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Microbiology and Biotechnology Letters


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Molecular and Cellular Microbiology (MCM)  |  Microbial Genetics, Physiology and Metabolism

Microbiol. Biotechnol. Lett. 2021; 49(3): 449-457

Received: March 24, 2021; Revised: July 17, 2021; Accepted: July 21, 2021

Detection of Inducible Clindamycin Resistance Genes (ermA, ermB, and ermC) in Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis

Mohammad Javad Mazloumi1, Reza Akbari1, and Saber Yousefi1,2*

1Department of Microbiology and Virology, Faculty of Medicine, 2Cellular and Molecular Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, Urmia University of Medical Sciences, Urmia 57157-99313, Iran

Correspondence to :
Saber Yousefi,

The aim of the present study was to survey the frequency of inducible and constitutive phenotypes and inducible cross-resistant genes by regulating the methylation of 23S rRNA (ermA, ermB, and ermC) and macrolide efflux-related msrA gene in Staphylococcus aureus and S. epidermidis strains. A total of 172 bacterial isolates (identified based on standard tests), were examined in this study. Antibiotic susceptibility was determined by the disk diffusion method, and all isolates were evaluated with respect to inducible and constitutive phenotypes. The presence of ermA, ermB, ermC, and msrA genes was investigated by a PCR assay. The constitutive resistance phenotypes showed a higher distribution among the isolates. R phenotype was detected more among S. epidermidis isolates (46.25%). ermB, ermC, and msrA genes were detected more in methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) and methicillin-resistant S. epidermidis (MRSE) isolates that had R and HD phenotypes (>77% strains). The ermA gene had the lowest frequency among MRSA, MRSE, MSSA, and MSSE strains (<14% isolates). Distribution of inducible resistance genes in MRSA and MRSE strains, and possibly other species, leads to increased constitutive resistance to erythromycin, clindamycin, and other similar antibiotics. Therefore, it can be challenging to treat infections caused by these resistant strains.

Keywords: D-phenotypes, inducible resistance, constitutive resistance, Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis

Graphical Abstract

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