The aims of this study were to determine the susceptibilities to macrolide and tetracycline antibiotics and emm type distribution of Streptococcus pyogenes strains isolated in the Kocaeli University Hospital, Turkey. A total of 127 S. pyogenes clinical isolates were tested. Eleven (9%) isolates were resistant to erythromycin, and 23 (18%) isolates were resistant to tetracycline. Ten of the erythromycin-resistant isolates were also resistant to tetracycline. By the triple-disk test, all erythromycin-resistant isolates showed the inducible macrolide-lincosamide-streptogramin-C phenotype and harbored erm(TR) gene. tet(O) was the most common tetracycline resistance gene. Among erythromycin-tetracycline coresistant isolates, seven harbored the tet(O) gene. emm 4, emm 1, emm 2,114, and emm 89 were the most common emm types. These isolates were more susceptible to erythromycin. There was considerable emm type heterogeneity in macrolide or tetracycline resistant isolates. According to our knowledge, this is the first study in which emm type distribution is investigated in Turkey. More comprehensive studies are needed to obtain true information about the epidemiology of macrolide and tetracycline resistance and emm type distribution in Turkey.
We conducted a nationwide survey of the variable 5′ emm (M protein gene) sequences from 614 pharyngeal Streptococcus pyogenes isolates susceptible (299 isolates) and resistant (315 isolates) to erythromycin that were isolated in Spain from 1996 to 1999. Almost 98% of these isolates had emm sequences in agreement with previously recorded M antigen association. We only identified a new 5′ emm sequence in 17 isolates. Nine different emm types accounted for 85% of the S. pyogenes isolates susceptible to erythromycin. By contrast, only 3 emm types accounted for 70% of the erythromycin-resistant isolates. Further characterization of these isolates by ribotyping and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis indicated that high frequency of erythromycin resistance in Spain is due to few clones.
The phenotypes and genetic determinants for macrolide resistance were determined for 167 erythromycin-resistant Streptococcus pyogenes strains. A cMLS phenotype was shown in 18% of the erythromycin-resistant strains, while inducible resistance was apparent in 31% and the M phenotype was apparent in 50%. The emm gene type of this set of resistant isolates and that of 48 erythromycin-sensitive isolates were determined. emm2 and emm48 were recorded only in the resistant strains of the M phenotype, while approximately all of the strains harboring the emm22 gene had the cMLS phenotype. More than 80% of the emm89-positive strains had the iMLS phenotype, and the same portion of emm4 strains presented the M phenotype. emm3 is recorded only among sensitive strains. The distribution of frequencies of the genetic determinant for the virulence factor M protein was significantly different both among organisms of different types of resistance and between resistant and sensitive populations of S. pyogenes under study.
The number of scarlet fever occurrences reported between 2000 and 2006 fluctuated considerably in central Taiwan and throughout the nation. Isolates of Streptococcus pyogenes were collected from scarlet fever patients in central Taiwan and were characterized by emm sequencing and a standardized pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) method. National weekly report data were collected for investigating epidemiological trends.
A total of 23 emm types were identified in 1,218 S. pyogenes isolates. The five most prevalent emm types were emm12 (50.4%), emm4 (23.2%), emm1 (16.4%), emm6 (3.8%) and emm22 (3.0%). PFGE analysis with SmaI suggested that, with a few exceptions, strains with a common emm type belonged to the same clone. There were two large emm12 clones, one with DNA resistant to cleavage by SmaI. Each prevalent emm clone had major PFGE strain(s) and many minor strains. Most of the minor strains emerged in the population and disappeared soon after. Even some major strains remained prevalent for only 2–3 years before declining. The large fluctuation of scarlet fever cases between 2000 and 2006 was associated with the shuffling of six prevalent emm clones. In 2003, the dramatic drop in scarlet fever cases in central Taiwan and throughout the whole country was associated with the occurrence of a severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak that occurred between late-February and mid-June in Taiwan.
The occurrences of scarlet fever in central Taiwan in 2000–2006 were primarily caused by five emm types, which accounted for 96.8% of the isolates collected. Most of the S. pyogenes strains (as defined by PFGE genotypes) emerged and lasted for only a few years. The fluctuation in the number of scarlet fever cases during the seven years can be primarily attributed to the shuffling of six prevalent emm clones and to the SARS outbreak in 2003.
In this study, 68 group A streptococcus (GAS) isolates associated with two outbreaks of acute glomerulonephritis (AGN) in China were analyzed by emm typing. A total of 11 different emm types were identified. Analysis of emm type distribution suggested that AGN outbreaks in two counties were caused by emm60.1- and emm63.0-type GAS. These two types were further characterized by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, multilocus sequence typing, sof sequence typing, and PCR-based identification of streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxin A, B, and C (speA, speB, and speC) genes. In antimicrobial susceptibility tests, all outbreak strains were resistant to erythromycin and tetracycline, and the rates of resistance of nonoutbreak strains to the two antibiotics were 63.6% and 90.9%. This study is also the first to report a nephritogenic M63 GAS strain.
The aim of this study was to determine whether the high levels of erythromycin resistance in Streptococcus pyogenes found in Spain are due to the introduction and spread of one or more clones. Phenotypic and genotypic techniques were used to characterize all erythromycin-resistant S. pyogenes (ErR) isolated in Gipuzkoa, Spain, in the last 10 years and 128 ErR isolated in Vitoria and Madrid during 1996. Of 437 ErR, 97% had the M phenotype; all 283 of the strains studied had the mefA determinant of resistance. After biotyping, T serotyping, emm typing, and genotyping, four major clones were detected. Clones B (biotype I, type T4, emm4, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis [PFGE] II) and D (biotype V, type T8.25, emm75, PFGE IV) comprised 78.8% of all ErR. The resistance of S. pyogenes to erythromycin was mainly due to an efflux mechanism of resistance (M phenotype); few clones were responsible for it.
The aim of this study was to describe the genetic characteristics of Streptococcus pyogenes showing the MLSB phenotype of macrolide resistance from 1999 to 2005 in Spain and to highlight the substantial increase in these isolates in the last few years. The antimicrobial susceptibilities of 17,232 group A streptococci isolated from Madrid and Gipuzkoa from 1999 to 2005 were studied. The presence of the resistance genes ermA, ermB, mef, tetM, and tetO and the presence of the intTn and xis genes of the Tn916-Tn1545 transposon family were studied in a sample of 739 MLSB-resistant isolates. The epidemiological relationships among these isolates were analyzed by emm typing, T typing, and multilocus sequence typing. Erythromycin resistance was found in 21.3% of the isolates analyzed (annual variation of 14.3% to 28.9%). Until 2003, most erythromycin-resistant isolates showed the M phenotype, but in 2004 and 2005, about 50% of isolates showed the MLSB phenotype. Among the MLSB-resistant isolates studied, 16 clones were identified. The most prevalent clone was a strange emm11/T11/ST403 clone with a null yqiL allele. All but one of the 463 emm11/T11/ST403 isolates carried the ermB, tetM, intTn, and xis genes. The second most prevalent MLSB-resistant clone was emm28/T28/ST52, which comprised two subclones: one bacitracin-resistant, tetracycline-susceptible subclone carrying the ermB gene (n = 115) and another bacitracin-susceptible, tetracycline-resistant subclone carrying the ermB and tetM genes (n = 33). The rapid diffusion of these two clones, and especially of emm11/T11/ST403, caused the large increase in MLSB-resistant S. pyogenes isolates in Spain, suggesting a potential ability for international dissemination.
Forty-one clinical isolates of group A streptococcus (GAS) were recovered in Poland from patients with severe invasive infections and were analyzed by phenotypic and genotypic techniques. All isolates were characterized by determining their susceptibilities to antimicrobial agents and by determining their types by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, multilocus sequence typing, emm typing, and the detection of five streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxin genes (speA, speB, speC, speF, ssa). The isolates studied were fully susceptible to penicillin G, levofloxacin, quinupristin-dalfopristin, and linezolid. Resistance to tetracycline, chloramphenicol, and erythromycin was detected in 46.3, 12.1, and 9.8% of the isolates, respectively. A total of 23 different emm sequence types were identified, of which emm1 and emm12 (19.5% each) were the most common, followed by emm81, emm44/61, and emm85. All the emm1 isolates had the speA2 allele. Twenty-three unrelated sequence types (STs) were identified, with the most frequent STs, ST28 and ST36, corresponding to emm1 and emm12, respectively. Six newly found STs (STs 375, 376, 377, 378, 379, and 385) corresponded to emm types 74, 102, 77, 76, 84 and 63, respectively. The emm1 type and the presence of speA2 gene were associated with the severity of GAS infections. This work presents the first molecular study on Polish invasive GAS isolates.
To investigate the epidemiology and characteristics of invasive group A streptococcal (GAS) disease over 11 years in Italy, this study compared the emm types and the superantigen toxin genes speA and speC as well as the erythromycin, clindamycin, and tetracycline susceptibilities of 207 invasive GAS strains collected during two national enhanced surveillance periods (1994 to 1996 and 2003 to 2005) and the time between each set of surveillance periods. The present study demonstrated that emm1 strains were consistently responsible for about 20% of invasive GAS infections, while variations in the frequencies of the other types were noted, although the causes of most cases of invasive infections were restricted to emm1, emm3, emm4, emm6, emm12, and emm18. During the 1994 to 1996 surveillance period, an emm89 epidemic clone spread across the northern part of Italy. A restricted macrolide resistance phenotype-type distribution of the bacteriophage-encoded speA toxin as well as of macrolide resistance genes was noted over time. Indeed, the recent acquisition of macrolide resistance in previously susceptible emm types was observed.
The clinical epidemiology of group A streptococcal (GAS) infections in Hawaii appears different from that in the continental U.S. with frequent skin infections and endemically high rates of acute rheumatic fever (ARF).
GAS emm types in Hawaii were determined to identify any possible association between the emm types and specific clinical manifestations. A convenience sample of 1,482 Hawaii GAS isolates collected between February 2000 and December 2005 was used. All isolates were characterized by emm sequence typing. The distribution of emm types in Hawaii was compared with the published continental U.S. data for pharyngeal and invasive GAS strains, the CDC database from similar time periods as well as with emm types present in a candidate GAS vaccine.
Ninety three distinct emm types were recognized among the 1,482 GAS isolates. The most frequently identified emm types were emm 12,1,28,4,22,7781,58,65/69,49,74,85,92,75,101>2. Of this study sample, 27 of the 50 invasive GAS isolates belonged to uncommon continental U.S. emm types (54 % in Hawaii cultures vs. 10 % reported from the continental U.S.). Of the 1179 pharyngeal isolates 509 belonged uncommon continental U.S. emm types (43 % in Hawaii cultures vs. 27 % reported from the continental U.S.).
The prevalent emm types in Hawaii differ from those in the continental U.S. These unusual emm types might limit the effectiveness of any proposed multivalent type specific GAS vaccine in Hawaii.
Streptococcus pyogenes; emm sequencing; epidemiology; acute rheumatic fever; streptococcal vaccine
To investigate the epidemiological patterns and genetic characteristics of disease caused by group A Streptococcus (GAS), all available isolates from invasive cases in Norway during 2006 to 2007 (262 isolates) were subjected to antimicrobial susceptibility testing, T serotyping, emm typing, and multilocus sequence typing and screened for known streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxin (Spe) genes, smeZ, and ssa. The average incidence rate was 3.1 cases per 100,000 individuals. The most prevalent sequence types (STs) were STs 52, 28, and 334. In association with emm types 28, 77, and 87, the serotype T-28 comprised 24.8% of the strains. emm types 28, 1, and 82 were dominating. In 2007, a sharp increase in the number of emm-6 strains was noted. All strains were sensitive to penicillin and quinupristin-dalfopristin, while 3.4% and 6.1% of the strains were resistant to macrolides and tetracycline, respectively. Furthermore, the emm-6 strains had intermediate susceptibility to ofloxacin. Isolates displayed a wide variety of gene profiles, as shown by the presence or absence of the Spe genes, smeZ, and ssa, but 48% of the isolates fell into one of three profiles. In most cases, an emm type was restricted to one gene profile. Although the incidence decreased during this study, invasive GAS disease still has a high endemic rate, with involvement of both established and emerging emm types displaying variability in virulence gene profiles as well as differences in gender and age group preferences.
One hundred seventy-nine Streptococcus pyogenes isolates recovered from scarlet fever patients from 1996 to 1999 in central Taiwan were characterized by emm, Vir, and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) typing methods. The protocols for Vir and PFGE typing were standardized. A database of the DNA fingerprints for the isolates was established. Nine emm or emm-like genes, 19 Vir patterns, and 26 SmaI PFGE patterns were detected among the isolates. Among the three typing methods, PFGE was the most discriminatory. However, it could not completely replace Vir typing because some isolates with identical PFGE patterns could be further differentiated into several Vir patterns. The prevalent emm types were emm4 (n = 81 isolates [45%]), emm12 (n = 64 [36%]), emm1 (n = 14 [8%]), and emm22 (n = 13 [7%]). Some emm type isolates could be further differentiated into several emm-Vir-PFGE genotypes; however, only one genotype in each emm group was usually predominant. DNA from nine isolates was resistant to SmaI digestion. Further PFGE analysis with SgrAI showed that the SmaI digestion-resistant strains could be derived from indigenous strains by horizontal transfer of exogenous genetic material. The emergence of the new strains could have resulted in an increase in scarlet fever cases in central Taiwan since 2000. The emm sequences, Vir, and PFGE pattern database will serve as a basis for information for the long-term evolutionary study of local S. pyogenes strains.
Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) is a tool that can be used to study the molecular epidemiology and population genetic structure of microorganisms. A MLST scheme was developed for Streptococcus pyogenes and the nucleotide sequences of internal fragments of seven selected housekeeping loci were obtained for 212 isolates. A total of 100 unique combinations of housekeeping alleles (allelic profiles) were identified. The MLST scheme was highly concordant with several other typing methods. The emm type, corresponding to a locus that is subject to host immune selection, was determined for each isolate; of the >150 distinct emm types identified to date, 78 are represented in this report. For a given emm type, the majority of isolates shared five or more of the seven housekeeping alleles. Stable associations between emm type and MLST were documented by comparing isolates obtained decades apart and/or from different continents. For the 33 emm types for which more than one isolate was examined, only five emm types were present on widely divergent backgrounds, differing at four or more of the housekeeping loci. The findings indicate that the majority of emm types examined define clones or clonal complexes. In addition, an MLST database is made accessible to investigators who seek to characterize other isolates of this species via the internet (http://www.mlst.net).
We identified 12 erythromycin- and clindamycin-resistant emm 90 group A streptococcus (GAS) isolates during a retrospective invasive disease survey in Hawaii. A comparison with 20 type-matched isolates showed all resistant isolates to be emm 90.4b with the constitutive or inducible macrolide-lincosamide-streptogramin B resistance phenotype (cMLSB or iMLSB). All isolates had the same pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) pattern, suggesting clonal spread.
Streptococcus pyogenes M/emm3 strains have been epidemiologically linked with enhanced infection severity and risk of streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS), a syndrome triggered by superantigenic stimulation of T cells. Comparison of S. pyogenes strains causing STSS demonstrated that emm3 strains were surprisingly less mitogenic than other emm-types (emm1, emm12, emm18, emm28, emm87, emm89) both in vitro and in vivo, indicating poor superantigenic activity. We identified a 13 bp deletion in the superantigen smeZ gene of all emm3 strains tested. The deletion led to a premature stop codon in smeZ, and was not present in other major emm-types tested. Expression of a functional non-M3-smeZ gene successfully enhanced mitogenic activity in emm3 S. pyogenes and also restored mitogenic activity to emm1 and emm89 S. pyogenes strains where the smeZ gene had been disrupted. In contrast, the M3-smeZ gene with the 13 bp deletion could not enhance or restore mitogenicity in any of these S. pyogenes strains, confirming that M3-smeZ is non-functional regardless of strain background. The mutation in M3-smeZ reduced the potential for M3 S. pyogenes to induce cytokines in human tonsil, but not during invasive infection of superantigen-sensitive mice. Notwithstanding epidemiological associations with STSS and disease severity, emm3 strains have inherently poor superantigenicity that is explained by a conserved mutation in smeZ.
We report 16 bacitracin-resistant Streptococcus pyogenes isolates recovered from pharyngitis patients in Belgium, 14 of which belonged to a particular emm type (emm28). All 16 isolates were constitutively resistant to macrolides and carried erm(B). The emergence of a bacitracin-resistant S. pyogenes clone raises questions about the continued reliability of bacitracin susceptibility testing for S. pyogenes identification.
Streptococcus pyogenes isolates (group A streptococcus) of different erythromycin resistance phenotypes were collected from all over Finland in 1994 and 1995 and studied; they were evaluated for their susceptibilities to 14 antimicrobial agents (396 isolates) and the presence of different erythromycin resistance genes (45 isolates). The erythromycin-resistant isolates with the macrolide-resistant but lincosamide- and streptogramin B-susceptible phenotype (M phenotype) were further studied for their plasmid contents and the transferability of resistance genes. Resistance to antimicrobial agents other than macrolides, clindamycin, tetracycline, and chloramphenicol was not found. When compared to our previous study performed in 1990, the rate of resistance to tetracycline increased from 10 to 93% among isolates with the inducible resistance (IR) phenotype of macrolide, lincosamide, and streptogramin B (MLSB) resistance. Tetracycline resistance was also found among 75% of the MLSB-resistant isolates with the constitutive resistance (CR) phenotype. Resistance to chloramphenicol was found for the first time in S. pyogenes in Finland; 3% of the isolates with the IR phenotype were resistant. All the chloramphenicol-resistant isolates were also resistant to tetracycline. Detection of erythromycin resistance genes by PCR indicated that, with the exception of one isolate with the CR phenotype, all M-phenotype isolates had the macrolide efflux (mefA) gene and all the MLSB-resistant isolates had the erythromycin resistance methylase (ermTR) gene; the isolate with the CR phenotype contained the ermB gene. No plasmid DNA could be isolated from the M-phenotype isolates, but the mefA gene was transferred by conjugation.
A long-term goal is to characterize the full range of genetic diversity within Streptococcus pyogenes as it exists in the world today. Since the emm locus is subject to strong diversifying selection, emm type was used as a guide for identifying a genetically diverse set of strains. This report contains a description of multilocus sequence typing based on seven housekeeping loci for 495 isolates representing 158 emm types, yielding 238 unique combinations of sequence type and emm type. A genotypic marker for tissue site preference (emm pattern) revealed that only 17% of the emm types displayed the marker representing strong preference for infection at the throat and that 39% of emm types had the marker for skin tropism, whereas 41% of emm types harbored the marker for no obvious tissue site preference. As a group, the emm types bearing the emm pattern marker indicative of no obvious tissue site preference were far less likely to have two distinct emm types associated with the same sequence type than either of the two subpopulations having markers for strong tissue tropisms (P < 0.002). In addition, all genetic diversification events clearly ascribed to a recombinational mechanism involved strains of only two of the emm pattern-defined subpopulations, those representing skin specialists and generalists. The findings suggest that the population genetic structure differs for the tissue-defined subpopulations of S. pyogenes. The observed differences may partly reflect differential host immune selection pressures.
The studies that correlate the results obtained by different typing methodologies rely solely on qualitative comparisons of the groups defined by each methodology. We propose a framework of measures for the quantitative assessment of correspondences between different typing methods as a first step to the global mapping of type equivalences. A collection of 325 macrolide-resistant Streptococcus pyogenes isolates associated with pharyngitis cases in Portugal was used to benchmark the proposed measures. All isolates were characterized by macrolide resistance phenotyping, T serotyping, emm sequence typing, and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), using SmaI or Cfr9I and SfiI. A subset of 41 isolates, representing each PFGE cluster, was also characterized by multilocus sequence typing (MLST). The application of Adjusted Rand and Wallace indices allowed the evaluation of the strength and the directionality of the correspondences between the various typing methods and showed that if PFGE or MLST data are available one can confidently predict the emm type (Wallace coefficients of 0.952 for both methods). In contrast, emm typing was a poor predictor of PFGE cluster or MLST sequence type (Wallace coefficients of 0.803 and 0.655, respectively). This was confirmed by the analysis of the larger data set available from http://spyogenes.mlst.net and underscores the necessity of performing PFGE or MLST to unambiguously define clones in S. pyogenes.
Since the late 1990s, the prevalence of erythromycin-resistant Streptococcus pyogenes has significantly increased in several European countries. Between January 1999 and December 2002, 1,577 isolates of S. pyogenes were recovered from children with tonsillopharyngitis living in various areas of Western Greece. Erythromycin resistance was observed in 379 (24%) of the 1,577 isolates. All erythromycin-resistant strains along with 153 randomly selected erythromycin-susceptible S. pyogenes isolates were tested for their antimicrobial susceptibility, resistance phenotypes, and genotypes. Representative isolates underwent emm gene sequence typing. Isolates with reduced susceptibility to telithromycin (MIC, ≥2 μg/ml) were studied for multilocus sequence type, L22, L4, and 23S rRNA mutations. Of the total 379 erythromycin-resistant isolates, 193 (50.9%) harbored the mef(A) gene, 163 (43%) erm(A), 1 (0.3%) mef(A) plus erm(A), and 22 (5.8%) the erm(B) gene. Among the erythromycin-susceptible isolates, emm 1 (25%), emm 2 (12.5%), and emm 77 (12.5%) predominated. Furthermore, among the erythromycin-resistant isolates, emm 4 (30.6%), emm 28 (22.2%), and emm 77 (12.5%) prevailed. Resistance to telithromycin was observed in 22 (5.8%) of the erythromycin-resistant isolates. Sixteen (72.7%) of the 22 isolates appeared to be clonally related, since all of them belonged to emm type 28 and multilocus sequence type 52. One of the well-known mutations (T2166C) in 23S rRNA, as well as a new one (T2136C), was detected in erythromycin- and telithromycin-resistant isolates. High incidence of macrolide resistance and clonal spread of telithromycin resistance were the characteristics of the Greek S. pyogenes isolates obtained from 1999 to 2002.
The major virulence factors determining the pathogenicity of streptococcal strains include M protein encoded by emm and emm-like (emmL) genes and superantigens. In this study, the distribution of emm, emmL and superantigen genes was analyzed among the streptococcal strains isolated from the patients of acute pharyngitis.
The streptococcal strains were isolated from the throat swabs of 1040 patients of acute pharyngitis. The emm and emmL genes were PCR amplified from each strain and sequenced to determine the emm types. The dot-blot hybridization was performed to confirm the pathogens as true emm nontypeable strains. The presence of eleven currently known superantigens was determined in all the strains by multiplex PCR.
Totally, 124 beta-hemolytic streptococcal strains were isolated and they were classified as group A streptococcus (GAS) [15.3% (19/124)], group C streptococcus (GCS) [59.7% (74/124)] and group G streptococcus (GGS) [25.0% (31/124)]. Among 124 strains, only 35 strains were emm typeable and the remaining 89 strains were emm nontypeable. All GAS isolates were typeable, whereas most of the GCS and GGS strains were nontypeable. These nontypeable strains belong to S. anginosus [75.3% (67/89)] and S. dysgalactiae subsp. equisimilis [24.7% (22/89)]. The emm and emmL types identified in this study include emm12.0 (28.6%), stG643.0 (28.6%), stC46.0 (17.0%), emm30.11 (8.5%), emm3.0 (2.9%), emm48.0 (5.7%), st3343.0 (2.9%), emm107.0 (2.9%) and stS104.2 (2.9%). Various superantigen profiles were observed in typeable as well as nontypeable strains.
Multiplex PCR analysis revealed the presence of superantigens in all the typeable strains irrespective of their emm types. However, the presence of superantigen genes in emm and emmL nontypeable strains has not been previously reported. In this study, presence of at least one or a combination of superantigen coding genes was identified in all the emm and emmL nontypeable strains. Thus, the superantigens may inevitably play an important role in the pathogenesis of these nontypeable strains in the absence of the primary virulence factor, M protein.
Pharyngeal streptococci; emm typing; superantigen profiling
We describe 66 ciprofloxacin-nonsusceptible Streptococcus pyogenes isolates recovered from colonized and infected children. The ParC S79A substitution was frequent and associated with the emm6/sequence type 382 (emm6/ST382) lineage. The ParC D83G substitution was detected in two isolates (emm5/ST99 and emm28/ST52 lineages). One isolate (emm89/ST101) had no quinolone resistance-determining region codon substitutions or other resistance mechanisms. Five of 66 isolates were levofloxacin resistant. Although fluoroquinolones are not used in children, they may be putative disseminators of fluoroquinolone-nonsusceptible strains in the community.
In a study assessing genetic diversity, 114 group A streptococcus (GAS) isolates were recovered from pediatric pharyngitis patients in Rome, Italy. These isolates comprised 22 different M protein gene (emm) sequence types, 14 of which were associated with a distinct serum opacity factor/fibronectin binding protein gene (sof) sequence type. Isolates with the same emm gene sequence type generally shared a highly conserved chromosomal macrorestriction profile. In three instances, isolates with dissimilar macrorestriction profiles had identical emm types; in each of these cases multilocus sequence typing revealed that isolates with the same emm type were clones having the same allelic profiles. Ninety-eight percent of the pharyngeal isolates had emm types previously found to be highly associated with mga locus gene patterns commonly found in pharyngeal GAS isolates.
The bacterium Streptococcus pyogenes causes a variety of human diseases that range from relatively mild skin infections to severe invasive diseases, such as acute rheumatic fever, glomerulonephritis, puerperal sepsis, necrotizing fasciitis, meningitis, and streptococcal toxic shock syndrome. Accurate identification and typing of group A hemolytic streptococci (GAS) is essential for epidemiological and pathogenetic studies of streptococcal diseases. For this reason, The genetic diversity of group A streptococcal (GAS) isolates from subjects in the United Arab Emirates with streptococcal disease was studied using emm gene sequence analysis. The emm typing system which is based on sequence analysis of PCR products of the N-terminal hypervariable region of the M protein gene, concurs with M serotyping almost 1:1.
A total of 38 GAS isolates were analyzed, including 35 isolates from throat and 3 from skin. Among the 38 isolates, a total of 25 different emm/st types were detected: 20 isolates (53%) belonged to 16 validated standard reference emm types and 18 isolates (47%) belonged to 9 recognized sequence types.
This is the first emm typing study in the United Arab Emirates to demonstrate the heterogeneity of the GAS population.
The throat and skin of the human host are the principal reservoirs for the bacterial pathogen Streptococcus pyogenes. The emm locus encodes structurally heterogeneous surface fibrils that play numerous roles in virulence, depending on the strain. Isolates harboring the emm pattern A-C marker exhibit a strong tendency to cause throat infection, whereas emm pattern D strains are usually recovered from impetigo lesions; as a group, emm pattern E organisms fail to display obvious tissue tropisms. The peak incidence for streptococcal pharyngitis and impetigo varies with season and locale, leading to wide spatial and temporal distances between throat and skin strains. To assess any impact of niche separation on genetic variation, the extent of recombinational exchange between emm pattern A-C, D, and E subpopulations was evaluated. Analysis of nucleotide sequence data for internal portions of seven housekeeping loci from 212 isolates provides evidence of extensive recombination between strains belonging to different emm pattern subpopulations. Furthermore, no fixed nucleotide differences were found between emm pattern A-C and D strains. Thus, despite some niche separation created by distinct epidemiological trends and innate tissue tropisms there is little evidence for neutral gene divergence between throat and skin strains. Maintenance of a relationship between emm pattern and tissue tropism in the face of underlying recombination suggests that tissue tropism is associated with emm or a closely linked gene.