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Isolation and Characterization of Vancomycin-Tolerant Streptococcus pneumoniae from the Cerebrospinal Fluid of a Patient Who Developed Recrudescent Meningitis

Jonathan A. McCullers, B. Keith English and Rodger Novak
The Journal of Infectious Diseases
Vol. 181, No. 1 (Jan., 2000), pp. 369-373
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30111314
Page Count: 5
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Isolation and Characterization of Vancomycin-Tolerant Streptococcus pneumoniae from the Cerebrospinal Fluid of a Patient Who Developed Recrudescent Meningitis
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Abstract

The emergence of tolerance to vancomycin has recently been reported in Streptococcus pneumoniae, the most common cause of bacterial meningitis. A vancomycin- and cephalosporin-tolerant strain of S. pneumoniae, the Tupelo strain, was isolated from the cerebrospinal fluid of a patient who then developed recrudescence of meningitis despite treatment with vancomycin and a third-generation cephalosporin. The Tupelo strain evidenced no lysis in the exponential or stationary phase of growth when exposed to vancomycin and only minimal loss of viability. Further characterization revealed normal autolysin expression, localization, and triggering by detergents, indicating that the defect leading to tolerance in the Tupelo strain is in the control pathway for triggering of autolysis. Because tolerance is a precursor phenotype to resistance and may lead to clinical failure of antibiotic therapy, these observations may have important implications for vancomycin use in infections caused by S. pneumoniae.

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