Prevalence and mechanism of resistance against macrolides and lincosamides in Streptococcus suis isolates

A. Martel*, M. Baele, L.A. Devriese, H. Goossens, H.J. Wisselink, A. Decostere, F. Haesebrouck

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Eighty-seven Streptococcus suis isolates recovered in 1999-2000 from diseased pigs, all from different farms, were screened for resistance against macrolide and lincosamide antibiotics by the disk diffusion and agar dilution test and a PCR assay, amplifying the ermB gene and the mefA/E gene. Seventy-one percent of the isolates showed constitutive resistance to macrolide and lincosamide antibiotics (MLSB-phenotype). All these isolates were positive for the ermB gene in the PCR, but negative for the mefA/E gene. For all strains minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) against five other antimicrobial agents were determined. All strains were susceptible to penicillin. Ninety-nine percent of the isolates were susceptible to enrofloxacin and tiamulin. Eighty-five percent of the strains were resistant to doxycycline. A 540 bp fragment of the ermB genes of eight S. suis strains was sequenced and compared with ermB genes of five S. pneumoniae and five S. pyogenes strains of human origin. A 100% homology was found between these fragments in seven S. suis, one S. pneumoniae and three of the S. pyogenes isolates. This study demonstrates that resistance against macrolides, lincosamides and streptogramin B is widespread in S. suis and mediated by ribosome methylation, encoded by the ermB gene.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-297
Number of pages11
JournalVeterinary Microbiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 26 Nov 2001


  • Bacteria
  • ermB
  • Macrolide resistance
  • Pig
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae
  • Streptococcus pyogenes
  • Streptococcus suis

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