Molecular characteristics of IS1216 carrying multidrug resistance gene cluster in serotype III/sequence type 19 group B Streptococcus

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Title
Molecular characteristics of IS1216 carrying multidrug resistance gene cluster in serotype III/sequence type 19 group B Streptococcus
Author(s)
Y Zhi; H J Ji; J H Jung; E B Byun; Woo Sik Kim; S M Lin; S Lim; A Y Jang; M J Choi; K B Ahn; J H Lim; J Y Song; H S Seo
Bibliographic Citation
mSphere, vol. 6, no. 4, pp. e00543-21-e00543-21
Publication Year
2021
Abstract
Streptococcus agalactiae is the leading cause of meningitis in newborns and a significant cause of invasive diseases in pregnant women and adults with underlying diseases. Antibiotic resistance against erythromycin and clindamycin in group B streptococcus (GBS) isolates has been increasing worldwide. GBS expresses the Srr1 and Srr2 proteins, which have important roles in bacterial infection. They have been investigated as novel vaccine candidates against GBS infection, with promising results. But a recent study detected non-srr1/2-expressing clinical isolates belonging to serotype III. Thus, we aimed to analyze the genotypes of non-srr1/2 GBS clinical isolates collected between 2013 and 2016 in South Korea. Forty-one (13.4%) of the 305 serotype III isolates were identified as non-srr1/2 strains, including sequence type 19 (ST19) (n = 16) and ST27 (n = 18) strains. The results of the comparative genomic analysis of the ST19/serotype III/non-srr1/2 strains further revealed four unique gene clusters. Site 4 in the srr1 gene locus was replaced by an lsa(E)-lnu(B)-aadK-aac-aph-aadE-carrying multidrug-resistant gene cluster flanked by two IS1216 transposases with 99% homology to the enterococcal plasmid pKUB3007-1. Despite the Srr1 and Srr2 deficiencies, which resulted in reduced fibrinogen binding, the adherence of non-srr1/2 strains to endothelial and epithelial cells was comparable to that of Srr1- or Srr2-expressing strains. Moreover, their virulence in mouse models of meningitis was not significantly affected. Furthermore, additional adhesin-encoding genes, including a gene encoding a BspA-like protein, which may contribute to colonization by non-srr1/2 strains, were identified via whole-genome analysis. Thus, our study provides important findings that can aid in the development of vaccines and antibiotics against GBS. IMPORTANCE Most previously isolated group B streptococcus (GBS) strains express either the Srr1 or Srr2 glycoprotein, which plays an important role in bacterial colonization and invasion. These glycoproteins are potential protein vaccine candidates. In this study, we first report GBS clinical isolates in which the srr1/2 gene was deleted or replaced with foreign genes. Despite Srr1/2 deficiency, in vitro adherence to mammalian cells and in vivo virulence in murine models were not affected, suggesting that the isolates might have another adherence mechanism that enhanced their virulence aside from Srr1/2-fibrinogen-mediated adherence. In addition, several non-srr1/2 isolates replaced the srr1/2 gene with the lnu(B) and lsa(E) antibiotic resistance genes flanked by IS1216, effectively causing multidrug resistance. Collectively, we believe that our study identifies the underlying genes responsible for the pathogenesis of new GBS serotype III. Furthermore, our study emphasizes the need for alternative antibiotics for patients who are allergic to β-lactams and for those who are pregnant.
Keyword
Streptococcus agalactiaeIS1216Multidrug resistance genesrr1/2ST19
ISSN
2379-5042
Publisher
Amer Soc Microb
DOI
http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/mSphere.00543-21
Type
Article
Appears in Collections:
Jeonbuk Branch Institute > Functional Biomaterial Research Center > 1. Journal Articles
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