Prevalence and Acquisition of the Genes for Zoocin A and Zoocin A Resistance in Streptococcus equi subsp. zooepidemicus
A 6.8-kb fragment of Streptococcus equi subsp. zooepidemicus 4881 DNA containing the zoocin A gene (zooA) was cloned in Escherichia coli and sequenced. We have identified a gene we call zoocin A immunity factor (zif), which protects the producer cell from the otherwise lethal action of its own product. Transformation of Streptococcus gordonii DL1 with zooA and zif changed its phenotypic character from a non-zoocin A producing-zoocin A sensitive cell to a zoocin A producing-zoocin A resistant cell. zif has sequence homology to femA (factor essential for methicillin resistance) and lif (lysostaphin immunity factor). No differences were observed in amino acid or amino sugar compositions of peptidoglycan purified from zoocin A sensitive vs. zoocin A immune cells.