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A phenotypically silent vanB2 operon carried on a Tn1549-like element in Clostridium difficile

Knight, D.R.ORCID: 0000-0002-9480-4733, Androga, G.O., Ballard, S.A., Howden, B.P. and Riley, T.V. (2016) A phenotypically silent vanB2 operon carried on a Tn1549-like element in Clostridium difficile. mSphere, 1 (4). e00177-16.

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In the last decade, Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) has reached an epidemic state with increasing incidence and severity in both health care and community settings. Vancomycin is an important first-line therapy for CDI, and the emergence of resistance would have significant clinical consequences. In this study, we describe for the first time a vanB2 vancomycin resistance operon in C. difficile, isolated from an Australian veal calf at slaughter. The operon was carried on an ~42-kb element showing significant homology and synteny to Tn1549, a conjugative transposon linked with the emergence and global dissemination of vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE). Notably, the C. difficile strain did not show any reduced susceptibility to vancomycin in vitro (MIC, 1 mg/liter), possibly as a result of an aberrant vanRB gene. As observed for other anaerobic species of the animal gut microbiota, C. difficile may be a reservoir of clinically important vancomycin resistance genes.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology
Copyright: © 2016 Knight et al. T
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