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Genomic analysis reveals new integrative conjugal elements and transposons in GBS conferring antimicrobial resistance

Khan, Uzma Basit, Portal, Edward A. R., Sands, Kirsty, Lo, Stephanie, Chalker, Victoria J., Jauneikaite, Elita and Spiller, Owen B. ORCID: 2023. Genomic analysis reveals new integrative conjugal elements and transposons in GBS conferring antimicrobial resistance. Antibiotics 12 (3) , 544. 10.3390/antibiotics12030544

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Streptococcus agalactiae or group B streptococcus (GBS) is a leading cause of neonatal sepsis and increasingly found as an invasive pathogen in older patient populations. Beta-lactam antibiotics remain the most effective therapeutic with resistance rarely reported, while the majority of GBS isolates carry the tetracycline resistance gene tet(M) in fixed genomic positions amongst five predominant clonal clades. In the UK, GBS resistance to clindamycin and erythromycin has increased from 3% in 1991 to 11.9% (clindamycin) and 20.2% (erythromycin), as reported in this study. Here, a systematic investigation of antimicrobial resistance genomic content sought to fully characterise the associated mobile genetic elements within phenotypically resistant GBS isolates from 193 invasive and non-invasive infections of UK adult patients collected during 2014 and 2015. Resistance to erythromycin and clindamycin was mediated by erm(A) (16/193, 8.2%), erm(B) (16/193, 8.2%), mef(A)/msr(D) (10/193, 5.1%), lsa(C) (3/193, 1.5%), lnu(C) (1/193, 0.5%), and erm(T) (1/193, 0.5%) genes. The integrative conjugative elements (ICEs) carrying these genes were occasionally found in combination with high gentamicin resistance mediating genes aac(6′)-aph(2″), aminoglycoside resistance genes (ant(6-Ia), aph(3′-III), and/or aad(E)), alternative tetracycline resistance genes (tet(O) and tet(S)), and/or chloramphenicol resistance gene cat(Q), mediating resistance to multiple classes of antibiotics. This study provides evidence of the retention of previously reported ICESag37 (n = 4), ICESag236 (n = 2), and ICESpy009 (n = 3), as well as the definition of sixteen novel ICEs and three novel transposons within the GBS lineage, with no evidence of horizontal transfer.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Publisher: MDPI
ISSN: 2079-6382
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 14 March 2023
Date of Acceptance: 3 March 2023
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2023 01:05

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