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J Bacteriol. 1997 Aug;179(15):4795-801.

Molecular analysis of kanamycin and viomycin resistance in Mycobacterium smegmatis by use of the conjugation system.

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Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Yahatanishiku, Kitakyusyu, Japan.


We examined the molecular mechanisms of resistance to kanamycin and viomycin in Mycobacterium smegmatis. All of the M. smegmatis strains with high-level kanamycin resistance had a nucleotide substitution from A to G at position 1389 of the 16S rRNA gene (rrs). This position is equivalent to position 1408 of Escherichia coli, and mutation at this position is known to cause aminoglycoside resistance. Mutations from G to A or G to T at position 1473 of the M. smegmatis rrs gene were found in viomycin-resistant mutants which had been designated vicB mutants in our earlier studies. Using the M. smegmatis conjugation system, we confirmed that these mutations indeed contributed to kanamycin and viomycin resistance, and kanamycin susceptibility was dominant over resistance in a heterogenomic strain. Additional experiments showed that three of four Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains with high-level kanamycin resistance had a mutation from A to G at position 1400, which was equivalent to position 1389 of M. smegmatis.

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