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1.  Mechanisms of Macrolide Resistance among Streptococcus pneumoniae Isolates from Russia▿  
Among 76 macrolide-nonsusceptible Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates collected between 2003 and 2005 from Central Russia, the resistance mechanisms detected in the isolates included erm(B) alone (50%), mef alone [mef(E), mef(I), or a different mef subclass; 19.7%], or both erm(B) and mef(E) (30.3%). Isolates with dual resistance genes [erm(B) and mef(E)] belonged to clonal complex CC81 or CC271.
PMCID: PMC2415785  PMID: 18378707
2.  Genotypes and Related Factors Reflecting Macrolide Resistance in Pneumococcal Pneumonia Infections in Japan▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2007;45(5):1440-1446.
Although macrolide-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae strains possessing either the ermB or mefA gene are very common in Japan, clinical and microbial factors in community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) caused by different macrolide resistance genotypes have not been evaluated. A multicenter study of CAP caused by S. pneumoniae was performed in Japan from 2003 to 2005. A total of 156 isolates were tested for susceptibility to antibiotics correlated with ermB and mefA genotyping. Independent relationships between tested variables and possession of either the ermB or the mefA gene were identified. Of 156 isolates, 127 (81.4%) were resistant to erythromycin, with the following distribution of resistance genotypes: ermB alone (50.0%), mefA alone (23.7%), and both ermB and mefA (7.1%). All isolates were susceptible to telithromycin. By multivariate analysis, oxygen saturation of <90% on admission increased the risk for ermB-positive pneumococcal pneumonia (odds ratio [OR] = 11.1; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.30 to 95.0; P = 0.03), but there were no associations with mefA or with ermB mefA positivity. Penicillin nonsusceptibility was associated with mefA-positive and with ermB- and mefA-positive isolates (OR = 14.2; 95% CI = 4.27 to 46.9; P < 0.0001 and P < 0.0001, respectively) but not with ermB-positive isolates. The overall patient mortality was 5.1%. Mortality, the duration of hospitalization, and the resolution of several clinical markers were not associated with the different erythromycin resistance genotypes. In Japan, S. pneumoniae with erythromycin resistance or possession of ermB, mefA, or both genes was highly prevalent in patients with CAP. The risk factors for ermB-positive, mefA-positive, and double ermB-mefA-positive pneumococcal pneumonia were different, but the clinical outcomes did not differ.
PMCID: PMC1865875  PMID: 17344362
3.  Molecular Epidemiology of Macrolide-Resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae Isolates in Europe 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2005;43(3):1294-1300.
In many European countries, the level of pneumococcal resistance to macrolides has now passed the level of resistance to penicillin G. A total of 82 erythromycin A-resistant isolates of Streptococcus pneumoniae were collected by 11 laboratories in seven European countries. All of the isolates were tested for antimicrobial susceptibility, analyzed for clonal relatedness by multilocus sequence typing, and characterized for macrolide resistance genotypes. The prevalence of the macrolide resistance genotypes varied substantially between countries. In France (87.5% of all strains), Spain (77.3%), Switzerland (80%), and Poland (100%), strains were predominantly erm(B) positive, whereas higher levels of mef(A)-positive strains were reported from Greece (100%) and Germany (33.3%). Macrolide resistance was caused by the oligoclonal spread of some multilocus sequence types, but significant differences in clonal distribution were noted between France and Spain, countries from which high levels of macrolide resistance have been reported. Overall, sequence type 81 (Spain23F-1 clone) was by far the most widespread. The mainly erm(B)-positive serotype 14 clone (sequence type 143), first reported in Poland in the mid-1990s, is now widespread in France.
PMCID: PMC1081259  PMID: 15750098
4.  Genotypes and serotype distribution of macrolide resistant invasive and non- invasive Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates from Lebanon 
This study determined macrolide resistance genotypes in clinical isolates of Streptococcus pneumoniae from multiple medical centers in Lebanon and assessed the serotype distribution in relation to these mechanism(s) of resistance and the source of isolate recovery.
Forty four macrolide resistant and 21 macrolide susceptible S. pneumoniae clinical isolates were tested for antimicrobial susceptibility according to CLSI guidelines (2008) and underwent molecular characterization. Serotyping of these isolates was performed by Multiplex PCR-based serotype deduction using CDC protocols. PCR amplification of macrolide resistant erm (encoding methylase) and mef (encoding macrolide efflux pump protein) genes was carried out.
Among 44 isolates resistant to erythromycin, 35 were resistant to penicillin and 18 to ceftriaxone. Examination of 44 macrolide resistant isolates by PCR showed that 16 isolates harbored the erm(B) gene, 8 isolates harbored the mef gene, and 14 isolates harbored both the erm(B) and mef genes. There was no amplification by PCR of the erm(B) or mef genes in 6 isolates. Seven different capsular serotypes 2, 9V/9A,12F, 14,19A, 19F, and 23, were detected by multiplex PCR serotype deduction in 35 of 44 macrolide resistant isolates, with 19F being the most prevalent serotype. With the exception of serotype 2, all serotypes were invasive. Isolates belonging to the invasive serotypes 14 and 19F harbored both erm(B) and mef genes. Nine of the 44 macrolide resistant isolates were non-serotypable by our protocols.
Macrolide resistance in S. pneumoniae in Lebanon is mainly through target site modification but is also mediated through efflux pumps, with serotype 19F having dual resistance and being the most prevalent and invasive.
PMCID: PMC3371826  PMID: 22248318
Antimicrobials; Macrolides; Resistance; Genes; Serotyping
5.  Antimicrobial Susceptibility and Macrolide Resistance Inducibility of Streptococcus pneumoniae Carrying erm(A), erm(B), or mef(A) 
Erythromycin-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates from young carriers were tested for their antimicrobial susceptibility; additionally, inducibility of macrolide and clindamycin resistance was investigated in pneumococci carrying erm(A), erm(B), or mef(A). Of 125 strains tested, 101 (81%) were multidrug resistant. Different levels of induction were observed with erythromycin, miocamycin, and clindamycin in erm(B) strains; however, in erm(A) strains only erythromycin was an inducer. Induction did not affect macrolide MICs in mef(A) strains.
PMCID: PMC166089  PMID: 12878546
6.  Increase in Pneumococcus Macrolide Resistance, United States 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2009;15(8):1260-1264.
During year 6 of the study, the incidence rate rose from ≈30% to 35.3%.
During year 6 (2005–2006) of the Prospective Resistant Organism Tracking and Epidemiology for the Ketolide Telithromycin surveillance study, 6,747 Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates were collected at 119 centers. The susceptibility of these isolates to macrolides was compared with data from previous years. Macrolide resistance increased significantly in year 6 (35.3%) from the stable rate of ≈30% for the previous 3 years (p<0.0001). Macrolide resistance increased in all regions of the United States and for all patient age groups. Rates were highest in the south and for children 0–2 years of age. Lower-level efflux [mef(A)]–mediated macrolide resistance decreased in prevalence to ≈50%, and highly resistant [erm(B) + mef(A)] strains increased to 25%. Telithromycin and levofloxacin susceptibility rates were >99% and >98%, respectively, irrespective of genotype. Pneumococcal macrolide resistance in the United States showed its first significant increase since 2000. High-level macrolide resistance is also increasing.
PMCID: PMC2815953  PMID: 19751588
Streptococcus pneumoniae; streptococci; macrolides; surveillance; PROTEKT US; respiratory infections; bacteria; antimicrobial resistance; United States; research
7.  Dominance of multidrug resistant CC271 clones in macrolide-resistant streptococcus pneumoniae in Arizona 
BMC Microbiology  2012;12:12.
Rates of resistance to macrolide antibiotics in Streptococcus pneumoniae are rising around the world due to the spread of mobile genetic elements harboring mef(E) and erm(B) genes and post-vaccine clonal expansion of strains that carry them.
Characterization of 592 clinical isolates collected in Arizona over a 10 year period shows 23.6% are macrolide resistant. The largest portion of the macrolide-resistant population, 52%, is dual mef(E)/erm(B)-positive. All dual-positive isolates are multidrug-resistant clonal lineages of Taiwan19F-14, mostly multilocus sequence type 320, carrying the recently described transposon Tn2010. The remainder of the macrolide resistant S. pneumoniae collection includes 31% mef(E)-positive, and 9% erm(B)-positive strains.
The dual-positive, multidrug-resistant S. pneumoniae clones have likely expanded by switching to non-vaccine serotypes after the heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine release, and their success limits therapy options. This upsurge could have a considerable clinical impact in Arizona.
PMCID: PMC3285076  PMID: 22251616
8.  Differentiation of Resistance Phenotypes among Erythromycin-Resistant Pneumococci 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2001;39(4):1311-1315.
Laboratory differentiation of erythromycin resistance phenotypes is poorly standardized for pneumococci. In this study, 85 clinical isolates of erythromycin-resistant (MIC ≥ 1 μg/ml) Streptococcus pneumoniae were tested for the resistance phenotype by the erythromycin-clindamycin double-disk test (previously used to determine the macrolide resistance phenotype in Streptococcus pyogenes strains) and by MIC induction tests, i.e., by determining the MICs of macrolide antibiotics without and with pre-exposure to 0.05 μg of erythromycin per ml. By the double-disk test, 65 strains, all carrying the erm(AM) determinant, were assigned to the constitutive macrolide, lincosamide, and streptogramin B resistance (cMLS) phenotype, and the remaining 20, all carrying the mef(E) gene, were assigned to the recently described M phenotype; an inducible MLS resistance (iMLS) phenotype was not found. The lack of inducible resistance to clindamycin was confirmed by determining clindamycin MICs without and with pre-exposure to subinhibitory concentrations of erythromycin. In macrolide MIC and MIC-induction tests, whereas homogeneous susceptibility patterns were observed among the 20 strains assigned to the M phenotype by the double-disk test, two distinct patterns were recognized among the 65 strains assigned to the cMLS phenotype by the same test; one pattern (n = 10; probably that of the true cMLS isolates) was characterized by resistance to rokitamycin also without induction, and the other pattern (n = 55; designated the iMcLS phenotype) was characterized by full or intermediate susceptibility to rokitamycin without induction turning to resistance after induction, with an MIC increase by more than three dilutions. A triple-disk test, set up by adding a rokitamycin disk to the erythromycin and clindamycin disks of the double-disk test, allowed the easy differentiation not only of pneumococci with the M phenotype from those with MLS resistance but also, among the latter, of those of the true cMLS phenotype from those of the iMcLS phenotype. While distinguishing MLS from M resistance in pneumococci is easily and reliably achieved, the differentiation of constitutive from inducible MLS resistance is far more uncertain and is strongly affected by the antibiotic used to test inducibility.
PMCID: PMC87930  PMID: 11283047
9.  Macrolide Resistance in Streptococcus pneumoniae in Hong Kong 
Erythromycin resistance rates among penicillin-susceptible Streptococcus pneumoniae were 38 and 92% among penicillin-intermediate and -resistant S. pneumoniae isolates from Hong Kong, respectively, and 27% (43 of 158) of the isolates showed the MLSB phenotype, and the majority carried the ermB gene; 73% (115 of 158) displayed the M phenotype, and all possessed the mef gene. The MLSB phenotype was predominant in penicillin-susceptible, macrolide-resistant isolates and in penicillin-nonsusceptible isolates of serotype 6B, whilst the M phenotype was predominant in penicillin-intermediate or -resistant isolates belonging to serotype 23F or 19F. Extensive spread of clones of drug-resistant pneumococci has led to the widespread presence of macrolide resistance in S. pneumoniae in Hong Kong.
PMCID: PMC90511  PMID: 11302833
10.  In Vitro Activities of Novel 2-Fluoro-Naphthyridine-Containing Ketolides 
In vitro activities of erythromycin A, telithromycin, and two investigational ketolides, JNJ-17155437 and JNJ-17155528, were evaluated against clinical bacterial strains, including selected common respiratory tract pathogens. Against 46 macrolide-susceptible and -resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae strains, the MIC90 (MIC at which 90% of the isolates tested were inhibited) of the investigational ketolides was 0.25 μg/ml, twofold lower than that of telithromycin and at least 64-fold lower than that of erythromycin A. Against erm(B)-containing pneumococci, the MIC90 of all the ketolides was 0.06 μg/ml. The MIC90 of the investigational ketolides against mef(A)-containing pneumococci or pneumococci with both mef(A) and erm(B) was 0.25 μg/ml, two-and fourfold lower, respectively, than that of telithromycin. In contrast, the MICs of the investigational ketolides against macrolide-resistant S. pneumoniae strains with ribosomal mutations were similar to or, in some cases, as much as eightfold higher than those of telithromycin. Against Haemophilus influenzae, MICs of all the ketolides were ≤2 μg/ml. Against three Moraxella catarrhalis isolates, the MIC of the ketolides was 0.25 μg/ml. The ketolides inhibited in vitro protein synthesis, with 50% inhibitory concentrations ranging from 0.23 to 0.27 μM. In time-kill studies against macrolide-susceptible and erm- or mef-containing pneumococci, the ketolides were bacteriostatic to slowly bactericidal, with 24-h log10 decreases ranging from 2.0 to 4.1 CFU. Intervals of postantibiotic effects for the ketolides against macrolide-susceptible and -resistant S. pneumoniae were 3.0 to 8.1 h.
PMCID: PMC538878  PMID: 15616310
11.  Erythromycin Resistance and Genetic Elements Carrying Macrolide Efflux Genes in Streptococcus agalactiae 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2005;49(12):5069-5074.
The macrolide resistance determinants and genetic elements carrying the mef(A) and mef(E) subclasses of the mef gene were studied with Streptococcus agalactiae isolated in 2003 and 2004 from 7,084 vaginorectal cultures performed to detect carrier pregnant women. The prevalence of carriage was 18% (1,276 isolates), and that of erythromycin resistance 11.0% (129 of the 1,171 isolates studied). erm(B), erm(A) subclass erm(TR), and the mef gene, either subclass mef(A) or mef(E), were found in 72 (55.8%), 41 (31.8%), and 12 (9.3%) erythromycin-resistant isolates, while 4 isolates had more than 1 erythromycin resistance gene. Of the 13 M-phenotype mef-containing erythromycin-resistant S. agalactiae isolates, 11 had the mef(E) subclass gene alone, one had both the mef(E) and the erm(TR) subclass genes, and one had the mef(A) subclass gene. mef(E) subclass genes were associated with the carrying element mega in 10 of the 12 mef(E)-containing strains, while the single mef(A) subclass gene found was associated with the genetic element Tn1207.3. The nonconjugative nature of the mega element and the clonal diversity of mef(E)-containing strains determined by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis suggest that transformation is the main mechanism through which this resistance gene is acquired.
PMCID: PMC1315971  PMID: 16304174
12.  Molecular characteristics of erythromycin-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae from pediatric patients younger than five years in Beijing, 2010 
BMC Microbiology  2012;12:228.
Streptococcus pneumoniae is the main pathogen that causes respiratory infections in children younger than five years. The increasing incidence of macrolide- and tetracycline-resistant pneumococci among children has been a serious problem in China for many years. The molecular characteristics of erythromycin-resistant pneumococcal isolates that were collected from pediatric patients younger than five years in Beijing in 2010 were analyzed in this study.
A total of 140 pneumococcal isolates were collected. The resistance rates of all isolates to erythromycin and tetracycline were 96.4% and 79.3%, respectively. Of the 135 erythromycin-resistant pneumococci, 91.1% were non-susceptible to tetracycline. In addition, 30.4% of the erythromycin-resistant isolates expressed both the ermB and mef genes, whereas 69.6% expressed the ermB gene but not the mef gene. Up to 98.5% of the resistant isolates exhibited the cMLSB phenotype, and Tn6002 was the most common transposon present in approximately 56.3% of the resistant isolates, followed by Tn2010, with a proportion of 28.9%. The dominant sequence types (STs) in all erythromycin-resistant S. pneumoniae were ST271 (11.9%), ST81 (8.9%), ST876 (8.9%), and ST320 (6.7%), whereas the prevailing serotypes were 19F (19.3%), 23F (9.6%), 14 (9.6%), 15 (8.9%), and 6A (7.4%). The 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) and 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) coverage of the erythromycin-resistant pneumococci among the children younger than five years were 45.2% and 62.2%, respectively. ST320 and serotype 19A pneumococci were common in children aged 0 to 2 years. CC271 was the most frequent clonal complex (CC), which accounts for 24.4% of all erythromycin-resistant isolates.
The non-invasive S. pneumoniae in children younger than five years in Beijing presented high and significant resistance rates to erythromycin and tetracycline. The expressions of ermB and tetM genes were the main factors that influence pneumococcal resistance to erythromycin and tetracycline, respectively. Majority of the erythromycin-resistant non-invasive isolates exhibited the cMLSB phenotype and carried the ermB, tetM, xis, and int genes, suggesting the spread of the transposons of the Tn916 family. PCV13 provided higher serotype coverage in the childhood pneumococcal diseases caused by the erythromycin-resistant isolates better than PCV7. Further long-term surveys are required to monitor the molecular characteristics of the erythromycin-resistant S. pneumoniae in children.
PMCID: PMC3534231  PMID: 23043378
13.  Emergence and Spread of Streptococcus pneumoniae with erm(B) and mef(A) Resistance 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2005;11(6):851-858.
Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates (N = 31,001) were collected from patients with community-acquired respiratory tract infections during the PROTEKT US surveillance study (2000–2003). While the macrolide (erythromycin) resistance rate remained stable at ≈29%, the prevalence of resistant isolates containing both erm(B) and mef(A) increased from 9.7% in year 1 to 16.4% in year 3, with substantial regional variability. Almost all (99.2%) dual erm(B)+mef(A) macrolide-resistant isolates exhibited multidrug resistance, whereas 98.6% and 99.0% were levofloxacin- and telithromycin-susceptible, respectively. These strains were most commonly isolated from the ear or middle-ear fluid of children. Of 152 representative erm(B)+mef(A) isolates, >90% were clonally related to the multidrug-resistant international Taiwan19F-14 clonal complex 271 (CC271). Of 366 erm(B)+mef(A) isolates from the PROTEKT global study (1999–2003), 83.3% were CC271, with the highest prevalence seen in South Africa, South Korea, and the United States. This study confirms the increasing global emergence and rapidly increasing US prevalence of this multidrug-resistant pneumococcal clone.
PMCID: PMC3367592  PMID: 15963279
Keywords: human papillomavirus; Cervix neoplasms; Cost-benefit analysis; vaccines; public health
14.  Distribution of mef(A) in Gram-Positive Bacteria from Healthy Portuguese Children 
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.
PMCID: PMC127387  PMID: 12121926
15.  Molecular Epidemiology of Macrolide-Resistant Isolates of Streptococcus pneumoniae Collected from Blood and Respiratory Specimens in Norway 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2005;43(5):2125-2132.
Norway has a low prevalence of antimicrobial resistance, including macrolide-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae (MRSP). In a nationwide surveillance program, a total of 2,200 S. pneumoniae isolates were collected from blood cultures and respiratory tract specimens. Macrolide resistance was detected in 2.7%. M-type macrolide resistance was found in 60% of resistant isolates, and these were mainly mef(A)-positive, serotype-14 invasive isolates. The erm(B)-encoded macrolide-lincosamide-streptogramin B (MLSB) type dominated among the noninvasive isolates. One strain had an A2058G mutation in the 23S rRNA gene. Coresistance to other antibiotics was seen in 96% of the MLSB-type isolates, whereas 92% of the M-type isolates were susceptible to other commonly used antimicrobial agents. Serotypes 14, 6B, and 19F accounted for 84% of the macrolide-resistant isolates, with serotype 14 alone accounting for 67% of the invasive isolates. A total of 29 different sequence types (STs) were detected by multilocus sequence typing. Twelve STs were previously reported international resistant clones, and 75% of the macrolide-resistant isolates had STs identical or closely related to these clones. Eleven isolates displayed 10 novel STs, and 7/11 of these “Norwegian strains” coexpressed MLSB and tetracycline resistance, indicating the presence of Tn1545. The invasive serotype-14 isolates were all classified as ST9 or single-locus variants of this clone. ST9 is a mef-positive M-type clone, commonly known as England14-9, reported from several European countries. These observations suggest that the import of major international MRSP clones and the local spread of Tn1545 are the major mechanisms involved in the evolution and dissemination of MRSP in Norway.
PMCID: PMC1153744  PMID: 15872231
16.  Identification of an erm(A) Erythromycin Resistance Methylase Gene in Streptococcus pneumoniae Isolated in Greece 
In a serotype 11A clone of erythromycin-resistant pneumococci isolated from young Greek carriers, we identified the nucleotide sequence of erm(A), a methylase gene previously described as erm(TR) in Streptococcus pyogenes. The erm(A) pneumococci were resistant to 14- and 15-member macrolides, inducibly resistant to clindamycin, and susceptible to streptogramin B. To our knowledge, this is the first identification of resistance to erythromycin in S. pneumoniae attributed solely to the carriage of the erm(A) gene.
PMCID: PMC90289  PMID: 11120994
17.  Resistance Determinants and Clonal Diversity in Group A Streptococci Collected during a Period of Increasing Macrolide Resistance 
Susceptibility to macrolides and lincosamides was investigated with 299 consecutive nonduplicate Streptococcus pyogenes clinical isolates collected over a 6-year period (1992 to 1997) from an area of central Italy. During this period, macrolide resistance rates steadily increased (from 9% in 1992 to 53% in 1997; P < 0.001). The increase was caused by isolates with a macrolide-lincosamide-streptogramin B resistance phenotype, carrying mostly erm(B) but also erm(TR) genes, that were not detected in the first 2 years and were detected with increasing prevalence (8, 5, 26, and 37%, respectively) during the following 4 years. During the same period, the prevalence of isolates with a macrolide resistance phenotype, carrying mef(A) determinants, did not vary significantly; on average it was 13%, with modest rate fluctuations in different years and no definite trend. Molecular typing revealed a remarkable clonal diversity among susceptible and resistant isolates and a notable heterogeneity of the genetic environment of the resistance genes. The analysis of clonal diversity in relation with resistance phenotypes and genotypes revealed that increased macrolide resistance rates were due to a complex interplay of different mechanisms, with a relevant contribution played by an “epidemic” spread of genetic elements carrying the erm(B) gene among the circulating streptococcal population.
PMCID: PMC127250  PMID: 12019095
18.  Trends in Drug Resistance, Serotypes, and Molecular Types of Streptococcus pneumoniae Colonizing Preschool-Age Children Attending Day Care Centers in Lisbon, Portugal: a Summary of 4 Years of Annual Surveillance 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2005;43(3):1285-1293.
Of the nasopharyngeal cultures recovered from 942 day care center (DCC) attendees in Lisbon, Portugal, 591 (62%) yielded Streptococcus pneumoniae during a surveillance performed in February and March of 1999. Forty percent of the isolates were resistant to one or more antimicrobial agents. In particular, 2% were penicillin resistant and 20% had intermediate penicillin resistance. Multidrug resistance to macrolides, lincosamides, and tetracycline was the most frequent antibiotype (17% of all isolates). Serotyping and molecular typing by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis were performed for 202 out of 237 drug-resistant pneumococci (DRPn). The most frequent serotypes were 6B (26%), 14 (22%), 19F (16%), 23F (10%), and nontypeable (12%). The majority (67%) of the DRPn strains were representatives of nine international clones included in the Pneumococcal Molecular Epidemiology Network; eight of them had been detected in previous studies. Fourteen novel clones were identified, corresponding to 26% of the DRPn strains. The remaining 7% of the strains were local clones detected in our previous studies. Comparison with studies conducted since 1996 in Portuguese DCCs identified several trends: (i) the rate of DRPn frequency has fluctuated between 40 and 50%; (ii) the serotypes most frequently recovered have remained the same; (iii) nontypeable strains appear to be increasing in frequency; and (iv) a clone of serotype 33F emerged in 1999. Together, our observations highlight that the nasopharynxes of children in DCCs are a melting pot of successful DRPn clones that are important to study and monitor if we aim to gain a better understanding on the epidemiology of this pathogen.
PMCID: PMC1081291  PMID: 15750097
19.  Comparison of In Vitro Activities of ABT-773 and Telithromycin against Macrolide-Susceptible and -Resistant Streptococci and Staphylococci 
The activity of a new ketolide, ABT-773, was compared to the activity of the ketolide telithromycin (HMR-3647) against over 600 gram-positive clinical isolates, including 356 Streptococcus pneumoniae, 167 Staphylococcus aureus, and 136 Streptococcus pyogenes isolates. Macrolide-susceptible isolates as well as macrolide-resistant isolates with ribosomal methylase (Erm), macrolide efflux (Mef), and ribosomal mutations were tested using the NCCLS reference broth microdilution method. Both compounds were extremely active against macrolide-susceptible isolates, with the minimum inhibitory concentrations at which 90% of the isolates tested were inhibited (MIC90s) for susceptible streptococci and staphylococci ranging from 0.002 to 0.03 μg/ml for ABT-773 and 0.008 to 0.06 μg/ml for telithromycin. ABT-773 had increased activities against macrolide-resistant S. pneumoniae (Erm MIC90, 0.015 μg/ml; Mef MIC90, 0.12 μg/ml) compared to those of telithromycin (Erm MIC90, 0.12 μg/ml; Mef MIC90, 1 μg/ml). Both compounds were active against strains with rRNA or ribosomal protein mutations (MIC90, 0.12 μg/ml). ABT-773 was also more active against macrolide-resistant S. pyogenes (ABT-773 Erm MIC90, 0.5 μg/ml; ABT-773 Mef MIC90, 0.12 μg/ml; telithromycin Erm MIC90, >8 μg/ml; telithromycin Mef MIC90, 1.0 μg/ml). Both compounds lacked activity against constitutive macrolide-resistant Staphylococcus aureus but had good activities against inducibly resistant Staphylococcus aureus (ABT-773 MIC90, 0.06 μg/ml; telithromycin MIC90, 0.5 μg/ml). ABT-773 has superior activity against macrolide-resistant streptococci compared to that of telithromycin.
PMCID: PMC127460  PMID: 11850262
20.  Pharmacodynamic Modeling of Clarithromycin against Macrolide-Resistant [PCR-Positive mef(A) or erm(B)] Streptococcus pneumoniae Simulating Clinically Achievable Serum and Epithelial Lining Fluid Free-Drug Concentrations 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2002;46(12):4029-4034.
The association between macrolide resistance mechanisms and clinical outcomes remains understudied. The present study, using an in vitro pharmacodynamic model, assessed clarithromycin (CLR) activity against mef(A)-positive and erm(B)-negative Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates by simulating free-drug concentrations in serum and both total (protein-bound and free) and free drug in epithelial lining fluid (ELF). Five mef(A)-positive and erm(B)-negative strains, one mef(A)-negative and erm(B)-positive strain, and a control [mef(A)-negative and erm(B)-negative] strain of S. pneumoniae were tested. CLR was modeled using a one-compartment model, simulating a dosage of 500 mg, per os, twice a day (in serum, free-drug Cp maximum of 2 μg/ml, t1/2 of 6 h; in ELF, CELF(total) maximum of 35μg/ml, t1/2 of 6 h; CELF(free) maximum of 14 μg/ml, t1/2 of 6 h). Starting inocula were 106 CFU/ml in Mueller-Hinton broth with 2% lysed horse blood. With sampling at 0, 4, 8, 12, 20, and 24 h, the extent of bacterial killing was assessed. Achieving CLR T/MIC values of ≥90% (AUC0-24/MIC ratio, ≥61) resulted in bacterial eradication, while T>MIC values of 40 to 56% (AUC0-24/MIC ratios of ≥30.5 to 38) resulted in a 1.2 to 2.0 log10 CFU/ml decrease at 24 h compared to that for the initial inoculum. CLR T/MIC values of ≤8% (AUC0-24/MIC ratio, ≤17.3) resulted in a static effect or bacterial regrowth. The high drug concentrations in ELF that were obtained clinically with CLR may explain the lack of clinical failures with mef(A)-producing S. pneumoniae strains, with MICs up to 8 μg/ml. However, mef(A) isolates for which MICs are ≥16 μg/ml along with erm(B) may result in bacteriological failures.
PMCID: PMC132790  PMID: 12435719
21.  In Vitro Antibacterial Activity of Modithromycin, a Novel 6,11-Bridged Bicyclolide, against Respiratory Pathogens, Including Macrolide-Resistant Gram-Positive Cocci▿  
The in vitro activities of modithromycin against Gram-positive and -negative respiratory pathogens, including macrolide-resistant cocci with different resistance mechanisms, were compared with those of other macrolide and ketolide agents. MICs were determined by the broth microdilution method. All 595 test strains used in this study were isolated from Japanese medical facilities. The erm (ribosome methylase) and/or mef (efflux pump) gene, which correlated with resistance to erythromycin as well as clarithromycin and azithromycin, was found in 81.8%, 21.3%, and 23.2% of Streptococcus pneumoniae, Streptococcus pyogenes, and methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) strains, respectively. Modithromycin showed MIC90s of 0.125 μg/ml against these three cocci, including macrolide-resistant strains. In particular, the MIC of modithromycin against ermB-carrying S. pyogenes was ≥32-fold lower than that of telithromycin. The activities of modithromycin as well as telithromycin were little affected by the presence of mefA or mefE in both streptococci. Against Gram-negative pathogens, modithromycin showed MIC90s of 0.5, 8, and 0.031 μg/ml against Moraxella catarrhalis, Haemophilus influenzae, and Legionella spp., respectively. The MICs of modithromycin against M. catarrhalis and H. influenzae were higher than those of telithromycin and azithromycin. However, modithromycin showed the most potent anti-Legionella activity among the macrolide and ketolide agents tested. These results suggested that the bicyclolide agent modithromycin is a novel class of macrolides with improved antibacterial activity against Gram-positive cocci, including telithromycin-resistant streptococci and intracellular Gram-negative bacteria of the Legionella species.
PMCID: PMC3067159  PMID: 21220534
22.  The Macrolide Resistance Genes erm(B) and mef(E) Are Carried by Tn2010 in Dual-Gene Streptococcus pneumoniae Isolates Belonging to Clonal Complex CC271▿  
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2007;51(11):4184-4186.
The genetic elements carrying macrolide resistance genes in Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates belonging to CC271 were investigated. The international clone Taiwan19F-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.
PMCID: PMC2151421  PMID: 17709465
23.  Prevalence and Molecular Analysis of Macrolide and Fluoroquinolone Resistance among Isolates of Streptococcus pneumoniae Collected during the 2000-2001 PROTEKT US Study 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2004;42(11):4980-4987.
The PROTEKT US (Prospective Resistant Organism Tracking and Epidemiology for the Ketolide Telithromycin in the United States) surveillance program was established to determine the prevalence and mechanisms of antibacterial resistance among bacterial pathogens from patients with community-acquired respiratory tract infections. In year 1 of the PROTEKT US study, 10,103 isolates of Streptococcus pneumoniae, including 3,133 erythromycin-resistant strains and 81 levofloxacin-resistant strains, were collected from 206 centers. We report on the molecular analyses of these resistant strains. The resistance genotypes among the 3,044 typed macrolide-resistant isolates overall were mef(A) (n = 2,157; 70.9%), erm(B) (n = 530; 17.4%), mef(A) erm(B) (n = 304; 10.0%), and erm(A) subclass erm(TR) (n = 5; 0.2%). Fifty (1.6%) macrolide-resistant isolates were negative for the mef and the erm resistance genes. Seventy-eight (96.3%) of the 81 levofloxacin-resistant isolates analyzed possessed multiple mutations in the gyrA, gyrB, parC, and/or parE quinolone resistance-determining regions. A total of 43 known multilocus sequence typing (MLST) profiles (or single- or double-locus variants) accounted for 75 of 81 isolates. There was no evidence of dissemination of fluoroquinolone-resistant clones within the United States; however, 12 isolates with the same MLST profile were located in one center in Massachusetts. Almost 90% of the erythromycin-resistant isolates and approximately one-third of the levofloxacin-resistant isolates were multidrug resistant.
PMCID: PMC525255  PMID: 15528684
24.  Expression of the mef(E) Gene Encoding the Macrolide Efflux Pump Protein Increases in Streptococcus pneumoniae with Increasing Resistance to Macrolides 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2005;49(11):4635-4640.
Active macrolide efflux is a major mechanism of macrolide resistance in Streptococcus pneumoniae in many parts of the world, especially North America. In Canada, this active macrolide efflux in S. pneumoniae is predominantly due to acquisition of the mef(E) gene. In the present study, we assessed the mef(E) gene sequence as well as mef(E) expression in variety of low- and high-level macrolide-resistant, clindamycin-susceptible (M-phenotype) S. pneumoniae isolates (erythromycin MICs, 1 to 32 μg/ml; clindamycin MICs, ≤0.25 μg/ml). Southern blot hybridization with mef(E) probe and EcoRI digestion and relative real-time reverse transcription-PCR were performed to study the mef(E) gene copy number and expression. Induction of mef(E) expression was analyzed by Etest susceptibility testing pre- and postincubation with subinhibitory concentrations of erythromycin, clarithromycin, azithromycin, telithromycin, and clindamycin. The macrolide efflux gene, mef(E), was shown to be a single-copy gene in all 23 clinical S. pneumoniae isolates tested, and expression post-macrolide induction increased 4-, 6-, 20-, and 200-fold in isolates with increasing macrolide resistance (erythromycin MICs 2, 4, 8, and 32 μg/ml, respectively). Sequencing analysis of the macrolide efflux genetic assembly (mega) revealed that mef(E) had a 16-bp deletion 153 bp upstream of the putative start codon in all 23 isolates. A 119-bp intergenic region between mef(E) and mel was sequenced, and a 99-bp deletion was found in 11 of the 23 M-phenotype S. pneumoniae isolates compared to the published mega sequence. However, the mef(E) gene was fully conserved among both high- and low-level macrolide-resistant isolates. In conclusion, increased expression of mef(E) is associated with higher levels of macrolide resistance in macrolide-resistant S. pneumoniae.
PMCID: PMC1280166  PMID: 16251306
25.  In vitro Activities of Oral Cephem and Telithromycin Against Clinical Isolates of Major Respiratory Pathogens in Japan 
The in vitro antibacterial activities of oral cephem antibiotics and ketolide telithromycin against major respiratory pathogens possessing β-lactam-resistant mutations (within the pbp gene) and/or macrolide-resistant genes (erm and mef) were examined in clinical isolates collected at 66 institutes in all over the Japan between 2002 and 2003. Telithromycin showed the strongest antibacterial activity against methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus strains with and without macrolide-resistant genes, such as ermA or ermC gene. All the cephem antibiotics showed potent antibacterial activity against Streptococcus pyogenes, with minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of 0.015 mg/L or lower. Cefdinir had a much higher MIC90 against genotypic penicillin-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae (gPRSP) than cefditoren and cefcapene (8 mg/L cefdinir vs. 1 mg/L cefditoren and cefcapene). The majority of gPRSP harbored either ermB or mefA, and the antibacterial activity of telithromycin against these strains was decreased however some susceptibility was still sustained. Cefditoren exerted the strongest antibacterial activity against β-lactamase-negative ampicillin-resistant Haemophilus influenzae, with an MIC90 of 0.5 mg/L. These results underline the importance of checking the susceptibility and selecting an appropriate antibiotic against target pathogens.
PMCID: PMC2693563  PMID: 17297246
cefditoren; telithromycin; Microbial Sensitivity Tests; Minimum Inhibitory Concentration; beta-Lactams

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