Stephen Gerard Jenkins   Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Medical Microbiology

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is rapidly evolving as a pathogen of special interest both in the hospital and in the community. Dr. Jenkins is involved in the investigation of rapid identification methodologies for MSSA and MRSA directly from blood culture bottles. Such approaches may lead to more rapid diagnosis of such infections with earlier initiation of appropriate antimicrobial therapy. Parallel testing of blood cultures positive with gram-positive cocci in clusters for the presence of PBP2a (the modified penicillin binding protein that results in resistance to the anti-staphylococcal penicillins; i.e., methicillin) by a latex agglutination method, with concomitant testing for clumping factor and coagulase production, is being compared to multiplex PCR for the detection of genes differentiating Staphylococcus aureus from coagulase-negative staphylococci as well as for mecA, the gene encoding for production of PBP2a. He is also involved in collaborative research projects with a number of external investigators on issues related to carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae and the establishment of molecular methods for detection of the genes encoding the Beta-lactamases resulting in this resistance. In addition, he has investigated the clinical outcomes and risk factors among patients infected with such organisms. Dr. jenkins is also a participant in national and international antimicrobial resistance projects on Streptococcus pneumoniae. Additionsl research interests include studies on the prevalence of hVISA (heterogeneous vancomycin-intermediate Staphylococcus aureus) and VISA (vancomycin-intermediate S. aureus) among strains of MRSA, clinical outcomes of patients infected with such organisms, and risk factors associated with infections caused by these pathogens.


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