Erythromycin Resistance in Italian Isolates of Streptococcus pyogenes and Correlations with Pulsed-Field Gel Electrophoresis Analysis

Department of MCA Biology, University of Camerino, Italy.
Microbial Drug Resistance (Impact Factor: 2.49). 02/2002; 8(1):39-44. DOI: 10.1089/10766290252913746
Source: PubMed


Erythromycin resistance among Streptococcus pyogenes strains has been reported in Italy at high rates during the last few years. A total of 152 erythromycin-resistant isolates of this species from southern Italian regions were characterized for the macrolide-resistance phenotype and screened by PCR for the corresponding genetic determinant. A close correlation was found between these phenotypic/genotypic data concerning macrolide resistance and results of Sma I macrorestriction fragment patterns (PFGE) analysis. In fact, the vast majority of the isolates assigned to individual PFGE classes mostly belonged to a single phenotype of macrolide resistance. All untypeable isolates belonged to the M phenotype. Twenty-two distinct PFGE types were recognized, of which 11 were recorded in only one isolate (one-strain type); about 50% of typeable isolates fell into five type clusters and 70% in seven. The increased erythromycin resistance among Italian isolates of S. pyogenes does not appear to be due to the spread of a single clone, but results indicate that the majority of group A streptococci examined are probably spread from a limited number of clones.

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