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1.  Extensive Dissemination of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) between the Hospital and the Community in a Country with a High Prevalence of Nosocomial MRSA 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(4):e59960.
According to the EARS-Net surveillance data, Portugal has the highest prevalence of nosocomial methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in Europe, but the information on MRSA in the community is very scarce and the links between the hospital and community are not known. In this study we aimed to understand the events associated to the recent sharp increase in MRSA frequency in Portugal and to evaluate how this has shaped MRSA epidemiology in the community. With this purpose, 180 nosocomial MRSA isolates recovered from infection in two time periods and 14 MRSA isolates recovered from 89 samples of skin and soft tissue infections (SSTI) were analyzed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), staphylococcal chromosome cassette mec (SCCmec) typing, spa typing and multilocus sequence typing (MLST). All isolates were also screened for the presence of Panton Valentine leukocidin (PVL) and arginine catabolic mobile element (ACME) by PCR. The results showed that ST22-IVh, accounting for 72% of the nosocomial isolates, was the major clone circulating in the hospital in 2010, having replaced two previous dominant clones in 1993, the Iberian (ST247-I) and Portuguese (ST239-III variant) clones. Moreover in 2010, three clones belonging to CC5 (ST105-II, ST125-IVc and ST5-IVc) accounted for 20% of the isolates and may represent the beginning of new waves of MRSA in this hospital. Interestingly, more than half of the MRSA isolates (8/14) causing SSTI in people attending healthcare centers in Portugal belonged to the most predominant clones found in the hospital, namely ST22-IVh (n = 4), ST5-IVc (n = 2) and ST105-II (n = 1). Other clones found included ST5-V (n = 6) and ST8-VI (n = 1). None of the MRSA isolates carried PVL and only five isolates (ST5-V-t179) carried ACME type II. The emergence and spread of EMRSA-15 may be associated to the observed increase in MRSA frequency in the hospital and the consequent spillover of MRSA into the community.
PMCID: PMC3617237  PMID: 23593155
2.  Characterization of a Novel Arginine Catabolic Mobile Element (ACME) and Staphylococcal Chromosomal Cassette mec Composite Island with Significant Homology to Staphylococcus epidermidis ACME Type II in Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Genotype ST22-MRSA-IV▿ 
The arginine catabolic mobile element (ACME) is prevalent among methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) isolates of sequence type 8 (ST8) and staphylococcal chromosomal cassette mec (SCCmec) type IVa (USA300) (ST8-MRSA-IVa isolates), and evidence suggests that ACME enhances the ability of ST8-MRSA-IVa to grow and survive on its host. ACME has been identified in a small number of isolates belonging to other MRSA clones but is widespread among coagulase-negative staphylococci (CoNS). This study reports the first description of ACME in two distinct strains of the pandemic ST22-MRSA-IV clone. A total of 238 MRSA isolates recovered in Ireland between 1971 and 2008 were investigated for ACME using a DNA microarray. Twenty-three isolates (9.7%) were ACME positive, and all were either MRSA genotype ST8-MRSA-IVa (7/23, 30%) or MRSA genotype ST22-MRSA-IV (16/23, 70%). Whole-genome sequencing and comprehensive molecular characterization revealed the presence of a novel 46-kb ACME and staphylococcal chromosomal cassette mec (SCCmec) composite island (ACME/SCCmec-CI) in ST22-MRSA-IVh isolates (n = 15). This ACME/SCCmec-CI consists of a 12-kb DNA region previously identified in ACME type II in S. epidermidis ATCC 12228, a truncated copy of the J1 region of SCCmec type I, and a complete SCCmec type IVh element. The composite island has a novel genetic organization, with ACME located within orfX and SCCmec located downstream of ACME. One PVL locus-positive ST22-MRSA-IVa isolate carried ACME located downstream of SCCmec type IVa, as previously described in ST8-MRSA-IVa. These results suggest that ACME has been acquired by ST22-MRSA-IV on two independent occasions. At least one of these instances may have involved horizontal transfer and recombination events between MRSA and CoNS. The presence of ACME may enhance dissemination of ST22-MRSA-IV, an already successful MRSA clone.
PMCID: PMC3088263  PMID: 21343442
3.  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.
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).
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.
PMCID: PMC3264586  PMID: 22291965
4.  Characterization of methicillin-susceptible and -resistant staphylococci in the clinical setting: a multicentre study in Nigeria 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2012;12:286.
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.
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).
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC3529121  PMID: 23121720
Coagulase negative staphylococci; Staphylococcus aureus; Multiresistance; mecA gene; Staphylococcus haemolyticus; Staphylococcus sciuri; Panton Valentine Leukocidin; SCCmec typing; ST152; Nigeria
5.  An Improved MLVF Method and Its Comparison with Traditional MLVF, spa Typing, MLST/SCCmec and PFGE for the Typing of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus 
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has become an important nosocomial pathogen, causing considerable morbidity and mortality. During the last 20 years, a variety of genotyping methods have been introduced for screening the prevalence of MRSA. In this study, we developed and evaluated an improved approach capillary gel electrophoresis based multilocus variable-number tandem-repeat fingerprinting (CGE/MLVF) for rapid MRSA typing. A total of 42 well-characterized strains and 116 non-repetitive clinical MRSA isolates collected from six hospitals in northeast China between 2009 and 2010 were tested. The results obtained by CGE/MLVF against clinical isolates were compared with traditional MLVF, spa typing, Multilocus sequence typing/staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (MLST/SCCmec) and pulse field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). The discriminatory power estimated by Simpson’s index of diversity was 0.855 (28 types), 0.855 (28 patterns), 0.623 (11 types), 0.517 (8 types) and 0.854 (28 patterns) for CGE/MLVF, traditional MLVF, spa typing, MLST/SCCmec and PFGE, respectively. All methods tested showed a satisfied concordance in clonal complex level calculated by adjusted Rand’s coefficient. CGE/MLVF showed better reproducibility and accuracy than traditional MLVF and PFGE methods. In addition, the CGE/MLVF has potential to produce portable results. In conclusion, CGE/MLVF is a rapid and easy to use MRSA typing method with lower cost, good reproducibility and high discriminatory power for monitoring the outbreak and clonal spread of MRSA isolates.
PMCID: PMC3907834  PMID: 24406728
methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA); genotyping; multilocus variable-number tandem repeat fingerprinting (MLVF); capillary gel electrophoresis; pulse field gel electrophoresis (PFGE); Multilocus sequence typing (MLST); staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec)
6.  Molecular characterization of Staphylococcus aureus isolates causing skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2010;10:133.
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.
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.
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC2889999  PMID: 20500885
7.  Presence and Molecular Epidemiology of Virulence Factors in Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Strains Colonizing and Infecting Soldiers▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2009;47(4):940-945.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has emerged as an important cause of skin and soft-tissue infections (SSTI). The understanding of the molecular epidemiology and virulence of MRSA continues to expand. From January 2005 to December 2005, we screened soldiers for MRSA nasal colonization, administered a demographic questionnaire, and monitored them prospectively for SSTI. All MRSA isolates underwent molecular analysis, which included pulsed-filed gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and PCR for Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL), the arginine catabolic mobile element (ACME), and the staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec). Of the 3,447 soldiers screened, 134 (3.9%) had MRSA colonization. Of the 3,066 (89%) who completed the study, 39 developed culture-confirmed MRSA abscesses. Clone USA300 represented 53% of colonizing isolates but was responsible for 97% of the abscesses (P < 0.001). Unlike colonizing isolates, isolates positive for USA300, PVL, ACME, and type IV SCCmec were significantly associated with MRSA abscess isolates. As determined by multivariate analysis, risk factors for MRSA colonization were a history of SSTI and a history of hospitalization. Although various MRSA strains may colonize soldiers, USA300 is the most virulent when evaluated prospectively, and PVL, ACME, and type IV SCCmec are associated with these abscesses.
PMCID: PMC2668321  PMID: 19213694
8.  Prevalence and Characterization of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Isolates from Retail Meat and Humans in Georgia 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2013;51(4):1199-1207.
There is increasing interest in the presence of Staphylococcus aureus, specifically methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA), on retail meat products. In this study, staphylococci were isolated from retail pork and retail beef in Georgia, and MRSA from the products was compared to human MRSA from the same geographic area using broth microdilution antimicrobial susceptibility testing, multilocus sequence typing (MLST), spa typing, SCCmec typing, and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). S. aureus was isolated from 45% (45/100) of pork products and 63% (63/100) of beef products; mecA was detected in S. aureus from both pork (3/100; 3%) and beef (4/100; 4%). Fifty percent (50/100) of human S. aureus also contained mecA. Multidrug resistance was detected among MRSA from all sources. All MRSA (n = 57) was SCCmec type IV, and nine different spa types were present among the isolates (t002, t008, t012, t024, t179, t337, t548, t681, and t1062). Four sequence types (ST5, ST8, ST9, and ST30) were detected using MLST; the majority of MRSA isolates belonged to ST8, followed by ST5. One retail beef MRSA isolate belonged to ST8, while the remaining three were ST5. In retail pork MRSA, ST5, ST9, and ST30 were observed. The majority of human MRSA isolates belonged to ST8. Thirty-seven MRSA isolates, one of which was a retail beef MRSA isolate, were pvl+. Using PFGE, MLST, and spa typing, three retail beef MRSA isolates were found to be identical in PFGE pattern, ST, and spa type to two human clonal MRSA isolates (USA100 and USA300). One additional retail beef MRSA isolate had a PFGE pattern similar to that of a human MRSA isolate, whereas none of the retail pork MRSA isolates had PFGE patterns similar to those of human MRSA isolates. These data suggest that the retail beef samples were contaminated by a human source, possibly during processing of the meat, and may present a source of MRSA for consumers and others who handle raw meat.
PMCID: PMC3666775  PMID: 23363837
9.  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.
PMCID: PMC3545200  PMID: 22898726
10.  Dissemination of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), USA300 Sequence Type 8 Lineage in Latin-America 
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococus aureus (MRSA) is an important nosocomial and community-associated (CA) pathogen. Recently, a variant of the MRSA USA300 clone emerged and disseminated in South-America causing important clinical problems.
S. aureus isolates were prospectively collected (2006 to 2008) from 32 tertiary hospitals in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela. MRSA isolates were subjected to antimicrobial susceptibility testing, pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), and categorized as healthcare-associated (HA)-like or CA-like clones based on genotypic characteristics and detection of genes encoding the Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) and staphylococcal cassette mec (SCCmec) IV. Additionally, MLST of representative isolates of each major CA-MRSA pulsotype, and detection of USA300-associated toxins and the arcA gene were performed in all isolates categorized as CA-MRSA.
A total of 1570 S. aureus were included; 651 were MRSA (41%), with the highest rates of MRSA isolation in Peru (62%), and lowest in Venezuela (26%) and 71%, 27%, and 2% were classified as HA-like, CA-like, and non-CA/HA-like clones, respectively. Only 9 MRSA isolates were confirmed to have reduced susceptibility to glycopeptides (GISA phenotype). The most common pulsotype (designated ComA) amongst the CA-like MRSA strains was found in 96% of isolates with the majority (81%) having ≤6 bands difference with the USA300-0114 strain. Representative isolates of this clone were ST8 but, unlike the USA300-0114 strain, they harbored a different SCCmec IV subtype and lacked arcA (an indicator of the arginine catabolic mobile element (ACME)).
A variant CA-MRSA USA300 clone has now become established in South America and, in some countries, is endemic in hospital settings.
PMCID: PMC2787674  PMID: 19911971
MRSA USA300-ST8; Latin-America; ST923
11.  Retrospective study of necrotizing fasciitis and characterization of its associated Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Taiwan 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2011;11:297.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has emerged as a prevalent pathogen of necrotizing fasciitis (NF) in Taiwan. A four-year NF cases and clinical and genetic differences between hospital acquired (HA)- and community-acquired (CA)-MRSA infection and isolates were investigated.
A retrospective study of 247 NF cases in 2004-2008 and antimicrobial susceptibilities, staphylococcal chromosomal cassette mec (SCCmec) types, pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) patterns, virulence factors, and multilocus sequence typing (MLST) of 16 NF-associated MRSA in 2008 were also evaluated.
In 247 cases, 42 microbial species were identified. S. aureus was the major prevalent pathogen and MRSA accounted for 19.8% of NF cases. Most patients had many coexisting medical conditions, including diabetes mellitus, followed by hypertension, chronic azotemia and chronic hepatic disease in order of decreasing prevalence. Patients with MRSA infection tended to have more severe clinical outcomes in terms of amputation rate (p < 0.05) and reconstruction rate (p = 0.001) than those with methicillin-sensitive S. aureus or non-S. aureus infection. NF patients infected by HA-MRSA had a significantly higher amputation rate, comorbidity, C-reactive protein level, and involvement of lower extremity than those infected by CA-MRSA. In addition to over 90% of MRSA resistant to erythromycin and clindamycin, HA-MRSA was more resistant than CA-MRSA to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (45.8% vs. 4%). ST59/pulsotype C/SCCmec IV and ST239/pulsotype A/SCCmec III isolates were the most prevalent CA- and HA-MRSA, respectively in 16 isolates obtained in 2008. In contrast to the gene for γ-hemolysin found in all MRSA, the gene for Panton-Valentine leukocidin was only identified in ST59 MRSA isolates. Other three virulence factors TSST-1, ETA, and ETB were occasionally identified in MRSA isolates tested.
NF patients with MRSA infection, especially HA-MRSA infection, had more severe clinical outcomes than those infected by other microbial. The prevalent NF-associated MRSA clones in Taiwan differed distinctly from the most predominant NF-associated USA300 CA-MRSA clone in the USA. Initial empiric antimicrobials with a broad coverage for MRSA should be considered in the treatment of NF patients in an endemic area.
PMCID: PMC3221646  PMID: 22040231
12.  Panton-Valentine Leukocidin-Positive Staphylococcus aureus in Ireland from 2002 to 2011: 21 Clones, Frequent Importation of Clones, Temporal Shifts of Predominant Methicillin-Resistant S. aureus Clones, and Increasing Multiresistance 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2014;52(3):859-870.
There has been a worldwide increase in community-associated (CA) methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections. CA-MRSA isolates commonly produce the Panton-Valentine leukocidin toxin encoded by the pvl genes lukF-PV and lukS-PV. This study investigated the clinical and molecular epidemiologies of pvl-positive MRSA and methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) isolates identified by the Irish National MRSA Reference Laboratory (NMRSARL) between 2002 and 2011. All pvl-positive MRSA (n = 190) and MSSA (n = 39) isolates underwent antibiogram-resistogram typing, spa typing, and DNA microarray profiling for multilocus sequence type, clonal complex (CC) and/or sequence type (ST), staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec type assignment, and virulence and resistance gene detection. Where available, patient demographics and clinical data were analyzed. The prevalence of pvl-positive MRSA increased from 0.2% to 8.8%, and that of pvl-positive MSSA decreased from 20% to 2.5% during the study period. The pvl-positive MRSA and MSSA isolates belonged to 16 and 5 genotypes, respectively, with CC/ST8-MRSA-IV, CC/ST30-MRSA-IV, CC/ST80-MRSA-IV, CC1/ST772-MRSA-V, CC30-MSSA, CC22-MSSA, and CC121-MSSA predominating. Temporal shifts in the predominant pvl-positive MRSA genotypes and a 6-fold increase in multiresistant pvl-positive MRSA genotypes occurred during the study period. An analysis of patient data indicated that pvl-positive S. aureus strains, especially MRSA strains, had been imported into Ireland several times. Two hospital and six family clusters of pvl-positive MRSA were identified, and 70% of the patient isolates for which information was available were from patients in the community. This study highlights the increased burden and changing molecular epidemiology of pvl-positive S. aureus in Ireland over the last decade and the contribution of international travel to the influx of genetically diverse pvl-positive S. aureus isolates into Ireland.
PMCID: PMC3957793  PMID: 24371244
13.  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.
PMCID: PMC2854357  PMID: 20229224
14.  Predominance and Emergence of Clones of Hospital-Acquired Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Malaysia ▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2010;48(3):867-872.
We define the epidemiology of predominant and sporadic methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains in a central teaching and referral hospital in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This is done on the basis of spa sequencing, multilocus sequence typing (MLST), staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) typing, and virulence gene profiling. During the period of study, the MRSA prevalence was 44.1%, and 389 MRSA strains were included. The prevalence of MRSA was found to be significantly higher in the patients of Indian ethnicity (P < 0.001). The majority (92.5%) of the isolates belonged to ST-239, spa type t037, and possessed the type III or IIIA SCCmec. The arginine catabolic mobile element (ACME) arcA gene was detected in three (1.05%) ST-239 isolates. We report the first identification of ACME arcA gene-positive ST-239. Apart from this predominant clone, six (1.5%) isolates of ST-22, with two related spa types (t032 and t4184) and a singleton (t3213), carrying type IVh SCCmec, were detected for the first time in Asia. A limited number of community-acquired (CA) MRSA strains were also detected. These included ST-188/t189 (2.1%), ST-1/t127 (2.3%), and ST-7/t091 (1%). Panton-Valentin leukocidin (PVL) was detected in all ST-1 and ST-188 strains and in 0.7% of the ST-239 isolates. The majority of the isolates carried agr I, except that ST-1 strains were agr III positive. Virulence genes seg and sei were seen only among ST-22 isolates. In conclusion, current results revealed the predominance of ST-239-SCCmec III/IIIA and the penetration of ST-22 with different virulence gene profiles. The emergence in Malaysia of novel clones of known epidemic and pathogenic potential should be taken seriously.
PMCID: PMC2832418  PMID: 20089756
15.  Genetic Diversity among Community Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Strains Causing Outpatient Infections in Australia 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2004;42(10):4735-4743.
Increasing reports of the appearance of novel nonmultiresistant methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus MRSA (MRSA) strains in the community and of the spread of hospital MRSA strains into the community are cause for public health concern. We conducted two national surveys of unique isolates of S. aureus from clinical specimens collected from nonhospitalized patients commencing in 2000 and 2002, respectively. A total of 11.7% of 2,498 isolates from 2000 and 15.4% of 2,486 isolates from 2002 were MRSA. Approximately 54% of the MRSA isolates were nonmultiresistant (resistant to less than three of nine antibiotics) in both surveys. The majority of multiresistant MRSA isolates in both surveys belonged to two strains (strains AUS-2 and AUS-3), as determined by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and resistogram typing. The 3 AUS-2 isolates and 10 of the 11 AUS-3 isolates selected for multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and staphylococcal chromosomal cassette mec (SCCmec) analysis were ST239-MRSA-III (where ST is the sequence type) and thus belonged to the same clone as the eastern Australian MRSA strain of the 1980s, which spread internationally. Four predominant clones of novel nonmultiresistant MRSA were identified by PFGE, MLST, and SCCmec analysis: ST22-MRSA-IV (strain EMRSA-15), ST1-MRSA-IV (strain WA-1), ST30-MRSA-IV (strain SWP), and ST93-MRSA-IV (strain Queensland). The last three clones are associated with community acquisition. A total of 14 STs were identified in the surveys, including six unique clones of novel nonmultiresistant MRSA, namely, STs 73, 93, 129, 75, and 80slv and a new ST. SCCmec types IV and V were present in diverse genetic backgrounds. These findings provide support for the acquisition of SCCmec by multiple lineages of S. aureus. They also confirm that both hospital and community strains of MRSA are now common in nonhospitalized patients throughout Australia.
PMCID: PMC522360  PMID: 15472334
16.  Nasal Carriage of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus among Pediatricians in Taiwan 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e82472.
Health care workers (HCWs) are at the interface between hospitals and communities. The survey for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) carriage among HCWs has mostly been conducted to investigate outbreaks or endemics. Community-associated MRSA are prevalent among children in Taiwan. We conducted this study to better understand the carriage rate of MRSA among pediatricians in non-outbreak situations in Taiwan,.
A total of 220 pediatricians from Taiwan who attended the annual meeting of Taiwan Pediatric Association in April, 2010 were recruited to participate in this study and were sampled from the nares for the detection of MRSA by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and further by culture. The following molecular analyses were performed, including pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), multilocus sequence typing (MLST), typing of staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) and the presence of Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) genes.
MRSA was detected from 15 attendees (6.8%) by PCR. MRSA-colonized attendees had a significantly lower rate (0.041) of working in the medical center, while borderline significantly higher rate of working in the Regional Hospital (p=0.056), than those without MRSA colonization. From those 15 samples, 12 MRSA isolates were identified by culture and molecularly characterized. Three PFGE patterns, two sequence types (ST 59, ST 508), and two SCCmec types (IV and VT) were identified, respectively. Five isolates, including three carrying SCCmec types VT, were PVL-positive. All 12 isolates were susceptible to vancomycin, teicoplanin, linezolid, fusidic acid, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, and doxycyclin, and resistant to penicillin.
Around seven percent of pediatricians in Taiwan harbored CA-MRSA in their nares.
PMCID: PMC3841146  PMID: 24303083
17.  High Genetic Diversity among Community-Associated Staphylococcus aureus in Europe: Results from a Multicenter Study 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(4):e34768.
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.
Our results imply that CA-MRSA origin, epidemiology and population structure in Europe is very dissimilar from that of USA.
PMCID: PMC3338755  PMID: 22558099
18.  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.
PMCID: PMC3486224  PMID: 22972817
19.  National Surveillance of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus in China Highlights a Still-Evolving Epidemiology with 15 Novel Emerging Multilocus Sequence Types 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2013;51(11):3638-3644.
The global spread of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a serious problem, particularly in mainland China. In order to better understand the national molecular epidemiology and resistance profiles of hospital-associated MRSA (HA-MRSA) in China, a laboratory-based multicenter surveillance study was conducted. Sixty-nine hospitals in 45 large cities in 27 provinces were involved, and a total of 1,141 HA-MRSA isolates were collected during the 6-month study period in 2011. All MRSA isolates were characterized by multilocus sequence typing (MLST), staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) typing, spa typing, detection of the Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) locus (lukS-PV and lukF-PV), and antibiogram analysis. ST239-III-t030, ST239-III-t037, and ST5-II-t002 were the predominant HA-MRSA clones (overall prevalence rates, 57.1%, 12.9%, and 8.1%, respectively), although the prevalence rates of these major clones varied markedly in different administrative regions. Of note, 6.6% of the HA-MRSA isolates were found to belong to ST59, which had typical community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA) features, including carriage of SCCmec type IV or V and PVL and less antimicrobial resistance than other major HA-MRSA clones. Moreover, among 36 MLST sequence types (STs) identified, 15 STs, accounting for 3.5% of total isolates, were novel. A novel ST designated ST2590, which is a single-locus variant of ST5-II-t002, was identified in three hospitals in two large cities, with a total of 17 isolates. To further monitor trends in HA-MRSA prevalence, epidemic clonal shifts, clone emergence, and transmission between community and health care settings, longitudinal national MRSA surveillance is required.
PMCID: PMC3889745  PMID: 23985906
20.  Large screening of CA-MRSA among Staphylococcus aureus colonizing healthy young children living in two areas (urban and rural) of Portugal 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2010;10:110.
The incidence of pediatric infections due to community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA), including children with no identifiable risk factors, has increased worldwide in the last decade. This suggests that healthy children may constitute a reservoir of MRSA in the community. In this study, nested within a larger one on nasopharyngeal ecology, we aimed to: (i) evaluate the prevalence of MRSA colonizing young children in Portugal; and (ii) compare results with those obtained in a study conducted a decade ago, when this prevalence was <0.5%.
In the years 2006, 2007, and 2009, nasopharyngeal samples were obtained from 2,100 children aged up to 6 years attending day-care centers. S. aureus were isolated by routine procedures and strains were tested for susceptibility against a panel of 12 antimicrobial agents. MRSA isolates were further characterized by SmaI-PFGE profiling, MLST, spa typing, SCCmec typing, and presence of virulence factors.
Seventeen percent of the children carried S. aureus. Among the 365 isolates, non-susceptibility rates were 88% to penicillin, 14% to erythromycin, 6% to clindamycin, 2% to tetracycline, and <1% to oxacillin, rifampicin, ciprofloxacin, and SXT. Three MRSA strains were isolated. These had properties of CA-MRSA, such as low-level resistance to oxacillin and limited resistance to non-beta-lactams. Two CA-MRSA were related to USA700 (ST72-IV): one was ST72-IVc, spa type t148; the other was ST939-IVa (ST939 is a single locus variant (SLV) of ST72), spa type t324. The third strain was related to USA300 (ST8-IV) being characterized by ST931 (SLV of ST8)-VI, spa type t008. The three MRSA strains were PVL-negative, but all carried LukE-LukD leukocidin, hemolysins gamma, gamma variant and beta, and staphylococcal enterotoxin sel.
Our results, based on analysis of S. aureus isolated from nasopharyngeal samples, suggest that in Portugal the prevalence of CA-MRSA carriage in healthy young children remains extremely low favoring the exclusion of this group as a reservoir of such isolates.
PMCID: PMC2876167  PMID: 20438633
21.  CC8 MRSA Strains Harboring SCCmec Type IVc are Predominant in Colombian Hospitals 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(6):e38576.
Recent reports highlight the incursion of community-associated MRSA within healthcare settings. However, knowledge of this phenomenon remains limited in Latin America. The aim of this study was to evaluate the molecular epidemiology of MRSA in three tertiary-care hospitals in Medellín, Colombia.
An observational cross-sectional study was conducted from 2008–2010. MRSA infections were classified as either community-associated (CA-MRSA) or healthcare-associated (HA-MRSA), with HA-MRSA further classified as hospital-onset (HAHO-MRSA) or community-onset (HACO-MRSA) according to standard epidemiological definitions established by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Genotypic analysis included SCCmec typing, spa typing, PFGE and MLST.
Out of 538 total MRSA isolates, 68 (12.6%) were defined as CA-MRSA, 243 (45.2%) as HACO-MRSA and 227 (42.2%) as HAHO-MRSA. The majority harbored SCCmec type IVc (306, 58.7%), followed by SCCmec type I (174, 33.4%). The prevalence of type IVc among CA-, HACO- and HAHO-MRSA isolates was 92.4%, 65.1% and 43.6%, respectively. From 2008 to 2010, the prevalence of type IVc-bearing strains increased significantly, from 50.0% to 68.2% (p = 0.004). Strains harboring SCCmec IVc were mainly associated with spa types t1610, t008 and t024 (MLST clonal complex 8), while PFGE confirmed that the t008 and t1610 strains were closely related to the USA300-0114 CA-MRSA clone. Notably, strains belonging to these three spa types exhibited high levels of tetracycline resistance (45.9%).
CC8 MRSA strains harboring SCCmec type IVc are becoming predominant in Medellín hospitals, displacing previously reported CC5 HA-MRSA clones. Based on shared characteristics including SCCmec IVc, absence of the ACME element and tetracycline resistance, the USA300-related isolates in this study are most likely related to USA300-LV, the recently-described ‘Latin American variant’ of USA300.
PMCID: PMC3380008  PMID: 22745670
22.  The Emergence and Importation of Diverse Genotypes of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Harboring the Panton-Valentine Leukocidin Gene (pvl) Reveal that pvl Is a Poor Marker for Community-Acquired MRSA Strains in Ireland▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2007;45(8):2554-2563.
Community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) carrying pvl is an emerging problem worldwide. CA-MRSA tends to harbor staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec type IV (SCCmec IV), to be non-multiantibiotic resistant, and to have different genotypes from the local hospital-acquired MRSA (HA-MRSA). However, in Ireland, 80% of HA-MRSA isolates have the non-multiantibiotic-resistant genotype ST22-MRSA-IV. This study investigated MRSA isolates from Ireland (CA-MRSA, health care-associated MRSA, and HA-MRSA) for the carriage of pvl and determined the genotypic characteristics of all pvl-positive isolates identified. All 1,389 MRSA isolates were investigated by antibiogram-resistogram typing and SmaI DNA macrorestriction analysis. pvl-positive isolates were further characterized by multilocus sequence typing and SCCmec, agr, and toxin gene typing. Twenty-five (1.8%) MRSA isolates belonging to six genotypes (ST30, ST8, ST22, ST80, ST5, and ST154) harbored pvl. Nineteen of these (76%) were CA-MRSA isolates, but a prospective study of MRSA isolates from 401 patients showed that only 6.7% (2/30) of patients with CA-MRSA yielded pvl-positive isolates. Thus, pvl cannot be used as a sole marker for CA-MRSA. Fifty-two percent of pvl-positive MRSA isolates were recovered from patients with skin and soft tissue infections; thirty-six percent were from patients of non-Irish ethnic origin, reflecting the increasing heterogeneity of the Irish population due to immigration. All 25 pvl-positive isolates carried SCCmec IV; 14 (56%) harbored SCCmec IV.1 or IV.3, and the remaining 11 isolates could not be subtyped. This study demonstrates that pvl is not a reliable marker for CA-MRSA in Ireland and reveals the emergence and importation of diverse genotypes of pvl-positive MRSA in Ireland.
PMCID: PMC1951240  PMID: 17581935
23.  Detection of Staphylococcal Cassette Chromosome mec-Associated DNA Segments in Multiresistant Methicillin-Susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) and Identification of Staphylococcus epidermidis ccrAB4 in both Methicillin-Resistant S. aureus and MSSA▿  
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2008;52(12):4407-4419.
Methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) can arise from methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) following partial or complete excision of staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec). This study investigated whether multiresistant MSSA isolates from Irish hospitals, where MRSA has been endemic for decades, harbor SCCmec DNA. Twenty-five multiresistant MSSA isolates recovered between 2002 and 2006 were tested for SCCmec DNA by PCR and were genotyped by multilocus sequence typing and spa typing. All isolates lacked mecA. Three isolates (12%) harbored SCCmec DNA; two of these (genotype ST8/t190) harbored a 26-kb SCCmec IID (II.3.1.2) remnant that lacked part of mecI and all of mecR1, mecA, and IS431; the third isolate (ST8/t3209) harbored the SCCmec region from dcs to orfX. All three isolates were detected as MRSA using the BD GeneOhm and Cepheid's Xpert MRSA real-time PCR assays. Six isolates (ST8/t190, n = 4; ST5/t088, n = 2), including both isolates with the SCCmec IID remnant, harbored ccrAB4 with 100% identity to ccrAB4 from the Staphylococcus epidermidis composite island SCC-CI. This ccrAB4 gene was also identified in 23 MRSA isolates representative of ST8/t190-MRSA with variant SCCmec II subtypes IIA to IIE, which predominated previously in Irish hospitals. ccrAB4 was located 5,549 bp upstream of the left SCCmec junction in both the MRSA and MSSA isolates with SCCmec elements and remnants and 5,549 bp upstream of orfX in the four MSSA isolates with ccrAB4 only on an SCC-CI homologous region. This is the first description of a large SCCmec remnant with ccr and partial mec genes in MSSA and of the S. epidermidis SCC-CI and ccrAB4 genes in S. aureus.
PMCID: PMC2592854  PMID: 18852274
24.  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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC3679754  PMID: 23731504
Livestock-associated (LA)-MRSA; Colonization, Community-acquired infections; Pigs; ST398
25.  Molecular Evidence for Spread of Two Major Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Clones with a Unique Geographic Distribution in Chinese Hospitals▿  
Methicillin (meticillin)-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a serious problem worldwide. To investigate the molecular epidemiology of MRSA isolates in China, a total of 702 MRSA isolates collected from 18 teaching hospitals in 14 cities between 2005 and 2006 were characterized by antibiogram analysis, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) typing, and spa typing; and 102 isolates were selected for multilocus sequence typing (MLST). Overall, SCCmec type III was the most popular type and was found in 541 isolates (77.1%), followed by SCCmec type II (109/702; 15.5%). Twenty-four PFGE types were obtained among 395 isolates collected in 2005, and 18 spa types were obtained among 702 isolates. spa type t030, which corresponded to PFEG types A to E, constituted 52.0% (365/702) of all isolates, and isolates of this type were present in all 14 cities; spa type t037, which corresponded to PFGE types F and G, accounted for 25.5% (179/702) of all isolates, and isolates of this type were identified in 12 cities. The two spa genotypes belonged to sequence type 239 (ST239) and carried SCCmec type III. spa type t002, which included isolates of PFGE types L to T, made up 16.0% (112/702) of the isolates that belonged to ST5 and SCCmec type II, and isolates of this type were distributed in 12 cities. The distribution of spa types varied among the regions. spa type t002 was the most common in Dalian (53.4%) and Shenyang (44.4%); spa type t037 was predominant in Shanghai (74.8%), whereas spa type t030 was the most common in the other cities. Two isolates from Guangzhou that harbored SCCmec type IVa with ST59 and ST88 were identified as community-associated MRSA. The prevalence of the Panton-Valentine leukocidin gene was 2.3%. The data documented two major epidemic MRSA clones, ST239-MRSA-SCCmec type III and ST5-MRSA-SCCmec type II, with unique geographic distributions across China.
PMCID: PMC2630620  PMID: 19029328

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