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.
Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) has been linked to invasive community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections. However, the association between disease and PVL-positive methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) has not been widely reported. We aimed to examine the epidemiology of PVL in clinical MSSA isolates from patients presenting to Auckland City Hospital. Four hundred eleven MSSA clinical isolates and 93 nasal carriage isolates were collected and tested for the presence of the lukSF-PV genes using PCR. The results were examined in light of host and disease factors. Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) was performed on a random subset of isolates to ensure that there was no single PVL-positive MSSA clone responsible for disease in Auckland. The prevalence of the lukSF-PV genes in MSSA isolates associated with disease (124/335; 37%) was not significantly different from the prevalence of the lukSF-PV genes in MSSA nasal carriage isolates (29/93; 31% [P = 0.33]). PVL-positive MSSA isolates in Auckland are genetically diverse and come from a number of different clonal complexes. PVL-positive infections peaked at between 10 and 20 years of age, with a subsequent decline. Pacific ethnicity, age, diagnosis of skin and soft tissue infection (SSTI), community-onset infection, and the need for surgical intervention were found by multivariate analysis to be independently associated with PVL-positive MSSA infection. More than one-third of MSSA infections in our patient population are caused by PVL-positive strains. Those patients with PVL-positive MSSA infection were more likely to be of Pacific ethnicity, be younger in age, have community-onset infection, have SSTI, and need surgical intervention.
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.
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.
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.
Bacterial infection; Community-acquired MRSA; Multi-drug resistance; spa typing; Staphylococcal virulence factors
Community-acquired necrotizing pneumonia caused by Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL)-secreting Staphylococcus aureus is a highly lethal infection that mainly affects healthy children and young adults. Both methicillin-sensitive S. aureus (MSSA) and methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) may carry the PVL-phage, but the majority of publications relate to community-associated methicillin-resistant S. aureus (CA-MRSA) or mixed patient groups. This study focuses on necrotizing pneumonia due to methicillin-sensitive S. aureus strains, with the purpose to determine factors associated with outcome.
We report a patient with PVL secreting MSSA necrotizing pneumonia and performed a systematic review of similar case in the literature. We analyzed factors associated with outcome.
A total of 32 patient descriptions were retained for analysis. Septic shock (p = 0.007), influenza-like prodrome (p = 0.02), and the absence of a previous skin and soft-tissue infection (p = 0.024) were associated with fatal outcome. In multivariate analysis, influenza-like prodrome (odds ratio (OR), 7.44; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.24-44.76; p = 0.028) and absence of previous skin and soft-tissue infection (OR, 0.09; 95% CI, 0.01-0.86; p = 0.036) remained significant predictors of death.
Influenza-like prodrome may be predictive of adverse outcome in PVL-secreting MSSA necrotizing pneumonia. In contrast, previous skin and soft-tissue infection may be associated with improved prognosis.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is increasingly responsible for staphylococcal infections in the community. A large percentage of the community-acquired methicillin-resistant (CA-MRSA) strains in the USA produce Panton–Valentine leukocidin (PVL), which is associated with severe infections. The virulence of the clinical CA-MRSA strain USA300 was compared to that of its isogenic pvl-deleted mutant, and it was shown that PVL contributes to lung and muscle tissue destruction, respectively, in murine necrotizing pneumonia and skin infection models. Mice infected with the USA300 strain developed a dominant anti-PVL response. The PVL subunits were therefore tested as vaccinogens against this isolate, and their vaccine efficacy correlated with both the route of vaccination and infection. These data suggest that PVL is a virulence factor in murine CA-MRSA infections.
CA-MRSA; Panton–Valentine leukocidin; Staphylococcus aureus
The role of Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) in determining the severity and outcome of complicated skin and skin structure infections (cSSSI) caused by methicillin (meticillin)-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is controversial. We evaluated potential associations between clinical outcome and PVL status by using MRSA isolates from patients enrolled in two large, multinational phase three clinical trials assessing telavancin for the treatment of cSSSI (the ATLAS program). MRSA isolates from microbiologically evaluable patients were genotyped by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and PCR for pvl and 31 other putative virulence determinants. A single baseline pathogen of MRSA was isolated from 522 microbiologically evaluable patients (25.1%) among 2,079 randomized patients. Of these MRSA isolates, 83.2% (432/519) exhibited the USA300 PFGE genotype and 89.1% (465/522) were pvl positive. Patients with pvl-positive MRSA were more likely than those with pvl-negative MRSA to be young, to be North American, and to present with major abscesses (P < 0.001 for each). Patients were significantly more likely to be cured if they were infected with pvl-positive MRSA than if they were infected with pvl-negative MRSA (91.6% versus 80.7%; P = 0.015). This observation remained statistically significant after adjustment for presence of abscess, fever, or leukocytosis; infection size; diabetes; patient age; and study medication received. The fnbA, cna, sdrC, map-eap, sed, seg, sei, sej, SCCmec type IV, and agr group II genes were also associated with clinical response (P < 0.05). This contemporary, international study demonstrates that pvl was not the primary determinant of outcome in patients with MRSA cSSSI.
Ninety-six clinical isolates of Staphylococcus aureus from Nigeria were characterized phenotypically and genetically. Twelve multidrug-resistant methicillin (meticillin)-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) isolates carrying a new staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec element and a high proportion of Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL)-positive methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) isolates were observed. The cooccurrence of multidrug-resistant MRSA and PVL-positive MSSA isolates entails the risk of emergence of a multidrug-resistant PVL-positive MRSA clone.
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.
Limited comprehensive molecular typing data exist currently for Panton-Valentine leucocidin (PVL)-positive, methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (PVL-MSSA) clinical isolates. Characterization of PVL-MSSA isolates by multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and spa typing in this study showed a genetic similarity to PVL-positive, methicillin-resistant S. aureus (PVL-MRSA) strains, although three novel spa types and a novel MLST (ST1518) were detected. Furthermore, the detection of PVL phages and haplotypes in PVL-MSSA identical to those previously found in PVL-MRSA isolates highlights the role these strains may play as precursors of emerging lineages of clinical significance.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a major cause of nosocomial pneumonia. To characterize pathogen-derived and host-related factors in intensive care unit (ICU) patients with MRSA pneumonia, we evaluated the Improving Medicine through Pathway Assessment of Critical Therapy in Hospital-Acquired Pneumonia (IMPACT-HAP) database. We performed multivariate regression analyses of 28-day mortality and clinical response using univariate analysis variables at a P level of <0.25. In isolates from 251 patients, the most common molecular characteristics were USA100 (55.0%) and USA300 (23.9%), SCCmec types II (64.1%) and IV (33.1%), and agr I (36.7%) and II (61.8%). Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) was present in 21.9%, and vancomycin heteroresistance was present in 15.9%. Mortality occurred in 37.1% of patients; factors in the univariate analysis were age, APACHE II score, AIDS, cardiac disease, vascular disease, diabetes, SCCmec type II, PVL negativity, and higher vancomycin MIC (all P values were <0.05). In multivariate analysis, independent predictors were APACHE II score (odds ratio [OR], 1.090; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.041 to 1.141; P < 0.001) and age (OR, 1.024; 95% CI, 1.003 to 1.046; P = 0.02). Clinical failure occurred in 36.8% of 201 evaluable patients; the only independent predictor was APACHE II score (OR, 1.082; 95% CI, 1.031 to 1.136; P = 0.002). In summary, APACHE II score (mortality, clinical failure) and age (mortality) were the only independent predictors, which is consistent with severity of illness in ICU patients with MRSA pneumonia. Interestingly, our univariate findings suggest that both pathogen and host factors influence outcomes. As the epidemiology of MRSA pneumonia continues to evolve, both pathogen- and host-related factors should be considered when describing epidemiological trends and outcomes of therapeutic interventions.
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.
The Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) is a cytotoxin expressed by many methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains that cause community-acquired infections (CA-MRSA). Its role in virulence however, is controversial, with clinical data suggesting that PVL-producing strains may cause less severe disease in humans. PVL is capable of lysing human white blood cells, but at sublytic amounts, PVL can activate protective host immunity in the absence of cell damage. The concentration-dependent reactions it elicits from host cells could be the reason for seemingly contradictory results about PVL's role in virulence. We hypothesized that a key to understanding PVL's action on host cells and, possibly, outcomes from infection is the amount of toxin present, a hypothesis previously supported in studies using a low-inoculum skin infection model, where low levels of PVL augmented innate immune resistance to infection. Here, we present additional data supporting this hypothesis using a mouse model of MRSA pneumonia, wherein we found increased virulence of isogenic Δpvl strains and further confirmed PVL's capacity to activate proinflammatory responses from mouse and human neutrophils and pulmonary cells. Activation was measured as the production of phosphorylated p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and proinflammatory cytokines interleukin-8 (IL-8) and KC (from human and mouse cells, respectively), as well as the release of antibacterial factors. Conversely, PVL lowered the levels of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) produced in active pulmonary infection, while low doses induced apoptosis, suggesting that PVL also has the capacity to regulate inflammation. Our data indicate that, independent of its cytotoxic effects, PVL also plays an important and positive immunomodulatory role during MRSA infections.
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.
A protocol for multilocus sequence typing (MLST) of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) was adapted to real-time LightCycler System PCR for efficient and rapid amplification of seven housekeeping genes in the same PCR run and real-time detection of the products. The method was evaluated on a representative and well-characterized collection of clinical MRSA isolates (n = 57) obtained from an area of low endemicity. Twenty sequence types (STs) and nine clonal complexes were identified. Combining STs and the staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) type identified 27 different genotypes, and type IV SCCmec was present in 11 different STs. The presence of the Panton Valentine leukocidin (PVL) genes was found in isolates of four different STs. Eleven different STs were found among the community-acquired as well as among the hospital-acquired MRSA. The genetic heterogeneity was also denoted by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis analysis that showed 24 different pulsotypes among the 57 MRSA isolates. The presence of more than one different type of SCCmec in the same ST indicates that the MRSA clones have arisen at several occasions in the same genetic background by independent acquisition of SCCmec into methicillin-sensitive strains. This circumstance shows the importance of combining MLST data with SCCmec-typing results when investigating the origins of MRSA.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a major pathogen that causes severe morbidity and mortality in hospitalized patients. It is unclear whether repeated MRSA infections in pediatric patients are caused by relapse of previous infecting strains or by acquiring new strains from extrinsic sources. The study aimed to define the genetic relatedness of MRSA isolates from children with repeated infections.
Children with multiple MRSA infections during 2004–2006 were identified in a teaching hospital. Repeated infections were confirmed by chart review and the responsible isolates were genotyped and screened for Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) genes. Two consecutive episodes comprised an infection pair, and strain relatedness was defined for each pair as indistinguishable, highly related, or distinct if the isolates were of the same subtype, the same genotype, or different genotype, respectively. A total of 114 episodes comprising 66 infection pairs were identified in 48 children. The interval of infection pairs ranged from 15 days to 346 days, with a median duration of 57.5 days. Genotypings classified all isolates into 7 genotypes and 31 subtypes. Of 66 pairs, 46 (69.7%), 13 (19.7%) and 7 (10.6%) pairs were caused by indistinguishable, highly related and distinct strains, respectively. Subsequent infections caused by indistinguishable strains were more common for PVL-positive strains (17/18, 94.4%) than for PVL-negative strains (29/48, 60.4%, P = 0.007). The strain relatedness was not affected by the durations of interval between infections.
Most repeated MRSA infections in children are caused by indistinguishable strains even after a long period of interval, suggesting that persistent carriage and relapse of initial infecting strains were responsible for the majority of recurrent MRSA infections.
Recently, natural products have been evaluated as sources of antimicrobial agents with efficacies against a variety of micro-organisms.
This report describes the antimicrobial activities of pomegranate rind extract (PRE) singularly and in combination with cupric sulphate against methicillin-sensitive and -resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA, MRSA respectively), and Panton-Valentine Leukocidin positive community acquired MSSA (PVL positive CA-MSSA).
PRE alone showed limited efficacy against MRSA and MSSA strains. Exposure to copper (II) ions alone for 2 hours resulted in moderate activity of between 102 to 103 log10 cfu mL-1 reduction in growth. This was enhanced by the addition of PRE to 104 log10 cfu mL-1 reduction in growth being observed in 80% of the isolates. However, the PVL positive CA-MSSA strains were more sensitive to copper (II) ions which exhibited moderate activities of between 103 log10 cfu mL-1 reduction in growth for 60% of the isolates.
PRE, in combination with Cu(II) ions, was seen to exhibit moderate antimicrobial effects against clinical isolates of MSSA, MRSA and PVL positive CA-MSSA isolates. The results of this study indicate that further investigation into the active ingredients of natural products, their mode of action and potential synergism with other antimicrobial agents is warranted. This is the first report of the efficacy of pomegranate against clinical PVL positive CA-MSSA isolates.
Community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) strains, which often produce Panton-Valentine leucocidin (PVL), are increasingly noted worldwide. In this study, we examined 42 MRSA strains (25 PVL-positive [PVL+] strains and 17 PVL-negative [PVL−] strains) isolated in Taiwan for their molecular characteristics. The PVL+ MRSA strains included CA-MRSA strains with multilocus sequence type (ST) 59 (major PVL+ MRSA in Taiwan), its variants, and worldwide CA-MRSA ST30 strains. The PVL− MRSA strains included the pandemic Hungarian MRSA ST239 strain, the Hungarian MRSA ST239 variant, MRSA ST59 (largely hospital-acquired MRSA strains) and its variants, the pandemic New York/Japan MRSA ST5 strain (Japanese type), and the MRSA ST8 strain. The major PVL+ CA-MRSA ST59 strain possessed a tetracycline resistance-conferring (tetK positive) penicillinase plasmid and a drug resistance gene cluster (a possible composite transposon) for multidrug resistance. Moreover, it carried a novel staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) with two distinct ccrC genes (ccrC2-C8). This SCCmec (previously named SCCmec type VT) was tentatively designated SCCmec type VII. Sequencing of the PVL genes revealed the polymorphisms, and the PVL+ CA-MRSA ST59 strain possessed the ST59-specific PVL gene sequence. The data suggest that a significant amount of clonal spread is occurring in Taiwan and that the major PVL+ CA-MRSA ST59Taiwan strain exhibits unique genetic characteristics, such as a novel SCCmec type and an ST59-specific PVL gene sequence.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Staphylococcus aureus; Panton-Valentine leukocidin; methicillin resistance
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.
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.
A survey in 2000 to detect methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) colonization in Vancouver downtown east side injection drug users (IDUs) revealed an MRSA nasal colonization incidence of 7.4%. This is a follow-up study to determine the current prevalence of MRSA colonization and to further characterize the isolates and risk factors for colonization. In this point prevalence study of MRSA nasal carriage among IDUs, nasal swabs were cultured to detect S. aureus. Isolates were studied for their antimicrobial susceptibility patterns and the presence of mecA and Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) genes and by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). S. aureus was isolated from 119 of 301 (39.5%) samples; three (2.5%) participants had both methicillin-sensitive S. aureus (MSSA) and MRSA, resulting in 122 isolates. Of these, 54.1% were MSSA and 45.9% were MRSA, with an overall MRSA rate of 18.6%. USA-300 (CMRSA-10) accounted for 75% of all MRSA isolates; 25% were USA-500 (CMRSA-5). None of the USA-500 isolates were positive for PVL; 41 (97.6%) USA-300 isolates contained PVL. One MSSA isolate, from an individual also carrying USA-300, was positive for PVL. The PFGE pattern of this MSSA isolate was related to that of the MRSA strain. The antibiograms of USA-300 compared to USA-500 isolates showed 100% versus 7.1% susceptibility to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMX) and 54.8% versus 7.1% susceptibility to clindamycin. MRSA nasal colonization in this population has increased significantly within the last 6 years, with USA-300 replacing the previous strain. Most of these strains are PVL positive, and all are susceptible to TMP-SMX.
Increases in the incidence and severity of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) infections have spawned efforts to define unique virulence properties among prevalent strains. Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL), a pore-forming cytotoxin, has garnered attention due to its epidemiologic association with CA-MRSA. Using the clinical isolate LAC, representative of the epidemic USA300 strain, and its isogenic PVL-negative strain in murine models of staphylococcal skin infection and pneumonia, we have extended recent studies by assessing the contribution of PVL in the BALB/c genetic background. The data herein support the observation that PVL does not contribute to the pathogenesis of staphylococcal infection of mice.
Community-associated methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA); Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL); USA300; skin infection; pneumonia; animal models
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.
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.
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.
Neutralizing antibody to PVL does not protect children against primary or recurrent CA-MRSA SSTI.
Staphylococcus aureus; MRSA; Panton-Valentine leukocidin; antibody
Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) is an emerging public health problem worldwide. Severe invasive infections have been described, mostly associated with the presence of Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL). In Portugal limited information exists regarding CA-MRSA infections. In this study we describe the case of a previously healthy 12-year-old female, sport athlete, who presented to the hospital with acetabulofemoral septic arthritis, myositis, fasciitis, acetabulum osteomyelitis, and pneumonia. The MRSA isolated from blood and synovial fluid was PVL negative and staphylococcal enterotoxin type P (SEP) and type L (SEL) positive, with a vancomycin MIC of 1.0 mg/L and resistant to clindamycin and ciprofloxacin. The patient was submitted to multiple surgical drainages and started on vancomycin, rifampicin, and gentamycin. Due to persistence of fever and no microbiological clearance, linezolid was started with improvement. This is one of the few reported cases of severe invasive infection caused by CA-MRSA in Portugal, which was successfully treated with linezolid. In spite of the severity of infection, the MRSA isolate did not produce PVL.
Community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) has emerged as a major public health problem in Australia, as in many other parts of the world. High rates of CA-MRSA skin and soft tissue infection have been reported from Aboriginal communities. We used a single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping typing system based on the multilocus sequence type (MLST) database to investigate the epidemiology of CA-MRSA and methicillin-sensitive S. aureus (MSSA) over a 12-month period in three remote Aboriginal communities of Northern Australia. This was supplemented by real-time PCR for Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) genes, staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) typing, and antimicrobial susceptibility testing. S. aureus was recovered from pyoderma lesions on 221 occasions and throat swabs on 44 occasions. The median monthly recovery rate of S. aureus from skin sores was 58% (interquartile range, 62 to 78%), and there was no seasonal variation. Twenty-three percent of isolates were CA-MRSA; the proportion was similar across the communities and did not vary over the study period. Erythromycin resistance was found in 47% of CA-MRSA and 21% of MSSA. SNP-based typing identified 14 different clonal complexes (cc); however, cc75 was predominant, accounting for 71% of CA-MRSA isolates. These were confirmed as ST75-like by using an additional SNP and MLST of selected isolates. All but one of the cc75 isolates had SSCmec type IV (one had type V), and all were PVL negative. Monthly tracking of SNP-based cc types showed a highly dynamic process. ST75-MRSA-IV appears to be unique to the region and probably evolved de novo in remote Aboriginal communities.
In 2008, an unusual strain of methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA68111), producing both Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) and toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 (TSST-1), was isolated from a fatal case of necrotizing pneumonia. Because PVL/TSST-1 co-production in S. aureus is rare, we characterized the molecular organization of these toxin genes in strain 68111. MSSA68111 carries the PVL genes within a novel temperate prophage we call ФPVLv68111 that is most similar, though not identical, to phage ФPVL – a phage type that is relatively rare worldwide. The TSST-1 gene (tst) in MSSA68111 is carried on a unique staphylococcal pathogenicity island (SaPI) we call SaPI68111. Features of SaPI68111 suggest it likely arose through multiple major recombination events with other known SaPIs. Both ФPVLv68111 and SaPI68111 are fully mobilizable and therefore transmissible to other strains. Taken together, these findings suggest that hypervirulent S. aureus have the potential to emerge worldwide.