Prevalence, population structure, distribution of serotypes, pilus islands and resistance genes among erythromycin-resistant colonizing and invasive Streptococcus agalactiae isolates recovered from pregnant and non-pregnant women in Isfahan, Iran.
Background: The information on antibiotic resistance and molecular features of Group B Streptococcus (GBS) are essential for epidemiological purposes as well as vaccine development. Therefore, we aimed to assess the antimicrobial resistance profiles and molecular characteristics of GBS isolates in Isfahan, Iran. A total number of 72 colonizing and invasive GBS were collected from pregnant and non-pregnant women. The GBS isolates were analyzed for resistance profiles, capsular genotyping, and detection of PI-1, PI-2a, PI-2b, hvgA, ermB, ermTR, lnuB and, mefA genes. Besides, erythromycin-resistant strains were subjected to multilocus sequence typing (MLST). Results: The prevalence of colonizing and invasive GBS were 11 and 0.05%, respectively. The frequency of capsular serotypes was as follows: III (26.3%), Ia (20.83%), Ib and V (each 15.2%), IV (9.7%), II (8.3%), VII (2.7%), and VI (1.3%). Overall frequencies of PIs were as follows: PI-1, 37.5%, PI-1 + PI-2a, 30.5%, PI-1 + PI-2b, 29.1% and PI-2b, 2.7%. Two maternal colonizing GBS (2.6%) were hvgA positive and were belonged to ST-17/CPS-III/PI-1 + PI-2b lineage. Among 30(41.6%) erythromycin resistant GBS, 21 isolates (70%) harbored ermB gene, followed by ermTR (23.3%) and mefA (10%). One clindamycin-resistant isolate harbored the lnuB gene. MLST analysis revealed the following five clonal complexes (CCs) and nine STs: (CC-19/ST-335, ST-19, and ST-197), (CC-12/ST-43, ST-12), (CC-23/ST-163, ST-23), (CC-17/ST-17) and (CC-4/ST-16). Conclusion: The study shows an alarmingly high prevalence of erythromycin-resistant GBS in Iran. In addition, we report dissemination of ST-335/CPS-III clone associated with tetracycline and erythromycin resistance in our region. The distribution of capsular and pilus genotypes varies between invasive and colonizing GBS that could be helpful for vaccine development.