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Abstract

Group A β haemolytic streptococcus (GAS) or is a human pathogen that causes an array of infections, including pharyngitis, cellulitis, impetigo, scarlet fever, toxic shock syndrome, and necrotizing fasciitis. The present study characterizes 51 GAS isolates from invasive infections in Sri Lanka, focusing on resistance profiles, genetic determinants of resistance, and virulence markers. Isolates were tested for sensitivity to penicillin, erythromycin, clindamycin, and tetracycline. The presence of (A), (B), and (A) was detected in erythromycin-resistant isolates, while (M) was detected in the tetracycline-resistant isolates. PCR was used to identify SpeA, SpeB, SpeC, SpeF, SpeG, , and as virulence markers. Selected GAS isolates were -typed using the updated CDC protocol. All 51 isolates were susceptible to penicillin. The number of isolates non-susceptible to erythromycin was 16. The commonest resistance determinant identified was (B) (11/16). Tetracycline non-susceptibility was found in 36 (70.6 %) isolates and 26 of them contained the (M) gene. Thirteen (25.5 %) isolates were resistant to both tetracycline and erythromycin, while 12 (23.5 %) isolates were sensitive to both antibiotics. The commonest virulence markers detected among the isolates were SpeB (44, 86.3 %), SpeG (36, 70.6 %), and SpeF (35, 68.6 %), while SpeJ (15, 29.4 %), SpeA (10, 19.6 %), and (5,9.8 %) were less common. The types were diverse. In conclusion, the GAS isolates studied showed resistance to erythromycin and tetracycline, while retaining universal susceptibility to penicillin. Additionally, these isolates exhibited diverse genetic backgrounds, displaying varying patterns of virulence genes and types.

Funding
This study was supported by the:
  • University of Peradeniya (Award URG/2021/22/M)
    • Principle Award Recipient: VeranjaLiyanapathirana
  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The microbiology society waived the open access fees for this article.
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2024-06-06
2024-06-25
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