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Composite structure of Streptococcus pneumoniae containing the erythromycin efflux resistance gene mefI and the chloramphenicol resistance gene catQ.


ABSTRACT: In recent years mef genes, encoding efflux pumps responsible for M-type macrolide resistance, have been investigated extensively for streptococci. mef(I) is a recently described mef variant detected in particular isolates of Streptococcus pneumoniae instead of the more common mef(E) and mef(A). This study shows that mef(I) is located in a new composite genetic element, whose sequence was completely analyzed and the left and right junctions determined, demonstrating a unique genetic organization. The new composite structure (30,505 bp), designated the 5216IQ complex, consists of two halves: a left one (15,316 bp) formed by parts of the known transposons Tn5252 and Tn916, and a right one (15,115 bp) formed by a new fragment, designated the IQ element. While the defective Tn916 contained a silent tet(M) gene, the IQ element, ending with identical transposase genes on both sides and containing the mef(I) gene with an adjacent new msr(D) gene variant and a catQ chloramphenicol acetyltransferase gene, was completely different from the genetic elements carrying other mef genes in pneumococci. This is the first report demonstrating catQ in S. pneumoniae and showing its linkage with a mef gene. Analysis of the chromosomal region beyond the left junction revealed an organization more similar to that of S. pneumoniae strain TIGR4 than to that of strain R6. The 5216IQ complex was apparently nonmobile, with no detectable transfer of erythromycin resistance being obtained in repeated transformation and conjugation assays.

SUBMITTER: Mingoia M 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC2151433 | BioStudies | 2007-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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