Linkage of determinants for streptogramin A, macrolide-lincosamide-streptogramin B, and chloramphenicol resistance on a conjugative plasmid in Enterococcus faecium and dissemination of this cluster among streptogramin-resistant enterococci

Int J Med Microbiol. 2000 Oct;290(6):543-8. doi: 10.1016/S1438-4221(00)80020-X.


A new streptogramin A resistance gene, satG (= vatE), has been recently identified in Enterococcus faecium UW1965 (Werner and Witte 1999. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 43: 1813-1814). Further sequence analysis of this plasmid revealed that vatE is in a cluster together with other resistance genes. The identified ORFs were nearly identical with the already known genes ermB and cat. The ermB fragment exhibited more than 99% identity with a resistance region from the streptococcal plasmid pIP501, whereas the cat fragment also contained a truncated rep gene homologue with more than 99% identity to sequences in small staphylococcal plasmids. The cat-rep and the ermB-vatE segments were linked by an IS1216V insertion sequence widely distributed among enterococci. PCR analysis of additional 76 streptogramin-resistant isolates possessing vatE and ermB revealed a linkage of both genes in 45 isolates (59%); 15 of them with a gene arrangement, cat-repU-IS1216V-ermB-vatE, identical to the reference strain UW1965. An identical linkage of IS1216V-ermB-vatE was found among isolates from poultry manure, poultry meat, stool samples of humans, and hospital patients indicating a possible spread of the resistance gene cluster via the food chain to humans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Chloramphenicol / pharmacology*
  • Conjugation, Genetic
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial
  • Enterococcus faecium / drug effects*
  • Enterococcus faecium / genetics
  • Genetic Linkage
  • Lincosamides
  • Macrolides*
  • Multigene Family*
  • Plasmids
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Virginiamycin / pharmacology*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Lincosamides
  • Macrolides
  • Virginiamycin
  • Chloramphenicol