Mechanisms of β-lactam resistance of Streptococcus uberis isolated from bovine mastitis cases.
A number of veterinary clinical pathology laboratories in New Zealand have been reporting emergence of increased minimum in inhibitory concentrations for β-lactams in the common clinical bovine mastitis pathogen Streptococcus uberis. The objective of this study was to determine the genetic basis of this increase in MIC for β-lactams amongst S. uberis. Illumina sequencing and determination of oxacillin MIC was performed on 265 clinical isolates. Published sequences of the five penicillin binding proteins pbp1a, pbp1b, pbp2a, pbp2b, and pbp2x were used to identify, extract and align these sequences from the study isolates. Amino acid substitutions resulting from single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) within these genes were analysed for associations with elevated (≥ 0.5 mg/L) oxacillin MIC together with a genome wide association study. The population structure of the study isolates was approximated using a phylogenetic tree generated from an alignment of the core genome. A total of 53 % of isolates had MIC ≥ 0.5 mg/L for oxacillin. A total of 101 substitutions within the five pbp were identified, of which 11 were statistically associated with an MIC ≥ 0.5 mg/L. All 140 isolates which exhibited an increased β-lactam MIC had SNPs leading to pbp2x E381K and Q554E substitutions. The phylogenetic tree indicated that the genotype and phenotype associated with the increased MIC for oxacillin were present in several different lineages suggesting that acquisition of this increased β-lactam MIC had occurred in multiple geographically distinct regions. Reanalysis of the data from the intervention studies from which the isolates were originally drawn found a tendency for the pbp2x E381K substitution to be associated with lower cure rates. It is concluded that there is geographically and genetically widespread presence of pbp substitutions associated with reduced susceptibility to β-lactam antimicrobials. Additionally, presence of pbp substitutions tended to be associated with poorer cure rate outcomes following antimicrobial therapy for clinical mastitis.
Medical Research Council (MR/N002660/1)
Economic and Social Research Council (ES/S000186/1)
MRC (via University of Birmingham) (19-0155 RRAK21517)
Medical Research Council (MR/P007201/1)