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.
Project description:The linkage between the macrolide efflux gene mef(I) and the chloramphenicol inactivation gene catQ was first described in Streptococcus pneumoniae (strain Spn529), where the two genes are located in a module designated IQ element. Subsequently, two different defective IQ elements were detected in Streptococcus pyogenes (strains Spy029 and Spy005). The genetic elements carrying the three IQ elements were characterized, and all were found to be Tn5253 family integrative and conjugative elements (ICEs). The ICE from S. pneumoniae (ICESpn529IQ) was sequenced, whereas the ICEs from S. pyogenes (ICESpy029IQ and ICESpy005IQ, the first Tn5253-like ICEs reported in this species) were characterized by PCR mapping, partial sequencing, and restriction analysis. ICESpn529IQ and ICESpy029IQ were found to share the intSp 23FST81 integrase gene and an identical Tn916 fragment, whereas ICESpy005IQ has int5252 and lacks Tn916. All three ICEs were found to lack the linearized pC194 plasmid that is usually associated with Tn5253-like ICEs, and all displayed a single copy of a toxin-antitoxin operon that is typically contained in the direct repeats flanking the excisable pC194 region when this region is present. Two different insertion sites of the IQ elements were detected, one in ICESpn529IQ and ICESpy029IQ, and another in ICESpy005IQ. The chromosomal integration of the three ICEs was site specific, depending on the integrase (intSp 23FST81 or int5252). Only ICESpy005IQ was excised in circular form and transferred by conjugation. By transformation, mef(I) and catQ were cotransferred at a high frequency from S. pyogenes Spy005 and at very low frequencies from S. pneumoniae Spn529 and S. pyogenes Spy029.
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.
Project description:In streptococci mef(I) and catQ, two relatively uncommon macrolide and chloramphenicol resistance genes, respectively, are typically linked in a genetic module designated IQ module. Though variable, the module consistently encompasses, and is sometimes reduced to, a conserved ∼5.8-kb mef(I)-catQ fragment. The prototype IQ module was described in Streptococcus pneumoniae. IQ-like modules have subsequently been detected in Streptococcus pyogenes and in different species of viridans group streptococci, where mef(E) may be found instead of mef(I). Three genetic elements, one carrying the prototype IQ module from S. pneumoniae and two carrying different, defective IQ modules from S. pyogenes, have recently been characterized. All are integrative and conjugative elements (ICEs) belonging to the Tn5253 family, and have been designated ICESpn529IQ, ICESpy029IQ and ICESpy005IQ, respectively. ICESpy029IQ and ICESpy005IQ were the first Tn5253 family ICEs to be described in S. pyogenes. A wealth of new information has been obtained by comparing their genetic organization, chromosomal integration, and transferability. The origin of the IQ module is unknown. The mechanism by which it spreads in streptococci is discussed.
Project description:The diversity of clinical (n = 92) and oral and digestive commensal (n = 120) isolates of Streptococcus salivarius was analyzed by multilocus sequence typing (MLST). No clustering of clinical or commensal strains can be observed in the phylogenetic tree. Selected strains (92 clinical and 46 commensal strains) were then examined for their susceptibilities to tetracyclines, macrolides, lincosamides, aminoglycosides, and phenicol antibiotics. The presence of resistance genes tet(M), tet(O), erm(A), erm(B), mef(A/E), and catQ and associated genetic elements was investigated by PCR, as was the genetic linkage of resistance genes. High rates of erythromycin and tetracycline resistance were observed among the strains. Clinical strains displayed either the erm(B) (macrolide-lincosamide-streptogramin B [MLSB] phenotype) or mef(A/E) (M phenotype) resistance determinant, whereas almost all the commensal strains harbored the mef(A/E) resistance gene, carried by a macrolide efflux genetic assembly (MEGA) element. A genetic linkage between a macrolide resistance gene and genes of Tn916 was detected in 23 clinical strains and 5 commensal strains, with a predominance of Tn3872 elements (n = 13), followed by Tn6002 (n = 11) and Tn2009 (n = 4) elements. Four strains harboring a mef(A/E) gene were also resistant to chloramphenicol and carried a catQ gene. Sequencing of the genome of one of these strains revealed that these genes colocalized on an IQ-like element, as already described for other viridans group streptococci. ICESt3-related elements were also detected in half of the isolates. This work highlights the potential role of S. salivarius in the spread of antibiotic resistance genes both in the oral sphere and in the gut.
Project description:The association between the macrolide efflux gene mef(E) and the tet(M) gene was studied in two clinical strains of Streptococcus pneumoniae that belonged to serotypes 19F and 6A, respectively, and that were resistant to both tetracycline and erythromycin. The mef(E)-carrying element mega (macrolide efflux genetic assembly; 5,511 bp) was found to be inserted into a Tn916-like genetic element present in the chromosomes of the two pneumococcal strains. In both strains, mega was integrated at the same site, an open reading frame identical to orf6 of Tn916. The new composite element, Tn2009, was about 23.5 kb and, with the exception of the tet(M)-coding sequence, appeared to be identical in both strains. By sequencing of the junction fragments of Tn2009 at the site of insertion into the chromosome, it was possible to show that (i) the insertion site was identical in the two clinical strains and (ii) the integration of Tn2009 caused a 9.5 kb-deletion in the pneumococcal chromosome. It was not possible to detect the conjugal transfer of Tn2009 to a recipient pneumococcal strain; however, transfer of the whole element by transformation was shown to occur. It is possible to hypothesize that Tn2009 relies on transformation for its spread among clinical strains of S. pneumoniae.
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: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:The genetic elements carrying macrolide resistance genes in Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates belonging to CC271 were investigated. The international clone Taiwan(19F)-14 was found to carry Tn2009, a Tn916-like transposon containing tet(M) and mef(E). The dual erm(B) mef(E) isolates carried Tn2010, which is similar to Tn2009 with the addition of a putative new transposon, the erm(B) genetic element.
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: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).