Antibiotic resistance as a stress response: Recovery of high-level oxacillin resistance in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus “auxiliary” (fem) mutants by induction of the stringent stress response

Choon Keun Kim, Catarina Milheiriço, Hermínia De Lencastre, Alexander Tomasza

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Studies with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strain COL have shown that the optimal resistance phenotype requires not only mecA but also a large number of “auxiliary genes” identified by Tn551 mutagenesis. The majority of auxiliary mutants showed greatly increased levels of oxacillin resistance when grown in the presence of sub-MICs of mupirocin, suggesting that the mechanism of reduced resistance in the auxiliary mutants involved the interruption of a stringent stress response, causing reduced production of penicillin-binding protein 2A (PBP 2A).

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00313
JournalAntimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017



  • Auxiliary genes
  • Oxacillin resistance expression
  • Stress response

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