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      Molecular epidemiology of beta-lactamase-producing enterococci.

      Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
      Conjugation, Genetic, Connecticut, Drug Resistance, Microbial, Electrophoresis, Agar Gel, Enterococcus faecalis, enzymology, genetics, Humans, Nucleic Acid Hybridization, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Plasmids, Protein Biosynthesis, Staphylococcus, Streptococcal Infections, epidemiology, microbiology, Texas, beta-Lactamases, biosynthesis, isolation & purification

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          Abstract

          Plasmids from the first six reported beta-lactamase-producing (Bla+) enterococci were compared for genetic relatedness. Bla+ enterococcal plasmids from strains isolated in Houston, Tex.; Philadelphia, Pa.; Connecticut; and Pittsburgh, Pa., had heterogeneous HaeIII and MspI-ClaI restriction endonuclease digestion patterns. A staphylococcal beta-lactamase probe hybridized to all six Bla+ enterococcal plasmids, but hybridization was detected on different HaeIII and MspI-ClaI fragments of the six plasmids. An enterococcal gentamicin resistance (Gmr) probe hybridized to a common 3.9-kilobase HaeIII fragment from the five Gmr plasmids. The Houston plasmid was cross-hybridized to the other five strains, and moderate to extensive homology was demonstrated. Bla+ enterococcal plasmids from a broad geographic range are heterogeneous with respect to size and restriction endonuclease digestion patterns but contain homologous genetic material, including Bla+ and Gmr determinants.

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