Variability of resistance plasmids in coagulase-negative staphylococci and their importance as a reservoir of antimicrobial resistance


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Year of publication 2019
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Research in Microbiology
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Web Full Text
Keywords Coagulase-negative staphylococci; Resistance plasmids; Antibiotics; Interspecies horizontal gene transfer; Electroporation
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Description Coagulase-negative staphylococci (CoNS) are an important cause of human and animal diseases. Treatment of these diseases is complicated by their common antimicrobial resistance, caused by overuse of antibiotics in hospital and veterinary environment. Therefore, they are assumed to serve as a reservoir of resistance genes often located on plasmids. In this study, we analyzed plasmid content in 62 strains belonging to 10 CoNS species of human and veterinary origin. In 48 (77%) strains analyzed, 107 different plasmids were detected, and only some of them showed similarities with plasmids found previously. In total, seven different antimicrobial-resistance genes carried by plasmids were identified. Five of the CoNS staphylococci carried plasmids identical with either those of other CoNS species tested, or a well characterized Staphylococcus aureus strain COL, suggesting plasmid dissemination through horizontal transfer. To demonstrate the possibility of horizontal transfer, we performed electroporation of four resistance plasmids among Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus petrasii, and coagulase-positive S. aureus strains. Plasmids were transferred unchanged, were stably maintained in recipient strains, and expressed resistance genes. Our work demonstrates a great variability of plasmids in human and veterinary staphylococcal strains and their ability to maintain and express resistance plasmids from other staphylococcal species.
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