Plasmids in epidermolytic strains of Staphylococcus aureus

M. O'Reilly, G. Dougan, T. J. Foster, J. P. Arbuthnott

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Thirty-four epidermolytic toxin-producing strains of S. aureus obtained from a variety of sources were screened for the presence of plasmid DNA. All serotype ii toxin producers harboured a large 42 kilobase pairs (kb) plasmid. Elimination of these plasmids resulted in the simultaneous loss of a bacteriocin determinant (Bac+) and type ii toxin production (Tox+(ii)). Some strains producing serotype i toxin (Tox+(i)) contained similar 42 kb plasmids. Elimination of these plasmids resulted in the loss of only bacteriocin production. Strains producing both toxin serotypes readily lost Tox+(ii) and Bac+, which were carried on the same plasmid, but Tox+(i) could not be eliminated. Thus Tox+(i) was probably chromosomally determined, while Tox+(ii) was a plasmid-encoded marker. In some strains cadmium resistance was also linked to the 42 kb plasmid. The 42 kb plasmids from seven strains with different phenotypes were analysed with restriction endonucleases EcoRI and HindIII. The plasmids shared 19 of 22 HindIII fragments indicating that they are closely related to each other.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-107
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of General Microbiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1981
Externally publishedYes

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