Focused Research Themes
Human Tumor Virology
Gut Microbiota & Microbiome
Antimicrobial Resistance and Antibiotic Stewardship
Streptococcus pneumoniae and Other Streptococci
HPV Research & Education Consortium @ CU Medicine
Focused Research Theme - Streptococcus pneumoniae and other Streptococci
Streptococcus pneumoniae is the commonest bacterial pathogen causing pneumonia, bacteraemia and meningitis worldwide. The initial focus was on antimicrobial resistance and clinical epidemiology of pneumococcal diseases in Hong Kong. However, with the introduction and incorporation of new vaccines into local immunization programmes, there is a need for surveillance of such infections, new methodologies for identification, molecular characterization and detection of prevalent serotypes, and understanding the mechanisms of development and spread of resistance determinants. The CUHK Department of Microbiology has a strong research interest in this and other related streptococci. The research group was established in 1999 and has evolved into a multidisciplinary research team involving paediatricians, respiratory physicians, epidemiologists, primary care specialists and bioinformaticians.
Group Leader: Prof. Margaret Ip
Members: Dr Irene Ang
Ms. Sherry Luo
Ms. Veranja Liyanapathirana (PhD student)
Ms. Mingjing Luo (PhD student)
Ms. Helen Ma (PhD student)
Ongoing research topics:
Surveillance of pneumococcal diseases in children and adults in Hong Kong.
Mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance of S. pneumoniae.
Co-infections of S. pneumoniae in respiratory diseases.
Virulence determinants of Group B streptococcus causing septicaemia and meningitis.
Clinical and molecular epidemiology of Group B streptococcus in neonatal diseases, in pregnant and non-pregnant adults.
  1. Rivera L, Sáez-Llorens X, Feris-Iglesias J, Ip M, Saha S, Adrian PV, Madhi SA, Boudville I, Cunnington M, Kyaw MH, Casellas, JM, Slobod KS. Incidence and serotype distribution of invasive group B streptococcal disease in young infants: a multi-country observational study. Ped Infect Dis J 2013 (submitted).
  2. Yeung SW, Cheung PT, Chau SL, Ip M, Lao TTH, Leung T, Tam WH. Evaluation of an in-house real-time polymerase chain reaction method to identify group B streptococcus colonization in pregnant mothers. Eur J Obs & Gyn and Reprod Biol 2013 (Submitted)
  3. Ip M*, Lam HS, Tam WH, Fung K, Chau SSL, Wong KC, Chan CW, Nelson EAS. A prospective observational study on the burden of invasive neonatal Group B Streptococcal Disease in Hong Kong: Incidence, Serotypes, and Outcome. Hong Kong Med J ( 2013, submitted)  
  4. Ip M*, Chau SSL, Lui LS, Ma H, Chan PKS, Nelson EAS.. Increased nasopharyngeal carriage of serotypes 6A, 6C, and 6D Streptococcus pneumoniae after introduction of childhood pneumococcal vaccination in Hong Kong, 2008-2010. Diagn Micro Infect Dis 2013 (in press)
  5. Hon KL, Ip M, Chu WC, Wong W. Megapneumonia Coinfection: pneumococcus, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, and Metapneumovirus. Case Report Med. 2012:310104. doi:  0.1155/2012/310104. Epub 2012 Oct 17.
  6. Hon KL, Ip M, Chu WCW. Pneumococcus – ‘Die Hard’. Hong Kong Med J 2012; 18:348.e1-2.
  7. Cheng FWT, Ip M, Chu YYL, Lin Z, Lee V, Shing MK, Leung WK, Yuen PMP, Li CK. Humoral Response of Conjugate Pneumococcal Vaccine in Paediatric Oncology Patients. Arch Dis Child, 2012;97:358-360.  Doi:10.1136/adc.2010.198416. Epub 2010, Nov 25. 
  8. Hon KL, Ip M, Lee K, Nelson EAS, Eric EKH, Yuen TYS, Leung TF. Childhood pneumococcal diseases and serotypes: Can vaccines protect? Indian J Pediatrics 2010;77:1387-91. Epub 2010 Sep 16.
  9. Tsui MHY, Ip M, Ng PC, Lau TK, Leung TN. Change in Prevalence of Group B Streptococcus Maternal colonisation in Hong Kong. Hong Kong Med J, 2009;15:C1-C6.
  10. Feldman C, S. Alanee, VL Yu, GA Richards, A Ortqvist, J Rello, CCC Chiou, MBF Chedid, MM Wagener, KP Klugman and the International Pneumococcal Study Group. Severity of illness scoring systems in patients with bacteraemic pneumococcal pneumonia: implications for the intensive care unit care. Clin Microbiol Infect2009;15:850-857.
  11. You JHS, Wong WCW, Ip M, Lee NLS, Ho SC. Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Influenza and Pneumococcal Vaccination for Hong Kong Elderly in Long-term Care Facilities. J Epid Comm Health 2009; 63:906-11.
  12. Chi F, Nolte O, Ip M, Bergmann C, Hakenbeck R . Crossing the barrier: evolution and spread of a major class of mosaic pbp2x in S. pneumoniae, S. mitis and S. oralis. Int J Med Microbiol 2007; 297:503-512.
  13. Ip M*, Chau SSC, Chi F, Tang J, Chan PK. Fluoroquinolone Resistance in ‘Atypical’ Pneumococci and oral streptococci: Evidence of Horizontal Gene Transfer of Fluoroquinolone resistance determinants from Streptococcus pneumoniae. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 2007, 51: 2690-2700.
  14. Ip M*, Chau SSC, Chi F, Cheuk ESC, Ma H, Lai RWM, Chan PK. Tracking Longitudinally Fluoroquinolone Resistance and their determinants in Penicillin susceptible and non-susceptible Streptococcus pneumoniae in Hong Kong, 2000-2005. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 2007; 51: 2192-2194.
  15. Ip M*, Nelson T, Cheuk ESC, Sung R, Li A, Ma H, Chan PKS. Serotype Distribution and Antimicrobial Susceptibilities of Nasopharyngeal Isolates of Streptococcus pneumoniae from Hospitalized Children with Respiratory Illness in Hong Kong.  J Clin Microbiol 2007;45: 1969-1971.
  16. Ip M*. 50 Years Ago in The Journal of Pediatrics. A Comparison of Intramuscular and Oral Benzathine Penicillin G in the Treatment of Streptococcal Infections in Children. Breese et al. J Pediatr 1957; 51: 157-63. J of Pediatrics 2007; July;p92.
  17. Alanee SRJ, McGee L, Jackson D, Chiou CC, Feldman C, Morris, AJ, Ortqvist A, Rello J, Luna CM, Baddour LM, Ip M, Yu VL and Klugman KP for the International Pneumococcal Study Group. Association of Serotypes of Streptococcus pneumoniae with Disease Severity and Outcome in Adults: An International Study. Clin Infect Dis 2007, 45:46-51.
  18. Ko FWS, Ip M, Chan PKS, Fok JPC, Chan MCH, Ngai JC, To DW, Chan DPS, Hui DSC. A one-year prospective study of the infectious etiology in patients hospitalized with acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Chest 2007; 131:44-52.
  19. Man SY, Lee N, Ip M, Antonio GE, Chau SS, Mak P, Graham CA, Zhang M, Lui G, Chan PK, Ahuja AT, Hui DS, Sung JJ, Rainer TH. Prospective comparison of three predictive rules for assessing severity of community acquired pneumonia in Hong Kong. Thorax. 2007, 62:348-353.
  20. Ip M*, Fung LSC, Chi F, Cheuk ESC, Chau SSL, Wong BWH, Lui SL, Hui M, Lai RWM, Chan PKS. Streptococcus suis in Hong Kong. Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis 2007; 57: 15-20.
  21. Man SY, Lee N, Ip M, Antonio GE, Chau SS, Mak P, Graham CA, Zhang M, Lui G, Chan PK, Ahuja AT, Hui DS, Sung JJ, Rainer TH. A new clinical decision rule for predicting the severity of community acquired pneumonia in the Emergency Department. Hong Kong Journal of Emergency Medicine. 2006, 13:248.
  22. Ip M*, Cheuk ESC, Tsui MHY Kong F, Leung DTN, Gilbert GL. Identification of a Streptococcus agalactiae serotype III subtype 4 clone in association with adult invasive disease in Hong Kong. J Clin Microbiol 2006; 44:4252-4254.
  23. Ip M*, Chi F, Chau SSL, Hui M, Tang J, Chan PKS. Use of the housekeeping genes, gdh (zwf) and gki,in multilocus sequence typing (MLST) to differentiate S. pneumoniae from S. mitis and S. oralis. Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis 2006, 56: 321-32.
  24. Ip M*, Chau SSL, Chi F, Qi A, Lai RWM. Rapid Screening of Fluoroquinolone-Resistance Determinants in Streptococcus pneumoniae by PCR-Restriction Fragment and Single-Strand Conformational Polymorphism. J Clin Microbiol, 2006; 44: 970-975.
  25. Ip M*, Chan PKS, Nelson EAS, Li A, Gomersall C. A Hong Kong family with respiratory illness. The Lancet, 2003: 362: 38.
  26. Yu VL, Chiou CC, Feldman C, Ortqvist A, Rello J, Morris AJ, Baddour LM, Luna CM, Snydman DR, Ip M, Ko WC, Chang FY, Klugman KP and the International Pneumococcal Study Group. An international prospective study of pneumococcal bacteraemia: correlation with in vitro resistance, antibiotics administered, and clinical outcome. Clin Infect Dis, 2003; 37: 230-7.
  27. Ip M*, Lyon DJ, Yung RWH, Tsang L, Cheng AFB. Introduction of new clones of penicillin-nonsusceptible Streptococcus pneumoniae (PNSP) into Hong Kong. J Clin Microbiol, 2002; 40: 1522-1525.
  28. Ip M*, Lyon DJ, Leung T, Cheng AFB. Macrolide resistance and distribution of erm and mef genes among beta-haemolytic streptococci in Hong Kong. Eur J Clin Microbiol and Infection, 2002; 21: 238-240.
  29. Ip M*, Lyon DL, Yung RWH, Chan C, Cheng AFB. Macrolide resistance in Streptococcus pneumoniae in Hong Kong. Antimicrob Agents and Chemother, 2001; 45: 1578-1580.
  30. Ip M*, Lyon DJ, Cheng AF. Patterns of antibiotic resistance, serotype distribution, and patient demographics of Streptococcus pneumoniae in Hong Kong. Chemotherapy; 2001; 47: 110-116.
  31. Wilder-Smith E, Chow KM, Kay R, Ip M, Tee N. Group B Streptococcal meningitis in adults:  Recent increase in Southeast Asia. Aust NZ J Med; 2000; 30: 462-465.
  32. Ip M*, Lyon DJ, Yung RWH, Chan C, Cheng AFB. Evidence of clonal dissemination of multidrug-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae in Hong Kong. J Clin Microbiol, 1999; 37:2834-2839.
Book Chapter:
“The genomes of Group B Streptococcus and the relationship to pathogenesis of disease”. Book title: “Current Research, Technology and Education Topics in Applied Microbiology and Microbial Biotechnology” Ma HL and Ip M*. pg646-657. Editor: Antonio Mendez Vilas, Publisher: Formatex Research Center, Volume 1 ISBN (13): 978-84-614-6194-, Published: December 2010. ( .