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Dr Shivanthi Samarasinghe

Job: Senior Lecturer

Faculty: Health and Life Sciences

School/department: School of Allied Health Sciences

Research group(s): Biomedical and Environmental Health

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

T: +44 (0)116 207 8870

E: ssamarasinghe@dmu.ac.uk

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

 

Personal profile

Dr Shivanthi Samarsinghe is a senior lecturer in microbiology and molecular genetics/genomics in the School of Allied health Sciences, De Montfort University. She obtained her BSc (Hons) in Chemistry/Biochemistry, and completed her PhD, in Microbial Molecular Genetics in 2008.

Dr. Samarasinghe’s doctoral work focused studying on the regulation of gene expression in Escherichia coli and her postdoctoral work (2011) expanded her interest into Eukaryotic regulation of gene expression in Saccharomyces pombe.

 Research Interest: Molecular biology of antibiotic resistant microbial pathogens;

The Molecular Microbiology Research Theme focuses on understanding the molecular basis of the antibiotic resistant microbial pathogens. This involves characterisation of the virulence genes at the molecular level, how they acquire resistance genes (pathogen’s horizontal gene transfer) and analyse the mechanism by which these pathogenic microbes confer antimicrobial resistance. Further, the research theme involves developing the novel molecular methods; PCR based diagnostic methods for diagnosing the antibiotic resistant microbial pathogens at the early stage of their infectious diseases

Inclusion of REF: Selected for inclusion of REF 2014, two outputs of  research within the science based discipline achieved four star, and one output in the same discipline achieved three star.

Research group affiliations

  • Biomedical and Environmental Health
  • Bimolecular Technology
  • Infectious Disease Research Group

Publications and outputs 

  • Estimates of the high prevalence of neonatal sepsis in low-and middle-income countries; A systemic review and a meta-analysis.
    Estimates of the high prevalence of neonatal sepsis in low-and middle-income countries; A systemic review and a meta-analysis. Samarasinghe, S.; Akingbemisilu, Deborah
  • Multiple Choice Questions in Microbial Molecular Genetics
    Multiple Choice Questions in Microbial Molecular Genetics Al Marjani, Mohammed F.; Samarasinghe, S.; Al Kadmy, Israa M. S. Multiple Choice Questions in Microbial Molecular Genetics Mohammed F. Al Marjani; Department of Biology, College of Science, Mustansiriyah University, Iraq. Shivanthi Samarasinghe ; Leicester School of Allied Health Sciences, The Gateway, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, De Montfort University Leicester, LE1 9BH, United Kingdom. Israa M. S. Al Kadmy; Department of Biology, College of Science, Mustansiriyah University, Iraq. The MCQ exam will focus on the content delivered in the different sessions that you have performed during your course. Material for the MCQ exam can be drawn from a number of sources but will be based largely on lecture content in the course. In this book, the multiple-choice questions have been prepared with great care such that the questions framed are Precise and clear enabling the reader to make correct choices. A wide coverage of topics in Molecular biology and Genetics is given. The book is primarily meant for students appearing for competitive examinations and to provide the students with feedback on their progress and an opportunity to improve.
  • The Efficacy of Antibiotics in the Treatment of Chlamydia Trachomatis Infections during Pregnancy. A Systematic Review and a Meta-analysis.
    The Efficacy of Antibiotics in the Treatment of Chlamydia Trachomatis Infections during Pregnancy. A Systematic Review and a Meta-analysis. Samarasinghe, S.; Durber, Katie; Baho, Sinan Chlamydia trachomatis infections encountered during pregnancy can lead to many complications for both mother and neonate if left untreated. A systematic review and a meta-analysis were conducted to analyse the efficacy of antibiotic treatment infection during pregnancy that established the most effective antibiotic to treat Chlamydia trachomatis infections during pregnancy. PubMed and Cochrane Library were searched to the end of 2019. Randomised control trials that aligned with inclusion criteria of relevant antibiotics Azithromycin, Erythromycin, Clindamycin and Amoxicillin during Pregnancy was included. A systematic review and meta-analysis were used to calculate pooled (i) success of treatment for each antibiotic in several trials and (ii) the total adverse side effects for each drug encountered in several trials. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) selected included 1917 pregnant patients with Chlamydia infections, and 851 have completed follow up assessments. Data from three RCTs observed a higher success of treatment for Azithromycin versus Erythromycin, fixed effect model, odds ratio (OR) = 0.67, 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.32-1.80. Data from three RCTs observed a higher success of treatment for Clindamycin versus Erythromycin OR = 2.43 95%, CI:2.00-2.60. Data from two RCTs showed a higher success of treatment for Amoxicillin versus Erythromycin OR = 3.74, 95%, CI:0.68-13.66. Analysis established that Erythromycin resulted in the most adverse side effects. Azithromycin was determined as the most effective antibiotic to treat C. trachomatis infections during pregnancy due to the high success of treatment. Clindamycin is capable of eradicating C. trachomatis infections in pregnancy and can be considered a secondary antibiotic treatment with fewer incidences of adverse side effects and high levels of successful treatment of the infection, however, due to a lack of studies more analysis will be required to confirm the efficacy of Clindamycin. open access journal
  • The anti-virulence effect of cranberry active compound proanthocyanins (PACs) on the expression of genes in the third-generation cephalosporin-resistant Escherichia coli CTX-M-15 associated with urinary tract infection.
    The anti-virulence effect of cranberry active compound proanthocyanins (PACs) on the expression of genes in the third-generation cephalosporin-resistant Escherichia coli CTX-M-15 associated with urinary tract infection. Samarasinghe, S.; Reid, Ruth; AL-Bayati, Majid open access article
  • Preliminary Analysis of the Anti-biofilm Efficacy of Manuka Honey on Extended Spectrum Β-lactamase Producing Escherichia Coli Tem-3 and Klebsiella Pneumoniae Shv18, Associated with Urinary Tract Infections
    Preliminary Analysis of the Anti-biofilm Efficacy of Manuka Honey on Extended Spectrum Β-lactamase Producing Escherichia Coli Tem-3 and Klebsiella Pneumoniae Shv18, Associated with Urinary Tract Infections Samarasinghe, S.; Baho, S.; Czapnik, Paulina Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are one of the most common infections in the UK and many other parts of the world. The prevalence of the Extended Spectrum β-Lactamases (ESBLs) producing UTIs, combined with their ability to form a bio film, has significantly risen and is limiting therapeutic options. This study investigated the anti-bio film activity of Manuka honey on two ESBL producing pathogens, Escherichia coli TEM-3 and Klebsiella pneumonia SHV18, commonly found in UTIs. The ESBL production was confirmed by the double disk synergy method used to confirm the ESBL production. The antibacterial activity of Manuka honey was determined using the agar well diffusion method. The Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) was established using serially diluted honey ranging from 50% to 1.56%. The effect of Manuka honey on the pathogen bio films was analysed using the Tissue Culture Plate method, with an established MIC and under 24h incubation with the honey. The results indicated that K. pneumonia SHV18 is a stronger bio film producer than E. coli TEM 3. 50% (w/v) MIC Manuka honey appears to fully prevent the plank tonic growth of both strains. A significant reduction of 81% of the E. coli TEM3 (p < 0.001) and 52% of the K. pneumonia SHV18 (p = 0.001) bio film biomass was observed. The E. coli bio films were found to be more sensitive to the 50% (w/v) honey dilution than those produced by K. pneumonia. The study indicated the anti-bio film potency of Manuka honey and its potential to become an alternative treatment for the ESBL producing pathogens associated with UTIs. open access article
  • The Distribution of ESBL-Producing Enterobacteriaceae: Leicestershire UK Compared to Worldwide
    The Distribution of ESBL-Producing Enterobacteriaceae: Leicestershire UK Compared to Worldwide Reid, R.; Samarasinghe, S.; Varnakulasingam, Atheena open access article
  • Real-time qPCR analysis of genes expression in the carbapenem-resistant bacteria (Escherichia coli IMP-type and Klebsiella pneumoniae NDM-1) during biofilm formation.
    Real-time qPCR analysis of genes expression in the carbapenem-resistant bacteria (Escherichia coli IMP-type and Klebsiella pneumoniae NDM-1) during biofilm formation. Al-Bayati, Majid; Samarasinghe, S.
  • Adaptability to various growth conditions and Anti-Biofilm efficacy of Garlic and Manuka honey on Carbapenem resistant bacteria associated with Urinary Tract Infection
    Adaptability to various growth conditions and Anti-Biofilm efficacy of Garlic and Manuka honey on Carbapenem resistant bacteria associated with Urinary Tract Infection AL-Bayati, Majid; Samarasinghe, S. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a common form of bacterial infections and can be caused by several types of Gram-negative bacteria including Klebsiella pneumonia and Escherichia coli. In recent years, the emergence of carbapenem (the last-resort of antibiotic currently available) resistance among UTIs has challenged healthcare units worldwide and initiated the demand for alternative antimicrobials. It has been reported the hyper resistance activity of these pathogens are closely associated with their adaptability to different growth conditions and their efficacy of Biofilm formation. Bacteria form biofilms that allow their survival in hostile environments. The amount of formed biofilm is affected by external environmental factors. This study investigates the effect of specific parameters such as different growth media, incubation condition, and different growth stage on the amount of biofilm production in Carbapenem resistant Escherichia coli IMP-type) and Klebsiella pneumoniae (OXA-48, NDM-1, and KPC-3). The amount of biofilm formed was measured at different time points, 6, 12, 24 and 48 hours of incubations, different growth conditions, static and shaking and also, investigated the Biofilm formation efficacy of different growth media, nutrient broth, LB broth, and AB broth). Results indicated that there there was a significant difference in biofilm level (p<0.01) when grown under different types of media. Growing under different incubation conditions. Stage of growth of the same species also showed the statistical difference, 30 out of 30 tests (100%) for E. coli and 30 out of 30 tests (100%) for K. pneumoniae. Furthermore, we investigated the effect of known anti-microbials, Garlic and Manuka honey on biofilm formation of these carbapenem resistant strains on different growth media. Our preliminary results showed that both Garlic extract and Manuka honey were effective against Carbapenem sresistant E. coli and K. pneumonia and demonstrated 20-30mg/ml of MIC (Minimum Inhibitory Concentration) for all the test stains. Collectively these findings suggested that biofilm formation is highly affected by incubation conditions, strains’ stage of growth, and media type demonstrating that these conditions may play a role in adaptability of these UTI pathogens on different environmental conditions and their increased prevalence in biofilm associated infections. Additionaly, natural antimicrobials, Garlic and Manuka honey has anti-biofilm efficacy and pave path to identifying alternative anti-microbial therapy on these Carbapenem resistant UTI pathogens.
  • Genotypic Identification of Extended-Spectrum β-Lactamase (ESBL)Producing Enterobacteriaceae from Urinary Tract Infections in the Leicestershire Area, United Kingdom: A One Health Prospective
    Genotypic Identification of Extended-Spectrum β-Lactamase (ESBL)Producing Enterobacteriaceae from Urinary Tract Infections in the Leicestershire Area, United Kingdom: A One Health Prospective Reid, R.; Al-Bayati, M.; Samarasinghe, S. Objectives: Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are one of the most common infections diagnosed in the United Kingdom (UK). The prevalence of Extended-Spectrum-Β-Lactamase (ESBL) producing UTIs has dramatically risen, limiting treatment options. The emergence and spread of ESBLs is thought to be through the horizontal transmission of antibiotic resistance plasmids IncL/M, IncF, IncN and IncI1. These conjugative plasmids have been described as important vectors and directly linked to major outbreaks of antibiotic resistance. This study aimed to investigate the prevalence of ESBLs in Leicestershire, UK and their relationship with antibiotic resistance plasmids. Methods: 236 ESBL producing uropathogenic Enterobacteriaceae isolates were obtained from the Leicester Royal Infirmary (Leicestershire, UK). ESBL production was confirmed phenotypically via the MAST ID double disc synergy test. ESBL-producing genes (CTX-M, SHV, TEM and OXA) were identified by multiplex PCR. The CTX-M family was then further characterised into (CTX-M-1, CTX-M-2, CTX-M-8, CTX-M-9 and CTX-M-25) by multiplex PCR. The relationship between ESBL-producing genes and plasmid type was then investigated by multiplex PCRbased replicon typing to detect IncFIA, IncI1, IncL/M, IncN and IncFII. Results: ESBL genes were identified as follows: CTX-M (71.6%), OXA (7.6%), TEM (3.8%) and SHV (3.8%). Multiple resistance genes were detected in 16% of isolates. CTX-M genes were identified as follows: CTX-M-1 (84.1%), CTX-M-9 (12.5%), CTX-M-25 (1.7%), CTX-M-8 (1.1%) and CTX-M-2 (0.6%). Replicon typing results were as follows: IncL/M (29.2%), IncN (14.4%), IncI1 (5.1%), IncFII (27.5%) and IncFIA (23.3%). A combination of IncL/M, IncFII and IncFIA was the most common at 9.8%. A positive correlation between CTX-M and all plasmids except IncI1 was found. Conclusion: CTX-M harbouring Enterobacteriaceae are associated with multiple plasmids, which can be linked to its rapid spread across the world. Prevalence studies help to inform policy about antibiotic stewardship and resistance evolution, aiming to reduce resistance levels in the future. Open access article
  • The development and evaluation of a multiplex real-time PCR assay for the detection of ESBL genes in urinary tract infections
    The development and evaluation of a multiplex real-time PCR assay for the detection of ESBL genes in urinary tract infections Reid, R.; Samarasinghe, S. Background Overuse of beta-lactam antibiotics has lead to selection for extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) producing Enterobacteriaceae, a major cause of antibiotic resistant urinary tract infections (UTIs). Standard detection methods are time-consuming, with disputed accuracy. This study describes a novel real-time PCR method to detect CTX-M, SHV, OXA and TEM. Methods 179 Enterobacteriaceae isolates from UTIs were collected from the Leicester Royal Infirmary, UK. A multiplex Plexor®-based real-time PCR assay detected ESBLs using their specific amplicon melting temperature, during each cycle, removing the need for a melt-curve analysis. Validation was achieved by end-point PCR and disk diffusion. Results The method was able to produce rapid and accurate results, achieving a sensitivity and specificity of 94.9% and 72% respectively, and the assay can differentiate between the different ESBL genes, with ease. Conclusions With further investigation, a Plexor®-based assay could form the basis of a high-throughput kit that health services could use to detect ESBLs or other antibiotic resistance genes. open access journal

Click here for a full listing of Shivanthi Samarasinghe's publications and outputs.

Key research outputs

  • Samarasinghe, S. et al, (2008)
  • Autoregulation of the Escherichia coli melR promoter: repression involves four molecules of MelR, Nucleic Acids Research, 1–10, doi:10.1093/nar/gkn119
  • Funaya, C. and Samarasinghe, S. et al, (2012)
  • Transient structure associated with the spindle pole body directs meiotic microtubule reorganization in S.pombe, Current Biology, 22, 1-10, D-11-01295R
  • Elrobh, M., Webster, C., Samarasinghe, S. et al (2012)
  • Two DNA sites for MelR in the same orientation are sufficient for optimal MelR-dependent repression at the Escherichia coli melR promoter, FEMSLE-12-07-0641.R1

Research interests/expertise

  • Key Research theme: Molecular biology of antibiotic resistant microbial pathogens;
  • The Molecular Microbiology Research Theme focuses on understanding the molecular basis of the antibiotic resistant microbial pathogens. This involves characterisation of the virulence genes at the molecular level, how they acquire resistance genes (pathogen’s horizontal gene transfer) and analyse the mechanism by which these pathogenic microbes confer antimicrobial resistance. Further, the research theme involves developing the novel molecular methods; PCR based diagnostic methods for diagnosing the antibiotic resistant microbial pathogens at the early stage of their infectious diseases
  • Application of molecular tools for diagnosis of microbial infectious diseases
  • Understanding the molecular basis of regulatory pathways in microbial pathogens

 

Areas of teaching

  • Basic Microbiology for Biomedical Science
  • Medical Microbiology
  • Molecular Genetics and Genomics

Qualifications

  • Postdoctoral Research Associate in Molecular Cell Biology: Department of Biochemistry, University of Leicester (2008 -2011)
  • PhD in Microbial Molecular Genetics: School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham, 2008
  • BSc.Chemistry and Biochemistry: Institute of Chemistry, Sri Lanka, 2001

Honours and awards

  • The Vice-Chancellor’s Future Research Leader Award- (DMU, 01/2014).
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate in Molecular Cell Biology;Dept. of Biochemistry, University of Leicester, BBSRC funded postdoctoral research (01/08/2008- 31/07/2011).
  • PhD studentship in      Microbial Molecular Genetics awarded by The School of Biosciences,      University of Birmingham and the Darwin Trust of Edinburgh      07/2004-07/2008.
  • Awarded for best scientific paper submitted, Science Research Conference, Association of Professional Sri Lankans (APSL), London, 11/2011

Membership of professional associations and societies

  • Institute of Biomedical Science: Fellowship (FIBMS); (no: 402725)  01/2015-01/2016
  • Society for Applied Microbiology: Full Ordinary member (no: 503356) 01/2013-01/2016.
  • Healthcare Infection Society: Full Ordinary member (no: 9030) 07/2014- 07/2016.

 

Professional licences and certificates

Fellow of Institute of Biomedical Sciences (2015)- FIBMS

 

Projects

  • Bioinformatics analysis of the transcription regulators in multi-drug resistant microbial pathogens.
  • Analysis of Quorum Sensing Regulations in the multi-drug resistant Europathogenic E. coli.
  • Development of Quorum –based anti-virulence therapeutics targeting Gram-negative bacteria.
  • Molecular diagnostics of antibiotic resistant microbial pathogens.

Conference attendance

Conferences attended, submitted abstracts, posters and oral presentations:

  • Genotypic analysis on the multidrug resistant uropathogenic E. coli.  BSAC Antimicrobial resistance Mechanisms Conference, Birmingham-11/2014(poster presentation).

  •  Analysis of unique and specific genetic markers for diagnosis of antibiotic resistant, pathogenic E. coli encoding resistance to the third generation of antibiotic chefotaxime (oral and poster presentation). European Society for translational Medicine.  Annual International European congress in Translational Medicine, Vienna, Austria, 22-25 September, 2014 ( Funded by DMU Future Research Leaders scheme 2014)

  • RNA Polymerase Workshop, York, March 2005
  • RNA Polymerase Workshop, Birmingham, March 2006
  • Journal of Biochemical society 100th Century research conference, Glasgow, June, 2006
  • RNA Polymerase Workshop, London, March 2007
  • Cyclic Nucleotide Signaling Meeting, Durham, April 2007
  • FASEB, Transcription regulation in prokaryotes, Vermont, U.S.A., June, 2007
  • Gene expression and analysis, Biochemical Society, Manchester, March, 2008
  • S. pombe Club, MRC, London, March, 2009
  • British meiosis meeting, University of Sussex, March, 2009
  • S. pombe meeting, University of Tokyo, Japan, 2009
  • British Yeast group meeting, University of Oxford, March, 2010
  • British meiosis meeting, University of Leicester, March, 2010
  • British Society for Cell Biology Autumn meeting , September, 2010
  • British meiosis meeting, University of Sheffield, April, 2011
  • Science Research Conference, Association of Professional Sri Lankans (APSL), London, November, 2011

Recent research outputs

Shivanthi Samarasinghe (2015). Analysis of unique and specific genetic markers for diagnosis of antibiotic resistant, pathogenic E. coli encoding resistance to the third generation of antibiotic chefotaxime. New Horizons in Translational Medicine, 2, page 70; DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nhtm.2014.11.051

 

Consultancy work

  •  Ms. Andrea O’ Corner, Senior Biomedical Scientist, Clinical microbiology unit,      Northampton General Hospital, NHS trusts Northampton (2014).

PCR based molecular diagnostic method and double disk synergy method on analysing the multidrug resistant uropathogenic E. coli.

  • Dr David Jenkins, (Consultant      Medical Microbiologist, Lead Infection Control Doctor, and Deputy Director      of Infection Prevention and Control), and Dr Chris Holmes, (Senior      Clinical Scientist ) Pathology, University Hospitals of Leicester.

PCR based molecular diagnostic (RT-PCR) on analysing the multidrug resistant, (carbapinamases resistant) uropathogenic bacteria (2014-todate).

 

Current research students

Molecular Characterisation and prevalence analysis of CTX-M antibiotic resistant E. coli in Leicestershire. DMU PhD studentship; first supervisor (10/2014-04/2018), partnership withClinical Microbiology, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Molecular Characterisation of the Quorum sensing genes in the multi-drug resistant uropathogenic E. coli.Ministry of Higher Education, Iraq, funded PhD studentship; first supervisor(04/2015-04/2019).

3.     Analysis of virulence gene expression via quantitative Real-time PCR during biofilm formation in MRSA; DMUPhD studentship, second supervisor collaborative research project with Dr. Katie Laird, (10/2014-01/2016).

4.     Molecular detection and rapid diagnosis of the antibiotic resistant E. coli pathogens in the companion animals (cats and dogs). DMUPhD studentship, second supervisor (10/2013-01/2016).

5.     The effect of novel synthetic antimicrobials on virulence gene expression of the antibiotic resistant Gram-negatives. DMUPhD studentship, second supervisor (10/2015-10/2019).

Externally funded research grants information

  • Industrial Project grant (Shawabe technologies) Analysis antimicrobial effect of natural oil extracted from plant based product on Gut Microflora (co- Investigator, collaboration with Dr. Katie Laird and Dr Benjamin Gronier, HLS, DMU‎ (11/2014-01/2016).

 

  • HCED Iraq funded PhD studentship:Analysis of the Quorum sensing (QS) gene expression  and eveluate the relationship between QS and virulance potential / antibiotic resistance in the pathogenic Gram negative organism, Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Principal Investigator/First supervisor (01/04/2015-01/04/2018).

 

Internally funded research project information

 

  • Small project Scheme to establish the molecular microbiology research lab (£5000) Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, 05/2013, PI).
  • Research Investment Capital Funding for Real-Time PCR (£12,600, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, 10/2013, PI).
  • DMU fees only PhD      studentship; Molecular Characterisation and development of molecular      diagnostic markers for CTX-M antibiotic resistant E. coli. first      supervisor/PI (10/2014-10/2017)
  • DMU fees only PhD studentship; Analysis of virulence gene expression via quantitative Real-time PCR during biofilm formation in MRSA. Co-investigator/ second supervisor. (2014-2016).

 

Case studies

In my postdoctoral work (Department of Biochemistry, University of Leicester, under the Principal Investigator, Dr. Kayoko Tanaka) I have contributed to the following research project.

Scientists make stunning inner space observations
Web site >

Posted by pt 91 at May 01, 2012 10:19 AM | Permalink

High-powered microscopes reveal workings of the cell – results could impact treatment of Down’s Syndrome, lissencephaly (a brain formation disorder) or cancer.

Shavanthi-Samarasingheshivanthi-samarsinghe-antibiotic-guardian-logo

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