Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 20606072
Link to DOI – 10.1128/AAC.00315-10
Antimicrob Agents Chemother 2010 Sep; 54(9): 3651-8
Identification of clinical isolates of Neisseria meningitidis that are resistant to rifampin is important to avoid prophylaxis failure in contacts of patients, but it is hindered by the absence of a breakpoint for resistance, despite many efforts toward standardization. We examined a large number (n = 392) of clinical meningococcal isolates, spanning 25 years (1984 to 2009), that were collected in 11 European countries, Argentina, and the Central African Republic. The collection comprises all clinical isolates with MICs of > or = 0.25 mg/liter (n = 161) received by the national reference laboratories for meningococci in the participating countries. Representative isolates displaying rifampin MICs of 1 mg/liter possessed rpoB alleles with nonsynonymous mutations at four critical amino acid residues, D542, H552, S548, and S557, that were absent in the alleles found in all isolates with MICs of < or = 1 mg/liter. Rifampin-susceptible isolates could be defined as those with MICs of < or = 1 mg/liter. The rpoB allele sequence and isolate data have been incorporated into the PubMLST Neisseria database (http://pubmlst.org/neisseria/). The rifampin-resistant isolates belonged to diverse genetic lineages and were associated with lower levels of bacteremia and inflammatory cytokines in mice. This biological cost may explain the lack of clonal expansion of these isolates.