Background: Linezolid is often the drug of last resort to treat infections caused by Gram-positive cocci. Linezolid resistance can be mutational (23S rRNA or L-protein) or, less commonly, acquired [predominantly cfr, conferring resistance to phenicols, lincosamides, oxazolidinones, pleuromutilins and streptogramin A compounds (PhLOPSA) or optrA, encoding oxazolidinone and phenicol resistance]. Objectives: To investigate the clonality and genetic basis of linezolid resistance in 13 linezolid-resistant (LZDR) methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus epidermidis (MRSE) isolates recovered during a 2013/14 outbreak in an ICU in an Irish hospital and an LZDR vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VRE) isolate from an LZDR-MRSEpositive patient. Methods: All isolates underwent PhLOPSA susceptibility testing, 23S rRNA sequencing, DNA microarray profiling and WGS. Results: All isolates exhibited the PhLOPSA phenotype. The VRE harboured cfr and optrA on a novel 73 kb plasmid (pEF12-0805) also encoding erm(A), erm(B), lnu(B), lnu(E), aphA3 and aadE. One MRSE (M13/0451, from the same patient as the VRE) harboured cfr on a novel 8.5 kb plasmid (pSEM13-0451). The remaining 12 MRSE lacked cfr but exhibited linezolid resistance-associated mutations and were closely related to (1-52 SNPs) but distinct from M13/0451 (202-223 SNPs). Conclusions: UsingWGS, novel and distinct cfr and cfr/optrA plasmids were identified in an MRSE and VRE isolate, respectively, as well as a cfr-negative LZDR-MRSE ICU outbreak and a distinct cfr-positive LZDR-MRSE from the same ICU. To our knowledge, this is the first report of cfr and optrA on a single VRE plasmid. Ongoing surveillance of linezolid resistance is essential to maintain its therapeutic efficacy.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the Microbiology Research Unit, Dublin Dental University Hospital.
© The Author 2017.