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J Bacteriol. 1998 Sep;180(17):4350-9.

Complete nucleotide sequence of pSK41: evolution of staphylococcal conjugative multiresistance plasmids.

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  • 1School of Biological Sciences, University of Sydney, New South Wales 2006, Australia.


The 46.4-kb nucleotide sequence of pSK41, a prototypical multiresistance plasmid from Staphylococcus aureus, has been determined, representing the first completely sequenced conjugative plasmid from a gram-positive organism. Analysis of the sequence has enabled the identification of the probable replication, maintenance, and transfer functions of the plasmid and has provided insights into the evolution of a clinically significant group of plasmids. The basis of deletions commonly associated with pSK41 family plasmids has been investigated, as has the observed insertion site specificity of Tn552-like beta-lactamase transposons within them. Several of the resistance determinants carried by pSK41-like plasmids were found to be located on up to four smaller cointegrated plasmids. pSK41 and related plasmids appear to represent a consolidation of antimicrobial resistance functions, collected by a preexisting conjugative plasmid via transposon insertion and IS257-mediated cointegrative capture of other plasmids.

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