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1.  Molecular characterization of rifampicin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus isolates in a Chinese teaching hospital from Anhui, China 
BMC Microbiology  2012;12:240.
Background
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a major nosocomial pathogen that causes a variety of infections and toxicoses. In recent years, the percentage of rifampicin-resistant S. aureus has increased rapidly in China. The aims of this study were to analyze 1) the level of rifampicin resistance in S. aureus and its correlation with mutations in the rpoB gene, and 2) the molecular characterization of rifampicin-resistant S. aureus isolates.
Results
88 rifampicin-resistant S. aureus isolates were collected for this study. Of the 88 isolates, 83 (94.3%) were high-level rifampicin resistant (MIC≥8 mg/L) while the remaining 5 isolates (5.7%) had a low-level resistance to rifampicin (MIC, 2 to 4 mg/L). Four amino acid substitutions were found in the 88 isolates, which were 481His/Asn (95.5%), 466Leu/Ser (87.5%), 477Ala/Asp (6.8%) and 486Ser/Leu (4.5%) respectively. All mutations were found to be present in cluster I of the rpoB gene. The low-level resistant isolates were found to have only one mutation, while the high-level resistant isolates had at least two or more mutations. The most common multiple mutations were 481His/Asn+466Leu/Ser(92.8%,77/83). The other multiple mutations found were 481His/Asn+477Ala/Asp (6.0%,5/83), and 481His/Asn+466Leu/Ser+477Ala/Asp (1.2%,1/83). Out of 28 high-level rifampicin-resistant S. aureus isolates, three molecular types were found, namely, ST239-MRSA-III-spa t030 (25/28, 89.3%), ST239-MRSA-III-spa t021 (2/28, 7.1%), and ST239-MRSA-III-spa t045 (1/28, 3.6%).
Conclusions
Rifampicin resistance in S. aureus was closely associated with mutations in the rpoB gene. High-level rifampicin-resistant S. aureus is one of the most important features in Anhui Provincial Hospital, and high-level rifampicin resistance in S. aureus is associated with multiple mutations of rpoB gene. The prevalence of high-level rifampicin-resistant S. aureus in Anhui may be associated with the spread of the ST239-MRSA III-spa t030 clone.
doi:10.1186/1471-2180-12-240
PMCID: PMC3485161  PMID: 23082766
Staphylococcus aureus; MRSA; Rifampicin resistance; rpoB gene; MLST
2.  Staphylococcal Panton-Valentine Leukocidin Induces Pro-Inflammatory Cytokine Production and Nuclear Factor-Kappa B Activation in Neutrophils 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(4):e34970.
Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) is a cytotoxin secreted by Staphylococcus aureus and associated with severe necrotizing infections. PVL targets polymorphonuclear leukocytes, especially neutrophils, which are the first line of defense against infections. Although PVL can induce neutrophil death by necrosis or apoptosis, the specific inflammatory responses of neutrophils to this toxin are unclear. In this study, both in vivo and in vitro studies demonstrated that recombinant PVL has an important cytotoxic role in human neutrophils, leading to apoptosis at low concentrations and necrosis at high concentrations. Recombinant PVL also increased the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokine secretion from neutrophils. The up-regulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines was due to nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) activation induced by PVL. Moreover, blocking NF-κB inhibited the production of inflammatory cytokines. To test the role of neutrophil immune responses during the pathogenesis of PVL-induced acute lung injury, we used immunocompetent or neutropenic rabbits to develop a model of necrotizing pneumonia. Immunocompetent rabbits challenged with PVL demonstrated increased inflammation containing neutrophilic infiltrates. In addition, there were elevated levels of inflammatory cytokines (IL-6, IL-8, TNF-α and IL-10) and NF-κB in the lung homogenate. In contrast, the lung tissues from neutropenic rabbits contained mild or moderate inflammation, and the levels of inflammatory cytokines and NF-κB increased only slightly. Data from the current study support growing evidence that neutrophils play an important role in the pathogenesis of PVL-induced tissue injury and inflammation. PVL can stimulate neutrophils to release pro-inflammatory mediators, thereby causing an acute inflammatory response. The ability of PVL to induce inflammatory cytokine release may be associated with the activation of NF-κB or its pore-forming properties.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0034970
PMCID: PMC3329533  PMID: 22529963

Results 1-2 (2)