European Journal of Clinical Microbiology

, Volume 5, Issue 6, pp 714–718 | Cite as

Conversion of a homogeneously methicillin-resistant strain ofStaphylococcus aureus to heterogeneous resistance by Tn551-mediated insertional inactivation

  • J. Kornblum
  • B. J. Hartman
  • R. P. Novick
  • A. Tomasz
Article Current Topic: Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus


Plasmid pRN3208, thermosensitive for replication, and carrying the erythromycin transposon Tn551, was used for insertional inactivation of methicillin resistance in a highly and homogeneously resistant strain ofStaphylococcus aureus. Two kinds of insertionally inactivated cells were obtained. Cultures of the major class contained highly methicillin resistant cells with a frequency of about 10−3 to 10−4, produced DNA with methicillin resistance transforming activity, and also produced penicillin binding protein 2a, the 78 kd low affinity penicillin binding protein characteristic of methicillin resistantStaphyloccus aureus, in apparently normal quantities. The single member of class B had no detectable methicillin resistant cells (less than 10−8) with an MIC greater than 1μg/ml, contained no DNA with methicillin resistant transforming activity and no penicillin binding protein 2a. The data suggest that in the class A cells insertional inactivation did not affect the structural gene(s) of methicillin resistance but a regulatory locus or loci needed for the homogeneous expression of resistance.


Erythromycin Regulatory Locus Resistant Strain Normal Quantity Major Class 
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Copyright information

© Vieweg Publishing 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Kornblum
    • 1
  • B. J. Hartman
    • 2
  • R. P. Novick
    • 1
  • A. Tomasz
    • 2
  1. 1.New York Public Health Research InstituteNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Rockefeller UniversityNew YorkUSA

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