Annals of Clinical Microbiology, The official Journal of the Korean Society of Clinical Microbiology


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A Decrease in Erythromycin Resistance Rate of Streptococcus pyogenes in 2004 in Jinju

Original article

Annals of Clinical Microbiology (Ann Clin Microbiol) 2006 April Volume 9, Issue 1, pages 51-57.

A Decrease in Erythromycin Resistance Rate of Streptococcus pyogenes in 2004 in Jinju

Eun-Ha Koh1 , Kook Young Maeng1, Sunjoo Kim1, Hyun ju Jeong2, and Nam Yong Lee3
Department of Laboratory Medicine, and Institute of Health Sciences1, Gyeongsang National University School of Medicine, Jinju; Department of Laboratory Medicine2, Masan Medical Center, Masan; and Department of Laboratory Medicine3, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea


Background: The erythromycin (EM) resistance rates and emm genotypes of Streptococcus pyogenes could vary by geographical location and study period. The purpose of this study, involving a large number of children, was to determine EM resistance rate and its resistance mechanism of S. pyogenes, and to compare these results with those of previous studies performed at the same area.

Methods: Throat cultures were taken from 2,351 healthy children of four elementary schools from October through December, 2004 in Jinju. A total of 328 strains of S. pyogenes were isolated. Antimicrobial susceptibility test was performed by the agar dilution method against six antimicrobial agents. The phenotypes of EM resistance were evaluated by the double-disk diffusion test and the frequency of ermB and mefA genes was determined by polymerase chain reaction.

Results: Resistance rates of S. pyogenes to EM, clindamycin and tetracycline were 9.8%, 8.8% and 18.3%, respectively. Almost all isolates were susceptible to ofloxacin, levofloxacin and chloramphenicol. Constitutive resistance (CR) was observed in 87.5%, M phenotype in 9.4%, and inducible resistance only in 3.1%. The ermB and mefA genes were present in 90.6% and 9.4% of the isolates, respectively.

Conclusion: The resistance rate to EM of S. pyogenes was 9.8% in 2004, which was a large drop from the 51% shown in 2002. CR with the ermB gene was predominant, suggesting that most of the EM resistant isolates have a high level of resistance. (Korean J Clin Microbiol 2006;9(1):51-57)


Streptococcus pyogenes, Erythromycin resistance, ermB, mefA