Streptococcus suis isolates recovered from diseased animals in Quebec and western Canada and from human cases in Europe were tested for their susceptibility to different antimicrobial agents and screened for their plasmid content. Most isolates from Quebec were clindamycin, erythromycin, and tetracycline resistant; animal isolates from western Canada were notably less resistant to clindamycin and erythromycin, whereas human isolates were considerably more susceptible to most antimicrobials tested.1 More than 60% of isolates had plasmids that ranged from 1.5 to 35 kilobases (kb). Of the 7 plasmid profiles found, 2 were particularly frequent in isolates from Quebec and western Canada, suggesting the presence of epidemic strains in the swine population. A particular plasmid band of about 5 kb was present in most Canadian isolates. When this band was used as a probe in colony and Southem blot hybridization, most isolates harboring the 5-kb plasmid hybridized, even though their plasmid profiles were different. Human isolates from Europe differed in their plasmid content from Canadian isolates of animal origin. Although a high degree of antimicrobial resistance was associated with the presence of plasmids in most isolates, it was not possible to establish a causative relationship.
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