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Lancet. 1990 Jun 16;335(8703):1422-6.

Transferable plasmid-mediated antibiotic resistance in Listeria monocytogenes.

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


A strain of Listeria monocytogenes, isolated from a patient with meningoencephalitis, was resistant to chloramphenicol, erythromycin, streptomycin, and tetracycline. The genes conferring resistance to these antibiotics were carried by a 37-kb plasmid, pIP811, that was self-transferable to other L monocytogenes cells, to enterococci-streptococci, and to Staphylococcus aureus. The efficacy of transfer and the stability of pIP811 were higher in enterococci-streptococci than in the other gram-positive bacteria. As indicated by nucleic acid hybridisation, the genes in pIP811 conferring resistance to chloramphenicol, erythromycin, and streptomycin were closely related to plasmid-borne determinants that are common in enterococci-streptococci. Plasmid pIP811 shared extensive sequence homology with pAM beta 1, the prototype broad host range resistance plasmid in these two groups of gram-positive cocci. These results suggest that emergence of multiple antibiotic resistance in Listeria spp is due to acquisition of a replicon originating in enterococci-streptococci. The dissemination of resistance to other strains of L monocytogenes is likely.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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