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J Appl Bacteriol. 1995 Aug;79(2):149-56.

Resistance to quaternary ammonium compounds in Staphylococcus spp. isolated from the food industry and nucleotide sequence of the resistance plasmid pST827.

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MATFORSK, Norwegian Food Research Institute, As.


The complete nucleotide sequence of the 2.8 kb plasmid pST827 involved in resistance to the quaternary ammonium compound (QAC) benzalkonium chloride in meat-associated staphylococci was determined. An open reading frame (ORF) similar to the QAC resistance genes qacC, ebr and smr previously reported from clinical staphylococcal strains was identified (qacC'). In addition an ORF coding for a protein (Rep827) showing extensive homology to reported replication proteins of Gram-positive organisms was found. The occurrence of known QAC resistance gene (qacA-C) among staphylococcal strains isolated from food processing plants was studied by hybridization analysis. Of 191 isolates, 25 were resistant to benzalkonium chloride. Five of these gave no hybridization signals to probes specific for qacA-C. Further hybridization analysis indicated that pST827 or closely related plasmids are widespread among QAC-resistant staphylococcal strains. The finding of resistant staphylococci in different areas of the food processing industry indicates that QAC resistance is a potential problem in the food processing industry.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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