Objectives: To describe prevalence of phenotypic and genotypic macrolide-resistance among GBS isolates in pregnant women and explore the possibility of clonal spread of resistant GBS isolates in a multicultural population.
Study design: Antimicrobial resistance patterns of 107 GBS isolates obtained from asymptomatic pregnant women were determined using E-tests. Macrolide resistance genes mef(A), erm(TR) and erm(B) were determined with PCR and a subset of 39 isolates, including the 8 isolates harbouring macrolide resistance genes, was subjected to RAPD analysis to detect clonal spreading.
Results: Resistance to erythromycin and clindamycin was found in 8% and 7%, respectively. Macrolide resistance genes mef(A), erm(TR) and erm(B) were found in 1, 2 and 5 isolates, respectively; only five of these eight isolates exhibited both genotypic as well as phenotypic resistance. One genotype occured in 36% of the subset.
Conclusions: Earlier reports on prevalence of phenotypic resistance were confirmed. Among the susceptible isolates one clonal type of GBS was clearly predominant; one of the resistant isolates shared its genotype. When such clonal types acquire resistance traits in the future, GBS disease may become harder to control.