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Vet Microbiol. 2001 Nov 26;83(3):287-97.

Prevalence and mechanism of resistance against macrolides and lincosamides in Streptococcus suis isolates.

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Department of Pathology, Bacteriology and Poultry Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Salisburylaan 133, B-9820, Merelbeke, Belgium.


Eighty-seven Streptococcus suis isolates recovered in 1999-2000 from diseased pigs, all from different farms, were screened for resistance against macrolide and lincosamide antibiotics by the disk diffusion and agar dilution test and a PCR assay, amplifying the ermB gene and the mefA/E gene. Seventy-one percent of the isolates showed constitutive resistance to macrolide and lincosamide antibiotics (MLS(B)-phenotype). All these isolates were positive for the ermB gene in the PCR, but negative for the mefA/E gene. For all strains minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) against five other antimicrobial agents were determined. All strains were susceptible to penicillin. Ninety-nine percent of the isolates were susceptible to enrofloxacin and tiamulin. Eighty-five percent of the strains were resistant to doxycycline. A 540bp fragment of the ermB genes of eight S. suis strains was sequenced and compared with ermB genes of five S. pneumoniae and five S. pyogenes strains of human origin. A 100% homology was found between these fragments in seven S. suis, one S. pneumoniae and three of the S. pyogenes isolates. This study demonstrates that resistance against macrolides, lincosamides and streptogramin B is widespread in S. suis and mediated by ribosome methylation, encoded by the ermB gene.

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