Journal Article

Distribution of streptogramin resistance determinants among <i>Enterococcus faecium</i> from a poultry production environment of the USA

Joshua R. Hayes, David D. Wagner, Linda L. English, Lewis E. Carr and Sam W. Joseph

in Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Published on behalf of British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Volume 55, issue 1, pages 123-126
Published in print January 2005 | ISSN: 0305-7453
Published online January 2005 | e-ISSN: 1460-2091 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jac/dkh491
Distribution of streptogramin resistance determinants among Enterococcus faecium from a poultry production environment of the USA

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Objectives: The impact of agricultural use of antimicrobials on the present and future efficacy of therapeutic drugs in human medicine is a growing public concern. Quinupristin/dalfopristin has been approved to treat human disease caused by vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium and is related to virginiamycin, a streptogramin complex that has long been used in USA agriculture poultry production.

Methods: Streptogramin-resistant isolates of E. faecium from poultry production environments on the eastern seaboard were recovered without selection for streptogramin resistance and examined using ribotyping to evaluate clonal bias. Colony PCR screening for the previously described streptogramin resistance determinants erm(A), erm(B), msr(C), vgb(A), vat(D) and vat(E) was performed to determine the prevalence of streptogramin resistance mechanisms from these environments.

Results: The collection of E. faecium isolates was unevenly distributed among 28 ribogroups and did not cluster geographically. The most prevalent ribogroups was composed of isolates that possessed diverse antimicrobial resistance profiles. Of the 127 isolates examined, 63% were resistant to quinupristin/dalfopristin. The resistance determinants erm(A) and erm(B) were observed among 6% and 10%, respectively, of streptogramin-resistant isolates. msr(C) was detected in a single isolate that was resistant to macrolide and lincosamide antimicrobials. The streptogramin B hydrolase vgb(A) and the streptogramin A acetyltransferases genes vat(D) and vat(E) were not detected in any of the E. faecium isolates.

Conclusions: These results indicate that there is widespread resistance to streptogramin antimicrobials among E. faecium throughout the poultry production region in this study and that the mechanisms of resistance to streptogramin antimicrobials within this population remain largely uncharacterized.

Keywords: enterococci; antibiotic resistance; quinupristin/dalfopristin; MLS

Journal Article.  1981 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Oncology ; Critical Care

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