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Molecular characteristics of group B Streptococcus isolates from infants in southern mainland China

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Fei Gao, Dr Yang Long, Dr Chien-Yi ChangORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2019 The Author(s).Background: Invasive group B Streptococcus (GBS) disease in Chinese infants has gradually gained attention in recent years, but the molecular epidemiology of the pathogen is still not well known. Methods: This multicenter study retrospectively investigated distribution of capsular serotypes, sequence types (STs), and hypervirulent GBS adhesin gene (hvgA) in clinical GBS isolates that caused invasive disease in infants aged < 3 months of age in southern mainland China between January 2013 and June 2016. Genes for antibiotic resistance to tetracycline, erythromycin, and clindamycin were also examined. Results: From a total of 93 GBS isolates taken from 34 early-onset disease (EOD, 0-6 days after birth) and 59 late-onset disease (LOD, 7-89 days after birth) cases, four serotypes were identified: serotypes III (79.6%), Ib (12.9%), Ia (4.3%), and V (3.2%). Serotype III accounted for 73.5% of EOD and 83.1% of LOD and was responsible for 75.5% of cases involving meningitis. Fifteen STs were found, with the majority being ST17 (61.3%), ST12 (7.5%), ST19 (7.5%), and others (23.7%). 96.8% of STs belonged to only five clonal complexes (CCs): CC17 (64.5%), CC10 (12.9%), CC19 (9.7%), CC23 (6.5%), and CC1 (3.2%). The hvgA gene was detected in 66.7% of GBS isolates and 95% of CC17 isolates, all of which were serotype III except one serotype Ib/CC17 isolate. A large proportion of GBS isolates were found to be resistant to tetracycline (93.5%), clindamycin (65.5%), and erythromycin (60.2%). Genes of tetO (74.7%) and tetM (46.0%) were found in tetracycline resistant isolates, linB (24.6%) in clindamycin resistant isolates, and ermB (87.5%) and mefA (3.6%) in erythromycin resistant isolates. Conclusion: Our results reveal higher prevalence of serotype III, ST17, CC17, hvgA expressing, and antibiotic resistant GBS isolates than previously reported in southern mainland China. This study provides guidance for appropriate measures of prevention and control to be taken in the future.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Li J, Ji W, Gao K, Zhou H, Zhang L, Mu X, Yuan C, Guan X, Deng Q, Zhang L, Zhong H, Gao X, Gao F, Long Y, Chang C-Y, McIver DJ, Liu H

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: BMC Infectious Diseases

Year: 2019

Volume: 19

Pages: 812

Online publication date: 18/09/2019

Acceptance date: 30/08/2019

Date deposited: 25/02/2020

ISSN (electronic): 1471-2334

Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd.


DOI: 10.1186/s12879-019-4434-0

PubMed id: 31533652


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