1887

Abstract

A recent increase in virulence of pathogenic subsp (SDSE) has been widely proposed. Such an increase may be partly explained by the acquisition of new virulence traits by horizontal gene transfer from related streptococci such as (GAS) and (GBS). A collection of 54 SDSE strains isolated in Italy in the years 2000–2010 from different sources (paediatric throat carriage, invasive and non-invasive diseases) was characterized by typing and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) analysis. The virulence repertoire was evaluated by PCR for the presence of GAS superantigen () genes, the streptolysin S () gene, the group G fibronectin-binding protein () gene and GAS–GBS alpha-like protein family ( genes; moreover, the ability to invade human epithelial cells was investigated. Resistance to tetracycline, erythromycin and clindamycin was assessed. The combined use of typing and PFGE proved to be a reliable strategy for the epidemiological analysis of SDSE isolates. The most frequent types were the same as those more frequently reported in other studies, thus indicating the diffusion of a limited number of a few successful types fit to disseminate in humans. The gene was detected in SDSE strains of different genetic backgrounds. Erythromycin resistance determined by the (T) gene, and the unusual, foggy MLS phenotype, observed in one and seven strains, respectively, have never previously, to our knowledge, been reported in SDSE. Moreover, a new member of the family was identified. The identification of new antibiotic and virulence determinants, despite the small size of the sample analysed, shows the importance of constant attention to monitoring the extent of lateral gene transfer in this emerging pathogen.

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2014-01-01
2020-01-28
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