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Characterisation of antibiotic resistance in Streptococcus, Enterococcus and Staphylococcus using a bioinformatics approach.

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The rate at which bacterial pathogens are becoming resistant to antibiotics is quite alarming, and therefore much attention has been focussed on this area. The mechanism whereby the bacterial cells acquire resistance is studied in order to determine how this process works as well as to determine if any future resistance mechanisms can be circumvented. In this study three different genera and the antibiotics that are resistant to them were used, namely, penicillin resistant Streptococcus, vancomycin resistant Enterococcus and methicillin resistant Staphylococcus. The results prove that the active sites SXXK, SXN and KT(S) G in the penicillin resistance Streptococcus plays a major role in resistance. It is seen in this study that the SXXK active site is found in all the resistant and most of the intermediate strains, therefore proving to be an important component of the cell wall resistance. It was subsequently noticed the greater the number of mutations found in the sequences the higher the resistance. Three dimensional structures showed the actives sites and their binding pockets. The results also show the change in conformation with a mutation in the active site. The results also proved that the Penicillin Binding Protein (PBP) genes essential for resistance are PBP Ia, PBP 2b and PBP 2x. The results obtained, for the vancomycin resistance in Enterococcus study, proved that the VanC and VanE cluster are very much alike and VanE could have evolved from VanC. There is also close similarity between the different ligase genes. The VanX 3D structure shows the position of the critical amino acids responsible for the breakdown of the D-Ala-D-Ala precursors, and the VanA ligase 3D structure shows the amino acids responsible the ligation of the D-Ala-D-Lac precursors. The analysis performed on the methicillin resistance in Staphylococcus study showed that the genes used to confer resistance are very similar between different strains as well as different species.


Thesis (M.Sc.)-University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, 2005.


Drug Resistance In Microorganisms--Genetic Aspects., Pathogenic Bacteria., Streptococcus., Enterococcus., Staphylococcus., Antibiotics., Vancomycin Resistance., Methicillin Resistance., Penicillin., Theses--Genetics.