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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2017 Nov 22;61(12). pii: e01535-17. doi: 10.1128/AAC.01535-17. Print 2017 Dec.

Diversity of Mosaic pbp2x Families in Penicillin-Resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae from Iran and Romania.

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Department of Microbiology, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran.
Cantacuzino National Institute of Research-Development for Microbiology and Immunology, Bucharest, Romania.
Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Science, Tehran, Iran.
Department of Microbiology, University of Kaiserslautern, Kaiserslautern, Germany.
Department of Microbiology, University of Kaiserslautern, Kaiserslautern, Germany


Penicillin-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae strains are found at high rates in Romania and Iran. The mosaic structure of PBP2x was investigated in 9 strains from Iran and in 15 strains from Romania to understand their evolutionary history. Mutations potentially important for β-lactam resistance were identified by comparison of the PBP2x sequences with the sequence of the related PBP2x of reference penicillin-sensitive S. mitis strains. Two main PBP2x mosaic gene families were recognized. Eight Iranian strains expressed PBP2x variants in group 1, which had a mosaic block highly related to PBP2x of the Spain23F-1 clone, which is widespread among international penicillin-resistant S. pneumoniae clones. A second unique PBP2x group was observed in Romanian strains; furthermore, three PBP2x single mosaic variants were found. Sequence blocks of penicillin-sensitive strain S. mitis 658 were common among PBP2x variants from strains from both countries. Each PBP2x group contained specific signature mutations within the transpeptidase domain, documenting the existence of distinct mutational pathways for the development of penicillin resistance.


Streptococcus pneumoniae; mosaic genes; penicillin resistance; penicillin-binding proteins

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