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J Infect Dis. 1998 Jul;178(1):159-63.

Penicillin-binding protein 5 sequence alterations in clinical isolates of Enterococcus faecium with different levels of beta-lactam resistance.

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  • 1L.R.M.A. UFR Broussais-Hôtel-Dieu et UFR Pitié-Salpétrière, Université Paris VI, France.


The low-affinity penicillin-binding protein (PBP) 5 is the main beta-lactam target and is responsible for resistance to this class of antibiotics in Enterococcus faecium. The PBP 5 variants of 15 clinical isolates (including 8 resistant to vancomycin) with different levels of beta-lactam resistance were analyzed. Most of the highly beta-lactam-resistant isolates produced small quantities of PBP 5 of low affinity. This was associated with particular amino acid substitutions: an Ala or Ile for Thr-499, a Glu for Val-629, and a Pro for Ser-667. A change of Met-485 to Thr or Ala (adjacent to the conserved SDN box) was observed in isolates with MICs of ampicillin of 64 or 128 microg/mL, respectively. In the 2 most resistant isolates, with MICs of ampicillin of 256 microg/mL, an additional Ser was present just after Ser-466. Thus, particular point mutations in PBP 5 and combinations thereof may lead to high-level beta-lactam resistance in E. faecium.

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