Molecular analysis of naturally occuring ermC-encoding plasmids in staphylococci isolated from animals with and without previous contact with macrolide/lincosamide antibiotics

FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 1997 May;18(1):7-15. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-695X.1997.tb01022.x.


A total of 16 epidemiologically unrelated macrolide-resistant staphylococcal isolates of various animal origins were investigated for the molecular basis of macrolide resistance with respect to previous contact of their host animals with macrolides and lincosamides. All isolates carried ermC-encoding plasmids of 2.3-4.0 kbp. The eight plasmids of staphylococci from animals which had not received macrolides or lincosamides showed inducible ermC gene expression and did not exhibit alterations in the ermC regulatory region. The remaining eight plasmids expressed the ermC gene constitutively. Six of these plasmids were from staphylococci from animals which had received tylosin or spiramycin as feed additives or lincomycin for therapeutic purposes. All constitutively expressed ermC genes revealed either sequence deletions or sequence duplications in their ermC regulatory region, as detected by a PCR assay and by sequence analysis. These sequence deletions and duplications found in naturally occurring plasmids corresponded closely to the mutations seen in the ermC-encoding plasmids after growth of an inducibly resistant strain in the presence of non-inducing macrolides or lincosamides under in vitro conditions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Base Sequence
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
  • Lincosamides
  • Macrolides / pharmacology
  • Macrolides / therapeutic use
  • Methyltransferases / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plasmids / genetics*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Regulatory Sequences, Nucleic Acid
  • Restriction Mapping
  • Staphylococcal Infections / drug therapy
  • Staphylococcal Infections / microbiology
  • Staphylococcal Infections / veterinary*
  • Staphylococcus / drug effects
  • Staphylococcus / genetics*
  • Staphylococcus / isolation & purification


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Lincosamides
  • Macrolides
  • Methyltransferases
  • rRNA (adenosine-O-2'-)methyltransferase

Associated data

  • GENBANK/X82668
  • GENBANK/Y09001
  • GENBANK/Y09002