer (Microbiology and Infectious Diseases), Laboratory Research
Dr. Björn Espedido - Postdoctoral Scientific Officer (Microbiology and Infectious Diseases)
A/Prof. Sebastiaan van Hal - Conjoint (Microbiology and Infectious Diseases), Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Liverpool Hospital
A/Prof. Neville Firth - Molecular Genetics Laboratory, School of Biological Sciences, University of Sydney
Dr. Stephen Bentley - Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
Prof. Mathew Cooper - Institute for Molecular Bioscience, University of Queensland
Dr. Jason Steen - Institute for Molecular Bioscience, University of Queensland
Dr. Julie Markham - School of Natural Sciences, University of Western Sydney
Prof. Mary-Louise McLaws - School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of New South Wales
Dr. Michael Phillips - School of Natural Sciences, University of Western Sydney
A/Prof. Karen Vickery, Australian School of Advanced Medicine, Macquarie University
Mechanisms of stable gene inheritance in multiresistant Staphylococcus aureus
NHMRC Project Grant 1030003
A/Prof. Neville Firth, Prof. M Schumacher, Dr. S Kwong and Dr. S Jensen
Type Ib partitioning systems of staphylococcal plasmids
UWS Research Grant Scheme
Dr. Slade Jensen and A/Prof. N Firth
Biofilm research in hospital settings
Whiteley Corp. Grant
Prof. Iain Gosbell and Dr. Slade Jensen
DNA segregation in multiresistant Staphylococcus aureus
NHMRC Project Grant 571028
Dr. Neville Firth, Dr. M Schumacher, Dr. S Jensen and Prof. R Skurray
Honours and PhD Projects
We have Honours and PhD projects available to interested science and medical students in all of the above mentioned research areas.
PhD - Dynamics of vancomycin resistance in MRSA MBBS (Hons) - Further developments in community MRSA in southwest Sydney
Selected Group Publications
Shearer JES, Wireman J, Hostetler J, Forberger H, Borman J, Sanchez S, Mankin A, LaMarre J, Lindsay J, Bayles K, Nicholson A, O'Brien F, Jensen SO, Firth N, Skurray RA, Summers AO (2011). Major families of multiresistant plasmids from geographically and epidemiologically diverse staphylococci. G3, (accepted).
Vickery K, Deva A, Jacombs A, Allan J, Valente P, Gosbell IB (2011). Presence of biofilm containing viable multiresistant organisms despite terminal cleaning on clinical surfaces in an intensive care unit. J Hosp Infect, (in press).
Espedido BA, Gosbell IB (2011). The role of chromosomal mutations in the development of clinically-important antibiotic resistance in Staphylococcus aureus. Front BioSci, 17(3/S4):900-915.
van Hal SJ, Barbagiannakos T, Jones M, Wehrhahn MC, Mercer J, Chen D, Paterson DL, Gosbell IB (2011). Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus vancomycin susceptibility testing: methodology correlations, temporal trends and clonal patterns. J Antimicrob Chemother, 66(10):2284-7.
van Hal SJ, Jones M, Gosbell IB, Paterson DL (2011). The presence of heteroresistant vancomycin intermediate Staphylococcus aureus is not associated with increased mortality in patients with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus blood stream infections. PLoS ONE, 6(6):e21217.
Gosbell IB (2011). Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in veterinary practice. Aust Vet J, 89(5):148-51.
Liew ATF, Theis T, Jensen SO, Garcia-Lara J, Foster S J, Firth N, Lewis P J, Harry E J (2011). A simple plasmid-based system that allows rapid generation of tightly controlled gene expression in Staphylococcus aureus. Microbiology, 157:666-76.
van Hal SJ, Paterson DL, Gosbell IB (2010). Emergence of daptomycin resistance following vancomycin-unresponsive Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia in a daptomycin-naïve patient — a review of the literature. Eur J Clin Microbiol Inf Dis, 30(5):603-10.
Howden BP, Seemann T, Harrison PF, McEvoy CR, Stanton Jo-Ann L, Rand CJ, Mason CW, Jensen SO, Firth N, Davies JK, Johnson PDR, Stinear TP (2010). Complete Genome Sequence of Staphylococcus aureus strain JKD6008, a ST239 clone of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus with intermediate level vancomycin resistance. J Bacteriol, 192:5848-9.
Jensen SO, Apisiridej S, Kwong SM, Yang YH, Skurray RA, Firth N (2010). Analysis of the prototypical Staphylococcus aureus multi-resistance plasmid pSK1. Plasmid, 64:135-42.
Kwong SM, Jensen SO, Firth N (2010). Prevalence of Fst-like toxin-antitoxin systems. Microbiology, 156:975-977.
Ni L†, Jensen SO†, Ky Tonthat N, Berg T, Kwong SM, Guan FH, Brown MH, Skurray RA, Firth N, Schumacher MA (2009). The Staphylococcus aureus pSK41 plasmid-encoded ArtA protein is a master regulator of plasmid transmission genes and contains a RHH motif used in alternate DNA-binding modes. Nucleic Acids Res, 37(20):6970-83. †Joint first authors
Jensen SO, Lyon BR (2009). The genetics of antimicrobial resistance in Staphylococcus aureus. Future Microbiol, 4:565-82.
van Hal S, Wiklendt A, Espedido B, Ginn A, Iredell JR (2009). Immediate appearance of plasmid mediated multiple resistance upon antibiotic selection: An argument for systematic resistance epidemiology. J Clin Microbiol, 47(7):2325-2327.
Jiang X, Espedido BA, Partridge SR, Thomas LC, Wang F, Iredell JR (2009). Paradoxical effect of Klebsiella pneumoniae OmpK36 porin deficiency. Pathology, 41(4):388-392.
Espedido BA, Partridge SR, Iredell JR (2008). blaIMP-4 in different genetic contexts in Enterobacteriaceae from Australia. Antimicrob Agents Chemother, 52(8):2984-2987.
Gubbay J, Gosbell IB, Barbagiannakos T, Vickery AM, Mercer JL, Watson M. (2008). Clinical features, epidemiology, antimicrobial resistance, and exotoxin genes (including Panton-Valentine Leukocidin) of gentamicin-susceptible methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (GS-MRSA) isolated at a paediatric teaching hospital in New South Wales, Australia. Pathology, 40:64-71.
LeBard RJ, Jensen SO, Arnaiz IA, Skurray RA, Firth N (2008). A multimer resolution system contributes to segregational stability of the prototypical staphylococcal conjugative multi-resistance plasmid pSK41. FEMS Microbiol Lett, 284:58-67.
Espedido BA, Thomas LC, Iredell JR (2007). Metallo-β-lactamase or extended spectrum β-lactamase: A wolf in sheep's clothing. J Clin Microbiol, 45 (6):2034-2036.
Schumacher MA, Glover TC, Brzoska AJ, Jensen SO, Dunham TD, Skurray RA, Firth N (2007). Segrosome structure revealed by a complex of ParR with centromere DNA. Nature, 450:1268-1271.