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J Infect Dis. 1980 Jun;141(6):738-47.

Identity and interspecific transfer of gentamicin-resistance plasmids in Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis.


The hypothesis that emergence of gentamicin-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis in a neonatal special care nursery was the result of transfer of a single plasmid between these two species was examined. In experiments with mixtures of staphylococci, either in mixed cultures or on human skin, isolates of S. aureus and S. epidermidis transferred their gentamicin-resistance plasmids both intra- and interspecifically. By electron microscopy, the molecular masses of the plasmids from S. aureus and S. epidermidis were the same, 12.2 +/- 0.36 (standard deviation) and 12.3 +/- 0.56 megadaltons, respectively. Restriction endonuclease analysis of the plasmids from five isolates of S. aureus and two isolates of S. epidermidis, with use of the enzymes HaeIII, EcoRI, XbaI, and HindIII, showed no differences in the digestion patterns of the seven gentamicin-resistance plasmids. The results supported the hypothesis that plasmid transfer between S. aureus and S. epidermidis occurs in nature.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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