Whole genome sequence based capsular typing and antimicrobial resistance prediction of Group B streptococcal isolates from colonized pregnant women in Nigeria

BMC Genomics. 2021 Aug 23;22(1):627. doi: 10.1186/s12864-021-07929-z.


Background: Streptococcus agalactiae (Group B Streptococcus, GBS) is one of the major bacterial pathogens responsible for neonatal sepsis. Whole genome sequencing has, in recent years, emerged as a reliable tool for capsular typing and antimicrobial resistance prediction. This study characterized vaginal and rectal isolates of Group B Streptococcus obtained from pregnant women in Port Harcourt, Nigeria using a whole-genome sequence-based approach.

Results: Capsular types Ia, Ib, II, III, IV and V were detected among the 43 isolates sequenced. Twelve sequence types (STs) were identified, with ST19 (n = 9, 27.3 %) and ST486 (n = 5, 15.2 %) the most frequent among non-duplicated isolates. Of the alpha-like proteins (alp) identified, Alp1 was the most prevalent in 11 (33.3 %) isolates. Macrolide and lincosamide resistance determinants were present in 15 (45.5 %) isolates; ermB was detected in 1 (3 %), ermTR in 7 (21.2 %) isolates, lnu gene was detected in 6 (18.2 %) and mef was identified in 3 (9.1 %) isolates. Resistance of GBS to erythromycin and clindamycin (predicted from presence of erm or mef genes) was found to be 30.3 % and 24.2 %, respectively. All isolates were predicted resistant to tetracycline with only the tetM gene identified. Fluoroquinolone-resistance conferring substitutions in gyrA + parC were detected in 9 (27.3 %) isolates and chloramphenicol resistance was predicted from presence of aac6'-aph2 gene in 11 (33.3 %).

Conclusions: The data available from the whole genome sequencing of these isolates offers a small but insightful description of common serotypes and resistance features within colonizing GBS in Nigeria.

Keywords: Antimicrobial resistance; Group B Streptococcus; Nigeria; Whole genome sequencing; capsular typing.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents* / pharmacology
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial / genetics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Nigeria
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnant Women
  • Streptococcus agalactiae* / genetics


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents