Characterization of streptococcal infections in KwaZulu-Natal Durban by random amplified polymorphic DNA anaylsis and DNA macrorestriction analysis.
A collection of 29 clinical streptococcal isolates obtained from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Medical School, Durban Metro area (South Africa) were studied to establish their penicillin G susceptibility patterns often refered to as minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) and to determine the genetic diversity among them using two genotyping methods, randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) analysis. All isolates with MIC less than or equal to 0.12 µg/ml were considered susceptible, intermediate resistant if MIC was between 0.25 µg/ml and 4 µg/ml and resistant if greater than 4 µg/ml, The percentage of isolates with resistance was relatively high (75.9%), only 10.3% of isolates showed intermediate resistance and 13.8% of the isolates were completely susceptible to penicillin G. Some of the resistant isolates were highly resistant reaching penicillin G MIC levels of 5000 µ/ml. They were speculated to contain Path altered penicillin binding proteins and high level of crosslinking cell wall induced by the gene products of the MurMN operon. RAPD analysis was performed using three primers, MBPZ-1, MBPZ-2, and MBPZ-3, respectively. RAPD analysis allowed for the identification of 27 RAPD types with MBPZ-1 and MBPZ-3 and 26 RAPD types with MBPZ-2. Ninety-eight percent of these isolates were clustered into two groups, group I and group II, with 90% to 100% dissimilarity among them. Fifty two percent of the isolates of MBPZ-1 group I were in MBPZ-2 group I, 72% isolates of MBPZ-1 group I were in MBPZ-3 group I, and 72% of the isolates of MBPZ-2 group I were in MBPZ-3 group 1. This shows the discriminatory ability of the primers used in this study. Despite clustering of isolates, relatively high diversity was seen. PFGE analysis of macrorestriction fragments obtained after digestion of chromosomal DNA by restriction enzyme, SmaI showed 24 PFGE patterns. The 24 PFGE patterns were divided into three groups (I, II and III) of isolates, with an average of 85% dissimilarity (15% homology) among them. At 25% homology, four clusters, A (13 isolates), B (9 isolates), C (4 isolates), and D (4 isolates) were observed. Two pairs of isolates in group I, cluster A, showed 100% homology. This suggested that each represent the same strain. Four isolates of group I, cluster B, also exhibited 100% homology. This study showed that most of streptococcal isolates with the same penicillin G susceptibility patterns grouped together in a phylogenetic tree by both RAPD and PFGE analysis. There was also some similarity between the results obtained by RAPD analysis and PFGE analysis. Seventeen and nine of the 29 isolates grouped into group I and group II, respectively, two pairs of isolates were indistinguishable, and two pairs of islates were closely related by both RAPD (using MBPZ-3) and PFGE analysis. Although, RAPD analysis is sensitive, specific, faster and cost effective, the ease with which PFGE analysis can be performed, high discriminatory power, reproducibility of the results, and the polymorphism seen in the patterns, suggests that PFGE method has the potential to be very useful for epidemiological evaluations of nosocomial streptococcal infections in KwaZulu-Natal.