Senior Lecturer in Microbiology and State Registered Clinical Scientist
Department of Life Sciences
School of Health and Life Sciences
T: +44(0)141 331 8092
F: +44(0)141 331 3208
- Infective endocarditis
- Virulence determinants associated with the pathogenesis of Gram-positive infections; in particular staphylococcal, streptococcal and enterococcal infections
- Antibiotic therapy of staphylococcal, streptococcal and enterococcal infections and transcriptional modulation of genes by sub-inhibitory concentrations of antibiotics
- Treatment of infections associated with bacterial biofilms
- Healthcare related infections
- Ms Victoria Cruikshank ((joint supervision with Dr S Jonuscheit)
- Ms Danielle McEwan
- Ms Kirsty Skinner
- Ms Stacey Busby (joint supervision with Dr L Scobie)
- Mr Steven Donnelly (joint supervision with Dr P Martin)
- Ms Afnan Yan (joint supervision with Dr P Martin)
Previous Group Members
- Ms Alyson Boll (2007-2008)
- Dr Ana Perez (2006- 2008)
- Dr Grant Sinclair (2004-2008)
- Dr Karen Smith (2007-2010)
- Dr Cristina Teles (2006-2011)
Current areas of focus
Staphylococcus aureus infections: The ability of S. aureus isolates to grow attached to surfaces in biofilms contributes to the difficulties encountered in the management of staphylococcal infections. These can form on almost any abiotic or biological surface, ranging from metal and plastic to animal tissue and are believed to be involved in approximately 65% of all infections. Infections caused by bacterial biofilms are inherently difficult to eradicate as sessile cells within the biofilm display 10-1000 times reduced susceptibility towards antimicrobials than equivalent populations of free-floating planktonic cells. Once biofilms have formed on these surfaces, therapeutic interventions only rarely achieve clinical cure and device removal is often required, usually involving surgery. The formation of staphylococcal biofilms on contact lenses is an area of current research being undertaken in association with Dr Sven Jonuscheit.
Exposure of bacterial cells to various external stresses, including sub-optimal levels of antimicrobials, may lead to modulated gene expression and either impaired or enhanced the expression of bacterial virulence factors. Exposure of cells within biofilms to sub-lethal levels of various antimicrobials may lead to further tissue pathology and is currently an area under investigation in collaboration with Prof Curtis Gemmell.
Components of the staphylococcal cell wall, including peptidoglycan and lipoteichoic acid, are released from cells during infection. It is believed that these bacterial products may induce a potent local immune response during staphylococcal infections and is the focus of a collaborative study with Dr Patricia Martin and Prof Peter Lambert.
Healthcare-related infections: Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA), and glycopeptide-resistant enterococci (GRE) are leading healthcare-associated pathogens responsible for significant levels of morbidity and mortality. By March 2012 Health Boards will be required to screen all patients in five high risk specialties (renal, cardiothoracic, vascular, intensive care and orthopaedics) using nasal and perineal swabs for MRSA carriage. Following screening any patients found to be colonised with MRSA are to be decolonised by using nasal mupirocin cream. However, decolonisation of patients following recommended guidelines is not always successful. On-going studies, in collaboration with Dr Lesley Price, Health Protection Scotland and the MRSA Reference Laboratory, are investigating the efficacy of current decolonisation therapies including mupirocin and chlorhexidine, in addition to novel alternative agents.
The enterococci are a leading cause of nosocomial infection. The two medically important species are Enterococcus faecalis and E. faecium, though most infections are caused by E. faecalis. Typical infections caused by these commensals of the intestines include urinary and biliary tract infections, abdominal wound infection, intravascular-catheter-related bloodstream infections, endocarditis and other nosocomial infections. Compared to other bacterial pathogens associated with these types of infection, the virulence mechanisms employed by these organisms are poorly understood. Current studies, in collaboration with Dr Jon Sandoe, are investigating the virulence determinants of the enterococci, with an emphasis on the mechanisms that underlie biofilm formation and strategies to effectively treat infections associated with this mode of growth.
Diabetes and the gut flora: Rapidly after birth the gut of a neonate is colonized with microorganisms of maternal and environmental origin. Within a year a complex population has developed which reaches maturity by the age of four and then remains broadly stable throughout life. An individual’s microbiome is determined by genotype, physiology and environment. This community of at least 1014 bacteria, comprises between 500 and 1000 different species each belonging primarily to one of three bacterial divisions; the Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes and Actinobacteria although other minor taxa may be physiologically significant. It is believed that a change in the balance of these divisions within the gut may directly impact on body weight. Current studies, being undertaken in collaboration with Prof John Craft and the Glasgow Metagenomics group, aim to compare the intestinal microbiota in various states of health and disease.
- Teles C, Smith A, Lang S. Antibiotic modulation of the plasminogen binding ability of viridians group streptococci. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (2012) 56:458-463 .
- Rajendran R, Mowat E, McCulloch E, Lappin DF, Jones B, Lang S, Majithiya JB, Warn P, Williams C, Ramage G. Azole resistance of Aspergillus fumigatus biofilms is partly associated with efflux pump activity. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (2011) 55(5):2092-7.
- Teles C, Smith A, Ramage G, Lang S. Identification of clinically relevant viridans group streptococci by phenotypic and genotypic analysis. European Journal of Clinical Microbiology and infectious Disease (2011) 30:243-250.
- Teles C, Smith A, Ramage G, Lang S. The role of streptococcal plasmin(ogen) binding in infective endocarditis. European Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Disease (2011) 30:127-129.
- Mowat E, Rajendran R, Williams C, Jones B, Lang S, Ramage G. Pseudomonas aeruginosa and their small diffusible extracellular molecules inhibit Aspergillus fumigatus biofilm formation. FEMS microbiology letters (2010) 313(2):96-102.
- Robertson J, Lang S, Lambert PA, Martin PE. Peptidoglycan derived from S. epidermidis induces Connexin43 hemichannel activity with consequences on the innate immune response in endothelial cells. Biochemical Journal (2010) 25;432(1):133-43.
- Desbois A, Lang S, Gemmell C, Coote, P. Surface disinfection properties of the combination of an antimicrobial peptide, ranalexin, with an endopeptidase, lysostaphin, against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Journal of Applied Microbiological (2010) 108(2): 23-730.
- Smith K, Gould KA, Ramage G, Gemmell CG, Hinds J, Lang S. The influence of tigecycline on the expression of virulence factors in biofilm associated cells of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (2010)54(1): 380-387.
- Smith K, Perez A, Ramage G, Gemmell CG, Lang S. A comparison of biofilm-associated cell survival following the in vitro exposure of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus biofilms to the antibiotics clindamycin, daptomycin, linezolid, tigecycline and vancomycin. International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents (2009) 33: 374-378.
- Mowat E, Lang S, Williams C, McCulloch E, Jones B, Ramage G. Phase-dependent antifungal activity against Aspergillus fumigatus developing multicellular filamentous biofilms. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (2008) 62(6):1281-4.
- Smith K, Perez A, Ramage G, Lappin D, Gemmell CG, Lang S. Biofilm formation in Scottish clinical isolates of Staphylococcus aureus. Journal of Medical Microbiology (2008) 57(8):1018-23.
- Lang S. Getting to the heart of the problem: serological and molecular techniques in the diagnosis of infective endocarditis. Future Microbiology (2008) 3(3):341-349.
- Mowat E, Butcher J, Lang S, Williams C, Ramage G. Development of a simple model for studying the effects of antifungal agents on multicellular communities of Aspergillus fumigatus. Journal Medical Microbiology (2007) 56(9):1205-1212.
- Watkin RW, Harper LV, Vernallis AB, Lang S, Lambert PA, Ranasinghe AM, Elliott TS. Pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6, TNF-α, IL-1b, procalcitonin. Lipopolysaccharide binding protein and C-reactive protein in infective endocarditis. Journal of Infection (2007) 55(3):220-225.
- Watkin RW, Lang S, Lambert PA, Littler WA, Elliott TSJ. The serological diagnosis of staphylococcal infective endocarditis. Journal of Infection (2006) 53(5):301-7.
- Watkin RW, Lang S, Smith JM, Elliott TSJ, Littler WA. Role of troponin I in active infective endocarditis. American Journal of Cardiology (2004) 94;1198-1199.
- Lang S, Watkin RW, Lambert PA, Littler WA, Elliott TSJ. Detection of bacterial DNA in cardiac vegetations by PCR after the completion of antimicrobial treatment for endocarditis. Clinical Microbiology and Infection (2004) 10:579-581.
- Lang S, Watkin RW, Lambert PA, Littler WA, Elliott TSJ. Evaluation of PCR in the molecular diagnosis of endocarditis. Journal of Infection (2004) 48:269-275.
- Watkin RW, Lang S, Lambert PA, Littler WA, Elliott TSJ. The microbial diagnosis of infective endocarditis. Journal of Infection (2003) 47:1-11.
- Spare MK, Tebbs SE, Lang S, Lambert PA, Worthington T, Lipkin GW, Elliott TSJ. The genotypic and phenotypic properties of coagulase-negative staphylococci causing dialysis catheter-related sepsis. Journal of Hospital Infection (2003) 54: 272-278.
- Watkin RW, Lang S, Littler WA, Elliott TSJ. Haemophilus paraphrophilus prosthetic valve endocarditis. Journal of Infection (2003) 46:191-193.
- Watkin R, Baker N, Lang S, Ment J, Littler WA. Eikenella corrodens infective endocarditis in a previously healthy non-drug user. European Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (2002) 21:890-891.
- Connaughton M, Lang S, Tebbs SE, Littler WA, Lambert PA, Elliott TSJ. Rapid serodiagnosis of Gram-positive bacterial endocarditis. Journal of Infection (2001) 42:140-144.
- Lang S, Livesley MA, Lambert PA, Littler WA, Elliott TSJ. Identification of a novel antigen from Staphylococcus epidermidis. FEMS Immunology and Medical Microbiology (2000) 29:213-220.
- Lang S, Livesley MA, Lambert PA, Elliott J, Elliott TSJ. The genomic diversity of coagulase-negative staphylococci associated with nosocomial infections. Journal of Hospital Infection (1999) 43:187-193.
- (Lang S) née Harland S, Tebbs SE, Elliott TSJ. Evaluation of the in-vitro activity of the glycopeptide antibiotic LY333328 in comparison with vancomycin and teicoplanin. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (1998) 41:273-276.
External Research Income
- Recent financial support has been provided by Pfizer, Mölnlycke Health Care and Astellas.
- Professor Curtis G Gemmell.
- Professor Peter A Lambert, School of Life and Health Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham.
- Dr Gordon Ramage, Department of Infection and Immunity, University of Glasgow Dental School.
- Dr Jon Sandoe, Consultant Microbiologist, Leeds General Infirmary.
- Dr Andrew Smith, Department of Infection and Immunity, University of Glasgow Dental School.
- Health Protection Scotland.
- Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Reference Laboratory, Stobhill Hospital, Glasgow.
- Dr Jo Booth
- Prof John Craft
- Dr Sven Jonuscheit
- Dr Patricia Martin
- Dr Lesley Price
- Diabetes Research Group.
Professional Memberships & Activities
- Member of British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (BSAC)
- Society for General Microbiology (SGM)
- Society for Applied Microbiology (SfAM)
- American Society for Microbiology (ASM)
- Healthcare Infection Society (HIS)