Molecular Epidemiology of Penicillin-Susceptible Non-β -Lactam-Resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae Isolates from Greek Children

D. Bogaert, P. W M Hermans*, I. N. Grivea, G. S. Katopodis, T. J. Mitchell, M. Sluijter, R. De Groot, N. G. Beratis, G. A. Syrogiannopoulos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


A total of 128 Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates that were susceptible to penicillin but resistant to non-β-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 (Tennessee23F-4, England14-9, and Greece6B-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-β-lactams are a genetically heterogeneous group displaying a variety of genotypes, resistance markers, and serotypes. This suggests that multiple genetic events lead to non-β-lactam-resistant pneumococci in Greece. Importantly, most of these genotypes are capable of disseminating within the community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5633-5639
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2003


Dive into the research topics of 'Molecular Epidemiology of Penicillin-Susceptible Non-β -Lactam-Resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae Isolates from Greek Children'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this