Dr. Ashima Bhardwaj

Dr. Ashima Bhardwaj
Associate Professor
Human Health and Diseases
School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology
Indian Institute of Advanced Research
Koba, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India
Ph: +91-79-30514235
Fax: +91-79-30514110
E-mail:
ashimab@iiar.res.in

Team Members :

 Past Members

  • Dr. Amit Ghosh
  • Anita Antony
  • Neha Tiwari
  • Jyotsana Bahuguna
  • Ipsita Choudhury
  • Jyoti Tak
  • Arati Patel
  • Praful Darji (Lab Assistant)
  • Aneri Shah (JRF, DBT Programme Support)
  • Dr. Rochika Singh (Research Associate)
  •  

     

    Research Interest:

    Cholera poses a continuous threat to public health in developing countries worldwide where access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation can not be guaranteed at all. Though rehydration is the mainstay of cholera treatment, antibiotics have been shown to be important and cost-effective adjuncts in severe cases and in epidemic situations. However, the emergence of multi-drug resistant strains has posed serious clinical problems. The fact that Vibrio and lot of other pathogenic organisms are becoming increasingly antibiotic-resistant underlines the pervasiveness of the pressures that lead to the emergence and spread of resistance. There are reports correlating rates of antimicrobial resistance with treatment failure, morbidity and mortality. To complicate the scenario further, the number of episodes of cholera-like illness caused by other Vibrios for example Vibrio fluvialis, has registered an upward trend. These organisms, like V. cholerae, are also turning out to be multi-drug resistant. The emergence and maintenance of drug resistance in bacteria are governed by a complex  series of biological, environmental and behavioural factors. Mobile genetic elements play a major role in mediating rapid and broad dissemination of antibiotic resistance traits. However, the role of these in the dissemination of drug resistance for the majority of the Vibrios is not well worked out. Since antibiotic-resistant strains have remained a threat, continuous surveillance and understanding of the resistance mechanisms operating, is required. It is in this context, we in our laboratory at IIAR, have undertaken a systematic study aimed at comprehending the molecular mechanisms underlying drug resistance and transmission of the resistance genes in V. fluvialis, V. cholerae, V. parahemolyticus and Shigella.

     

Publications and Posters :

  1. Vinothkumar K, Kumar GN and Bhardwaj AK. (2016) Characterization of Vibrio fluvialis qnrVC5 gene in native and heterologous hosts: Synergy of qnrVC5 with other determinants in conferring quinolone resistance. Front Microbiol. 7:146. 
  2. Rajpara N, Kutar BMRNS, Sinha R, Nag D, Koley H, Ramamurthy T and Bhardwaj AK. (2015) Role of integrons, plasmids and SXT elements in multidrug resistance of Vibrio cholerae and Providencia vermicola obtained from a clinical isolate of diarrhea. Front Microbiol. 17;6:57.
  3. Bhardwaj AK and Vinothkumar K. (2015) Evolution of MDRs. Quorum Sensing Vs Quorum Quenching: A battle with no end in sight, Springer India.
  4. Ashima Kushwaha Bhardwaj*, Kittappa Vinothkumar, Neha Rajpara, Priyabrata Mohanty and Braj Mohan Ram Narayan Singh Kutar.  Therapeutic Limitations Due to Antibiotic Drug Resistance: Road to Alternate Therapies.  Frontiers in Anti-Infective Drug Discovery (e. book), Vol. 3, 2014.  Bentham Science Publishers.  Editors: Atta-ur-Rahman and M. Iqbal Choudhary.
  5. Ashima Kushwaha Bhardwaj. Multi-drug resistance in vibrios - Never underestimate bacteria.  Advances in Biotechnology and Allied Areas.  2015 I. K. International Publishing House Pvt. Ltd., Delhi.  Editors: Neelu Nawani, Madhukar Khetmalas, Ashok Pandey, P. M Razdan and K. B Powar.  
  6. Vinothkumar K, Bhardwaj AK, Ramamurthy T, Niyogi SK. 2013. Triplex PCR assay for the rapid identification of 3 major Vibrio species, Vibrio cholerae, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, and Vibrio fluvialis. Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 76(4):526-8.
  7. Rajpara N, Vinothkumar K, Mohanty P, Singh AK, Singh R, Sinha R, Nag D, Koley H, Bhardwaj AK. 2013. Synergistic Effect of Various Virulence Factors Leading to High toxicity of Environmental V. cholerae Non-O1/ Non-O139 Isolates Lacking ctx Gene : Comparative Study with  Clinical Strains. PLoS One. Volume 8, issue 9, e76200.
  8. Bhardwaj AK, Vinothkumar K, Rajpara N. Bacterial quorum sensing inhibitors: Attractive alternatives for control of infectious pathogens showing multiple drug resistance. Recent Pat Antiinfect Drug Discov. 2013;8:68-83.
  9. Kutar BM, Rajpara N, Upadhyay H, Ramamurthy T, Bhardwaj AK. Clinical Isolates of Vibrio cholerae O1 El Tor Ogawa of 2009 from Kolkata, India: Preponderance of SXT Element and Presence of Haitian ctxB Variant. PLoS One. 2013;8(2):e56477.
  10. Mohanty P, Patel A, Kushwaha Bhardwaj A. Role of H- and D- MATE-Type Transporters from Multidrug Resistant Clinical Isolates of Vibrio fluvialis in Conferring Fluoroquinolone Resistance. PLoS One. 2012;7(4):e35752. Pubmed
  11. Bhardwaj A K, Mohanty P. (2012) Bacterial Efflux Pumps Involved in Multidrug Resistance and their Inhibitors: Rejuvinating the Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. Recent Pat Antiinfect Drug Discov. 2012 Feb 17. [Epub ahead of print] Pubmed
  12. Singh R,  Rajpara N, Tak J,  Patel A,  Mohanty P, Vinothkumar K, Chowdhury G ,   Ramamurthy T,  Ghosh A and Bhardwaj A K.  2011. Clinical isolates of Vibrio fluvialis from Kolkata, India, obtained during 2006: Plasmids, qnr and mutation in gyrase A as mechanisms of multidrug resistance.  Journal of Medical Microbiology. doi: 10.1099/jmm.0.037226-0. Pubmed
  13. Rajpara N, Patel A, Tiwari N, Bahuguna J, Antony A, Choudhury I, Ghosh A, Jain R, Ghosh A, Bhardwaj AK (2009) Mechanism of drug resistance in a clinical isolate of Vibrio fluvialis: Involvement of multiple plasmids and integrons. International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents doi:10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2009.03.020 Pubmed
  14. Lopera-Mesa TM, Kushwaha A, Mohmmed A, Chauhan VS. (2008) Plasmodium berghei merozoite surface protein-9: immunogenicity and protective efficacy using a homologous challenge model. Vaccine. 26:1335-43.
  15. Bhardwaj D, Kushwaha A, Puri S, Herrera A, Singh N, Chauhan VS (2003) DNA prime-protein boost immunization in monkeys: Efficacy of a novel construct containing functional domains of P. cynomolgi CSP and TRAP. FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 39:241.
  16. Kushwaha A, Perween A, Mukund S, Majumdar S, Bhardwaj D, Chowdhury NR, Chauhan VS (2002) Amino terminus of Plasmodium falciparum acidic basic repeat antigen interacts with the erythrocyte membrane through band 3 protein. Mol Biochem Parasitol. 122:45.
  17. Kushwaha A, Rao PPL, Suresh PR, Chauhan VS (2001) Immunogenicity of recombinant fragments of Plasmodium falciparum acidic basic repeat antigen produced in Escherichia coli. Parasite Immunol. 23:435.
  18. Kushwaha A, Rao PPL, Duttu VS, Malhotra P, Chauhan VS (2000).  Expression and characterization of Plasmodium falciparum acidic basic repeat antigen expressed in Escherichia coli. Mol Biochem Parasitol. 106:213.
  19. Sharma P, Kumar A, Singh B, Bhardwaj A, Chatterjee S, Malhotra P, Chauhan VS (1998) Characterisation of protective epitopes in a highly conserved Plasmodium falciparum antigenic protein containing repeats of acidic and basic residues. Infect Immun. 66:2895.
  20. Chowdhury PS, Kushwaha A, Abrol S, Chaudhary VK (1994) Genetically engineered thermostable chimera of protein A and alkaline phosphatase as a substitute to secondary antibodies. Prot Exp Purif. 5:89.
  21. Kushwaha A, Chowdhury PS, Arora K, Abrol S, Chaudhary VK (1994) Construction and characterisation of M13 bacteriophage displaying functional IgG-binding domains of Staphylococcal protein A. Gene 151:45.


Conferences papers and Invited lectures:

  1. Bhardwaj AK*, Panel member in brain storming session on “Antibiotic resistance mechanisms: our wits versus their genes. Poster presentation International conference on Host- Pathogen Interaction, Hyderabad. 12-15 July, 2014.
  2. Bhardwaj AK*, Rajpara N, Mohanty P, Kutar BMRNS, Vinothkumar K and Shah A. Invincible Microbes and their Antibiotic resistance Mechanisms: Out wits versus their Genes; International conference on Host- Pathogen Interaction, Hyderabad. 12-15 July, 2014.
  3. Ashima Bhardwaj.  Multidrug Resistance in Vibrios- Never Underestimate Bacteria. ICABB-2013. Pune . 26th November 2013.
  4. Vinothkumar K and Bhardwaj A K. Role of QnrVC protein in conferring  quinolone resistance to    the multi-drug resistant clinical isolates of Vibrio fluvialis; Poster presentation in International Conference on Plant Biotechnology, Molecular Medicine and Human Health, 18-20 October, 2013.
  5. Braj M. R. N. S. Kutar1, Neha Rajpara1, Thandavarayan Ramamurthy2, Ashima K. Bhardwaj1*   Unraveling the molecular mechanisms of multidrug resistance in Vibrio cholerae clinical isolates of 2009 from Kolkata, India.  Poster presentation in International Conference on Plant Biotechnology, Molecular Medicine and Human Health, 18-20 October, 2013.
  6. Braj M. R. N. S. Kutar, Radhey Shyam Kaushal, Harish Suthar, Raginee Devi, K.C. Mohite, Ashima K. Bhardwaj*(2014); “Microbial Fuel Cells: Potential Source of Renewable Energy, in National Conference on “Sustainable Energy Development and Environment Systems” – 10th & 11th January 2014, PGKM’s Haribhai V. Desai College, Pune, ENERGY ISBN : 978-93-83414-18-5
  7. Ashima Bhardwaj.  Never underestimate bacteria: our experience with Vibrios.  Invited lecture at Nirma University, Ahmedabad,  in conference on “Emerging trends in microbial interactions and challenges in human health”.  October 11-12, 2011
  8. Ashima Bhardwaj.  Multiple antibiotic resistance in Vibrios.  Invited lecture at 6th Biyani’s International Conference, Jaipur,  on Innovations in the Latest Healthcare Issues.  September 19-21, 2011.   
  9. Neha Rajpara, Kittappa Vinothkumar, Priyabrata Mohanty and A. K. Bhardwaj.  Study on toxic potential of environmental Vibrio cholerae isolates from a village of Gujarat.  National  Symposium on Trends in Biological Sciences, SPU, 28-29 January, 2011.
  10. Arati Patel, Priyabrata Mohanty and  A. K. Bhardwaj.   Role of MATE-type efflux pumps in imparting drug resistance in clinical isolates of various Vibrio spp   National  Symposium on Trends in Biological Sciences, SPU, 28-29 January, 2011.
  11. Patel A., Mohanty P., Bhardwaj A. Role of Efflux Pumps in Muti-Drug resistance in clinical isolates of Vibrio cholerae and Vibrio fluvialis; Understanding and Managing Pathogenic Microbes 2010, Institute of Microbial Technology, Chandigarh.
  12. Singh R., Tak J., Rajpara N.,Patel A., Mohanty P., Bhardwaj A.,  Mutiple Drug resistance mechanisms in clinical isolates of Vibrio fluvialis.; Understanding and Managing Pathogenic Microbes 2010, Institute of Microbial Technology, Chandigarh.
  13. Bhardwaj A. Unravelling the mechanisms of multiple drug resistance in Vibrios Prof. Umakant Sinha Memorial Award Lecture in the 96th Indian Science Congress, NEHU, Shillong, 4th January 2009.
  14. Bhardwaj A. Microbial phylogeny and evolution: Work of Carl Woese.  Invited lecture delivered at MSU, Vadodara, Gujarat for M. Sc Biotechnology programme.  October 2008.
  15. Lopera-Mesa TM, Kushwaha A, Mohmmed A, Chauhan VS.  Plasmodium berghei merozoite surface protein-9: immunogenicity and protective efficacy using a homologous challenge model. 2004, Bangalore.
  16. Ashima Kushwaha, PPL Rao, P Malhotra, Padma S, D Bhardwaj, VS Chauhan. Biochemical and immunological characterization of recombinant fragments of Plasmodium falciparum acidic basic repeat antigen. Gordon Research Conference on Malaria, August 2001, University of Oxford, UK.
  17. Ashima Kushwaha, PPL Rao, P Malhotra, RP Suresh, NR Chowdhury, VS Chauhan. Immunological characterization of Plasmodium falciparum acidic basic repeat antigen expressed in Escherichia coli. Lecture at Annual meeting of Indian Society of Parasitology, April 2000, New Delhi, India.
  18. PPL Rao, Ashima Kushwaha, P Singh, PV Lalitha, VS Duttu, P Malhotra, P Sharma, VS Chauhan. Antibody responses to three different antigens of P.falciparum among human populations living in areas of different endemicity. 10th International Congress of Immunology, November 1-6, 1998, New Delhi, India.
  19. P Sharma, A Kumar, B Singh, A Bharadwaj, VN Sailja, T Adak, Ashima Kushwaha, P. Malhotra and VS Chauhan. Protective epitopes in the acidic-basic repeat antigen (ABRA) of the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. 10th International Congress of Immunology, November 1-6, 1998, New Delhi, India.
  20. Ashima Kushwaha, P Rao, P Malhotra, P Sharma, and VS Chauhan. Cellular and humoral immunue responses against recombinant fragments of P. falciparum Acidic-Basic repeat antigen (ABRA) among human populations living in malaria endemic areas of India. 10th International Congress of Immunology, November 1-6, 1998, New Delhi, India.
  21. Ashima Kushwaha, PS Chowdhury, K Arora, S Abrol, VK Chaudhary. Characterisation of M13 bacteriophages displaying functional IgG-binding domains of Staphylococcal protein A.  Presented at XVIth International Congress of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, September 19-22, 1994, New Delhi, India.
  22. Ashima Kushwaha, PS Chowdhury, K Arora, S Abrol VK Chaudhary. Display of functional IgG-binding domains of Staphylococcal protein A on M13 bacteriophages - A novel avenue of structure - function analysis.  62nd Annual meeting of Society of Biological Chemists (India), December 19-22, 1993, Madurai, India.
  23. PS Chowdhury, Ashima Kushwaha, S Verma, A Nag, S Abrol, Vijay K Chaudhary. Generation of a novel fusion protein as a substitute to secondary antibodies in enzyme linked immunoassays. 61st Annual General Body Meeting of Society of Biological Chemists (India), December 21-23, 1992, Hyderabad, India.


Honors/Awards:
    

  • Prof. Umakant Sinha Memorial Award of  Indian Science Congress Association for the year 2008-2009.  Delivered the Award lecture in the section of New Biology during the 96th session of ISCA held at Shillong from January 3-7, 2009.
  • Young Scientists Award in XVIth International Congress of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, September 19-22, 1994, New Delhi.
  • Life member, Society of Biological Chemists.
  • Life member, Indian Science Congress Association
  • Global Foodborne Infections Network, WHO
  • EQAS, WHO