I read with great interest the Leading article by Hall and Schwarz and the comments by Evans and Jacoby et al. regarding the ongoing debate on how resistance genes should be named such that the nomenclature is universally acceptable. Although I agree that numbering based upon sequence similarity is a sensible suggestion by Hall and Schwarz, I couldn’t agree more with the point of Evans, who suggests that a ≥2% cut-off value would not be appropriate in naming a particular gene. Firstly, I would like to point out that we need to work on a foundation that has been built rather than destroying it and starting all over again.
This letter is dedicated to the hard work of Karen Bush and George Jacoby and their team, who have worked relentlessly in assigning numbers to β-lactamase variants since 1997.