Human Infectious Diseases Group

This group is led by Prof. Dr. Abdul Haque, Director Akhuwat FIRST who is globally known for his work on multiple drug resistance, diagnostics and vaccine production in infectious microorganisms especially Salmonella Typhi, pathogenic E. coli, Staphylococci, and rotavirus. He is ably assisted by Dr. Asad Bashir Awan, whose PhD thesis addressed important aspects of Pseudomonas aeruginosa pathogenesis.

Our objectives are:

  • Characterization of multidrug resistance in clinical pathogens
  • Characterization of clinical pathogens for their pathogenesis, biofilm formation and antimicrobial dependence
  • Characterization of clinical pathogens to identify candidates for diagnostics or vaccine development.
  • Screening and characterization of novel antimicrobials

Currently, the group is engaged in the following areas:

Study of ESBL and carbapenemase producing clinical pathogens:

This work is being done in collaboration with The University of Faisalabad and is funded by HEC NRPU Project #7664 entitled “Molecular characterization of ESBLs and carbapenemase producing clinical isolates from Pakistan.” A BS (Hons) Biotechnology student Sofia Irfan has submitted a report on her research on coliforms and a manuscript is being written for submission to an appropriate journal.

Study of drug resistance and drug dependence in Stahylococci:

The research work done by the Group leader which showed high level of drug resistance to Stahylococci specific drugs especially linezolid has attracted international attention as such levels were never reported earlier not only in MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus) but also MSSA (Methicillin Sensitive Staphylococcus aureus). A research project is being submitted to study drug resistance and drug dependence in Stahylococci towards linezolid to ICGEB in collaboration with University of Chile, Chile and University of Bahia, Brazil.

Isolation and characterization of antibiotic producing soil bacteria:

It is well established that bacteria have produced antibiotics for millions of years well before the arrival of the human race to gain territorial advantage. So it is not surprising that antibiotic resistant genes are routinely isolated from soil bacteria. We are working on the isolation and characterization of antibiotic producing soil bacteria obtained from different areas of Pakistan. A BS (Hons) Biotechnology student Salman Ahmed has submitted a report on his research on these isolates. The 16s RNA gene sequencing was used to identify those bacteria which could not be characterized by conventional methods. Several novel bacterial species that were not known to harbor antibiotic-resistant genes were identified. The broader aim of this research is to develop methodologies for discovering new antibiotics.