Mosaic Genes and Their Role in Penicillin-Resistant Streptococcus Pneumoniae

Electrophoresis. 1998 Apr;19(4):597-601. doi: 10.1002/elps.1150190423.


Penicillin resistance in clinical isolates of Streptococcus pneumoniae is mediated by mosaic genes encoding altered penicillin binding proteins. Mosaic sequence blocks are the result of a genetic exchange between related streptococcal species. It is likely that resistance has emerged in commensal streptococci before being transferred into the pneumococcus. Closely related mosaic genes are found in different pneumococcal clones and in different streptococcal species isolated worldwide since the first reports on such strains in the late 70s, demonstrating the importance of commensal streptococci for the spread of selectable markers in naturally transforming pathogens.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Proteins*
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • Genes, Bacterial*
  • Hexosyltransferases*
  • Mosaicism
  • Muramoylpentapeptide Carboxypeptidase / genetics
  • Muramoylpentapeptide Carboxypeptidase / metabolism
  • Penicillin Resistance / genetics*
  • Penicillin-Binding Proteins
  • Peptidyl Transferases*
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / drug effects
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / genetics*
  • Transformation, Bacterial


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Penicillin-Binding Proteins
  • Peptidyl Transferases
  • Hexosyltransferases
  • Muramoylpentapeptide Carboxypeptidase