The occurrence of resistance to antiseptics and disinfectants in clinical isolates of coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS) was examined. Of 164 clinical strains of CNS isolated in the early 1980s, 65 were resistant to cationic antimicrobial compounds such as cetyltrimethylammonium bromide. Further characterisation of 40 resistant isolates by DNA-DNA hybridisation analysis and phenotypic resistance studies revealed that this resistance was mediated by the multidrug export genes and , characterised previously in . Of the resistant CNS isolates, 50% contained only , 10% contained only , and the remaining 40% contained both and . Both and genes resided on plasmids in all cases, with located on plasmids of > 10 kb, whereas was located primarily on plasmids of 2–3 kb. Representative and plasmids were characterised by restriction endonuclease mapping, and were found to be similar in some cases, but different in others, to those plasmids on which these genes are found in .


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