Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Appl Environ Microbiol. 2007 Feb;73(3):730-9. Epub 2006 Nov 22.

Antibiotic resistances of starter and probiotic strains of lactic acid bacteria.

Author information

Federal Research Center for Nutrition and Food, Institute of Hygiene and Toxicology, Haid-und- Neu-Strasse 9, D-76131 Karlsruhe, Germany.


The antibiotic resistances of 45 lactic acid bacteria strains belonging to the genera Lactobacillus, Streptococcus, Lactococcus, Pediococcus, and Leuconostoc were investigated. The objective was to determine antibiotic resistances and to verify these at the genetic level, as is currently suggested by the European "qualified presumption of safety" safety evaluation system for industrial starter strains. In addition, we sought to pinpoint possible problems in resistance determinations. Primers were used to PCR amplify genes involved in beta-lactam antibiotic, chloramphenicol, tetracycline, and erythromycin resistance. The presence of ribosomal protection protein genes and the ermB gene was also determined by using a gene probe. Generally, the incidences of erythromycin, chloramphenicol, tetracycline, or beta-lactam resistances in this study were low (<7%). In contrast, aminoglycoside (gentamicin and streptomycin) and ciprofloxacin resistances were higher than 70%, indicating that these may constitute intrinsic resistances. The genetic basis for ciprofloxacin resistance could not be verified, since no mutations typical of quinolone resistances were detected in the quinolone determining regions of the parC and gyrA genes. Some starter strains showed low-level ampicillin, penicillin, chloramphenicol, and tetracycline resistances, but no known resistance genes could be detected. Although some strains possessed the cat gene, none of these were phenotypically resistant to chloramphenicol. Using reverse transcription-PCR, these cat genes were shown to be silent under both inducing and noninducing conditions. Only Lactobacillus salivarius BFE 7441 possessed an ermB gene, which was encoded on the chromosome and which could not be transferred in filter-mating experiments. This study clearly demonstrates problems encountered with resistance testing, in that the breakpoint values are often inadequately identified, resistance genes may be present but silent, and the genetic basis and associated resistance mechanisms toward some antibiotics are still unknown.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center