STEPHEN J. SELIGMAN, M.D.
To the editor: The article by Sabath (1) contains an excellent description of resistance mechanisms to the beta-lactam antibiotics in Staphylococcus aureus that relate to beta-lactamase activity and to tolerance. It should be pointed out, however, that there is an alternative method of describing mechanisms associated with intrinsic resistance. Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (2) in common with methicillin-sensitive strains (3) produce resistant mutants. The mutants are slower growing than the parent strain and these "small colony variants" may take several days to produce colonies on agar. What distinguishes the vast majority of methicillin-resistant strains is that the average organism (that is,
SELIGMAN SJ. Resistance Mechanisms in Staphylococcus aureus. Ann Intern Med. ;97:931–932. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-97-6-931_2
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1982;97(6):931-932.
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