Genetic Analysis of a High-Level Vancomycin-Resistant Isolate of Staphylococcus aureus

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Science  28 Nov 2003:
Vol. 302, Issue 5650, pp. 1569-1571
DOI: 10.1126/science.1090956

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Vancomycin is usually reserved for treatment of serious infections, including those caused by multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. A clinical isolate of S. aureus with high-level resistance to vancomycin (minimal inhibitory concentration = 1024 μg/ml) was isolated in June 2002. This isolate harbored a 57.9-kilobase multiresistance conjugative plasmid within which Tn1546 (vanA) was integrated. Additional elements on the plasmid encoded resistance to trimethoprim (dfrA), β-lactams (blaZ), aminoglycosides (aacA-aphD), and disinfectants (qacC). Genetic analyses suggest that the long-anticipated transfer of vancomycin resistance to a methicillin-resistant S. aureus occurred in vivo by interspecies transfer of Tn1546 from a co-isolate of Enterococcus faecalis.

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