Chromosomally and extrachromosomally mediated high-level gentamicin resistance in Streptococcus agalactiae

Sendi, Parham; Furitsch, Martina; Mauerer, Stefanie; Florindo, Carlos; Kahl, Barbara C; Shabayek, Sarah; Berner, Reinhard; Spellerberg, Barbara (2016). Chromosomally and extrachromosomally mediated high-level gentamicin resistance in Streptococcus agalactiae. Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy, 60(3), pp. 1702-1707. American Society for Microbiology 10.1128/AAC.01933-15

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Streptococcus agalactiae (group B Streptococcus, GBS) is a leading cause of sepsis in neonates. The rate of invasive GBS disease in non-pregnant adults also continues to climb. Aminoglycosides alone have little or no effect on GBS, but synergistic killing with penicillin has been shown in vitro. High-level gentamicin resistance (HLGR) in GBS isolates, however, leads to loss of a synergistic effect. We therefore performed a multicentre study to determine the frequency of HLGR GBS isolates and to elucidate the molecular mechanisms leading to gentamicin resistance. From eight centres in four countries, 1128 invasive and colonizing GBS isolates were pooled and investigated for the presence of HLGR. We identified two strains that displayed HLGR (BSU1203 and BSU452), both of which carried the aacA-aphD gene, typically conferring HLGR. Though, only one strain (BSU1203) also carried the previously described chromosomal gentamicin resistance transposon, designated Tn3706. In the other strain (BSU452), plasmid purification and subsequent DNA sequencing resulted in the detection of plasmid pIP501 carrying a remnant of a Tn3 family transposon. Its ability to confer HLGR was proven by transfer into an Enterococcus faecalis isolate. Conversely, loss of HLGR was documented after curing both GBS BSU452 and the transformed E. faecalis strain from the plasmid. This is the first report showing a plasmid mediated HLGR in GBS. Thus, in our clinical GBS isolates HLGR is mediated both chromosomally and extrachromosomally.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Haematology, Oncology, Infectious Diseases, Laboratory Medicine and Hospital Pharmacy (DOLS) > Clinic of Infectiology

UniBE Contributor:

Sendi, Parham


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




American Society for Microbiology




Annelies Luginbühl

Date Deposited:

09 Feb 2016 13:50

Last Modified:

05 Jul 2016 02:30

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:





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