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Occurrence of various types of penicillinase plasmid among `hospital' staphylococci
  1. K. G. H. Dyke1,
  2. M. H. Richmond
  1. Cross-Infection Reference Laboratory, Central Public Health Laboratory, Colindale Avenue, London
  2. Department of Molecular Biology, University of Edinburgh


    The type of penicillinase plasmid carried by penicillin-resistant cultures of Staphylococcus aureus isolated from eight London hospitals has been determined.

    Among `endemic' hospital staphylococci, cultures resistant to mercury salts and producing large amounts of A-type penicillinase, a high proportion of which is extracellular, are most common. C-type penicillinase is rarely associated with resistance to mercury salts.

    The majority of strains resistant to penicillin and at least one other antibiotic carried the α-plasmid.

    Possible reasons for the prevalence of the α-plasmid among endemic hospital staphylococci are discussed.

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    • 1 Seconded from Department of Microbiology, National Institute for Medical Research, The Ridgeway, Mill Hill, London, N.W.7.