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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2001 Aug;45(8):2393-6.

Alterations in MurM, a cell wall muropeptide branching enzyme, increase high-level penicillin and cephalosporin resistance in Streptococcus pneumoniae.

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  • 1Pneumococcal Diseases Research Unit, Department of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, South African Institute for Medical Research, Johannesburg, South Africa. anthonys@mail.saimr.wits.ac.za


We report that alteration in MurM, an enzyme involved in the biosynthesis of branched-stem cell wall muropeptides, is required for maximal expression of penicillin and cefotaxime resistance in the pneumococcus. Hungarian isolate 3191 (penicillin MIC, 16 microg/ml; cefotaxime MIC, 4 microg/ml) was a source of donor DNA in transformation experiments. Penicillin-binding protein DNA was insufficient to transform recipient strain R6 to full resistance. Further transformation with altered murM DNA was required for full expression of donor penicillin and cefotaxime resistance.

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