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J Antimicrob Chemother. 2012 Dec;67(12):2804-8. doi: 10.1093/jac/dks320. Epub 2012 Aug 16.

Genetic environment and location of the lnu(A) and lnu(B) genes in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and other staphylococci of animal and human origin.

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Área Bioquímica y Biología Molecular, Universidad de La Rioja, Logroño, Spain.



To detect the presence of lnu genes in staphylococcal strains with the unusual phenotype lincosamide resistance/macrolide susceptibility (L(R)/M(S)), and to determine their locations and genetic environments.


Six staphylococcal strains of human and animal origin with the phenotype L(R)/M(S) were studied. The presence of 15 resistance genes was tested by PCR. SCCmec typing was performed for all methicillin-resistant strains. agr typing, spa typing and multilocus sequence typing were carried out for Staphylococcus aureus strains. Transformation experiments were carried out by electrotransformation. Plasmid or chromosomal gene location was determined by Southern blot analysis and the genetic environments of the lnu genes were studied in all strains.


Three methicillin-resistant staphylococcal strains contained the lnu(A) gene. The presence of the pLNU1 plasmid carrying lnu(A) was confirmed in one methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) ST398-t108 and one methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus sciuri. A novel lnu(A)-carrying plasmid (pUR5425) was identified in one MRSA ST125-t067 strain. Transformants of the three lnu(A)-positive strains presented increased lincomycin MIC values. The remaining three studied staphylococcal strains harboured the lnu(B) gene: two methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) ST9-t337 and one MRSA ST398-t011. The lnu(B) gene was embedded in the chromosome in the two MSSA strains and in a large-sized plasmid in the MRSA strain. The same lnu(B) genetic environment was detected in these three strains.


The resistance phenotype L(R)/M(S) seems to be related to S. aureus animal-associated clonal lineages (ST398 and ST9). A novel lnu(A)-carrying plasmid was identified and this is the first detection of the lnu(B) gene in MRSA ST398.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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