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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2012 Sep;56(9):4693-6. doi: 10.1128/AAC.00454-12. Epub 2012 Jun 18.

Staphylococcus aureus VRSA-11B is a constitutive vancomycin-resistant mutant of vancomycin-dependent VRSA-11A.

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  • 1Institut Pasteur, Unité des Agents Antibactériens, Paris, France.


Vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus VRSA-10 was isolated in 2009, whereas VRSA-11A and VRSA-11B were isolated from the same patient in 2010. Growth curves and determination of the nature of the peptidoglycan precursors and of the VanX d,d-dipeptidase activity in the absence and in the presence of vancomycin indicated that vancomycin resistance was inducible in VRSA-10, that VRSA-11A was partially dependent on glycopeptide for growth, and that VRSA-11B was constitutively resistant. Both VRSA-11A and -11B harbored an insertion sequence, ISEf1, at the same locus in the vanX-vanY intergenic region of Tn1546 and an S(183)A mutation in the chromosomal d-alanyl:d-alanine ligase (Ddl). This substitution has been shown to be responsible for a drastic diminution of the affinity of the enzyme for d-Ala at subsite 1 in Escherichia coli DdlB. VRSA-11B exhibited an additional mutation, P(216)T, in the transcriptional regulator VanR, most probably associated with constitutive expression of vancomycin resistance. It is thus likely that VRSA-11B is a constitutive derivative of VRSA-11A selected during prolonged vancomycin therapy. Synthesis of peptidoglycan precursors ending in d-Ala-d-lactate was responsible for oxacillin susceptibility of VRSA-11A and VRSA-11B despite the presence of a wild-type mecA gene in both strains.

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