Enterococcus faecium BM4165 and BM4178, isolated from immunocompromised patients, one treated with vancomycin, were inducibly resistant to high levels of the glycopeptide antibiotics vancomycin and teicoplanin but susceptible to the new lipopeptide daptomycin (LY146032). Strain BM4165 was also resistant to macrolidelincosamide-streptogramin B-type (MLS) antibiotics. The genes conferring resistance to glycopeptides and to MLS antibiotics in strain BM4165 were carried on plasmids pIP819 and pIP821, respectively; pIP819 also carried genes that encoded resistance to MLS antibiotics. The two plasmids, which were distinct although related, were self-transferable to other E. faecium strains. Plasmid pIP819 could also conjugate to E. faecalis, Streptococcus sanguis, S. pyogenes, S. lactis, and Listeria monocytogenes, in which it conferred inducible glycopeptide resistance, but not to S. aureus. Glycopeptide-inactivating activity was not detected, and the biochemical mechanism of resistance remains unknown. Based on this first report of transferable resistance to glycopeptides, we anticipate dissemination of resistance to these antibiotics in gram-positive cocci and bacilli in which it can be phenotypically expressed
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