Clinical optochin resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae and Streptococcus pseudopneumoniae strains in Tunisia
Introduction: Streptococcus pneumoniae can be responsible for severe human infections. Optochin resistance has been a potential cause of misidentification of pneumococcus and other members of the mitis group. Hence, rapid and easy optochin resistant (Optr) S. pneumoniae identification is essential.
Methodology: Atypical pneumococci were characterized using optochin susceptibility, bile solubility based on spectrophotometric reading, serotyping, pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), 16S rRNA sequencing and PCR-based assays targeting pneumococcal genes lytA, ply, pspA, cpsA, Spn9802 and Spn9828.
Results: Optical density values for the bile solubility test suggest the identification of four OptrS. pneumoniae and one Streptococcus pseudopneumoniae. All Optr pneumococci harbored cpsA, lytA, ply, Spn9802, Spn9828 and pspA genes. Only ply, spn9802 and Spn9828 genes were detected in S. pseudopneumoniae. The 16S rRNA sequencing differentiates between these two species. OptrS. pneumoniae strains belonged to different genotypes and serotypes (14, 19A, 3 and 9V). Three OptrS. pneumoniae isolates were typed as pspA family 2, while one belonged to pspA family 1. Sequencing of the atpA and atpC gene of the Optr variants revealed three mutations in the ATPase a-subunit (L99I, M23V and V52I) and one mutation in ATPase c-subunit (V48I).
Conclusions: Our data indicate that bile OD-values provides an accurate, fast and easy method to discriminate between OptrS. pneumoniae and other Streptococcus mitis group. Moreover molecular techniques, confirming the bile test, can be used in order to prevent these atypical pneumococci and alert clinical microbiologists of the presence of these strains in the community.
Copyright (c) 2021 Sonia Ktari, Nour El Houda Ben Ayed, Sonda Maalej, Basma Mnif, Faouzia Rhimi, Adnene Hammami
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