Molecular characterization of pneumococci with efflux-mediated erythromycin resistance and identification of a novel mef gene subclass, mef(I).
ABSTRACT: The molecular genetics of macrolide resistance were analyzed in 49 clinical pneumococci (including an "atypical" bile-insoluble strain currently assigned to the new species Streptococcus pseudopneumoniae) with efflux-mediated erythromycin resistance (M phenotype). All test strains had the mef gene, identified as mef(A) in 30 isolates and mef(E) in 19 isolates (including the S. pseudopneumoniae strain) on the basis of PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis. Twenty-eight of the 30 mef(A) isolates shared a pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) type corresponding to the England14-9 clone. Of those isolates, 27 (20 belonging to serotype 14) yielded multilocus sequence type ST9, and one isolate yielded a new sequence type. The remaining two mef(A) isolates had different PFGE types and yielded an ST9 type and a new sequence type. Far greater heterogeneity was displayed by the 19 mef(E) isolates, which fell into 11 PFGE types, 12 serotypes (though not serotype 14), and 12 sequence types (including two new ones and an undetermined type for the S. pseudopneumoniae strain). In all mef(A) pneumococci, the mef element was a regular Tn1207.1 transposon, whereas of the mef(E) isolates, 17 carried the mega element and 2 exhibited a previously unreported organization, with no PCR evidence of the other open reading frames of mega. The mef gene of these two isolates, which did not match with the mef(E) gene of the mega element (93.6% homology) and which exhibited comparable homology (91.4%) to the mef(A) gene of the Tn1207.1 transposon, was identified as a novel mef gene variant and was designated mef(I). While penicillin-nonsusceptible isolates (three resistant isolates and one intermediate isolate) were all mef(E) strains, tetracycline resistance was also detected in three mef(A) isolates, due to the tet(M) gene carried by a Tn916-like transposon. A similar mechanism accounted for resistance in four of the five tetracycline-resistant isolates carrying mef(E), in three of which mega was inserted in the Tn916-like transposon, giving rise to the composite element Tn2009. In the fifth mef(E)-positive tetracycline-resistant isolate (the S. pseudopneumoniae strain), tetracycline resistance was due to the presence of the tet(O) gene, apparently unlinked to mef(E).
Project description:Erythromycin-resistant isolates of Streptococcus pneumoniae from blood cultures and noninvasive sites were studied over a 3-year period. The prevalence of erythromycin resistance was 11.9% (19 of 160) in blood culture isolates but 4.2% (60 of 1,435) in noninvasive-site isolates. Sixty-two of the 79 resistant isolates were available for study. The M phenotype was responsible for 76% (47 of 62) of resistance, largely due to a serotype 14 clone, characterized by multilocus sequence typing as ST9, which accounted for 79% (37 of 47) of M phenotype resistance. The ST9 clone was 4.8 times more common in blood than in noninvasive sites. All M phenotype isolates were PCR positive for mef(A), but sequencing revealed that the ST9 clone possessed the mef(A) sequence commonly associated with Streptococcus pyogenes. All M phenotype isolates with this mef(A) sequence also had sequences consistent with the presence of the Tn1207.1 genetic element inserted in the celB gene. In contrast, isolates with the mef(E) sequence normally associated with S. pneumoniae contained sequences consistent with the presence of the mega insertion element. All MLS(B) isolates carried erm(B), and two isolates carried both erm(B) and mef(E). Fourteen of the 15 MLS(B) isolates were tetracycline resistant and contained tet(M). However, six M phenotype isolates of serotypes 19 (two isolates) and 23 (four isolates) were also tetracycline resistant and contained tet(M). MICs for isolates with the mef(A) sequence were significantly higher than MICs for isolates with the mef(E) sequence (P < 0.001). Thus, the ST9 clone of S. pneumoniae is a significant cause of invasive pneumococcal disease in northeast Scotland and is the single most important contributor to M phenotype erythromycin resistance.
Project description:Of a total of 1043 macrolide-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates collected from 24 countries as part of PROTEKT 1999-2000, 71 isolates tested positive for both the mef(A) and erm(B) genes. Of 69 isolates subjected to further molecular investigations, all were resistant to tetracycline, 63 (91.3%) were resistant to penicillin, and 57 (82.6%) were resistant to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. One isolate was also fluoroquinolone resistant, and another was resistant to quinupristin-dalfopristin. The ketolide telithromycin retained activity against all of the isolates. Of the 69 of these 71 isolates viable for further testing, 46 were from South Korea, 13 were from the United States, 8 came from Japan, and 1 each came from Mexico and Hungary. One major clonal complex (59 [85.5%] of 69 isolates) was identified by serotyping (with 85.5% of the isolates being 19A or 19F), pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, and multilocus sequence typing. The remaining isolates were less clonal in nature. Representative isolates were shown to carry the mobile genetic elements Tn1545 and mega, were negative for Tn1207.1, had tetracycline resistance mediated by tet(M), and contained the mef(E) variant of mef(A). All isolates were positive for mel, a homologue of the msr(A) efflux gene. These clones are obviously very efficient at global dissemination, and hence it will be very important to monitor their progress through continued surveillance. Telithromycin demonstrated high levels of activity (MIC for 90% of the strains tested, 0.5 micro g/ml; MIC range, 0.06 to 1 micro g/ml) against all isolates.
Project description:The structure of the macrolide efflux genetic assembly (mega) element, its genomic locations, and its association with other resistance determinants and genetic elements were investigated in 16 Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates carrying mef(E), of which 1 isolate also carried tet(M) and 4 isolates also carried tet(M) and erm(B). All isolates carried a mega element of similar size and structure that included the operon mef(E)-msr(D) encoding the efflux transport system. Among tetracycline-susceptible isolates, six different integration sites were identified, five of which were recognized inside open reading frames present in the R6 genome. In the five isolates also carrying tet(M), mega was inserted in different genetic contexts. In one isolate, it was part of previously described Tn916-like element Tn2009. In another isolate, mega was inserted in a transposon similar to Tn2009 that also included an erm(B) element. This new composite transposon was designated Tn2010. Neither Tn2009 nor Tn2010 could be transferred by conjugation to pneumococcal or enterococcal recipients. In the three isolates in which mega was not physically linked with tet(M), this gene was associated with erm(B) in transposon Tn3872, a Tn916-like element. Homologies between the chromosomal insertions of these composite transposons and sequences of multidrug-resistant pneumococcal genomes in the databases indicate the presence of preferential sites for the integration of composite Tn916-like elements carrying multiple resistance determinants in S. pneumoniae.
Project description:We screened 615 gram-positive isolates from 150 healthy children for the presence of the erm(A), erm(B), erm(C), erm(F), and mef(A) genes. The mef(A) genes were found in 20 (9%) of the macrolide-resistant isolates, including Enterococcus spp., Staphylococcus spp., and Streptococcus spp. Sixteen of the 19 gram-positive isolates tested carried the other seven open reading frames (ORFs) described in Tn1207.1, a genetic element carrying mef(A) recently described in Streptococcus pneumoniae. The three Staphylococcus spp. did not carry orf1 to orf3. A gram-negative Acinetobacter junii isolate also carried the other seven ORFs described in Tn1207.1. A Staphylococcus aureus isolate, a Streptococcus intermedius isolate, a Streptococcus sp. isolate, and an Enterococcus sp. isolate had their mef(A) genes completely sequenced and showed 100% identity at the DNA and amino acid levels with the mef(A) gene from S. pneumoniae.
Project description:Macrolide resistance in Streptococcus pneumoniae has emerged as an important clinical problem worldwide over the past decade. The aim of this study was to analyze the phenotypes (serotype and antibiotic susceptibility), genotypes (multilocus sequence type [MLST] and antibiotic resistance gene/transposon profiles) among the 31% (102/328) of invasive isolates from children in New South Wales, Australia, in 2005 that were resistant to erythromycin. Three serotypes--19F (47 isolates [46%]), 14 (27 isolates [26%]), and 6B (12 isolates [12%])--accounted for 86 (84%) of these 102 isolates. Seventy four (73%) isolates had the macrolide-lincosamide-streptogramin B (MLS(B)) resistance phenotype and carried Tn916 transposons (most commonly Tn6002); of these, 73 (99%) contained the erythromycin ribosomal methylase gene [erm(B)], 34 (47%) also carried the macrolide efflux gene [mef(E)], and 41 (55%) belonged to serotype 19F. Of 28 (27%) isolates with the M phenotype, 22 (79%) carried mef(A), including 16 (57%) belonging to serotype 14, and only six (19%) carried Tn916 transposons. Most (84%) isolates which contained mef also contained one of the msr(A) homologues, mel or msr(D); 38 of 40 (95%) isolates with mef(E) (on mega) carried mel, and of 28 (39%) isolates with mef(A), 10 (39%) carried mel and another 11(39%) carried msr(D), on Tn1207.1. Two predominant macrolide-resistant S. pneumoniae clonal clusters (CCs) were identified in this population. CC-271 contained 44% of isolates, most of which belonged to serotype 19F, had the MLS(B) phenotype, were multidrug resistant, and carried transposons of the Tn916 family; CC-15 contained 23% of isolates, most of which were serotype 14, had the M phenotype, and carried mef(A) on Tn1207.1. Erythromycin resistance among S. pneumoniae isolates in New South Wales is mainly due to the dissemination of multidrug-resistant S. pneumoniae strains or horizontal spread of the Tn916 family of transposons.
Project description:Phim46.1, the recognized representative of the most common variant of mobile, prophage-associated genetic elements carrying resistance genes mef(A) (which confers efflux-mediated erythromycin resistance) and tet(O) (which confers tetracycline resistance) in Streptococcus pyogenes, was fully characterized. Sequencing of the Phim46.1 genome (55,172 bp) demonstrated a modular organization typical of tailed bacteriophages. Electron microscopic analysis of mitomycin-induced Phim46.1 revealed phage particles with the distinctive icosahedral head and tail morphology of the Siphoviridae family. The chromosome integration site was within a 23S rRNA uracil methyltransferase gene. BLASTP analysis revealed that the proteins of Phim46.1 had high levels of amino acid sequence similarity to the amino acid sequences of proteins from other prophages, especially Phi10394.4 of S. pyogenes and lambdaSa04 of S. agalactiae. Phage DNA was present in the host cell both as a prophage and as free circular DNA. The lysogeny module appears to have been split due to the insertion of a segment containing tet(O) (from integrated conjugative element 2096-RD.2) and mef(A) (from a Tn1207.1-like transposon) into the unintegrated phage DNA. The phage attachment sequence lies in the region between tet(O) and mef(A) in the unintegrated form. Thus, whereas in this form tet(O) is approximately 5.5 kb upstream of mef(A), in the integrated form, tet(O), which lies close to the right end of the prophage, is approximately 46.3 kb downstream of mef(A), which lies close to the left end of the prophage.
Project description:Efflux-mediated macrolide resistance due to mef(E) and mel, carried by the mega element, is common in Streptococcus pneumoniae, for which it was originally characterized, but it is rare in Streptococcus pyogenes In S. pyogenes, mega was previously found to be enclosed in Tn2009, a composite genetic element of the Tn916 family containing tet(M) and conferring erythromycin and tetracycline resistance. In this study, S. pyogenes isolates containing mef(E), apparently not associated with other resistance determinants, were examined to characterize the genetic context of mega. By whole-genome sequencing of one isolate, MB56Spyo009, we identified a novel composite integrative and conjugative element (ICE) carrying mega, designated ICESpy009, belonging to the ICESa2603 family. ICESpy009 was 55 kb long, contained 61 putative open reading frames (ORFs), and was found to be integrated into hylA, a novel integration site for the ICESa2603 family. The modular organization of the ICE was similar to that of members of the ICESa2603 family carried by different streptococcal species. In addition, a novel cluster of accessory resistance genes was found inside a region that encloses mega. PCR mapping targeting ICESpy009 revealed the presence of a similar ICE in five other isolates under study. While in three isolates the integration site was the same as that of ICESpy009, in two isolates the ICE was integrated into rplL, the typical integration site of the ICESa2603 family. ICESpy009 was able to transfer macrolide resistance by conjugation to both S. pyogenes and S. pneumoniae, showing the first evidence of the transferability of mega from S. pyogenes.
Project description:Susceptibilities to macrolides were evaluated in 267 Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates, of which 182 were from patients with invasive diseases and 85 were from healthy carriers. Of the 98 resistant isolates, 20 strains showed an M phenotype and carried mef. Strains that carried both mef(A) and mef(E) were found: 17 strains carried mef(A) and 3 carried mef(E). The characteristics of the strains carrying the mef genes and the properties of the mef-containing elements were studied. Strains carrying mef(A) belonged to serotype 14, were susceptible to all the antibiotics tested except erythromycin, and appeared to be clonally related by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). The three mef(E) strains belonged to different serotypes, showed different susceptibility profiles, and did not appear to be related by PFGE. The sequences of a fragment of the mef-containing element, which encompassed mef and the msr(A) homolog, were identical among the three mef(E)-positive strains and among the three mef(A)-positive strains, although there were differences between the sequences for the two variants at 168 positions. In all mef(A)-positive strains, the mef element was inserted in celB, which led to impairment of the competence of the strains. In line with insertion of the mef(E) element at a different site, the competence of the mef(E)-positive strains was maintained. Transfer of erythromycin resistance by conjugation was obtained from two of three mef(A) strains but from none of three mef(E) strains. Due to the important different characteristics of the strains carrying mef(A) or mef(E), we suggest that the distinction between the two genes be maintained.
Project description:Transferable genetic elements conferring macrolide resistance in Streptococcus pneumoniae can encode the efflux pump and ribosomal protection protein, mef(E)/mel, in an operon of the macrolide efflux genetic assembly (Mega) element- or induce ribosomal methylation through a methyltransferase encoded by erm(B). During the past 30 years, strains that contain Mega or erm(B) or both elements on Tn2010 and other Tn916-like composite mobile genetic elements have emerged and expanded globally. In this study, we identify and define pneumococcal isolates with unusually high-level macrolide resistance (MICs > 16 ?g/ml) due to the presence of the Mega element [mef(E)/mel] alone. High-level resistance due to mef(E)/mel was associated with at least two specific genomic insertions of the Mega element, designated Mega-2.IVa and Mega-2.IVc. Genome analyses revealed that these strains do not possess erm(B) or known ribosomal mutations. Deletion of mef(E)/mel in these isolates eliminated macrolide resistance. We also found that Mef(E) and Mel of Tn2010-containing pneumococci were functional but the high-level of macrolide resistance was due to Erm(B). Using in vitro competition experiments in the presence of macrolides, high-level macrolide-resistant S. pneumoniae conferred by either Mega-2.IVa or erm(B), had a growth fitness advantage over the lower-level, mef(E)/mel-mediated macrolide-resistant S. pneumoniae phenotypes. These data indicate the ability of S. pneumoniae to generate high-level macrolide resistance by macrolide efflux/ribosomal protection [Mef(E)/Mel] and that high-level resistance regardless of mechanism provides a fitness advantage in the presence of macrolides.
Project description:In Streptococcus pyogenes, efflux-mediated erythromycin resistance is associated with the mef gene, represented mostly by mef(A), although a small portion of strains carry different mef subclasses. We characterized the composite genetic elements, including mef subclasses other than mef(A), associated with other resistance genes in S. pyogenes isolates. Determination of the genetic elements was performed by PCR mapping. The strains carrying mosaic mef(A/E), in which the 5' region was identical to mef(A) and the 3' region was identical to mef(E), also carried tet(O). The two genes were found enclosed in an element similar to S. pyogenes prophage Φm46.1, designated the Φm46.1-like element. In S. pyogenes strains carrying mef(E) and tet(M), mef(E) was included in a typical mega element, and in some strains, it was physically associated with tet(M) in the composite element Tn2009. S. pyogenes strains carrying mef(I) also carried catQ; the two genes were linked in a fragment representing a portion of the 5216IQ complex of Streptococcus pneumoniae, designated the defective IQ element. In the only isolate carrying a novel mef gene, this was associated with catQ and tet(M) in a genetic element similar to the 5216IQ complex of S. pneumoniae (5216IQ-like complex), suggesting that the novel mef is in fact a variant of mef(I). This study demonstrates that the composite elements containing mef are shared between S. pyogenes and S. pneumoniae and suggests that it is important to distinguish the mef subclass on the basis of the genetic element containing it.