Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 8980749
Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 1997 Jan;41(1):24-9
Streptococcus bovis NEM760 was isolated from a stool swab collected on admission from a patient as surveillance for vancomycin-resistant enterococci. Strain NEM760 was identified as S. bovis by conventional biochemical methods and partial sequence analysis of its 16S rRNA. This strain was resistant to a low level of vancomycin (MIC, 64 micrograms/ml) but was susceptible to teicoplanin (MIC, 1 micrograms/ml), and vancomycin induced resistance to both glycopeptides. The presence of a vanB-related gene in NEM760 was demonstrated in a PCR assay which enabled specific amplification of a 635-hp internal segment of vanB. Sequence analysis of the corresponding PCR product revealed that it was highly homologous (96% identity) to the prototype vanB sequence of Enterococcus faecalis V583. The VanB resistance of determinant of S. bovis NEM760 was transferred by conjugation to E. faecalis and Enterococcus faecium at a similar frequency of 2 x 10(-5) per donor. SmaI-digested genomic DNAs of independently obtained transconjugants of E. faecalis and E. faecium were analyzed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and Southern hybridization with a vanB DNA probe. The electrophoretic and hybridization patterns obtained with all transconjugants of the same species were indistinguishable and revealed vanB-containing chromosomal insertions of approximately 100 kb. These results suggest that the genes mediating VanB-type resistance in S. bovis NEM760 are part of large transferable genetic elements. The results presented in the report demonstrate for the first time the role of streptococci in the dissemination of vancomycin resistance among gram-positive bacteria.