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1.  Livestock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus responsible for human colonization and infection in an area of Italy with high density of pig farming 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2013;13:258.
Background
Livestock-Associated MRSA (LA-MRSA) belonging to ST398 lineage, common among pigs and other animals, emerged in Central and Northern Europe, becoming a new risk factor for MRSA among farm workers. Strains belonging to ST398 can be responsible for human colonization and infection, mainly in areas with high livestock-farming. The aim of this study was to investigate the occurrence of livestock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA) human colonization and infections in an area of the Lombardy Region (Italy), the Italian region with the highest density of pig farming.
Methods
In the period March-April 2010, 879 nasal swabs were taken from subjects at admission to a local hospital serving an area of the Lombardy Region devoted to agriculture and farming. In the period March 2010-February 2011, all MRSA strains from community-acquired infection (CAI) observed in the same hospital, were collected. Molecular characterization of the isolates included SCCmec typing, spa typing and multilocus sequence typing (MLST).
Results
Out of 879 nasal swabs examined, 9 (1%) yielded MRSA. Five strains were assigned to sequence type (ST)398 (spa t899, 3 isolates; t108 and t2922, 1 isolate each) and were therefore categorized as LA-MRSA. The other 4 isolates were likely of hospital origin. No strains were positive for Panton-Valentine Leukocidin genes. Twenty MRSA isolates were detected from CAI, 17 were from skin and soft-tissue infections and 3 from other infections. An MRSA isolate from otitis externa was t899/ST398 and PVL-negative, hence categorized as LA-MRSA. Four isolates were assigned to t127/ST1. Eight strains were PVL-positive community acquired (CA)-MRSA and belonged to different clones, the most frequent being ST8.
Conclusions
In an area of Italy with high density of pig farming, LA-MRSA is able to colonize the population and rarely to produce infections. Typical CA-MRSA is more common than LA-MRSA among CAI.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-13-258
PMCID: PMC3679754  PMID: 23731504
Livestock-associated (LA)-MRSA; Colonization, Community-acquired infections; Pigs; ST398
2.  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
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.  Molecular Epidemiology of Methicillin-Resistant and Methicillin-Susceptible Staphylococcus aureus Isolated from the Eye 
Current Eye Research  2010;36(2):94-102.
Purpose:
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains are commonly classified as hospital-acquired (HA) or community-acquired (CA). Typical HA-MRSA isolates are characterized by multidrug resistance and the SCCmec type II cassette, while CA-MRSA isolates are generally susceptible to more drug classes, are often of SCCmec type IV, and frequently carry the Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) genes. This study determined the presence of traits characteristic for CA and HA strains in ocular MRSA isolates.
Materials and Methods:
Fifty-six recent ocular isolates, consisting of 40 MRSA and 16 methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) comparator strains, were characterized. Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) testing was done according to current Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute guidelines. Detection of the PVL encoding genes and determination of the SCCmec type was done by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), while spa typing and cluster analysis was performed following DNA sequencing.
Results:
Of the 38 typeable MRSA isolates, 22 were of SCCmec type II and 16 were of SCCmec type IV. All SCCmec type II isolates were multidrug-resistant, lacked the PVL genes, and were of spa type t002 or closely related spa types. In contrast, the SCCmec type IV isolates were resistant to fewer classes of antimicrobial agents, often possessed the PVL genes (75.0%), and were of spa type t008 or closely related spa types.
Conclusions:
While the majority of ocular MRSA strains in this study fit the classical profile of HA-and CA-MRSA, some CA-MRSA isolates exhibited higher levels of antimicrobial resistance, which should be of particular concern to eye-care professionals. Furthermore, the apparent association of spa types and SCCmec types observed here warrants further investigation and suggests that spa typing may be useful in future HA- and CA-MRSA characterization studies.
doi:10.3109/02713683.2010.534229
PMCID: PMC3021952  PMID: 21158584
Bacterial infection; Community-acquired MRSA; Multi-drug resistance; spa typing; Staphylococcal virulence factors
5.  Prevalence and Molecular Characterization of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus ST398 Resistant to Tetracycline at a Spanish Hospital over 12 Years 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e72828.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) ST398, associated with livestock animals, was described in 2003 as a new lineage infecting or colonizing humans. We evaluated the prevalence and molecular characteristics of MRSA ST398 isolated in the Hospital Universitari de Bellvitge from January 2000 to June 2011. Tetracycline resistant (Tet-R) MRSA isolates from single patients (pts) were screened by SmaI-pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Nontypable MRSA strains by SmaI (NTSmaI)-MRSA were further analysed by ApaI-PFGE, spa, SCCmec, agr, MLST typing, and by DNA microarray hybridization. Among 164 pts harboring Tet-R MRSA, NTSmaI-MRSA ST398-agrI was found in 33 pts (20%). Although the first pt was detected in 2003, 22/33 pts (67%) were registered in the 2010–2011 period. Ten pts (30%) were infected and cancer was the most frequent underlying disease. In one case, death was due to MRSA-ST398-related infection. Five pulsotypes (A–E) were detected using ApaI-PFGE, with type A accounting for 76% of the strains. The majority of the studied isolates presented spa type t011 (70%) and SCCmec type V (88%). One strain was spa negative both by PCR and microarray analysis. Forty-nine percent of the studied isolates showed resistance to 3 or more antibiotic classes, in addition to beta-lactams. Ciprofloxacin resistance was 67%. Tet-R was mediated by tet(M) and tet(K) in 26 isolates. All isolates lacked Panton-Valentine Leukocidin production, as well as other significant toxins. This study displays the molecular features of MRSA-ST398 clone and shows the increase in tetracycline resistance together with arise in MRSA-ST398 isolates infecting or colonizing patients in our clinical setting.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0072828
PMCID: PMC3764106  PMID: 24039806
6.  Differentiation of Clonal Complex 59 Community-Associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Western Australia▿ ‡ 
Clonal complex 59 (CC59) community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) strains were characterized using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, spa typing, multilocus sequence typing, diagnostic DNA microarrays, and PCRs targeting staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) elements and Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL). Six distinct groups within CC59 were characterized. At least seven different variants of SCCmec elements were identified (IVa [2B], IVb [2B], IVd [2B], IV variant [2B], IVa [2B&5], V variant [5C2], and V [5C2&5]). (The structural type is indicated by a Roman numeral, with a lowercase letter indicating the subtype, and the ccr complex and the mec complex are indicated by an Arabic numeral and an uppercase letter, respectively. Where there is an extra ccr element, this is indicated by “&” and an Arabic numeral designating the ccr type.) The first group is similar to the American sequence type 59 (ST59) MRSA-IV CA-MRSA strain USA1000. The second group includes a PVL-negative ST87 strain with an SCCmec element of subtype IVb (2B). The third group comprises PVL-variable ST59 MRSA-IV strains harboring multiple SCCmec IV subtypes. PVL-negative ST59 MRSA strains with multiple or composite SCCmec elements (IVa [2B&5]) form the fourth group. Group 5 corresponds to the internationally known “Taiwan clone,” a PVL-positive strain with a variant SCCmec element (V [5C2&5]). This strain proved to be the most common CC59 MRSA strain isolated in Western Australia. Finally, group 6 encompasses the ST59 MRSA-V variant (5C2). The differentiation of CC59 into groups and strains indicates a rapid evolution and spread of SCCmec elements. Observed differences between groups of strains as well as intrastrain variability within a group facilitate the tracing of their spread.
doi:10.1128/AAC.01287-09
PMCID: PMC2863625  PMID: 20211891
7.  Epidemiology and molecular characterization of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus nasal carriage isolates from bovines 
BMC Veterinary Research  2014;10:153.
Background
Staphylococcus aureus is a common bacterium usually found on skin and mucous membranes of warm blooded animals. Resistance in S. aureus has been increasingly reported though depending on the clonal lineage. Indeed, while hospital acquired (HA)-methicillin resistant S. aureus (MRSA) are typically multi-resistant, community associated (CA)-MRSA are by large more susceptible to many antibiotics. Although S. aureus isolated from animals are often susceptible to most antibiotics, multi-resistant livestock associated (LA)-MRSA have been recovered from bovine mastitis.
In this study, we investigated the prevalence and types of MRSA present in the nose of healthy bovines of different age groups and rearing practices. Since no validated methods for MRSA isolation from nasal swabs were available, we compared two isolation methods. Molecular characterization was performed by means of spa-typing, MLST, SCCmec typing and microarray analysis for the detection of antimicrobial resistance and virulence genes.
Results
MRSA between herd prevalence in bovines was estimated at 19.8%. There was a marked difference between rearing practices with 9.9%, 10.2% and 46.1% of the dairy, beef and veal calve farms respectively being MRSA positive. No significant difference was observed between both isolation methods tested. Most isolates were ST398 spa type t011 or closely related spa types. Few ST239 spa type t037 and t388 and ST8 spa type t121 were also found. SCCmec types carried by these strains were mainly type IV(2B), IV(2B&5) and type V. Type III and non-typeable SCCmec were recovered to a lesser extent. All isolates were multi-resistant to at least two antimicrobials in addition to the expected cefoxitin and penicillin resistance, with an average of resistance to 9.5 different antimicrobials. Isolates selected for microarray analysis carried a broad range of antimicrobial resistance and virulence genes.
Conclusion
MRSA were mainly present in veal farms, compared to the lower prevalence in dairy or beef farms. Multi-resistance in these strains was high. Though mainly CC398 spa t011 was found, the genetic diversity was higher than what was found for pigs in Belgium. CC8 strains, a typically human lineage but also recently found also in association with bovines, has been retrieved here also.
doi:10.1186/1746-6148-10-153
PMCID: PMC4103977  PMID: 25011427
Nasal carriage; Bovine; Epidemiology; Molecular characterization; Antimicrobial resistance
8.  Population Structure of Staphylococcus aureus Strains Isolated from Intensive Care Unit Patients in The Netherlands over an 11-Year Period (1996 to 2006) ▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2009;47(12):4090-4095.
The genetic background and the presence of several virulence factors of Staphylococcus aureus isolates from intensive care unit (ICU) patients from 14 hospitals in The Netherlands isolated from 1996 until 2006 were investigated. In total, 936 methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) and 7 methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) isolates were collected. The genetic background was determined by spa typing and multilocus sequence typing (MLST). The virulence determinants Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL), toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 (TSST-1), and collagen adhesion (CNA) were detected with real-time PCR assays. On the MRSA isolates, mobile resistance staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) typing was performed. Among the MSSA isolates, 313 different spa types were observed. A genetic background common to MRSA clones, e.g., MLST clonal complex 1 (CC1), CC5, CC8, CC22, CC30, and CC45, was observed among 62% of the isolates. The remaining isolates were associated with MSSA-related MLST CCs. MLST CC1, CC25, and CC30 were continuously present, and other MLST CCs fluctuated over time. Two percent of the MSSA isolates harbored PVL, 21% had TSST-1, and 46% were positive for CNA. There were no changes in the prevalence of the virulence factors over time. Four MRSA isolates were typed as ST8-MRSA-IV (where ST is the MLST sequence type and IV is the SCCmec type), two were ST5-MRSA-II, and one was ST228-MRSA-I. All MRSA isolates were PVL, CNA, and TSST-1 negative except for the two ST5-MRSA-II isolates, which were TSST-1 positive. No changes in the S. aureus genetic background and the prevalence of the virulence factors PVL, CNA, and TSST-1 were observed in ICU patients in The Netherlands over time.
doi:10.1128/JCM.00820-09
PMCID: PMC2786662  PMID: 19812275
9.  Extensive Genetic Diversity Identified among Sporadic Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Isolates Recovered in Irish Hospitals between 2000 and 2012 
Clonal replacement of predominant nosocomial methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains has occurred several times in Ireland during the last 4 decades. However, little is known about sporadically occurring MRSA in Irish hospitals or in other countries. Eighty-eight representative pvl-negative sporadic MRSA isolates recovered in Irish hospitals between 2000 and 2012 were investigated. These yielded unusual pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and antibiogram-resistogram typing patterns distinct from those of the predominant nosocomial MRSA clone, ST22-MRSA-IV, during the study period. Isolates were characterized by spa typing and DNA microarray profiling for multilocus sequence type (MLST) clonal complex (CC) and/or sequence type (ST) and SCCmec type assignment, as well as for detection of virulence and antimicrobial resistance genes. Conventional PCR-based SCCmec subtyping was undertaken when necessary. Extensive diversity was detected, including 38 spa types, 13 MLST-CCs (including 18 STs among 62 isolates assigned to STs), and 25 SCCmec types (including 2 possible novel SCCmec elements and 7 possible novel SCCmec subtypes). Fifty-four MLST-spa-SCCmec type combinations were identified. Overall, 68.5% of isolates were assigned to nosocomial lineages, with ST8-t190-MRSA-IID/IIE ± SCCM1 predominating (17.4%), followed by CC779/ST779-t878-MRSA-ψSCCmec-SCC-SCCCRISPR (7.6%) and CC22/ST22-t032-MRSA-IVh (5.4%). Community-associated clones, including CC1-t127/t386/t2279-MRSA-IV, CC59-t216-MRSA-V, CC8-t008-MRSA-IVa, and CC5-t002/t242-MRSA-IV/V, and putative animal-associated clones, including CC130-t12399-MRSA-XI, ST8-t064-MRSA-IVa, ST398-t011-MRSA-IVa, and CC6-t701-MRSA-V, were also identified. In total, 53.3% and 47.8% of isolates harbored genes for resistance to two or more classes of antimicrobial agents and two or more mobile genetic element-encoded virulence-associated factors, respectively. Effective ongoing surveillance of sporadic nosocomial MRSA is warranted for early detection of emerging clones and reservoirs of virulence, resistance, and SCCmec genes.
doi:10.1128/AAC.02653-13
PMCID: PMC4023797  PMID: 24395241
10.  High Incidence of Oxacillin-Susceptible mecA-Positive Staphylococcus aureus (OS-MRSA) Associated with Bovine Mastitis in China 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e88134.
Staphylococcus aureus is a main cause of bovine mastitis and a major pathogen affecting human health. The emergence and spread of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has become a significant concern for both animal health and public health. This study investigated the incidence of MRSA in milk samples collected from dairy cows with clinical mastitis and characterized the MRSA isolates using antimicrobial susceptibility tests and genetic typing methods. In total, 103 S. aureus isolates were obtained from dairy farms in 4 different provinces in China, including Gansu, Shanghai, Sichuan, and Guizhou. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing of these isolates revealed that the resistance rates to penicillin and sulfamethoxazole were high, while the resistance rates to ciprofloxacin and vancomycin were low. Among the 103 isolates, 49 (47.6%) were found to be mecA-positive, indicating the high incidence of MRSA. However, 37 of the 49 mecA-positive isolates were susceptible to oxacillin as determined by antimicrobial susceptibility assays and were thus classified as oxacillin-susceptible mecA-positive S. aureus (OS-MRSA). These isolates could be misclassified as methicillin susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) if genetic detection of mecA was not performed. Molecular characterization of selected mecA-positive isolates showed that they were all negative with Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL), but belonged to different spa types and SCCmec types. These results indicate that OS-MRSA is common in bovine mastitis in China and underscore the need for genetic methods (in addition to phenotypic tests) to accurately identify MRSA.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0088134
PMCID: PMC3921137  PMID: 24523877
11.  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
12.  Characterization of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Strains Recovered from a Phase IV Clinical Trial for Linezolid versus Vancomycin for Treatment of Nosocomial Pneumonia 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2012;50(11):3694-3702.
A total of 434 methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) baseline isolates were collected from subjects enrolled in a prospective, double-blind randomized trial comparing linezolid versus vancomycin for the treatment of nosocomial pneumonia. Isolates were susceptibility tested by broth microdilution, examined for inducible clindamycin resistance by D-test, and screened for heterogeneous resistance to vancomycin (hVISA) by the Etest macromethod. All strains were subjected to Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) screening, and SCCmec, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), and spa typing. Selected strains were evaluated by multilocus sequence typing (MLST). Clonal complexes (CCs) were assigned based on the spa and/or MLST results. Most strains were CC5 (56.0%), which originated from North America (United States) (CC5-MRSA-SCCmec II/IV; 70.0%), Asia (CC5-MRSA-II; 14.0%) and Latin America (CC5-MRSA-I/II; 12.3%). The second- and third-most-prevalent clones were CC8-MRSA-IV (23.3%) and CC239-MRSA-III (11.3%), respectively. Furthermore, the CC5-MRSA-I/II clone predominated in Asia (50.7% within this region) and Latin America (66.7%), followed by CC239-MRSA-III (32.8% and 28.9%, respectively). The European strains were CC8-MRSA-IV (34.5%), CC22-MRSA-IV (18.2%), or CC5-MRSA-I/II/IV (16.4%), while the U.S. MRSA isolates were CC5-MRSA-II/IV (64.4%) or CC8-MRSA-IV (28.8%). Among the U.S. CC8-MRSA-II/IV strains, 73.7% (56/76 [21.2% of all U.S. MRSA strains]) clustered within USA300. One strain from the United States (USA800) was intermediate to vancomycin (MIC, 4 μg/ml). All remaining strains were susceptible to linezolid, daptomycin, vancomycin, and teicoplanin. hVISA strains (14.5%) were predominantly CC5-MRSA-II, from South Korea, and belonged to a single PFGE type. Overall, each region had two predominant clones. The USA300 rate corroborates previous reports describing increased prevalence of USA300 strains causing invasive infections. The prevalence of hVISA was elevated in Asia, and these strains were associated with CC5.
doi:10.1128/JCM.02024-12
PMCID: PMC3486224  PMID: 22972817
13.  High Genetic Diversity among Community-Associated Staphylococcus aureus in Europe: Results from a Multicenter Study 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(4):e34768.
Background
Several studies have addressed the epidemiology of community-associated Staphylococcus aureus (CA-SA) in Europe; nonetheless, a comprehensive perspective remains unclear. In this study, we aimed to describe the population structure of CA-SA and to shed light on the origin of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) in this continent.
Methods and Findings
A total of 568 colonization and infection isolates, comprising both MRSA and methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA), were recovered in 16 European countries, from community and community-onset infections. The genetic background of isolates was characterized by molecular typing techniques (spa typing, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and multilocus sequence typing) and the presence of PVL and ACME was tested by PCR. MRSA were further characterized by SCCmec typing. We found that 59% of all isolates were associated with community-associated clones. Most MRSA were related with USA300 (ST8-IVa and variants) (40%), followed by the European clone (ST80-IVc and derivatives) (28%) and the Taiwan clone (ST59-IVa and related clonal types) (15%). A total of 83% of MRSA carried Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) and 14% carried the arginine catabolic mobile element (ACME). Surprisingly, we found a high genetic diversity among MRSA clonal types (ST-SCCmec), Simpson’s index of diversity = 0.852 (0.788–0.916). Specifically, about half of the isolates carried novel associations between genetic background and SCCmec. Analysis by BURP showed that some CA-MSSA and CA-MRSA isolates were highly related, suggesting a probable local acquisition/loss of SCCmec.
Conclusions
Our results imply that CA-MRSA origin, epidemiology and population structure in Europe is very dissimilar from that of USA.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0034768
PMCID: PMC3338755  PMID: 22558099
14.  A correlative analysis of epidemiologic and molecular characteristics of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus clones from diverse geographic locations with virulence measured by a Caenorhabditis elegans host model 
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains from different geographic areas have different genetic backgrounds, suggesting independent clonal evolutions. To better understand the virulence of MRSA strains and the relationship to their clonal and geographic origins, we undertook an analysis of epidemiologic, molecular, and virulence characteristics of a large number of MRSA isolates from geographically diverse origins, in a Caenorhabditis elegans infection model. A total of 99 MRSA isolates collected between 1993 and 2010 at the Geneva University Hospitals from diverse global origins were characterized with Panton–Valentine leukocidin (PVL), toxic shock syndrome toxin (TSST), accessory gene regulator (agr) group, staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec), S. aureus protein A (spa), multilocus sequence typing (MLST), and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) typing. Epidemiologic data were provided from clinical records. The bacterial virulence was tested in a C. elegans host model. The inter-relationships of epidemiological/molecular characteristics in association with nematocidal activities were analyzed with univariate and two-factor analysis of variance (ANOVA). Community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA) strains were more virulent than hospital-associated MRSA (HA-MRSA), with higher nematocidal activities in CA-MRSA strains (0.776 vs. 0.506, p = 0.0005). All molecular characteristics (PVL, TSST, spa, SCCmec, MLST, and PFGE types) showed a significant association with nematocidal activities on univariate analysis (p < 0.005). PVL was not a significant predictor after adjusting for genomic backgrounds using spa, MLST, or PFGE typing. The dominant CA-MRSA strains in North America showed higher nematocidal activities than strains from other regions (p < 0.0001). Strains with global origins containing distinct genetic backgrounds have different virulence in the C. elegans model. Nematocidal activities were most highly correlated with SCCmec, spa, MLST, and PFGE typing, suggesting that genomic background rather than a single exotoxin characteristic was the most discriminating predictor of virulence.
doi:10.1007/s10096-012-1711-x
PMCID: PMC3545200  PMID: 22898726
15.  Whole genome analysis of a livestock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus ST398 isolate from a case of human endocarditis 
BMC Genomics  2010;11:376.
Background
Recently, a new livestock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Sequence Type 398 (ST398) isolate has emerged worldwide. Although there have been reports of invasive disease in humans, MRSA ST398 colonization is much more common in livestock and demonstrates especially high prevalence rates in pigs and calves. The aim of this study was to compare the genome sequence of an ST398 MRSA isolate with other S. aureus genomes in order to identify genetic traits that may explain the success of this particular lineage. Therefore, we determined the whole genome sequence of S0385, an MRSA ST398 isolate from a human case of endocarditis.
Results
The entire genome sequence of S0385 demonstrated considerable accessory genome content differences relative to other S. aureus genomes. Several mobile genetic elements that confer antibiotic resistance were identified, including a novel composite of an type V (5C2&5) Staphylococcal Chromosome Cassette mec (SCCmec) with distinct joining (J) regions. The presence of multiple integrative conjugative elements combined with the absence of a type I restriction and modification system on one of the two νSa islands, could enhance horizontal gene transfer in this strain. The ST398 MRSA isolate carries a unique pathogenicity island which encodes homologues of two excreted virulence factors; staphylococcal complement inhibitor (SCIN) and von Willebrand factor-binding protein (vWbp). However, several virulence factors such as enterotoxins and phage encoded toxins, including Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL), were not identified in this isolate.
Conclusions
Until now MRSA ST398 isolates did not cause frequent invasive disease in humans, which may be due to the absence of several common virulence factors. However, the proposed enhanced ability of these isolates to acquire mobile elements may lead to the rapid acquisition of determinants which contribute to virulence in human infections.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-11-376
PMCID: PMC2900268  PMID: 20546576
16.  Spread of Epidemic MRSA-ST5-IV Clone Encoding PVL as a Major Cause of Community Onset Staphylococcal Infections in Argentinean Children 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(1):e30487.
Background
Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus-(CA-MRSA) strains have emerged in Argentina. We investigated the clinical and molecular evolution of community-onset MRSA infections (CO-MRSA) in children of Córdoba, Argentina, 2005–2008. Additionally, data from 2007 were compared with the epidemiology of these infections in other regions of the country.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Two datasets were used: i) lab-based prospective surveillance of CA-MRSA isolates from 3 Córdoba pediatric hospitals-(CBAH1-H3) in 2007–2008 (compared to previously published data of 2005) and ii) a sampling of CO-MRSA from a study involving both, healthcare-associated community-onset-(HACO) infections in children with risk-factors for healthcare-associated infections-(HRFs), and CA-MRSA infections in patients without HRFs detected in multiple centers of Argentina in 2007. Molecular typing was performed on the CA-MRSA-(n: 99) isolates from the CBAH1-H3-dataset and on the HACO-MRSA-(n: 51) and CA-MRSA-(n: 213) isolates from other regions. Between 2005–2008, the annual proportion of CA-MRSA/CA-S. aureus in Córdoba hospitals increased from 25% to 49%, P<0.01. Total CA-MRSA infections increased 3.6 fold-(5.1 to 18.6 cases/100,000 annual-visits, P<0.0001), associated with an important increase of invasive CA-MRSA infections-(8.5 fold). In all regions analyzed, a single genotype prevailed in both CA-MRSA (82%) and HACO-MRSA(57%), which showed pulsed-field-gel electrophoresis-(PFGE)-type-“I”, sequence-type-5-(ST5), SCCmec-type-IVa, spa-t311, and was positive for PVL. The second clone, pulsotype-N/ST30/CC30/SCCmecIVc/t019/PVL+, accounted for 11.5% of total CA-MRSA infections. Importantly, the first 4 isolates of Argentina belonging to South American-USA300 clone-(USA300/ST8/CC8/SCCmecIVc/t008/PVL+/ACME−) were detected. We also demonstrated that a HA-MRSA clone-(pulsotype-C/ST100/CC5) caused 2% and 10% of CA-MRSA and HACO-MRSA infections respectively and was associated with a SCCmec type closely related to SCCmecIV(2B&5).
Conclusions/Significance
The dissemination of epidemic MRSA clone, ST5-IV-PVL+ was the main cause of increasing staphylococcal community-onset infections in Argentinean children (2003–2008), conversely to other countries. The predominance of this clone, which has capacity to express the h-VISA phenotype, in healthcare-associated community-onset cases suggests that it has infiltrated into hospital-settings.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0030487
PMCID: PMC3264586  PMID: 22291965
17.  Molecular Characterization of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus with Emergence of Epidemic Clones of Sequence Type (ST) 22 and ST 772 in Mumbai, India▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2010;48(5):1806-1811.
A total of 412 methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains isolated between October 2006 and June 2009, representing a mixed hospital- and community-associated patient population from Mumbai, India, were evaluated. MRSA was characterized by multiplex PCR amplification of the Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) gene and the mecA gene, staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) typing, and multilocus sequence typing (MLST). PCR results were compared with patient risk factors (CDC guidelines) and antimicrobial susceptibility profiles. A total of 395 MRSA strains were mecA positive, and 224 were PVL gene positive. A total of 97 mecA-positive strains were SCCmec III (25%), 136 were SCCmec IV (34%), and 162 were SCCmec V (41%). All SCCmec III strains were multidrug resistant, and all patients had risk factors. Of the SCCmec IV and V strains, 73% were multidrug susceptible and 72% of the associated patients had no risk factors. The multidrug susceptibility and absence of patient risk factors in 72% of cases with SCCmec IV and SCCmec V MRSA demonstrate the presence of community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA) in Mumbai. Twenty-one percent of these patients had risk factors, signifying CA-MRSA infiltration into hospitals. MLST showed clonal expansion of multidrug-susceptible sequence type (ST) 22 (SCCmec IV) and ST 772 (SCCmec V), both of which feature in Asian studies and may be slowly replacing the multidrug-resistant ST 239 (SCCmec III) in hospitals. The PVL gene-positive methicillin-sensitive S. aureus (MSSA) strains were ST 30 and were postulated to be related to the penicillin-resistant S. aureus phage type 80/81, notorious for its virulence in the 1950s.
doi:10.1128/JCM.01867-09
PMCID: PMC2863868  PMID: 20351212
18.  The Molecular Epidemiology of the Highly Virulent ST93 Australian Community Staphylococcus aureus Strain 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(8):e43037.
In Australia the PVL - positive ST93-IV [2B], colloquially known as “Queensland CA-MRSA” has become the dominant CA-MRSA clone. First described in the early 2000s, ST93-IV [2B] is associated with skin and severe invasive infections including necrotizing pneumonia. A singleton by multilocus sequence typing (MLST) eBURST analysis ST93 is distinct from other S aureus clones. To determine if the increased prevalence of ST93-IV [2B] is due to the widespread transmission of a single strain of ST93-IV [2B] the genetic relatedness of 58 S. aureus ST93 isolated throughout Australia over an extended period were studied in detail using a variety of molecular methods including pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, spa typing, MLST, microarray DNA, SCCmec typing and dru typing. Identification of the phage harbouring the lukS-PV/lukF-PV Panton Valentine leucocidin genes, detection of allelic variations in lukS-PV/lukF-PV, and quantification of LukF-PV expression was also performed. Although ST93-IV [2B] is known to have an apparent enhanced clinical virulence, the isolates harboured few known virulence determinants. All PVL-positive isolates carried the PVL-encoding phage ΦSa2USA and the lukS-PV/lukF-PV genes had the same R variant SNP profile. The isolates produced similar expression levels of LukF-PV. Although multiple rearrangements of the spa sequence have occurred, the core genome in ST93 is very stable. The emergence of ST93-MRSA is due to independent acquisitions of different dru-defined type IV and type V SCCmec elements in several spa-defined ST93-MSSA backgrounds. Rearrangement of the spa sequence in ST93-MRSA has subsequently occurred in some of these strains. Although multiple ST93-MRSA strains were characterised, little genetic diversity was identified for most isolates, with PVL-positive ST93-IVa [2B]-t202-dt10 predominant across Australia. Whether ST93-IVa [2B] t202-dt10 arose from one PVL-positive ST93-MSSA-t202, or by independent acquisitions of SCCmec-IVa [2B]-dt10 into multiple PVL-positive ST93-MSSA-t202 strains is not known.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0043037
PMCID: PMC3416834  PMID: 22900085
19.  Community-acquired MRSA and pig-farming 
Background
Sporadic cases of CA-MRSA in persons without risk-factors for MRSA carriage are increasing.
Case presentation
We report a MRSA cluster among family members of a pig-farmer, his co-workers and his pigs. Initially a young mother was seen with mastitis due to MRSA. Six months later her baby daughter was admitted to the hospital with pneumococcal otitis. After staying five days in hospital, the baby was found to be MRSA positive. At that point it was decided to look for a possible source, such as other family members and house-hold animals, including pigs on the farm, since those were reported as a possible source of MRSA earlier.
Swabs were taken from the throat and nares of family members and co-workers. A veterinarian obtained swabs from the nares, throat and perineum of 10 pigs. Swabs were cultured following a national protocol to detect MRSA that included the use of an enrichment broth. Animal and human strains were characterized by PFGE, spa-typing, MLST analysis, SSCmec, AGR typing, and the detection for PVL, LukM, and TSST toxin genes.
Three family members, three co-workers, and 8 of the 10 pigs were MRSA positive. With the exception of the initial case (the mother) all persons were solely colonized, with no signs of clinical infections.
After digestion with SmaI, none of the strains showed any bands using PFGE. All isolates belonged to spa type t108 and ST398.
Conclusion
1. This report clearly shows clonal spread and transmission between humans and pigs in the Netherlands. 2. MLST sequence type 398 might be of international importance as pig-MRSA, since this type was shown earlier to be present in epidemiologically unrelated French pigs and pig-farmers. 3. Research is needed to evaluate whether this is a local problem or a new source of MRSA, that puts the until now successful Search and Destroy policy of the Netherlands at risk.
doi:10.1186/1476-0711-5-26
PMCID: PMC1654169  PMID: 17096847
20.  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
21.  Prevalence and clonality of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in the Atlantic Azores islands: predominance of SCCmec types IV, V and VI 
In order to obtain insights into the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) population structure in the Azores archipelago, 106 MRSA isolates were collected from patients attending an Azorean central hospital between January 2007 and February 2008. Antimicrobial resistance was determined for all isolates. Molecular typing was performed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), spa typing, multilocus sequence typing (MLST), staphylococcal chromosome cassette mec (SCCmec) typing and the presence of Panton–Valentine leukocidin (PVL). The majority of the isolates (87%, n = 92) belonged to the EMRSA-15 clone (ST22, SCCmec-IVh), followed by the Pediatric clone (ST5-VI/IVc) (11%, n = 12). The Berlin clone (ST45-IVa) and a new clone (spa type t1839, ST1339 and SCCmec V variant) were represented by single isolates. All of the isolates carried SCCmec types IV, V or VI and a non-multiresistant antibiotic profile, resembling the currently emerging community MRSA. Moreover, PVL was described for the first time to be associated with the Pediatric clone carrying SCCmec type VI. We provided the first description of the population structure of MRSA in the Azores islands, which seems to be shaped by genetic events occurring locally, as well as by the regular population exchange between the islands, continental Portugal, the United Kingdom and the United States.
doi:10.1007/s10096-010-0892-4
PMCID: PMC2854357  PMID: 20229224
22.  Predominance of Clones Carrying Panton-Valentine Leukocidin Genes among Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Strains Isolated in Japanese Hospitals from 1979 to 1985▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2006;44(12):4515-4527.
We examined 97 strains of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) isolated between 1979 and 1985, the period of time when the appearance of MRSA strains increased, and we determined that these strains are distinct from the MRSA clones predominating in today's Japanese hospitals. Type IV staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) strains were the most frequent, comprising 53.6% of all strains, followed by type I (22.7%) and type II (21.6%) SCCmec strains. Among the type IV SCCmec strains, the frequencies of two new subtypes, type IV.3 (IVc) and type IV.4 (IVd), were very high, comprising 38.1 and 10.3% of all strains, respectively. Forty-four of the 97 strains (45.3%) were Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) positive. Among the PVL-positive strains, sequence type 30 (ST30)-SCCmec type IV strains producing type 4 coagulase were the most frequent. This is in striking contrast to the MRSA strains isolated in the 1990s, most of which were ST5-SCCmec type II strains producing type 2 coagulase and positive for the toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 gene. We also identified a new PVL-carrying prophage lysogenized in a type IV.3 SCCmec strain, 81/108. φ108PVL was distinct from the three extant PVL-carrying phages and was presumed to be carried by ST30-type IV.3 SCCmec strains isolated in Japan. These results provide genetic bases for the transition of MRSA clones in Japan that is commonly considered the transition from coagulase type 4 MRSA strains to coagulase type 2 MRSA strains. The results also suggested that MRSA strains that predominated between 1979 and 1985 were generated from PVL-positive methicillin-susceptible S. aureus strains through the integration of SCCmec elements.
doi:10.1128/JCM.00985-06
PMCID: PMC1698406  PMID: 17050818
23.  Factors associated with the occurrence of MRSA CC398 in herds of fattening pigs in Germany 
Background
The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence of MRSA in herds of fattening pigs in different regions of Germany, and to determine factors associated with the occurrence of this pathogen. For this purpose pooled dust samples were collected, and a questionnaire covered information regarding herd characteristics and management practices. Samples were pre-enriched in high-salt medium followed by selective enrichment containing cefoxitin/aztreonam, and culturing. Presumptive colonies were confirmed by multiplex-PCR targeting nuc-, mecA- and 16S rRNA-genes. Isolates were spa- and SCCmec-, and in selected cases, multilocus sequence-typed. Susceptibilities to 13 antimicrobials were determined by broth microdilution. Statistical analysis was carried out using backward stepwise logistic regression to calculate odds ratios with the MRSA test result as the outcome and herd characteristics as categorical covariates.
Results
Overall, 152 of 290 (52%) fattening pig farms tested positive for MRSA. The prevalence in the east, north- and south-west of Germany ranged from 39 to 59%.
t011 (66%) and t034 (23%) were the most commonly identified spa-types, and 85% of isolates carried SCCmec Type V. Identified spa-types were all associated with clonal complex CC398. Susceptibility testing revealed that all isolates were resistant to tetracycline. High resistance rates were also found for sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim (40%), and quinupristin/dalfopristin (32%). In addition, 83% of strains displayed multidrug resistant (> 3 substance classes) phenotypes.
Logistic regression revealed herd size (large farms OR: 5.4; CI: 2.7-11.2; p < 0.05), and production type (wean-to-finish OR: 4.0; CI: 1.6-10.4; p < 0.05) as risk factors associated with a positive MRSA finding in fattening pig operations.
Conclusions
MRSA CC398 is widely distributed among herds of fattening pigs in Germany. Farm management plays a crucial role in the dissemination of MRSA with herd size, and production type representing potential major indicators.
doi:10.1186/1746-6148-7-69
PMCID: PMC3260235  PMID: 22074403
24.  Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Spain: Molecular Epidemiology and Utility of Different Typing Methods ▿ †  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2009;47(6):1620-1627.
In a point-prevalence study performed in 145 Spanish hospitals in 2006, we collected 463 isolates of Staphylococcus aureus in a single day. Of these, 135 (29.2%) were methicillin (meticillin)-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) isolates. Susceptibility testing was performed by a microdilution method, and mecA was detected by PCR. The isolates were analyzed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) after SmaI digestion, staphylococcal chromosomal cassette mec (SCCmec) typing, agr typing, spa typing with BURP (based-upon-repeat-pattern) analysis, and multilocus sequence typing (MLST). The 135 MRSA isolates showed resistance to ciprofloxacin (93.3%), tobramycin (72.6%), gentamicin (20.0%), erythromycin (66.7%), and clindamycin (39.3%). Among the isolates resistant to erythromycin, 27.4% showed the M phenotype. All of the isolates were susceptible to glycopeptides. Twelve resistance patterns were found, of which four accounted for 65% of the isolates. PFGE revealed 36 different patterns, with 13 major clones (including 2 predominant clones with various antibiotypes that accounted for 52.5% of the MRSA isolates) and 23 sporadic profiles. Two genotypes were observed for the first time in Spain. SCCmec type IV accounted for 6.7% of the isolates (70.1% were type IVa, 23.9% were type IVc, 0.9% were type IVd, and 5.1% were type IVh), and SCCmec type I and SCCmec type II accounted for 7.4% and 5.2% of the isolates, respectively. One isolate was nontypeable. Only one of the isolates produced the Panton-Valentine leukocidin. The isolates presented agr type 2 (82.2%), type 1 (14.8%), and type 3 (3.0%). spa typing revealed 32 different types, the predominant ones being t067 (48.9%) and t002 (14.8%), as well as clonal complex 067 (78%) by BURP analysis. The MRSA clone of sequence type 125 and SCCmec type IV was the most prevalent throughout Spain. In our experience, PFGE, spa typing, SCCmec typing, and MLST presented good correlations for the majority of the MRSA strains; we suggest the use of spa typing and PFGE typing for epidemiological surveillance, since this combination is useful for both long-term and short-term studies.
doi:10.1128/JCM.01579-08
PMCID: PMC2691083  PMID: 19339473
25.  Characterization of methicillin-susceptible and -resistant staphylococci in the clinical setting: a multicentre study in Nigeria 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2012;12:286.
Background
The staphylococci are implicated in a variety of human infections; however, many clinical microbiology laboratories in Nigeria do not identify staphylococci (in particular coagulase negative staphylococci - CNS) to the species level. Moreover, data from multi-centre assessment on antibiotic resistance and epidemiology of the staphylococci are not available in Nigeria. This study investigated 91 non-duplicate staphylococcal isolates obtained from the microbiology laboratories of eight hospitals in Nigeria during the period January to April 2010.
Methods
Identification and antibiotic susceptibility testing was performed using the VITEK 2 system, detection of resistance genes by PCR, and molecular characterization was determined by SCCmec typing, spa and multilocus sequence typing (MLST).
Results
All the isolates were susceptible to mupirocin, tigecycline, vancomycin and linezolid, but 72.5% of CNS and 82.3% of Staphylococcus aureus were resistant to cotrimoxazole, while multiresistance was observed in 37 of the 40 CNS isolates. Untypeable SCCmec types (ccrC/Class A mec and ccr-negative/Class C2 mec gene complex) in two methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) were identified. Additionally, ccr-negative/Class A mec and ccr type 4/Class C2 mec gene complex was detected in one isolate each of S. sciuri and S. haemolyticus, respectively. The S. aureus isolates were classified into 21 spa types including two new types (t8987, t9008) among the methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) isolates. Two (CC8-SCCmecnon-typeable and CC88-SCCmec IV) and four (CC8-SCCmec III/IV/V; CC30-SCCmec II/III; CC88-SCCmec IV; and ST152-SCCmecnon-typeable) MRSA clones were identified in Maiduguri (North-East Nigeria) and South-West Nigeria, respectively. The proportion of Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL)-positive MSSA was high (44.4%) and 56.3% of these strains were associated with sequence type (ST) 152.
Conclusions
The identification of multiresistant mecA positive S. haemolyticus and S. sciuri from clinical samples indicates that characterization of CNS is important in providing information on their diversity and importance in Nigeria. There is the need to develop new SCCmec classification methods for non-typeable methicillin-resistant staphylococci, and to curtail the spread and establishment of the S. aureus ST152 clone in Nigeria. The study presents the first report of a PVL-positive ST152-SCCmecnontypeable MRSA and SCCmec typing of methicillin-resistant CNS in Nigeria.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-12-286
PMCID: PMC3529121  PMID: 23121720
Coagulase negative staphylococci; Staphylococcus aureus; Multiresistance; mecA gene; Staphylococcus haemolyticus; Staphylococcus sciuri; Panton Valentine Leukocidin; SCCmec typing; ST152; Nigeria

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