Background: Streptococcus gallolyticus subspecies (subsp.) pasteurianus, previously known as Streptococcus bovis biotype II/2, has been described as a causative agent of endocarditis, neonatal sepsis, meningitis, bacteremia, and colorectal carcinoma in humans. The aim of this study was to characterize the erythromycin and tetracycline resistance genes of S. gallolyticus subsp. pasteurianus strains isolated from patients with septicemia and bacteremia in Thailand.
Methods: The clinical isolates of Streptococcus gallolyticus were identified by using conventional biochemical tests, PCR, and sodA gene sequence analysis. The erythromycin and tetracycline susceptibilities were determined by disk diffusion and agar dilution methods, while the resistance genes were identified by nucleotide sequence analysis.
Results: From a total of 108 blood cultures, 36 (33%) were identified as S. gallolyticus subsp. pasteurianus with the nucleotide sequence identities of partial sodA gene with the reference strains ranging from 98.1 to 100%. Of these, 25 (69.4%) contained erythromycin resistance genes and erm(B) was the most predominant gene (30.6%), followed by erm(T) (19.4%) and mef(A) (5.6%). In addition, erm(B) was also detected in combination with lnu(B) (8.3%), erm(T) and mef(A) (2.8%), and mef(A) and lnu(B) (2.8%). It was interesting to note that lnu(B) was detected for the first time in S. gallolyticus subsp. pasteurianus in this study. For tetracycline resistance genes, tet(L) and tet(M) were detected at 13.9% and 11.1%, respectively. However, tet(M) in combination with tet(L) was detected most commonly at 69.4% and with tet(L) and tet(O) at 5.6%.
Conclusions: A number of erythromycin and tetracycline resistance genes were detected in S. gallolyticus subsp. pasteurianus strains circulating in Thailand.