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1.  Panton-Valentine Leukocidin Is Not the Primary Determinant of Outcome for Staphylococcus aureus Skin Infections: Evaluation from the CANVAS Studies 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(5):e37212.
The impact of Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) on the severity of complicated skin and skin structure infections (cSSSI) caused by Staphylococcus aureus is controversial. We evaluated potential associations between clinical outcome and PVL presence in both methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) and methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) isolates from patients enrolled in two large, multinational phase three clinical trials assessing ceftaroline fosamil for the treatment of cSSSI (the CANVAS 1 and 2 programs). Isolates from all microbiologically evaluable patients with monomicrobial MRSA or MSSA infections (n = 473) were genotyped by PCR for pvl and underwent pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Genes encoding pvl were present in 266/473 (56.2%) isolates. Infections caused by pvl-positive S. aureus were associated with younger patient age, North American acquisition, and presence of major abscesses (P<0.001 for each). Cure rates of patients infected with pvl-positive and pvl-negative S. aureus were similar overall (93.6% versus 92.8%; P = 0.72), and within MRSA-infected (94.5% vs. 93.1%; P = 0.67) and MSSA-infected patients (92.2% vs. 92.7%; P = 1.00). This finding persisted after adjustment for multiple patient characteristics. Outcomes were also similar when USA300 PVL+ and non-USA300 PVL+ infections were compared. The results of this contemporary, international study suggest that pvl presence was not the primary determinant of outcome in patients with cSSSI due to either MRSA or MSSA.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0037212
PMCID: PMC3356380  PMID: 22623995
2.  Genotypic Characteristics of Staphylococcus aureus Isolates from a Multinational Trial of Complicated Skin and Skin Structure Infections▿ † 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2007;46(2):678-684.
The impact of bacterial genetic characteristics on the outcome of patients with Staphylococcus aureus infections is uncertain. This investigation evaluated potential associations between bacterial genotype and clinical outcome using isolates collected as part of an international phase 2 clinical trial (FAST II) evaluating telavancin for the treatment of complicated skin and skin structure infections (cSSSI). Ninety S. aureus isolates from microbiologically evaluable patients with cSSSI enrolled in the FAST II trial from 11 sites in the United States (56 isolates, or 62%) and 7 sites in South Africa (34 isolates, or 38%) were examined for staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec, agr, and the presence of 31 virulence genes and subjected to pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). South African methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) isolates were more likely to carry certain virulence genes, including sdrD (P = 0.01), sea (P < 0.01), and pvl (P = 0.01). All 44 (49%) methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) isolates were from the United States; 37 (84%) were strain USA 300 by PFGE. In the United States, MRSA isolates were more likely than MSSA isolates to carry genes for sdrC (P = 0.03), map/eap (P = 0.05), fnbB (P = 0.11), tst (P = 0.02), sea (P = 0.04), sed (P = 0.04), seg (P = 0.11), sej (P = 0.11), agr (P = 0.09), V8 (P = 0.06), sdrD, sdrE, eta, etb, and see (P < 0.01 for all). MRSA isolates were more often clonal than MSSA isolates by PFGE. Isolates from patients who were cured were significantly more likely to contain the pvl gene than isolates from patients that failed or had indeterminate outcomes (79/84 [94%] versus 3/6 [50%]; P = 0.01). S. aureus strains from different geographic regions have different distributions of virulence genes.
doi:10.1128/JCM.01822-07
PMCID: PMC2238106  PMID: 18077636
3.  Molecular characterization of Staphylococcus aureus isolates causing skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2010;10:133.
Background
Staphylococcus aureus, particularly methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA), is an important cause of pyogenic skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs). The aim of present study is to investigate the molecular characteristic of Staphylococcus aureus isolates isolated from the pus samples from the patients with purulent skin and soft tissue infections in Wenzhou, China.
Methods
Between December 2002 and June 2008, a total of 111 nonduplicate S. aureus isolates were collected from the pus samples of the patients with SSTIs in a teaching hospital in Wenzhou, China. All the tested isolates were confirmed as S. aureus using a Staph SPA agglutination kit, Gram's stain and a Vitek-60 microbiology analyzer. The homology among the tested isolates was determined by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) was used to determine the sequence types (STs) of the selected isolates. The genotypes of SCCmec were determined by a multiplex PCR in the MRSA isolates. Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) genes and mecA were also determined by another multiplex PCR.
Results
Among the 111 S. aureus isolates, 48 and 63 isolates were community-acquired and hospital-acquired respectively. Sixty isolates were confirmed as MRSA harboring mecA detected by PCR. A total of 32 PFGE clonal types were obtained by PFGE, with 10 predominant patterns (types A to J). Twenty-five different STs including ST398 and three novel STs were found among 51 selected isolates. The main STs were ST239, ST1018, ST59, ST7 and ST88. Of 60 MRSA isolates, SCCmec II, III, IV and SCCmec V were found in three, 50, three and two isolates, respectively. The positive rates of PVL genes in overall isolates, HA-isolates, CA-isolates, MRSA isolates and MSSA isolates were 23.4% (26/111), 20.6% (13/63), 27.1% (13/48), 21.7% (13/60) and 25.5% (13/51), respectively. Eight (33.3%, 8/24) of 24 CA-MRSA isolates and 5 (13.9%, 5/36) of 36 HA-MRSA isolates were positive for PVL genes. ST239-MRSA-SCCmecIII and ST1018-MRSA-SCCmecIII clones were found to be main clones and spread between community and hospital.
Conclusion
S. aureus isolates causing SSTIs showed considerable molecular heterogeneity and harbored high prevalence of PVL genes. Clonal spread was responsible for the dissemination of the isolates of S. aureus associated with SSTIs.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-10-133
PMCID: PMC2889999  PMID: 20500885
4.  Short Communication: Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Infections in Children and Young Adults Infected with HIV 
AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses  2009;25(12):1219-1224.
Abstract
The epidemiology of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections, in particular with Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL)-positive strains, has not been well characterized in children and young adults with HIV infection. It is not known if PVL-positive strains of MRSA cause an increased morbidity in this population compared to PVL-negative strains. The purpose of this study was to retrospectively analyze the epidemiology of PVL-positive and PVL-negative MRSA infections in children and young adults with HIV from 2000 to 2007. Molecular typing was performed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for detection of the PVL genes. Staphylococcus Cassette Chromosome (SCC) mec and spa typing were performed on all PVL-positive isolates. The number of HIV patients with MRSA infection increased significantly between 2000 and 2007 (p = 0.0015). Twenty seven (87%) of the 31 MRSA isolates were from skin and soft tissue infections (SSTI). Clindamycin resistance was observed in 19% of the MRSA isolates. PVL-positive isolates bearing the type IV SCC mec element comprised 16 of 31 (52%) MRSA isolates. All the PVL-positive isolates belonged to the USA300 pulsed-field type. There was no difference in the mean CD4 count and HIV viral load between patients with PVL-positive and PVL-negative MRSA infections. PVL-positive MRSA infections were associated with more SSTI (p = 0.043) but not with increased morbidity or a higher risk of complications compared to PVL-negative MRSA infections in children and young adults with HIV.
doi:10.1089/aid.2009.0040
PMCID: PMC2858900  PMID: 20001313
5.  Clinical Significance of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Colonization on Hospital Admission: One-Year Infection Risk 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e79716.
Background
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) nasal colonization among inpatients is a well-established risk factor for MRSA infection during the same hospitalization, but the long-term risk of MRSA infection is uncertain. We performed a retrospective cohort study to determine the one-year risk of MRSA infection among inpatients with MRSA-positive nasal polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests confirmed by positive nasal culture (Group 1), patients with positive nasal PCR but negative nasal culture (Group 2), and patients with negative nasal PCR (Group 3).
Methodology/Principal Findings
Subjects were adults admitted to a four-hospital system between November 1, 2006 and March 31, 2011, comprising 195,255 admissions. Patients underwent nasal swab for MRSA PCR upon admission; if positive, nasal culture for MRSA was performed; if recovered, MRSA was tested for Panton-Valentine Leukocidin (PVL). Outcomes included MRSA-positive clinical culture and skin and soft tissue infection (SSTI). Group 1 patients had a one-year risk of MRSA-positive clinical culture of 8.0% compared with 3.0% for Group 2 patients, and 0.6% for Group 3 patients (p<0.001). In a multivariable model, the hazard ratios for future MRSA-positive clinical culture were 6.52 (95% CI, 5.57 to 7.64) for Group 1 and 3.40 (95% CI, 2.70 to 4.27) for Group 2, compared with Group 3 (p<0.0001). History of MRSA and concurrent MRSA-positive clinical culture were significant risk factors for future MRSA-positive clinical culture. Group 1 patients colonized with PVL-positive MRSA had a one-year risk of MRSA-positive clinical culture of 10.1%, and a one-year risk of MRSA-positive clinical culture or SSTI diagnosis of 21.7%, compared with risks of 7.1% and 12.5%, respectively, for patients colonized with PVL-negative MRSA (p = 0.04, p = 0.005, respectively).
Conclusions/Significance
MRSA nasal colonization is a significant risk factor for future MRSA infection; more so if detected by culture than PCR. Colonization with PVL-positive MRSA is associated with greater risk than PVL-negative MRSA.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0079716
PMCID: PMC3835821  PMID: 24278161
6.  Panton-Valentine Leukocidin-Positive Staphylococcus aureus in Ireland from 2002 to 2011: 21 Clones, Frequent Importation of Clones, Temporal Shifts of Predominant Methicillin-Resistant S. aureus Clones, and Increasing Multiresistance 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2014;52(3):859-870.
There has been a worldwide increase in community-associated (CA) methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections. CA-MRSA isolates commonly produce the Panton-Valentine leukocidin toxin encoded by the pvl genes lukF-PV and lukS-PV. This study investigated the clinical and molecular epidemiologies of pvl-positive MRSA and methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) isolates identified by the Irish National MRSA Reference Laboratory (NMRSARL) between 2002 and 2011. All pvl-positive MRSA (n = 190) and MSSA (n = 39) isolates underwent antibiogram-resistogram typing, spa typing, and DNA microarray profiling for multilocus sequence type, clonal complex (CC) and/or sequence type (ST), staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec type assignment, and virulence and resistance gene detection. Where available, patient demographics and clinical data were analyzed. The prevalence of pvl-positive MRSA increased from 0.2% to 8.8%, and that of pvl-positive MSSA decreased from 20% to 2.5% during the study period. The pvl-positive MRSA and MSSA isolates belonged to 16 and 5 genotypes, respectively, with CC/ST8-MRSA-IV, CC/ST30-MRSA-IV, CC/ST80-MRSA-IV, CC1/ST772-MRSA-V, CC30-MSSA, CC22-MSSA, and CC121-MSSA predominating. Temporal shifts in the predominant pvl-positive MRSA genotypes and a 6-fold increase in multiresistant pvl-positive MRSA genotypes occurred during the study period. An analysis of patient data indicated that pvl-positive S. aureus strains, especially MRSA strains, had been imported into Ireland several times. Two hospital and six family clusters of pvl-positive MRSA were identified, and 70% of the patient isolates for which information was available were from patients in the community. This study highlights the increased burden and changing molecular epidemiology of pvl-positive S. aureus in Ireland over the last decade and the contribution of international travel to the influx of genetically diverse pvl-positive S. aureus isolates into Ireland.
doi:10.1128/JCM.02799-13
PMCID: PMC3957793  PMID: 24371244
7.  Epidemiological, clinical, outcome and antibiotic susceptibility differences between PVL positive and PVL negative Staphylococcus aureus infections in Western Australia: a case control study 
Background
Panton Valentine Leukocidin (PVL) has been associated with invasive Staphylococcus aureus soft tissue and pneumonic infections.
Methods
From September 2007 to January 2009 at Royal Perth Hospital we tested for the PVL gene in S. aureus isolates from an invasive site, a suspected PVL-related soft tissue infection and all MRSA isolates. We could access medical records for 141 PVL positive (PVL + ve) infections and compared these to a control group comprised of 148 PVL negative (PVL-ve) infections.
Results
In the PVL + ve group 62 isolates were MRSA (48 were ST93-MRSA-IV) and 79 isolates were methicillin-sensitive S. aureus, and in the PVL-ve group 56 were MRSA (50 were WA-MRSA strains) and 92 were methicillin-sensitive S. aureus. We found the presence of PVL to be significantly associated with younger age, aboriginality, intravenous drug use, community acquisition, shorter length of hospital stay and lower mortality at 1 year. Overall PVL + ve infections more often required surgical intervention (73.0% versus 44.6%, p < 0.001) and were less often polymicrobial (8.5% versus 41.2%, p < 0.001). PVL + ve isolates were more often susceptible to clindamycin (87.9% versus 73.0%, p = 0.002).
Conclusions
This study demonstrates that PVL + ve infections are associated with a distinct clinical picture, predominantly pyogenic skin and soft tissue infections often requiring surgery, disproportionately affecting patients who are younger, indigenous or with fewer health-care risk factors.
doi:10.1186/s12879-014-0742-6
PMCID: PMC4297412  PMID: 25572896
Staphylococcus aureus; MRSA; Panton Valentine Leucocidin; PVL
8.  High levels of antibody to Panton-Valentine leukocidin are not associated with resistance to Staphylococcus aureus skin and soft tissue infection 
Background
Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) expressing Panton-Valentine Leukocidin (PVL) cause severe skin and soft tissue infections (SSTI), necrotizing pneumonia and other invasive infections. PVL toxin has been implicated as a virulence factor and antibody to a component of this toxin is under investigation as a vaccine candidate. The role of PVL in pathogenesis remains controversial and it is unknown if human serum antibody to PVL modulates infection.
Methods
We determined antibody levels to PVL in sera from children aged 0-18 years presenting with PCR-confirmed PVL-positive MRSA SSTI with or without prior MRSA infection or SSTI, PVL-positive MRSA invasive infections, PVL-negative MRSA infections and uninfected controls. We also measured antibody-mediated neutralization of PVL-induced lysis of human polymorphonuclear cells.
Results
Antibody to PVL was present in healthy children reaching adult levels by 4-6 years with a nadir at 4-6 months likely due to loss of maternal antibody. Children with a primary PVL-positive MRSA infection had moderate levels of antibody to PVL that increased following infection. Children with prior MRSA or SSTI infections had high levels of antibody to PVL at the onset of infection. There was no increase in antibody to PVL in this populations’ sera after the onset of infection. Sera from children with PVL-positive MRSA SSTIs, particularly those with prior MRSA or SSTI, and convalescent sera from children with invasive PVL-positive MRSA infection, potently inhibited PVL-induced lysis of PMNs.
Conclusions
Neutralizing antibody to PVL does not protect children against primary or recurrent CA-MRSA SSTI.
doi:10.1086/656742
PMCID: PMC2962716  PMID: 20946065
Staphylococcus aureus; MRSA; Panton-Valentine leukocidin; antibody
9.  Panton–Valentine Leukocidin-Positive Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Infections in Children With Cancer 
Pediatric blood & cancer  2009;53(7):1216-1220.
Background
New strains of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) which frequently carry the Panton–Valentine leukocidin (PVL) genes have been recognized to cause invasive infections in otherwise healthy children and adults. However, the epidemiology of PVL-positive MRSA infections has not been described in children or adults with cancer.
Procedure
The epidemiology of MRSA infections in patients with cancer was retrospectively studied from 2000 to 2007. Molecular typing was performed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the detection of the PVL genes. Staphylococcus cassette chromosome (SCC) mec and spa typing was performed on all PVL-positive isolates.
Results
A total of 88 MRSA isolates from clinically distinct infectious episodes were collected from 88 patients with cancer during the 8-year study period. Infections were predominant in the skin and soft tissues (SSTI; P =0.0003). PVL-positive isolates, bearing the type IV SCCmec element, encoding the gene for methicillin resistance, increased significantly during this period (P =0.043) and comprised 35 of 88 (40%) MRSA isolates. Of these 35 isolates, 32 belonged to spa type 8 and were USA300 genotype. Patients infected with PVL-positive strains did not have more SSTI (P =0.166) or bacteremia (P =0.510) as compared to patients with PVL-negative strains. A greater percentage of PVL-positive isolates were susceptible to ciprofloxacin (P =0.006).
Conclusions
PVL-positive MRSA infections are not associated with a higher morbidity as compared to PVL-negative MRSA infections in children with cancer.
doi:10.1002/pbc.22254
PMCID: PMC3075015  PMID: 19731325
cancer; children; methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus; Panton-Valentine leukocidin
10.  Staphylococcus aureus Panton-Valentine Leukocidin Is a Very Potent Cytotoxic Factor for Human Neutrophils 
PLoS Pathogens  2010;6(1):e1000715.
The role of the pore-forming Staphylococcus aureus toxin Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) in severe necrotizing diseases is debated due to conflicting data from epidemiological studies of community-associated methicillin-resistant S. aureus (CA-MRSA) infections and various murine disease-models. In this study, we used neutrophils isolated from different species to evaluate the cytotoxic effect of PVL in comparison to other staphylococcal cytolytic components. Furthermore, to study the impact of PVL we expressed it heterologously in a non-virulent staphylococcal species and examined pvl-positive and pvl-negative clinical isolates as well as the strain USA300 and its pvl-negative mutant. We demonstrate that PVL induces rapid activation and cell death in human and rabbit neutrophils, but not in murine or simian cells. By contrast, the phenol-soluble modulins (PSMs), a newly identified group of cytolytic staphylococcal components, lack species-specificity. In general, after phagocytosis of bacteria different pvl-positive and pvl-negative staphylococcal strains, expressing a variety of other virulence factors (such as surface proteins), induced cell death in neutrophils, which is most likely associated with the physiological clearing function of these cells. However, the release of PVL by staphylococcal strains caused rapid and premature cell death, which is different from the physiological (and programmed) cell death of neutrophils following phagocytosis and degradation of virulent bacteria. Taken together, our results question the value of infection-models in mice and non-human primates to elucidate the impact of PVL. Our data clearly demonstrate that PVL acts differentially on neutrophils of various species and suggests that PVL has an important cytotoxic role in human neutrophils, which has major implications for the pathogenesis of CA-MRSA infections.
Author Summary
Staphylococcus aureus can cause serious diseases, including necrotizing pneumonia, which often affects young immunocompetent patients and has a high lethality rate. Several clinical studies demonstrated a clear association between this form of pneumonia and S. aureus strains carrying the gene for the pore-forming toxin Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL). However, laboratory work, which mainly used murine disease models, has created very contrasting results and often fails to show a pathogenic role for PVL. In this study, we demonstrate that the expression of PVL by staphylococcal strains confers strong and rapid cytotoxic activity against neutrophils. However, this action was basically restricted to human cells and could not be reproduced in murine or Java monkeys’ cells. These results indicate that infection-models in mice and in non-human primates fail to replicate the pathogenic activity of PVL seen in human cells. Our data with human neutrophils clearly show that PVL has a major cytotoxic effect, as the release of PVL by staphylococcal strains caused rapid and premature cell death, which is different from the physiological (and programmed) cell death of neutrophils following phagocytosis and degradation of virulent bacteria. These results have important implications especially for infections with CA-MRSA strains, which often carry the gene for PVL and have spread widely in the community.
doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1000715
PMCID: PMC2798753  PMID: 20072612
11.  Genetically restricted, methicillin-susceptible strains contribute to the ongoing epidemic of community-acquired Staphylococcus aureus infections 
Background
Within the current worldwide epidemic of community-acquired Staphylococcus aureus infections, attention has focused on the role of methicillin-resistant strains. We characterized methicillin-susceptible strains that also contribute.
Methods
We tracked cultures from abscesses submitted to the microbiology laboratory at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. We also sought Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) genes in methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) isolates, and we further characterized some isolates by multilocus sequence typing (MLST), pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), antibiotic susceptibility, accessory gene regulator (agr) allele, and presence of the arcA gene of the arginine catabolic mobile element (ACME).
Results
From 1999 to 2007, we detected a 250-fold increase in cultures of abscesses yielding methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and a 5-fold increase in abscess cultures yielding MSSA. MSSA isolates from abscesses and wounds were more likely to encode PVL than isolates from other sources. In contrast to PVL-negative isolates of MSSA which were genetically diverse, PVL-positive isolates were predominantly MLST 8, Agr type 1. More than half of PVL-positive MSSA isolates were resistant to erythromycin and susceptible to clindamycin with absence of inducible resistance, a pattern uncommon in PVL-negative MSSA but frequent in the USA300 clone of MRSA. In addition, PFGE of PVL-positive MSSA strains revealed the USA300 pattern.
Conclusions
In addition to methicillin-resistant strains, the current epidemic of Staphylococcus aureus infections includes infections caused by methicillin-susceptible strains that are closely related genetically and share phenotypic characteristics other than susceptibility to methicillin. These findings suggest that factors other than methicillin resistance are driving the epidemic.
doi:10.1086/600881
PMCID: PMC2965061  PMID: 19589082
Staphylococcus aureus; Panton-Valentine leukocidin; methicillin resistance
12.  Presence and Molecular Epidemiology of Virulence Factors in Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Strains Colonizing and Infecting Soldiers▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2009;47(4):940-945.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has emerged as an important cause of skin and soft-tissue infections (SSTI). The understanding of the molecular epidemiology and virulence of MRSA continues to expand. From January 2005 to December 2005, we screened soldiers for MRSA nasal colonization, administered a demographic questionnaire, and monitored them prospectively for SSTI. All MRSA isolates underwent molecular analysis, which included pulsed-filed gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and PCR for Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL), the arginine catabolic mobile element (ACME), and the staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec). Of the 3,447 soldiers screened, 134 (3.9%) had MRSA colonization. Of the 3,066 (89%) who completed the study, 39 developed culture-confirmed MRSA abscesses. Clone USA300 represented 53% of colonizing isolates but was responsible for 97% of the abscesses (P < 0.001). Unlike colonizing isolates, isolates positive for USA300, PVL, ACME, and type IV SCCmec were significantly associated with MRSA abscess isolates. As determined by multivariate analysis, risk factors for MRSA colonization were a history of SSTI and a history of hospitalization. Although various MRSA strains may colonize soldiers, USA300 is the most virulent when evaluated prospectively, and PVL, ACME, and type IV SCCmec are associated with these abscesses.
doi:10.1128/JCM.02352-08
PMCID: PMC2668321  PMID: 19213694
13.  Population Structure of Staphylococcus aureus from Remote African Babongo Pygmies 
Background
Pandemic community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus isolates (CA-MRSA) predominantly encode the Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL), which can be associated with severe infections. Reports from non-indigenous Sub-Saharan African populations revealed a high prevalence of PVL-positive isolates. The objective of our study was to investigate the S. aureus carriage among a remote indigenous African population and to determine the molecular characteristics of the isolates, particularly those that were PVL-positive.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Nasal S. aureus carriage and risk factors of colonization were systematically assessed in remote Gabonese Babongo Pygmies. Susceptibility to antibiotics, possession of toxin-encoding genes (i.e., PVL, enterotoxins, and exfoliative toxins), S. aureus protein A (spa) types and multi-locus sequence types (MLST) were determined for each isolate. The carriage rate was 33%. No MRSA was detected, 61.8% of the isolates were susceptible to penicillin. Genes encoding PVL (55.9%), enterotoxin B (20.6%), exfoliative toxin D (11.7%) and the epidermal cell differentiation inhibitor B (11.7%) were highly prevalent. Thirteen spa types were detected and were associated with 10 STs predominated by ST15, ST30, ST72, ST80, and ST88.
Conclusions
The high prevalence of PVL-positive isolates among Babongo Pygmies demands our attention as PVL can be associated with necrotinzing infection and may increase the risk of severe infections in remote Pygmy populations. Many S. aureus isolates from Babongo Pygmies and pandemic CA-MRSA-clones have a common genetic background. Surveillance is needed to control the development of resistance to antibiotic drugs and to assess the impact of the high prevalence of PVL in indigenous populations.
Author Summary
Staphylococcus aureus is a bacterium that colonizes humans worldwide. The anterior nares are its main ecological niche. Carriers of S. aureus are at a higher risk of developing invasive infections. Few reports indicated a different clonal structure and profile of virulence factors in S. aureus isolates from Sub-Saharan Africa. As there are no data about isolates from remote indigenous African populations, we conducted a cross-sectional survey of S. aureus nasal carriage in Gabonese Babongo Pygmies. The isolates were characterized regarding their susceptibility to antibiotic agents, possession of virulence factors and clonal lineage. While similar carriage rates were found in populations of industrialized countries, isolates that encode the genes for the Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) were clearly more prevalent than in European countries. Of interest, many methicillin-susceptible S. aureus isolates from Babongo Pygmies showed the same genetic background as pandemic methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) clones. We advocate a surveillance of S. aureus in neglected African populations to control the development of resistance to antibiotic drugs with particular respect to MRSA and to assess the impact of the high prevalence of PVL-positive isolates.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0001150
PMCID: PMC3091839  PMID: 21572985
14.  Staphylococcus aureus Panton-Valentine Leukocidin Contributes to Inflammation and Muscle Tissue Injury 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(7):e6387.
Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) threatens public health worldwide, and epidemiologic data suggest that the Panton-Valentine Leukocidin (PVL) expressed by most CA-MRSA strains could contribute to severe human infections, particularly in young and immunocompetent hosts. PVL is proposed to induce cytolysis or apoptosis of phagocytes. However, recent comparisons of isogenic CA-MRSA strains with or without PVL have revealed no differences in human PMN cytolytic activity. Furthermore, many of the mouse studies performed to date have failed to demonstrate a virulence role for PVL, thereby provoking the question: does PVL have a mechanistic role in human infection? In this report, we evaluated the contribution of PVL to severe skin and soft tissue infection. We generated PVL mutants in CA-MRSA strains isolated from patients with necrotizing fasciitis and used these tools to evaluate the pathogenic role of PVL in vivo. In a model of necrotizing soft tissue infection, we found PVL caused significant damage of muscle but not the skin. Muscle injury was linked to induction of pro-inflammatory chemokines KC, MIP-2, and RANTES, and recruitment of neutrophils. Tissue damage was most prominent in young mice and in those strains of mice that more effectively cleared S. aureus, and was not significant in older mice and mouse strains that had a more limited immune response to the pathogen. PVL mediated injury could be blocked by pretreatment with anti-PVL antibodies. Our data provide new insights into CA-MRSA pathogenesis, epidemiology and therapeutics. PVL could contribute to the increased incidence of myositis in CA-MRSA infection, and the toxin could mediate tissue injury by mechanisms other than direct killing of phagocytes.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0006387
PMCID: PMC2711303  PMID: 19633710
15.  Differences in Clinical and Molecular Characteristics of Skin and Soft Tissue Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Isolates between Two Hospitals in Northern California▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2007;45(6):1798-1803.
Community-onset methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CO-MRSA) skin and soft tissue infections (SSTI) are associated with SCCmec IV and Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) genes. CO-MRSA epidemiologic studies suggest that genotypic variation exists within one geographic region. We compared MRSA genotypes and demographic and clinical characteristics of patients with CO-MRSA SSTI between two regional medical centers. We also examined factors associated with SCCmec IV and PVL carriage. A total of 279 MRSA SSTI isolates from 2000 to 2002 at San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH) and Stanford University Hospital (SUH) were genotyped by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and PCR for SCCmec and PVL genes. Medical records were reviewed for clinical characteristics. Ninety-three percent and 69% of MRSA SSTI were caused by CO-MRSA at SFGH and SUH, respectively. Patients with CO-MRSA SSTI at SFGH were more likely to be nonwhite, younger, homeless, and have no previous exposure to health care (P < 0.01). SFGH CO-MRSA strains were more likely to carry SCCmec type IV and PVL genes (90% and 55%, respectively) than SUH strains (29% and 16%, respectively). In multivariate analyses, nonwhite ethnicity was associated with both SCCmec type IV and PVL carriage (odds ratio [OR] of 2.65 and 95% confidence interval [CI] of 1.19 to 5.95 and OR of 1.94 and 95% CI of 1.03 to 3.65, respectively). ST8:USA300:IV became the dominant clone at SFGH, but not at SUH, by 2002. Despite geographic proximity, CO-MRSA SSTI exhibited differing SCCmec types, PVL carriage, and clonal dynamics. CO-MRSA SSTI at SUH were more likely to represent feral isolates of nosocomial origin. Clinicians should assess for nosocomial and community risk factors, realizing that different populations with CO-MRSA SSTI may require separate antimicrobial strategies.
doi:10.1128/JCM.01747-06
PMCID: PMC1933023  PMID: 17409211
16.  Staphylococcus aureus Isolates Carrying Panton-Valentine Leucocidin Genes in England and Wales: Frequency, Characterization, and Association with Clinical Disease 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2005;43(5):2384-2390.
Staphylococcus aureus isolates carrying the genes that encode for Panton-Valentine leucocidin (PVL), a highly potent toxin, have been responsible for recent outbreaks of severe invasive disease in previously healthy children and adults in the United States of America and Europe. To determine the frequency of PVL-positive isolates sent to the Staphylococcus Reference Unit (United Kingdom) for epidemiological purposes, we tested 515 isolates of S. aureus, and 8 (1.6%) were positive for the PVL locus. A further 470 isolates were selected to explore the association of PVL-positive S. aureus with clinical disease. Of these, 23 (4.9%) were PVL positive and most were associated with skin and soft tissue infections (especially abscesses). The PVL genes were also detected in isolates responsible for community-acquired pneumonia, burn infections, bacteremia, and scalded skin syndrome. Genotyping by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and multilocus sequence typing revealed that the PVL-positive isolates were from diverse genetic backgrounds, although one prevalent clone of 12 geographically dispersed methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) isolates was identified (ST80). All 12 isolates were stapylococcal cassette chromosome mec type IVc, had an agr3 allele, and shared a common toxin gene profile (sea-see, seg-sej, eta, etb, and tst negative but etd positive). ST80 strains with similar genetic characteristics have been responsible for community-acquired infections in France and Switzerland. The remaining PVL-positive isolates were mostly methicillin-sensitive S. aureus and belonged to 12 different sequence types, including ST22 and ST30, which are closely related to the most prevalent MRSA clones in United Kingdom hospitals, EMRSA-15 and EMRSA-16, respectively.
doi:10.1128/JCM.43.5.2384-2390.2005
PMCID: PMC1153723  PMID: 15872271
17.  Staphylococcus aureus Corneal Infections: Effect of the Panton-Valentine Leukocidin (PVL) and Antibody to PVL on Virulence and Pathology 
Purpose.
Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strains expressing Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) are associated with severe skin and soft tissue infections, necrotizing pneumonia, and eye infections. We determined PVL's toxicity on infected mouse and cultured human corneal epithelial cells and the role of PVL and antibody to PVL in pathogenesis of murine keratitis.
Methods.
Cytotoxicity on corneas and corneal epithelial cells was evaluated by LDH assays. Scratched corneas of female A/J mice were inoculated with approximately 107 CFU/eye of either WT S. aureus, isogenic ΔPVL, or strains overproducing PVL. Antibodies to PVL or control sera were topically applied to infected corneas 0, 24, and 32 hours postinfection, corneas scored for pathology and tissue levels of S. aureus were determined.
Results.
PVL expression augmented the cytotoxicity of S. aureus on infected mouse corneas and human cultured corneal epithelial cells. Variable effects on leukocyte recruitment, pathogenesis, and immunity were obtained in the in vivo studies. Inactivation of PVL in USA300 strains caused reduced pathology and bacterial counts. Results were variable when comparing WT and ΔPVL USA400 strains, while USA400 strains overproducing PVL caused increased bacterial burdens. Topical treatment with polyclonal antibody to PVL yielded significant reductions in corneal pathology and bacterial CFU in corneas infected with USA300 strains, whereas effects were inconsistent in eyes infected with USA400 strains.
Conclusions.
PVL enhanced the virulence of a subset of MRSA strains in a keratitis model. Coupled with a variable effect of antibody treatment, it appears that PVL plays an inconsistent role in pathogenesis and immunity to S. aureus corneal infection.
The Panton-Valentine leukocidin produced by MRSA had a variable role in virulence of corneal keratitis in mice. Similarly, antibody to PVL has a variable positive effect on pathogenesis but no negative effect and thus might be a limited but helpful topical treatment.
doi:10.1167/iovs.13-11701
PMCID: PMC3700385  PMID: 23737477
keratitis; MRSA; PVL; antibody
18.  The Emergence and Importation of Diverse Genotypes of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Harboring the Panton-Valentine Leukocidin Gene (pvl) Reveal that pvl Is a Poor Marker for Community-Acquired MRSA Strains in Ireland▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2007;45(8):2554-2563.
Community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) carrying pvl is an emerging problem worldwide. CA-MRSA tends to harbor staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec type IV (SCCmec IV), to be non-multiantibiotic resistant, and to have different genotypes from the local hospital-acquired MRSA (HA-MRSA). However, in Ireland, 80% of HA-MRSA isolates have the non-multiantibiotic-resistant genotype ST22-MRSA-IV. This study investigated MRSA isolates from Ireland (CA-MRSA, health care-associated MRSA, and HA-MRSA) for the carriage of pvl and determined the genotypic characteristics of all pvl-positive isolates identified. All 1,389 MRSA isolates were investigated by antibiogram-resistogram typing and SmaI DNA macrorestriction analysis. pvl-positive isolates were further characterized by multilocus sequence typing and SCCmec, agr, and toxin gene typing. Twenty-five (1.8%) MRSA isolates belonging to six genotypes (ST30, ST8, ST22, ST80, ST5, and ST154) harbored pvl. Nineteen of these (76%) were CA-MRSA isolates, but a prospective study of MRSA isolates from 401 patients showed that only 6.7% (2/30) of patients with CA-MRSA yielded pvl-positive isolates. Thus, pvl cannot be used as a sole marker for CA-MRSA. Fifty-two percent of pvl-positive MRSA isolates were recovered from patients with skin and soft tissue infections; thirty-six percent were from patients of non-Irish ethnic origin, reflecting the increasing heterogeneity of the Irish population due to immigration. All 25 pvl-positive isolates carried SCCmec IV; 14 (56%) harbored SCCmec IV.1 or IV.3, and the remaining 11 isolates could not be subtyped. This study demonstrates that pvl is not a reliable marker for CA-MRSA in Ireland and reveals the emergence and importation of diverse genotypes of pvl-positive MRSA in Ireland.
doi:10.1128/JCM.00245-07
PMCID: PMC1951240  PMID: 17581935
19.  Molecular Typing of MRSA and of Clinical Staphylococcus aureus Isolates from Iaşi, Romania 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e97833.
Romania is one of the countries with the highest prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in the world. To obtain data on affiliation of MRSA to strains and clonal complexes and on the population of methicillin susceptible S. aureus (MSSA), clinical isolates from bloodstream infections, skin and soft tissue infections as well as from screening swabs were collected at hospitals in Ia?i, a city in the North-Eastern part of Romania. Isolates were characterised by microarray hybridisation. Nearly half of all isolates (47%), and about one third (34%) of bloodstream isolates were MRSA. The prevalence of the Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) was also high (31% among MRSA, 14% among MSSA). The most common MRSA strain was a PVL-negative CC1-MRSA-IV that might have emerged locally, as a related MSSA was also common. PVL-positive CC8-MRSA-IV (“USA300”) and PVL-negative ST239-like MRSA-III were also frequently found while other MRSA strains were only sporadically detected. Among MSSA, PVL-positive CC121 as well as PVL-negative CC1, CC22 and CC45 predominated. Although this study provides only a snapshot of S. aureus/MRSA epidemiology in Romania, it confirms the high burden of MRSA and PVL on Romanian healthcare settings.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0097833
PMCID: PMC4028265  PMID: 24846009
20.  Contribution of Panton-Valentine Leukocidin in Community-Associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Pathogenesis 
PLoS ONE  2008;3(9):e3198.
Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) strains typically carry genes encoding Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL). We used wild-type parental and isogenic PVL-deletion (Δpvl) strains of USA300 (LAC and SF8300) and USA400 (MW2) to test whether PVL alters global gene regulatory networks and contributes to pathogenesis of bacteremia, a hallmark feature of invasive staphylococcal disease. Microarray and proteomic analyses revealed that PVL does not alter gene or protein expression, thereby demonstrating that any contribution of PVL to CA-MRSA pathogenesis is not mediated through interference of global gene regulatory networks. Inasmuch as a direct role for PVL in CA-MRSA pathogenesis remains to be determined, we developed a rabbit bacteremia model of CA-MRSA infection to evaluate the effects of PVL. Following experimental infection of rabbits, an animal species whose granulocytes are more sensitive to the effects of PVL compared with the mouse, we found a contribution of PVL to pathogenesis over the time course of bacteremia. At 24 and 48 hours post infection, PVL appears to play a modest, but measurable role in pathogenesis during the early stages of bacteremic seeding of the kidney, the target organ from which bacteria were not cleared. However, the early survival advantage of this USA300 strain conferred by PVL was lost by 72 hours post infection. These data are consistent with the clinical presentation of rapid-onset, fulminant infection that has been associated with PVL-positive CA-MRSA strains. Taken together, our data indicate a modest and transient positive effect of PVL in the acute phase of bacteremia, thereby providing evidence that PVL contributes to CA-MRSA pathogenesis.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0003198
PMCID: PMC2527530  PMID: 18787708
21.  High Prevalence of Panton-Valentine Leukocidin (PVL) Genes in Nosocomial-Acquired Staphylococcus aureus Isolated from Tertiary Care Hospitals in Nepal 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:790350.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) carrying the important virulence determinant, Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL), is an emerging infectious pathogen associated with skin and soft tissue infections as well as life-threatening invasive diseases. In carrying out the first PVL prevalence study in Nepal, we screened 73 nosocomial isolates of S. aureus from 2 tertiary care Nepali hospitals and obtained an overall PVL-positivity rate of 35.6% among the hospital isolates: 26.1% of MRSA and 51.9% of methicillin sensitive S. aureus (MSSA) isolates were found to be positive for the PVL genes. PVL prevalence was not associated with a specific (i) infection site, (ii) age group, or (iii) hospital of origin. It was found to be positively associated with heterogeneous MRSA (73.3%) compared to homogeneous MRSA (3.2%) and MSSA (51.9%); negatively associated with multiresistant MRSA (22%) compared to nonmultiresistant MRSA (60%) and MSSA (51.9%); and positively associated with macrolide-streptogramin B resistance (93.8%) compared to macrolide-lincosamide-streptogramin B resistance (0%) and no-resistance (45.8%) types. Macrolide-streptogramin B resistance was confirmed by the presence of msr(A) gene. Restriction pattern analyses provided evidence to support the circulation of a limited number of clones of PVL-positive MRSA, arguing for the adaptability of these isolates to a hospital setting.
doi:10.1155/2014/790350
PMCID: PMC4087282  PMID: 25045702
22.  High-Density Livestock Production and Molecularly Characterized MRSA Infections in Pennsylvania 
Environmental Health Perspectives  2014;122(5):464-470.
Background: European studies suggest that living near high-density livestock production increases the risk of sequence type (ST) 398 methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) colonization. To our knowledge, no studies have evaluated associations between livestock production and human infection by other strain types.
Objectives: We evaluated associations between MRSA molecular subgroups and high-density livestock production.
Methods: We conducted a yearlong 2012 prospective study on a stratified random sample of patients with culture-confirmed MRSA infection; we oversampled patients from the Geisinger Health System with exposure to high-density livestock production in Pennsylvania. Isolates were characterized using S. aureus protein A (spa) typing and detection of Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) and scn genes. We compared patients with one of two specific MRSA strains with patients with all other strains of MRSA isolates, using logistic regression that accounted for the sampling design, for two different exposure models: one based on the location of the animals (livestock model) and the other on crop field application of manure (crop field model).
Results: Of 196 MRSA isolates, we identified 30 spa types, 47 PVL-negative and 15 scn-negative isolates, and no ST398 MRSA. Compared with quartiles 1–3 combined, the highest quartiles of swine livestock and dairy/veal crop field exposures were positively associated with community-onset-PVL-negative MRSA (CO-PVL-negative MRSA vs. all other MRSA), with adjusted odds ratios of 4.24 (95% CI: 1.60, 11.25) and 4.88 (95% CI: 1.40, 17.00), respectively. The association with CO-PVL-negative MRSA infection increased across quartiles of dairy/veal livestock exposure (trend p = 0.05).
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that other MRSA strains, beyond ST398, may be involved in livestock-associated MRSA infection in the United States.
Citation: Casey JA, Shopsin B, Cosgrove SE, Nachman KE, Curriero FC, Rose HR, Schwartz BS. 2014. High-density livestock production and molecularly characterized MRSA infections in Pennsylvania. Environ Health Perspect 122:464–470; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1307370
doi:10.1289/ehp.1307370
PMCID: PMC4014753  PMID: 24509131
23.  Prospective Multicenter Study of Community-Associated Skin and Skin Structure Infections due to Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Buenos Aires, Argentina 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e78303.
Background
Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) is now the most common cause of skin and skin structure infections (SSSI) in several world regions. In Argentina prospective, multicenter clinical studies have only been conducted in pediatric populations.
Objective
Primary: describe the prevalence, clinical and demographic characteristics of adult patients with community acquired SSSI due to MRSA; secondary: molecular evaluation of CA-MRSA strains. Patients with MRSA were compared to those without MRSA.
Materials and Methods
Prospective, observational, multicenter, epidemiologic study, with molecular analysis, conducted at 19 sites in Argentina (18 in Buenos Aires) between March 2010 and October 2011. Patients were included if they were ≥14 years, were diagnosed with SSSI, a culture was obtained, and there had no significant healthcare contact identified. A logistic regression model was used to identify factors associated with CA-MRSA. Pulse field types, SCCmec, and PVL status were also determined.
Results
A total of 311 patients were included. CA-MRSA was isolated in 70% (218/311) of patients. Clinical variables independently associated with CA-MRSA were: presence of purulent lesion (OR 3.29; 95%CI 1.67, 6.49) and age <50 years (OR 2.39; 95%CI 1.22, 4.70). The vast majority of CA-MRSA strains causing SSSI carried PVL genes (95%) and were SCCmec type IV. The sequence type CA-MRSA ST30 spa t019 was the predominant clone.
Conclusions
CA-MRSA is now the most common cause of SSSI in our adult patients without healthcare contact. ST30, SCCmec IV, PVL+, spa t019 is the predominant clone in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0078303
PMCID: PMC3855813  PMID: 24324543
24.  Emergence of Virulent Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Strains Carrying Panton-Valentine Leucocidin Genes in The Netherlands 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2005;43(7):3341-3345.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains carrying the Panton-Valentine leucocidin (PVL) genes have been reported worldwide and are a serious threat to public health. The PVL genes encode a highly potent toxin which is involved in severe skin infections and necrotizing pneumonia, even in previously healthy individuals. We assessed the prevalence of PVL-positive MRSA in The Netherlands for two periods of time: (i) 1987 through 1995 and (ii) 2000 and 2002, and determined their characteristics by using multilocus sequence typing and staphylococcal chromosome cassette (SCCmec) typing. It was found that up to 15% of all MRSA isolates detected in The Netherlands harbored the PVL genes. Most PVL-positive MRSA isolates were obtained from severe soft tissue infections in relatively young individuals. The first PVL-positive MRSA described in The Netherlands, isolated in 1988, was a single-locus variant of the “Berlin” epidemic MRSA clone. The 20 PVL-positive MRSA isolates studied in 2000 and 2002 consisted of five different sequence types (STs) that belonged to four clonal complexes. One of the STs, ST80, is considered to be a widespread European clone and was the most predominant ST (60%) in this study, while ST37 had never been found to be associated with PVL-positive MRSA. Most isolates harbored SCCmec type IV, a supposed marker for community-acquired MRSA. The number and type of virulence-associated genes varied among the different STs.
doi:10.1128/JCM.43.7.3341-3345.2005
PMCID: PMC1169179  PMID: 16000458
25.  Distinct Bacteriophages Encoding Panton-Valentine Leukocidin (PVL) among International Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Clones Harboring PVL▿ 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2011;49(2):684-692.
Genetically diverse community-associated methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) can harbor a bacteriophage encoding Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) lysogenized into its chromosome (prophage). Six PVL phages (ΦPVL, Φ108PVL, ΦSLT, ΦSa2MW, ΦSa2USA, and ΦSa2958) are known, and single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the PVL genes have been reported. We sought to determine the distribution of lysogenized PVL phages among MRSA strains with PVL (PVL-MRSA strains), the PVL gene sequences, and the chromosomal phage insertion sites in 114 isolates comprising nine clones of PVL-MRSA that were selected for maximal underlying genetic diversity. The six PVL phages were identified by PCR; ΦSa2USA was present in the highest number of different lineages (multilocus sequence type clonal complex 1 [CC1], CC5, CC8, and sequence type 93 [ST93]) (n = 37 isolates). Analysis of 92 isolates confirmed that PVL phages inserted into the same chromosomal insertion locus in CC22, -30, and -80 but in a different locus in isolates of CC1, -5, -8, -59, and -88 and ST93 (and CC22 in two isolates). Within the two different loci, specific attachment motifs were found in all cases, although some limited inter- and intralineage sequence variation occurred. Overall, lineage-specific relationships between the PVL phage, the genes that encode the toxin, and the position at which the phage inserts into the host chromosome were identified. These analyses provide important insights into the microepidemiology of PVL-MRSA, will prove a valuable adjunct in outbreak investigation, and may help predict the emergence of new strains.
doi:10.1128/JCM.01917-10
PMCID: PMC3043515  PMID: 21106787

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