Epidemiology and Infection

Research Article

A community outbreak of group A beta haemolytic streptococci with transferable resistance to erythromycin

R. J. D. Scotta1, J. Naidooa2 p1, N. F. Lightfoota1 c1 and R. C. Georgea2

a1 Public Health Laboratory, Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton, Somerset TA1 5DB

a2 Antibiotic Reference Laboratory, Division of Hospital Infection, Central Public Health Laboratory, Colindale Avenue, London NW9 5HT


Erythromycin resistance amongst group A streptococci (GAS) in Great Britain is a relatively rare occurrence and outbreaks have been sporadically reported. Over an 8-month period in 1986 ten associated cases occurred in the town of Bridgwater in Somerset. Isolates were group A, type M4 and resistant to erythromycin (MIC 8 mg/l) but sensitive to lincomycin and clindamycin. Erythromycin resistance was transferable from all isolates to a group A recipient strain. No plasmid DNA could be detected in the original isolates or transconjugants.

(Accepted August 16 1988)


c1 To whom correspondence should be addressed.

p1 Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Liverpool, Royal Liverpool Hospital, Liverpool L69 3BX.