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J Bacteriol. May 1969; 98(2): 447–452.
PMCID: PMC284837

Erythromycin-inducible Resistance in Staphylococcus aureus: Survey of Antibiotic Classes Involved

Abstract

Certain erythromycin-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus remain sensitive to other macrolide antibiotics. If these strains are exposed to low levels of erythromycin, resistance to other antibiotics is induced. The antibiotics to which resistance is induced by erythromycin include: other macrolides as well as lincosaminide, streptogramin (group B) antibiotics but not chloramphenicol, amicetin, streptogramin (group A) antibiotics, tetracyclines, and aminoglycosides. Hence erythromycin induces resistance exclusively towards inhibitors of 50S ribosomal subunit function and, thus far, only with respect to three of six known classes of inhibitors which act on this subunit. In the four strains tested, erythromycin did not induce resistance to pactamycin or bottromycin, to fusidic acid (which inhibits a function involving both subunits), or to other antibiotics which do not inhibit ribosomal function. Thus, by inducing resistance erythromycin could antagonize the action of other antibiotics, and a consistent pattern of antagonism was observed to each antibiotic class in all of the strains in which this could be tested, as well as to other antibiotic members of the same chemical class in each bacterial strain.

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Selected References

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