About Dr Muhammad Kamruzzaman

Transmissible antimicrobial resistance (AMR), Plasmid biology, Bacterial genetics, Plasmid-mediated toxin-antitoxin systems and their functions

Transmissible antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in the bacterial species Enterobacteriaceae, particularly in two species (Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae) that share a gene pool is a major problem worldwide. Enterobacteriaceae with transmissible extended spectrum β-lactam (ESBL) and carbapenem resistance are now highlighted by the WHO as the most urgent priority group of critical antimicrobial resistance (AMR) threats. The most important vectors of this transmissible AMR are self-transferable (conjugative) plasmids. Bacteria acquire plasmid-borne AMR very quickly and once acquired, it becomes fixed in bacteria by using their “toxin-antitoxin” system/addiction modules, that poison cells from which the AMR plasmid is lost. Furthermore, AMR genes against all available antibiotics have been found in plasmids. This means we are entering a post-antibiotic era where even simple infections might be fatal, and routine medical procedures that depend on antibiotic prophylaxis will be impossible. Therefore, finding a novel approach against AMR plasmids is an urgent need. Our research is focusing on the understanding of the biology of AMR plasmids and discovering a novel therapeutic approach to cure AMR plasmids from the human.

Dr. Muhammad Kamruzzaman (PhD, Kyoto University Japan, 2008) is a Senior Research Fellow at The University of Sydney and Research Scientist at Westmead institute for Medical Research since 2014. He was a Research Fellow at the University of Sydney from 2011 to 2014. He was an Associate Scientist at the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B), an internationally reputed research organisation, until 2013. His research expertise is in the field of antibiotic resistance genetics, antibiotic resistance plasmids, AMR curing, bacterial genetics, bacterial virulence and pathogenesis, ecology and evolution of enteric bacterial pathogens.
His research work has been published in different internationally reputed scientific journals including Nature, PNAS. He has published one book chapter, 34 original research articles and these are cited >1700 times.
He has awarded two NHMRC project grants (~$1.2 m) as CIB and currently serving as a Guest Editor in Scientific Journals Frontiers in Microbiology (IF=4.3) and Microorganisms (IF=4.2).

Selected publications

1. M Kamruzzaman and JR Iredell. 2020. CRISPR-Cas system in the antibiotic resistance plasmids in Klebsiella pneumoniae. Front. Microbiol. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.02934.
2. A Wu, M Kamruzzaman, JR Iredell. 2020. Specialised functions of two common plasmid mediated toxin-antitoxin systems, ccdAB and pemIK, in Enterobacteriaceae. PLoS One. 15(6):e0230652. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0230652.
3. KA Tagg, C Venturini, M Kamruzzaman, AN Ginn, and SR Partridge. 2020. Plasmid DNA Isolation and Visualization: Isolation and Characterization of Plasmids from Clinical Samples. In Fernando de la Cruz (Eds): Horizontal Gene Transfer. Methods in Molecular Biology, 2075:3-20
4. Lazdins A, Maurya AP, Miller CE, Kamruzzaman M, Liu S, Stephens ER, Lloyd G, Haratianfar M, Chamberlain M, Haines AS, Kreft J, Webber MA, Iredell J, Thomas CM. 2020. Potentiation of curing by a broad-host-range self-transmissible vector for displacing resistance plasmids to tackle AMR. PLoS One 15(1):e0225202.
5. M Kamruzzaman and JR Iredell. 2019. A ParDE-family toxin antitoxin system in major resistance plasmids of Enterobacteriaceae confers antibiotic and heat tolerance. Sci. Rep. 9: 9872. 
6. M Kamruzzaman, S Shoma, CM Thomas, SR Partridge, JR Iredell. 2017. Plasmid interference to cure antibiotic resistance plasmids in vivo. PLoS One 12(2):e0172913. 
7. M Kamruzzaman, JD Patterson, S Shoma, AN Ginn, SR Partridge, JR Iredell. 2015. Relative strengths of promoters provided by common mobile genetic elements associated with resistance gene expression in Gram-negative bacteria. Antimicrob. Agents chemother. 59: 5088-5091.
8. M Kamruzzaman, WP Robins, SM Bari, S Nahar, JJ Mekalanos, SM Faruque. 2014. RS1 satellite phage promotes diversity of toxigenic Vibrio cholerae by driving CTX prophage loss and elimination of lysogenic immunity. Infect. Immun. 82: 3636-3643.
9. S Shoma, M Kamruzzaman, AN Ginn, JR Iredell, SR Partridge. 2014. Characterization of multi-drug resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae from Australia carrying blaNDM-1. Diagn. Microbiol. Infect. Dis. 78:93-97.

10. M Kamruzzaman, S Shoma, SM Bari, AN Ginn, AM Wiklendt, SR Partridge, SM Faruque, JR Iredell. 2013. Genetic diversity and antibiotic resistance in Escherichia coli from environmental surface water in Dhaka City, Bangladesh. Diagn. Microbiol. Infect. Dis. 76: 222-226.