1887

Abstract

A plasmid designated pMEC2 which confers resistance to erythromycin, other macrolides, and lincomycin was detected in strain MAW843 isolated from human skin. Curing of this approximately 42 kb plasmid from the host organism resulted in erythromycin sensitivity of the strain. Introduction of pMEC2 into a different strain conferred erythromycin resistance upon this strain. Macrolide resistance in MAW843 was an inducible trait. Induction occurred at subinhibitory erythromycin concentrations of about 002–005 μg ml. Erythromycin and oleandomycin were inducers, while spiramycin and tylosin exerted no significant inducer properties. With heterologous expression experiments in , using hybrid plasmid constructs and deletion derivatives thereof, it was possible to narrow down the location of the plasmid-borne erythromycin-resistance determinant to a region of about 18 kb of pMEC2. Sequence analysis of the genetic determinant, designated , identified an ORF putatively encoding a 281-residue protein with similarity to 23S rRNA adenine -methyltransferases. was most related (about 52–54% identity) to erythromycin-resistance proteins found in high-G+C Gram-positive bacteria, including the (opportunistic) pathogenic corynebacteria , , and . This is believed to be the first report of a plasmid-borne, inducible antibiotic resistance in micrococci. The possible role of non-pathogenic, saprophytic micrococci bearing antibiotic-resistance genes in the spreading of these determinants is discussed.

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2002-08-01
2019-12-06
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