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J Clin Microbiol. 2001 Jul;39(7):2565-71.

Nomenclature of major antimicrobial-resistant clones of Streptococcus pneumoniae defined by the pneumococcal molecular epidemiology network.

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  • 1MRC/SAIMR/WITS Pneumococcal Diseases Research Unit, Johannesburg, South Africa. lesmcgee@hotmail.com


The emergence of disease caused by penicillin-resistant and multidrug-resistant pneumococci has become a global concern, necessitating the identification of the epidemiological spread of such strains. The Pneumococcal Molecular Epidemiology Network was established in 1997 under the auspices of the International Union of Microbiological Societies with the aim of characterizing, standardizing, naming, and classifying antimicrobial agent-resistant pneumococcal clones. Here we describe the nomenclature for 16 pneumococcal clones that have contributed to the increase in antimicrobial resistance worldwide. Guidelines for the recognition of these clones using molecular typing procedures (pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, BOX-PCR, and multilocus sequence typing) are presented, as are the penicillin-binding profiles and macrolide resistance determinants for the 16 clones. This network can serve as a prototype for the collaboration of scientists in identifying clones of important human pathogens and as a model for the development of other networks.

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