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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2010 May;54(5):1720-7. doi: 10.1128/AAC.01340-09. Epub 2010 Mar 1.

Expansion and evolution of the Streptococcus pneumoniae Spain9V-ST156 clonal complex in Poland.

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Department of Molecular Microbiology, National Medicines Institute, Warsaw, Poland.


In this study, we analyzed 118 penicillin-nonsusceptible Streptococcus pneumoniae (PNSP) isolates (MICs, >or=0.12 microg/ml) recovered in Poland in 2003 to 2005 from patients with respiratory tract diseases and invasive infections. Seven different serotypes (14, 9V, 23F, 19F, 6B, 19A, and 6A, in order of descending frequency), seven alleles of the murM gene (murMA, murMB6, and the new murMB12 to -16 alleles), and 31 multilocus sequence types (STs) were observed. The vast majority of the PNSP isolates (90.7%) belonged to the international multiresistant clones, and among these, the Spain(9V)-ST156 clonal complex was the most prevalent (56 isolates) and was significantly overrepresented in invasive infections. The clone has been evolving rapidly, as demonstrated by the observed number of STs, the diversity in multiple-locus variable-number-tandem-repeat analysis (MLVA) types, and the polymorphism of pbp and pspA genes (coding for penicillin-binding proteins and the pneumococcal surface protein A, respectively). The presence and structure of the rlrA islet (encoding the pneumococcal pilus) were very well conserved. The Spain(9V)-ST156 clonal complex has been largely responsible for a decreasing susceptibility to penicillin among pneumococci in Poland in recent years, in spite of a relatively moderate antimicrobial use.

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