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J Med Microbiol. 2013 Aug;62(Pt 8):1199-203. doi: 10.1099/jmm.0.058305-0. Epub 2013 May 2.

Prevalence of fusB in Staphylococcus aureus clinical isolates.

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Institute of Antibiotics, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, PR China.


Fusidic acid (FA) resistance in Staphylococcus aureus markedly varied among different regions. Few data for FA resistance are available in China. In this study, FA susceptibility testing was performed, and the prevalence of fusB and fusC in 116 clinical isolates of S. aureus was investigated by PCR. Mutations in fusA were also determined by sequencing of PCR products. Molecular typing of fusB-positive strains was based on multilocus sequence typing (MLST), spa typing and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). A DNA fragment flanking fusB was sequenced. Transformation experiments were carried out in fusB-positive S. aureus. Of 116 S. aureus including 19 meticillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) and 97 meticillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA), four (3.5 %) were resistant to FA with MICs of 6-12 µg ml(-1), including one MRSA from blood and three MSSA from wound exudates. All four FA-resistant isolates were found to be fusB gene positive. Three FA-resistant MSSA strains had the same MLST profile of ST630 and spa type of t377, whilst the MRSA strain belonged to ST630-t4549. Only one PFGE pattern was recognized for these four strains. No fusC and fusA mutations were detected in any of the isolates. FA resistance in fusB-positive clinical isolates could be transferred to S. aureus RN4220. The fusB gene was located in a transposon-like element, which had 99 % identity with that found in pUB101. In conclusion, the FA resistance rate is low in S. aureus, and the fusB gene is responsible for the resistance.

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