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Science. 2003 Nov 28;302(5650):1569-71.

Genetic analysis of a high-level vancomycin-resistant isolate of Staphylococcus aureus.

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  • 1Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.


Vancomycin is usually reserved for treatment of serious infections, including those caused by multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. A clinical isolate of S. aureus with high-level resistance to vancomycin (minimal inhibitory concentration = 1024 microg/ml) was isolated in June 2002. This isolate harbored a 57.9-kilobase multiresistance conjugative plasmid within which Tn1546 (vanA) was integrated. Additional elements on the plasmid encoded resistance to trimethoprim (dfrA), beta-lactams (blaZ), aminoglycosides (aacA-aphD), and disinfectants (qacC). Genetic analyses suggest that the long-anticipated transfer of vancomycin resistance to a methicillin-resistant S. aureus occurred in vivo by interspecies transfer of Tn1546 from a co-isolate of Enterococcus faecalis.

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