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Professor Richard Jenkins

Job: Research Professor

Faculty: Health and Life Sciences

School/department: School of Allied Health Sciences

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH.

T: +44 (0)116-2577942

E: roj@dmu.ac.uk

W: http://www.dmu.ac.uk/hls

 

Personal profile

Professor Jenkins holds a first class degree in microbiology with biochemistry and a PhD in yeast physiology. His postdoctoral research was with Professor Sir Howard Dalton at the University of Warwick, investigating microbial biotransformations of aromatic hydrocarbons. Since joining De Montfort University, he has pursued various research interests involving the interaction of microbiological systems with chemicals (including antimony and arsenic compounds, chlorinated ethylenes) and various man-made environments (infant mattresses, water courses, landfills). His other research interests are the mechanistic action of certain metabolic poisons (fluoroacetate, organophosphates), human exposure to toxic metals and metalloids, and spectroscopic characterisation of cells (human and microbial). 

Research group affiliations

Institute of Allied Health Sciences 

Publications and outputs 

  • The universal soldier: enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidant functions of serum albumin.
    The universal soldier: enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidant functions of serum albumin. Belinskaia, D. A.; Voronina, P.A.; Shmurak, V. I.; Vovk, M. A.; Batalova, A.A.; Jenkins, R. O.; Goncharov, N. V. As a carrier of many biologically active compounds, blood is exposed to oxidants to a greater extent than the intracellular environment. Serum albumin plays a key role in antioxidant defence under both normal and oxidative stress conditions. This review evaluates data published in the literature and from our own research on the mechanisms of the enzymatic and non‐enzymatic activities of albumin that determine its participation in redox modulation of plasma and intercellular fluid. For the first time, the results of numerous clinical, biochemical, spectroscopic and computational experiments devoted to the study of allosteric modulation of the functional properties of the protein associated with its participation in antioxidant defence are analysed. It has been concluded that it is fundamentally possible to regulate the antioxidant properties of albumin with various ligands, and the binding and/or enzymatic features of the protein by changing its redox status. The perspectives for using the antioxidant properties of albumin in practice are discussed. open access article
  • Russian VX
    Russian VX Rembovskiy, V.; Savelieva, A.; Radilov, A.; Samchenko, N.; Karakashev, G.; Leninskiy, M.; Koryagina, N.; Kuznetsov, S.; Mindukshev, I.; Khlebnikova, N.; Jenkins, R. O.; Goncharov, N. V.
  • Experimental modeling for delayed effects of organophosphates
    Experimental modeling for delayed effects of organophosphates Goncharov, N. V.; Belinskaia, D.; Shmurak, V.; Korf, E.; Jenkins, R. O.; Avdonin, P.
  • Fluoroacetate
    Fluoroacetate Goncharov, N. V.; Savelieva, E.; Koryagina, N.; Zinchenko, V.; Kuznetsov, V.; Mindukshev, I.; Avdonin, P.; Ukolov, A.; Jenkins, R. O.
  • Occurrence of ESBL-Producing Escherichia coli ST131, Including the H30-Rx and C1-M27 Subclones, Among Urban Seagulls from the United Kingdom
    Occurrence of ESBL-Producing Escherichia coli ST131, Including the H30-Rx and C1-M27 Subclones, Among Urban Seagulls from the United Kingdom Zendri, Flavia; Maciuca, Iuliana E.; Moon, Simon; Jones, Phillip H.; Wattret, Andy; Jenkins, R. O.; Baxter, Andy; Timofte, Dorina Antimicrobial resistance is a public health concern. Understanding any role that urban seagulls may have as a reservoir of resistant bacteria could be important for reducing transmission. This study investigated fecal Escherichia coli isolates from seagulls (herring gulls and lesser black-backed gulls) to determine the prevalence of extended-spectrum cephalosporin-resistant (ESC-R) and fluoroquinolone-resistant E. coli among gull species from two cities (Taunton and Birmingham) in the United Kingdom (UK). We characterized the genetic background and carriage of plasmid-mediated resistance genes in extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing E. coli obtained from these birds. Sixty ESC-R E. coli isolates were obtained from 39 seagulls (39/78, 50%), of which 28 (28/60, 46.7%) were positive for plasmid-mediated CTX-M and/or AmpC β-lactamase resistance genes. Among these, blaCTX-M-15, blaCTX-M-14, and blaCMY-2 predominated. Three isolates belonging to the B2-ST131 clone were detected, of which two harbored blaCTX-M-15 (typed to C2/H30Rx) and one harbored blaCTX-M-27 and was typed to C1/H30-R (recently described as the C1-M27 sublineage). The plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance (PMQR) gene carriage prevalence (11.7%) consisted of aac(6′)-Ib-cr and qnrB genes. No carbapenem or colistin resistance genes were detected. Urban seagulls in the UK are colonized and can spread major antimicrobial-resistant E. coli isolates harboring ESBL and PMQR determinants, including clinically important strains such as the pandemic clone B2-ST131 and the C1-M27 subclade. This is the first report of ST131-C1-M27 subclade in wildlife in the UK and in seagulls worldwide. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
  • The role of two-pore channels in norepinephrine-induced [Ca2+]i rise in rat aortic smooth muscle cells and aorta contraction.
    The role of two-pore channels in norepinephrine-induced [Ca2+]i rise in rat aortic smooth muscle cells and aorta contraction. Trufanov, S. K.; Rybakova, E. Y.; Avdonin, P. P.; TSITRINA, A. A.; Goncharov, N. V.; Jenkins, R. O.; Avdonin, P. V. Second messenger nicotinic acid adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NAADP) triggers Ca2+ release via two-pore channels (TPCs) localized in endolysosomal vesicles. The aim of the present work is to evaluate the role of TPCs in the action of norepinephrine (NE), angiotensin II (AngII), vasopressin (AVP), and 5-hydroxytriptamine (5-HT) on free cytoplasmic calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i) in smooth muscle cells (SMCs) isolated from rat aorta and on aorta contraction. To address this issue, the NAADP structural analogue and inhibitor of TPCs, NED 19, was applied. We have demonstrated a high degree of colocalization of the fluorescent signals of cis-NED 19 and endolysosmal probe LysoTracker in SMCs. Both cis- or trans-NED 19 inhibited the rise of [Ca2+]i in SMCs induced by 100 M NE by 50–60%. IC50 for cis- and trans-NED 19 were 2.7 and 8.9 M, respectively. The inhibition by NED 19 stereoisomers of the e ects of AngII, AVP, and 5-HT was much weaker. Both forms of NED 19 caused relaxation of aortic rings preconstricted by NE, with relative potency of cis-NED 19 several times higher than that of trans-NED 19. Inhibition by cis-NED 19 of NE-induced contraction was maintained after intensive washing and slowly reversed within an hour of incubation. Cis- and trans-NED 19 did not cause decrease in the force of aorta contraction in response to Ang II and AVP, and only slightly relaxed aorta preconstricted by 5-HT and by KCl. Suppression of TPC1 in SMCs with siRNA caused a 40% decrease in [Ca2+]i in response to NE, whereas siRNA against TPC2 did not change NE calcium signaling. These data suggest that TPC1 is involved in the NE-stimulated [Ca2+]i rise in SMCs. Inhibition of TPC1 activity by NED 19 could be the reason for partial inhibition of aortic rings contraction in response to NE. open access journal
  • Safety and toxicity evaluation of nutraceuticals in animal models.
    Safety and toxicity evaluation of nutraceuticals in animal models. Goncharov, Nikolay V.; Sobolev, V. E.; Terpilowski, M.A.; Korf, E.A.; Jenkins, R. O. Nutraceuticals are derived from various natural sources such as medicinal plants, marine organisms, vegetables, and fruits. Most of them possess antioxidant or anti-inflammatory properties and are claimed to provide protection against many diseases if taken regularly. At the same time, toxicological studies of nutraceuticals have been limited, so the safety of many of them cannot be guaranteed. Animals share many genetic, anatomical, and physiological similarities with humans, and they continue to be widely used in preclinical studies of drugs, in spite of a lack of their validity which is due to the great phenotypic differences. The absence of toxicity in animals provides little probability that adverse reactions will also be absent in humans. There are currently thousands of researchers involved in the development of alternatives to animal use in the life sciences. Statistical machine-learning tools, once developed, might become a powerful means to explain the complex physiological effects of nutraceuticals. The use of different models and algorithms can provide a more scientific basis for risk assessment of nutraceuticals for humans.
  • Rational in silico design of aptamers for organophosphates based on the example of paraoxon
    Rational in silico design of aptamers for organophosphates based on the example of paraoxon Belinskaia, D. A.; Avdonin, P. V.; Avdonin, P. P.; Jenkins, R. O.; Goncharov, Nikolay V. Poisoning by organophosphates (OPs) takes one of the leading places in the total number of exotoxicoses. Detoxication of OPs at the first stage of the poison entering the body could be achieved with the help of DNA- or RNA-aptamers, which are able to bind poisons in the bloodstream. The aim of the research was to develop an approach to rational in silico design of aptamers for OPs based on the example of paraoxon. From the published sequence of an aptamer binding organophosphorus pesticides, its threedimensional model has been constructed. The most probable binding site for paraoxon was determined by molecular docking and molecular dynamics (MD) methods. Then the nucleotides of the binding site were mutated consequently and the values of free binding energy have been calculated using MD trajectories and MM-PBSA approach. On the basis of the energy values, two sequences that bind paraoxon most efficiently have been selected. The value of free binding energy of paraoxon with peripheral anionic site of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) has been calculated as well. It has been revealed that the aptamers found bind paraoxon more effectively than AChE. The peculiarities of paraoxon interaction with the aptamers nucleotides have been analyzed. The possibility of improving in silico approach for aptamer selection is discussed. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
  • From Ward to Washer: The Survival of Clostridium difficile spores on Hospital Bedsheets through a Commercial UK NHS Healthcare Laundry Process
    From Ward to Washer: The Survival of Clostridium difficile spores on Hospital Bedsheets through a Commercial UK NHS Healthcare Laundry Process Jenkins, R. O.; Laird, Katie; Tarrant, Joanna Objective: to quantify the survival of Clostridium difficile spores on hospital bedsheets through the UK NHS healthcare laundry process (Health Technical Memorandum (HTM) 01-04) in vitro and from C. difficile patient’s bedsheet through the commercial laundry. Methods: C. difficile spores were inoculated onto cotton sheets and laundered through a simulated Washer Extractor (WE) cycle using an Industrial bleach detergent with Sodium Hypochlorite 15%and peracetic acid sour 14% (Acetic acid and Hydrogen peroxide, pH 2-4 ). C. difficile naturally contaminated hospital sheets survival was also assessed through a WE, drying and finishing cycle at a commercial laundry. Patients: Naturally contaminated C. difficile bedsheets were taken from patients’ beds that had previously been diagnosed with C. difficile infection (CDI) and were on an isolated C. difficile ward. Results: The simulated WE cycle, with an industrial detergent, demonstrated survival of two strains of C. difficile NCTC 11209 (0-4 cfu/25cm2) and ribotype 001/072 (0-9 cfu/25cm2). Before laundering naturally contaminated bedsheets had an average spore load of 51 cfu/25cm2 and after washing, drying and finishing it was 33 cfu/25cm2, pre and post wash the C. difficile strain was identified as ribotype 001/072. Both the simulated and in situ laundering process failed the microbiological standards of no pathogenic bacteria. Conclusions: This study shows that C. difficile spores are able to survive laundering through a commercial WE and may be contributing to sporadic outbreaks of CDI. Further research to establish exposure of laundry workers, patients and the hospital environment to C. difficile spores from bedsheets is required. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version.
  • A multi-faceted approach to determining the efficacy of metal and metal oxide nanoparticles against bacterial biofilms
    A multi-faceted approach to determining the efficacy of metal and metal oxide nanoparticles against bacterial biofilms Tejpal, Jyoti; Cross, R. B. M.; Owen, Lucy; Paul, Shashi; Jenkins, R. O.; Armitage, David; Laird, Katie Antibacterial efficacy of nanoscale silver, copper (II) oxide and zinc oxide were assessed against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus biofilms in solution and on surfaces. Using a Center for Disease Control biofilm reactor, minimum biofilm reduction concentrations, the coefficient of determination (R2) and log(10) reductions were determined. Atomic absorption spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy and confocal laser scanning microscopy were used to assess the disruption of the biofilms. The efficacy of thin films of zinc oxide and silver deposited via magnetron sputtering and thermal evaporation respectively was also assessed. Minimum biofilm reduction concentrations of zinc oxide or silver nanoparticles were 256 or 50 µg/ml for P. aeruginosa and 16 or50 µg/ml for S. aureus respectively. When tested in combination the nanoparticles concentrations were at least halved resulting in significant (p ≤0.05) biofilm reductions of 3.77 log(10) - 3.91 log(10). Biofilm growth on thin films resulted in reductions of up to 1.82 log(10). The results suggest that nanoparticle suspensions and thin films of zinc oxide and may have potential as antimicrobial treatments for hard to eliminate biofilms in a clinical environment.

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Richard Jenkins

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