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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2012 Jul;332(2):146-52. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6968.2012.02589.x. Epub 2012 May 17.

Efficient transfer of antibiotic resistance plasmids by transduction within methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus USA300 clone.

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Department of Experimental Biology, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic.


The epidemic community-associated methicillin-resistant clone Staphylococcus aureus USA300 is a major source of skin and soft tissue infections and involves strains with a diverse set of resistance genes. In this study, we report efficient transduction of penicillinase and tetracycline resistance plasmids by bacteriophages φ80α and φJB between clinical isolates belonging to the USA300 clone. High transduction frequencies (10(-5) - 10(-6) CFU/PFU) were observed using phages propagated on donor strains as well as prophages induced from donors by ultraviolet light. Quantitative real-time PCR was employed to detect penicillinase plasmids in transducing phage particles and determine the ratio of transducing particles in phage lysates to infectious phage particles (determined as approximately 1 : 1700). Successful transfer of plasmids between strains in USA300 clone proves transduction is an effective mechanism for spreading plasmids within the clone. Such events contribute to its evolution and to emergence of new multiple drug-resistant strains of this successful clone.

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