Dr Kumar Rajakumar

Clinical Senior Lecturer 

Contact details

Office: 129A, MSB

Telephone: (+44) (0)116 223 1498 (University)/+44 (0)116 258 6509 (Hospital)

E-mail: kr46@le.ac.uk

Research Interests

  • Dr Rajakumar’s current research interests include the characterisation of laterally acquired foreign DNA and their contribution to the evolution and emergence of bacterial pathogens; studies on novel modalities of antimicrobial resistance dissemination; and the development of a new generation of molecular diagnostic tools for the enhanced management of patients with infectious diseases.
  • Dr Rajakumar’s main research relates to the discovery of pathogenicity islands and the elucidation of their role in the evolution and emergence of pathogens. The term pathogenicity island (PAI) was first coined in 1994 to describe large, unstable, virulence-associated chromosomal segments in strains of Escherichia coli that cause urinary tract infections.
  • Since then numerous PAIs have been discovered in a myriad of human pathogens. This has cemented the view that pathogens evolve not merely by step-by-step mutation-driven incremental processes, but by large quantum leap evolutionary events as well.
  • These dramatic examples of ‘natural genetic engineering’ highlight the potential of PAIs to give rise to entirely novel pathogens. Dr Rajakumar’s discovery of two such large PAIs in Shigella species has provided substantial momentum in further exploring the role and significance of these intriguing genetic entities. 
  • Further research interests
  • Publications

Selected Recent Publications

Ou H-Y and Rajakumar K. 2010.ArrayOme- & tRNAcc-facilitated mobilome discovery: comparative genomics approaches for identifying rich veins of novel bacterial DNA sequences. In: FJ de Bruijn (editor) Handbook of Molecular Microbial Ecology I: Metagenomics and Complementary Approaches John Wiley & Sons Inc.

Rose A. 2010. TnAbaR1: a novel Tn7-related transposon in Acinetobacter baumannii that contributes to the accumulation and dissemination of large repertoires of resistance genes. Bioscience Horizons 3: 40-48. (Project Supervisor: Rajakumar K).

Shao Y, He X, Harrison EM, Tai C, Ou HY, Rajakumar K, Deng Z. mGenomeSubtractor: a web-based tool for parallel in silico subtractive hybridization analysis of multiple bacterial genomes. Nucleic Acids Res 2010;Apr 30 [Epub ahead of print]

Harrison EM, Carter ME, Luck S, Ou HY, Deng Z, O'Callaghan C, Kadioglu A, Rajakumar K. Pathogenicity islands PAPI-1 and PAPI-2 contribute individually and synergenistically to the virulence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain PA14. Infect Immun 2010;78(4):1437-46

Cheah ES, Malkin J, Free RC, Lee SM, Perera N, Woltmann G, Patel H, Kimmittee PT, Smith RJ, Rajakumar K, Barer MR. A two-tube combined TaqMan/SYBR Green assay to identify mycobacteria and detect single global lineage-defining polymorphisms in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. J Mol Diagn 2010;12(2):250-6

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