Evidence of antimicrobial resistance-conferring genetic elements among pneumococci isolated prior to 1974.
ABSTRACT: Antimicrobial resistance among pneumococci has greatly increased over the past two to three decades. Resistance to tetracycline (tet(M)), chloramphenicol (cat) and macrolides (erm(B) and/or mef(A/E)) is generally conferred by acquisition of specific genes that are associated with mobile genetic elements, including those of the Tn916 and Tn5252 families. The first tetracycline-, chloramphenicol- and macrolide-resistant pneumococci were detected between 1962 and 1970; however, until now the oldest pneumococcus shown to harbour Tn916 and/or Tn5252 was isolated in 1974. In this study the genomes of 38 pneumococci isolated prior to 1974 were probed for the presence of tet(M), cat, erm(B), mef(A/E) and int (integrase) to indicate the presence of Tn916/Tn5252-like elements.Two Tn916-like, tet(M)-containing, elements were identified among pneumococci dated 1967 and 1968. The former element was highly similar to that of the PMEN1 multidrug-resistant, globally-distributed pneumococcal reference strain, which was isolated in 1984. The latter element was associated with a streptococcal phage. A third, novel genetic element, designated ICESpPN1, was identified in the genome of an isolate dated 1972. ICESpPN1 contained a region of similarity to Tn5252, a region of similarity to a pneumococcal pathogenicity island and novel lantibiotic synthesis/export-associated genes.These data confirm the existence of pneumococcal Tn916 elements in the first decade within which pneumococcal tetracycline resistance was described. Furthermore, the discovery of ICESpPN1 demonstrates the dynamic variability of pneumococcal genetic elements and is contrasted with the evidence for Tn916 stability.
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:This study investigated the genetic organization of erm(B)-carrying transposons of Streptococcus pneumoniae and their distribution in tetracycline-resistant clinical isolates. By comparatively analyzing reference pneumococci carrying erm(B)/tet(M) transposon Tn1545, Tn6003, Tn6002, or Tn3872, we demonstrated a substantial correspondence between Tn1545 and Tn6003, which have the same resistance gene combination [tet(M) (tetracycline), erm(B) (erythromycin), and aphA-3 (kanamycin)]; share the macrolide-aminoglycoside-streptothricin element, containing a second erm(B); and only differ by a ca. 1.2-kb insertion (containing a putative IS1239 insertion sequence) detected in Tn1545 from S. pneumoniae reference strain BM4200. These results enabled elucidation of the structure of Tn1545, the first erm(B)-carrying transposon described in S. pneumoniae. A collection of 83 erythromycin- and tetracycline-resistant clinical pneumococci, representative of recent Italian isolates carrying erm(B) as the sole erythromycin resistance gene, was used to investigate the distribution of the different transposons. All 83 organisms were positive for tet(M) and bore an erm(B)/tet(M) transposon that could be characterized by using a specific set of primer pairs; Tn3872 was detected in 18 isolates, Tn6002 in 59 isolates, and Tn6003 in 6 (the sole kanamycin-resistant) isolates. The genetic organization of transposon Tn1545, with its specific insertion, was not detected in any of the isolates tested. The erm(B)-carrying elements of tetracycline-resistant pneumococci substantially corresponded to those [bearing a silent tet(M) gene] recently detected in tetracycline-susceptible pneumococci. Overall, in erm(B)-positive pneumococci, Tn6003 was the least common erm(B)-carrying Tn916-related element and Tn6002 the most common.
Project description:Several drug resistances in Streptococcus pneumoniae are associated with mobile genetic elements, which are loosely subdivided into a group of smaller (18- to 27-kb) and a group of larger (>50-kb) elements. While the elements of the former group, which typically carry the tetracycline resistance determinant tet(M) and whose prototype is Tn916 (18 kb), have been studied extensively, the larger elements, whose prototype is Tn5253 (?65.5 kb), are not as well explored. Tn5253 is a composite structure consisting of two independent conjugative transposons, Tn5251 (which is virtually identical to Tn916) and Tn5252 (?47.5 kb), with the former inserted into the latter. Tn5252, which so far has only partially been sequenced, carries an integrase gene, driving its site-specific insertion into the host cell genome, and the chloramphenicol resistance cat(pC194) determinant. This study investigated 20 clinical isolates of S. pneumoniae, which were selected on the basis of cat(pC194)-mediated chloramphenicol resistance. All 20 isolates harbored a Tn5253-like element. The composite elements (some of which have been completely sequenced) demonstrated considerable heterogeneity that stemmed from a dual variability: in the Tn5252-like element, due primarily to differences in the integrase gene but also to differences in cargo genes and in the overall genetic organization, and in the Tn916-like element, with the possible involvement, besides Tn916, of a number of Tn916 family pneumococcal elements carrying different erythromycin resistance genes. In mating experiments, only one composite element, containing a less typical Tn916 family element, appeared to be nonmobile. Being part of a Tn5253-like composite element may confer on some Tn916-like transposons, which are apparently nontransferable as independent genetic elements, the ability to be mobilized.
Project description:Macrolide resistance in Streptococcus pneumoniae emerged in the U.S. and globally during the early 1990's. The RNA methylase encoded by erm(B) and the macrolide efflux genes mef(E) and mel were identified as the resistance determining factors. These genes are disseminated in the pneumococcus on mobile, often chimeric elements consisting of multiple smaller elements. To better understand the variety of elements encoding macrolide resistance and how they have evolved in the pre- and post-conjugate vaccine eras, the genomes of 121 invasive and ten carriage isolates from Atlanta from 1994 to 2011 were analyzed for mobile elements involved in the dissemination of macrolide resistance. The isolates were selected to provide broad coverage of the genetic variability of antibiotic resistant pneumococci and included 100 invasive isolates resistant to macrolides. Tn916-like elements carrying mef(E) and mel on the Macrolide Genetic Assembly (Mega) and erm(B) on the erm(B) element and Tn917 were integrated into the pneumococcal chromosome backbone and into larger Tn5253-like composite elements. The results reported here include identification of novel insertion sites for Mega and characterization of the insertion sites of Tn916-like elements in the pneumococcal chromosome and in larger composite elements. The data indicate that integration of elements by conjugation was infrequent compared to recombination. Thus, it appears that conjugative mobile elements allow the pneumococcus to acquire DNA from distantly related bacteria, but once integrated into a pneumococcal genome, transformation and recombination is the primary mechanism for transmission of novel DNA throughout the pneumococcal population.
Project description:Pneumonia is the sixth largest cause of death in the UK. It is usually caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, which healthy individuals can carry in their nose without symptoms of disease. Antimicrobial resistance further increases mortality and morbidity associated with pneumococcal infection, although few studies have analysed resistance in naturally circulating pneumococcal isolates in adult populations. Here, we report on the resistome and associated mobile genetic elements within circulating pneumococcus isolated from adult volunteers enrolled in the experimental human pneumococcal colonisation (EHPC) research program at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, UK. Pneumococcal isolates collected from 30 healthy asymptomatic adults who had volunteered to take part in clinical research were screened for antibiotic susceptibility to erythromycin and tetracycline, and whole-genome sequenced. The genetic context of resistance to one or both antibiotics in four isolates was characterised bioinformatically, and any association of the resistance genes with mobile genetic elements was determined. Tetracycline and macrolide resistance genes [tet(M), erm(B), mef(A), msr(D)] were detected on known Tn916-like integrative and conjugative elements, namely Tn6002 and Tn2010, and tet(32) was found for the first time in S. pneumoniae located on a novel 50 kb genomic island. The widespread use of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines impacts on serotype prevalence and transmission within the community. It is therefore important to continue to monitor antimicrobial resistance (AMR) genes present in both vaccine types and non-vaccine types in response to contemporary antimicrobial therapies and characterise the genetic context of acquired resistance genes to continually optimise antibiotic therapies.
Project description: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:This study was directed at characterizing the genetic elements carrying the methylase gene erm(B), encoding ribosome modification-mediated resistance to macrolide, lincosamide, and streptogramin B (MLS) antibiotics, in Streptococcus pyogenes. In this species, erm(B) is responsible for MLS resistance in constitutively resistant isolates (cMLS phenotype) and in a subset (iMLS-A) of inducibly resistant isolates. A total of 125 erm(B)-positive strains were investigated, 81 iMLS-A (uniformly tetracycline susceptible) and 44 cMLS (29 tetracycline resistant and 15 tetracycline susceptible). Whereas all tetracycline-resistant isolates carried the tet(M) gene, tet(M) sequences were also detected in most tetracycline-susceptible isolates (81/81 iMLS-A and 7/15 cMLS). In 2 of the 8 tet(M)-negative cMLS isolates, erm(B) was carried by a plasmid-located Tn917-like transposon. erm(B)- and tet(M)-positive isolates were tested by PCR for the presence of genes int (integrase), xis (excisase), and tndX (resolvase), associated with conjugative transposons of the Tn916 family. In mating experiments using representatives of different combinations of phenotypic and genotypic characteristics as donors, erm(B) and tet(M) were consistently cotransferred, suggesting their linkage in individual genetic elements. The linkage was confirmed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and hybridization studies, and different elements, variably associated with the different phenotypes/genotypes, were detected and characterized by amplification and sequencing experiments. A previously unreported genetic organization, observed in all iMLS-A and some cMLS isolates, featured an erm(B)-containing DNA insertion into the tet(M) gene of a defective Tn5397, a Tn916-related transposon. This new element was designated Tn1116. Genetic elements not previously described in S. pyogenes also included Tn6002, an unpublished transposon whose complete sequence is available in GenBank, and Tn3872, a composite element resulting from the insertion of the Tn917 transposon into Tn916 [associated with a tet(M) gene expressed in some cMLS isolates and silent in others]. The high frequency of association between a tetracycline-susceptible phenotype and tet(M) genes suggests that transposons of the Tn916 family, so far typically associated solely with a tetracycline-resistant phenotype, may be more widespread in S. pyogenes than currently believed.
Project description:Streptococcus pneumoniae serotype 1 is the first cause of pneumococcal meningitis Niger. To determine the underlying mechanism of resistance to tetracycline in serotype 1 Streptococcus pneumoniae, a collection of 37 isolates recovered from meningitis patients over the period of 2002 to 2009 in Niger were analyzed for drug susceptibility, and whole genome sequencing (WGS) was performed for molecular analyses. MIC level was determined for 31/37 (83.8%) isolates and allowed detection of full resistance (MIC = 8 µg) in 24/31 (77.4%) isolates. No resistance was found to macrolides and quinolones. Sequence-types deduced from WGS were ST217 (54.1%), ST303 (35.1%), ST2206 (5.4%), ST2839 (2.7%) and one undetermined ST (2.7%). All tetracycline resistant isolates carried a Tn5253 like element, which was found to be an association of two smaller transposons of Tn916 and Tn5252 families. No tet(O) and tet(Q) genes were detected. However, a tet(M) like sequence was identified in all Tn5253 positive strains and was found associated to Tn916 composite. Only one isolate was phenotypically resistant to chloramphenicol, wherein a chloramphenicol acetyl transferase (cat) gene sequence homologous to catpC194 from the Staphylococcus aureus plasmid pC194 was detected. In conclusion, clinical Streptococcus pneumoniae type 1 isolated during 2002 to 2009 meningitis surveillance in Niger were fully susceptible to macrolides and quinolones but highly resistant to tetracycline (77.4%) through acquisition of a defective Tn5253 like element composed of Tn5252 and Tn916 transposons. Of the 31 tested isolates, only one was exceptionally resistant to chloramphenicol and carried a Tn5253 transposon that contained cat gene sequence.
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: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).