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Mutation at the position 2058 of the 23S rRNA as a cause of macrolide resistance in Streptococcus pyogenes.

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1
Department of Human Microbial Ecology and Inflammation, National Public Health Institute, Kiinamyllynkatu 13, 20520 Turku, Finland. jari.jalava@ktl.fi

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

In streptococci, three macrolide resistance determinants (erm(B), erm(TR) and mef(A)) have been found. In addition, certain mutations at the ribosomal 23S RNA can cause resistance to macrolides. Mutation at the position 2058 of the 23S rRNA of the Streptococcus pyogenes as a cause of macrolide resistance has not been described before.

METHODS:

Antibiotic resistance determinations for the clinical S. pyogenes strain ni4277 were done using the agar dilution technique. Macrolide resistance mechanisms were studied by PCR and sequencing. All six rRNA operons were amplified using operon-specific PCR. The PCR products were partially sequenced in order to resolve the sequences of different 23S rRNA genes.

RESULTS:

One clinical isolate of S. pyogenes carrying an adenine to guanine mutation at the position 2058 of the 23S rRNA in five of the six possible rRNA genes but having no other known macrolide resistance determinants is described. The strain was highly resistant to macrolides and azalides, having erythromycin and azithromycin MICs > 256 microgram/ml. It was resistant to lincosamides (clindamycin MIC 16 microgram/ml) and also MIC values for ketolides were clearly elevated. The MIC for telithromycin was 16 microgram/ml.

CONCLUSION:

In this clinical S. pyogenes strain, a mutation at the position 2058 was detected. No other macrolide resistance-causing determinants were detected. This mutation is known to cause macrolide resistance in other bacteria. We can conclude that this mutation was the most probable cause of macrolide, lincosamide and ketolide resistance in this strain.

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