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Aust J Exp Biol Med Sci. 1985 Oct;63 ( Pt 5):573-86.

A conjugative plasmid encoding production of a diffusible pigment and resistance to aminoglycosides and macrolides in Staphylococcus aureus.


A methicillin-resistant strain of Staphylococcus aureus, WG512, was isolated in 1968 and has been shown to harbour a plasmid, pWG14, which encodes the production of a diffusible pigment and resistance to kanamycin, neomycin, streptomycin, lincomycin, erythromycin and spectinomycin. Plasmid pWG14 has only been detected as a slowly migrating band of DNA during agarose-gel electrophoresis, and this was thought to be the open-circular form of the plasmid with an estimated molecular weight of 30-34 Mdal. The transfer properties of this plasmid were compared with a non-conjugative plasmid encoding tetracycline resistance and the class 2, conjugative plasmid described by Archer and Johnston (1983). Plasmid pWG14 shared many of the conjugative properties of the latter plasmid, including the ability to transfer at high frequency on the surface of a filter membrane and to transfer between non-lysogenic strains in the absence of Ca++ and in the presence of citrate of DNase I. However, unlike the class 2 plasmid, pWG14 was able to transfer in broth culture at low frequency and did not mobilise the non-conjugative plasmid. Furthermore, the class 2 plasmid and pWG14 were shown to belong to different incompatibility groups. A derivative of WG512, which had lost the ability to produce the diffusible pigment along with plasmid pWG14 but had retained the resistance determinants of plasmid pWG14 in the chromosome, was used to demonstrate that the conjugative mechanism of pWG14 was a property of the plasmid and not the resistance determinants.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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