A total of 128 Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates that were susceptible to penicillin but resistant to non-beta-lactam agents were isolated from young carriers in Greece and analyzed by antibiotic susceptibility testing, serotyping, restriction fragment end labeling (RFEL), and antibiotic resistance genotyping. The serotypes 6A/B (49%), 14 (14%), 19A/F (11%), 11A (9%), 23A/F (4%), 15B/C (2%), and 21 (2%) were most prevalent in this collection. Of the isolates, 65% were erythromycin resistant, while the remaining isolates were tetracycline and/or trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole resistant. Fifty-nine distinct RFEL types were identified. Twenty different RFEL clusters, harboring 2 to 19 strains each, accounted for 76% of all strains. Confirmatory multilocus sequence typing analysis of the genetic clusters showed the presence of three international clones (Tennessee(23F)-4, England(14)-9, and Greece(6B)-22) representing 30% of the isolates. The erm(B) gene was present in 70% of the erythromycin-resistant isolates, whereas 18 and 8% contained the mef(A) and mef(E) genes, respectively. The pneumococci representing erm(B), erm(A), and mef genes belonged to distinct genetic clusters. In total, 45% of all isolates were tetracycline resistant. Ninety-six percent of these isolates contained the tet(M) gene. In conclusion, penicillin-susceptible pneumococci resistant to non-beta-lactams are a genetically heterogeneous group displaying a variety of genotypes, resistance markers, and serotypes. This suggests that multiple genetic events lead to non-beta-lactam-resistant pneumococci in Greece. Importantly, most of these genotypes are capable of disseminating within the community.

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Keywords Carrier State/microbiology, Child, DNA, Bacterial/genetics/isolation & purification, Erythromycin/pharmacology, Greece/epidemiology, Humans, Microbial Sensitivity Tests, Penicillin Resistance/genetics, Phylogeny, Serotyping/methods, Streptococcal Infections/*epidemiology, Streptococcus pneumoniae/classification/drug effects/*genetics/isolation & purification, beta-Lactam Resistance/genetics
Persistent URL hdl.handle.net/1765/10272
Journal Journal of Clinical Microbiology
Bogaert, D, Hermans, P.W.M, Grivea, I.N, Katopodis, G.S, Mitchell, T.J, Sluijter, M, … Syrogiannopoulos, G.A. (2003). Molecular epidemiology of penicillin-susceptible non-beta-lactam-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates from Greek children. Journal of Clinical Microbiology. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/10272