Abstract Lactic acid bacteria can act as reservoirs of antibiotic resistance genes that can be ultimately transferred to pathogens. The present work reports on the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 16 antibiotics to 25 LAB isolates of five Lactobacillus and one Bifidobacterium species from the human vagina. Acquired resistances were detected to kanamycin, streptomycin, chloramphenicol, gentamicin, and ampicillin. A PCR analysis of lactobacilli failed to identify genetic determinants involved in any of these resistances. Surprisingly, a tet(W) gene was detected by PCR in two Bifidobacterium bifidum strains, although they proved to be tetracycline-susceptible. In agreement with the PCR results, no acquired genes were identified in the genome of any of the Lactobacillus spp. strains sequenced. A genome analysis of B. bifidum VA07-1AN showed an insertion of two guanines in the middle of tet(W) interrupting the open reading frame. By growing the strain in the presence of tetracycline, stable tetracycline-resistant variants were obtained. An amino acid substitution in the ribosomal protein S12 (K43R) was further identified as the most likely cause of VA07-1AN being streptomycin resistance. The results of this work expand our knowledge of the resistance profiles of vaginal LAB and provide evidence for the genetic basis of some acquired resistances.

 

 

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