Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) strains often carry the Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) genes. However, the specific role that PVL plays in the epidemiological features and pathogenesis of CA-MRSA infections has remained undefined and controversial. Conducting a retrospective study on a natural population of MRSA clinical isolates recovered from community and hospital patients in a large Canadian health-care region during a 6-year period, we identified the coexistence of 2 USA400 (a major clonal group of CA-MRSA) sibling strains with and without PVL genes. Polymerase chain reaction and sequence analysis indicated that the PVL-carrying prophage phiSa2mw was present in PVL(+) but absent in PVL(-) USA400 isolates. These strains shared identical genotypic and phenotypic properties and similar clinical characteristics. This study provides direct evidence that PVL genes are not necessarily the key determinants associated with the increasing dissemination of CA-MRSA strains, suggesting that the genomic milieu may play a greater role in this regard.
Comment In: J Infect Dis. 2008 Jan 15;197(2):179-8218173362
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is no longer only hospital acquired. MRSA is defined as community acquired if the MRSA-positive specimen was obtained outside hospital settings or within 2 days of hospital admission, and if it was from a person who had not been hospitalized within 2 years before the date of MRSA isolation. To estimate the proportion of community-acquired MRSA, we analyzed previous hospitalizations for all MRSA-positive persons in Finland from 1997 to 1999 by using data from the National Hospital Discharge Register. Of 526 MRSA-positive persons, 21% had community-acquired MRSA. Three MRSA strains identified by phage typing, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, and ribotyping were associated with community acquisition. None of the strains were multiresistant, and all showed an mec hypervariable region hybridization pattern A (HVR type A). None of the epidemic multiresistant hospital strains were prevalent in nonhospitalized persons. Our population-based data suggest that community-acquired MRSA may also arise de novo, through horizontal acquisition of the mecA gene.
A total of 184 methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains were collected from patients who sought treatment primarily for skin and soft tissue infections from January 1, 1999, to March 31, 2002, in east-central Saskatchewan, Canada. Molecular subtyping analysis using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis showed 2 major clusters. Cluster A (n = 55) was composed of a multidrug-resistant MRSA strain associated with a long-term care facility and was similar to the previously reported nosocomial Canadian epidemic strain labeled CMRSA-2. Cluster B (n = 125) was associated with cases identified at community health centers and was indistinguishable from a community-associated (CA)-MRSA strain identified previously in the United States (USA400). Cluster B remained susceptible to a number of classes of antimicrobial agents and harbored the lukF-PV and lukS-PV toxin genes. Over 50% of both clonal groups displayed high-level resistance to mupirocin. This is the first report of the USA400 strain harboring the lukF-PV and lukS-PV toxin genes in Canada.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a pathogen that has disseminated throughout Canadian hospitals and communities. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis of over 9,300 MRSA isolates obtained from the Canadian Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Program has identified 10 epidemic strain types in Canada (CMRSA1 to CMRSA10). In an attempt to determine specific genetic factors that have contributed to their high prevalence in community and/or hospital settings, the genomic content of representative isolates for each of the 10 Canadian epidemic types was compared using comparative genomic hybridizations. Comparison of the community-associated Canadian epidemic isolates (CMRSA7 and CMRSA10) with the hospital-associated Canadian epidemic isolates revealed one open reading frame (ORF) (SACOL0046) encoding a putative protein belonging to a metallo-beta-lactamase family, which was present only in the community-associated Canadian epidemic isolates. A more restricted comparison involving only the most common hospital-associated Canadian epidemic isolates (CMRSA1 and CMRSA2) with the community-associated Canadian epidemic isolates did reveal additional factors that might be contributing to their prevalence in the community and hospital settings, which included ORFs encoding potential virulence factors involved in capsular biosynthesis, serine proteases, epidermin, adhesion factors, regulatory functions, leukotoxins, and exotoxins.
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From around the year 2000, Northern Europe experienced a rise in impetigo caused by Staphylococcus aureus resistant to fusidic acid. A single clone of S. aureus was found to be the bacterial pathogen involved in the impetigo outbreak in Norway, Sweden, the UK and Ireland, termed 'the epidemic European fusidic acid-resistant impetigo clone' (EEFIC). We have followed the incidence of impetigo during the years 2001-2012 based on all patients in general practice in the island community of Austevoll, Western Norway. We previously reported a marked decline of impetigo incidence in Austevoll, from 0.0260 cases per person-year in 2002 to 0.0038 in 2009. This article explores indications of an end to the impetigo epidemic caused by the EEFIC clone.
All four general practitioners (GPs) in the community (mean population = 4400) were asked to diagnose impetigo in a uniform way and to take bacterial specimens from all impetigo cases. Phenotypic characteristics of specimen bacteria were determined for the whole period and molecular analyses were performed on isolates in the period 2008-2012.
We observed a further decline in incidence of impetigo in Austevoll in the study period. The proportion of fusidic acid-resistant S. aureus isolates decreased during the period 2002-2012, with a mean of 80% in the epidemic years of 2002-2004, 55% in 2005-2009, and 6% in 2010-2012. In total, 44 S. aureus isolates from impetigo were subject to molecular analyses in the period 2008-2012, and 11 were found to be related to the EEFIC. All EEFIC isolates were found in 2008-2009, with no new isolates in 2010-2012.
There is an apparent end to the impetigo epidemic related to the EEFIC in this population in Western Norway.
The purpose of this study was to investigate if multiresistant methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MR-MSSA) causing a clonal outbreak in Ã?stergÃ¶tland County, Sweden, were derived from methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) by carrying remnants of SCCmec, and, if so, to characterise this element. A total of 54 MSSA isolates with concomitant resistance to erythromycin, clindamycin and tobramycin from 49 patients (91% clonally related, spa type t002) were investigated with the BD GeneOhm MRSA assay and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) targeting the SCCmec integration site/SCCmec right extremity junction. DNA sequencing of one isolate representing the MR-MSSA outbreak clone was performed by massive parallel 454 pyrosequencing. All isolates that were part of the clonal outbreak carried SCCmec remnants. The DNA sequencing revealed the carriage of a pseudo-SCC element 12 kb in size, with a genomic organisation identical to an SCCmec type ?? element, except for a 41-kb gap. This study demonstrates the presence of a pseudo-SCC element resembling SCCmec type II among MR-MSSA, suggesting possible derivation from MRSA. The presence of SCCmec remnants should always be considered when SCCmec typing is used for MRSA detection, and may not be suitable in locations with a high prevalence of MR-MSSA, since this might give a high number of false-positive results.
Increasing frequencies of community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strain isolation have been reported from many countries. The overall prevalence of MRSA in Norway is still very low. MRSA isolates (n = 67) detected between 1995 and 2003 in northern Norway were analyzed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, multilocus sequence typing, and staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) typing. Sixty-seven isolates were associated with 13 different sequence types. Two successful MRSA clones predominated. Sequence type 8 (ST8) (40%) and ST80 (19%) containing SCCmec type IV were detected in hospitals and communities in different geographic regions during a 7-year period. In general, there was a low level of antimicrobial resistance. Only 26% of the isolates were multiresistant. International epidemic clones were detected. The frequent findings of SCCmec type IV (91%) along with heterogeneous genetic backgrounds suggest a horizontal spread of SCCmec type IV among staphylococcal strains in parallel with the clonal spread of successful MRSA strains.
The epidemiology of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections has changed worldwide. From being strictly nosocomial, MRSA is now frequently found as a community-associated (CA) pathogen. Denmark has been a low-prevalence country for MRSA since the mid-1970s but has in recent years experienced an increasing number of CA-MRSA cases. The aim of this study was to describe the emergence of CA-MRSA infections in Denmark. All Danish MRSA specimens and corresponding clinical data from 1999 to 2006 were investigated. Isolates were analyzed by antibiotic resistance and molecular typing and were assigned to clonal complexes (CC). Clinical data were extracted from discharge summaries and general practitioners' notes, from which assessments of community association were made for all infected cases. CA-MRSA cases constituted 29.4% of all MRSA infections (n = 1,790) and an increasing proportion of the annual numbers of MRSA infections during the study period. CA-MRSA was associated with a young age, skin and soft tissue infections, and non-Danish origin. Transmission between household members was frequently reported. Molecular typing showed >60 circulating clones, where 89.4% of the isolates belonged to five CC (CC80, CC8, CC30, CC5, and CC22), 81.2% carried staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec IV, and 163/244 (69.4%) were positive for Panton-Valentine leukocidin. Clinical and microbiological characteristics indicated that import of MRSA occurs frequently. Resistance to > or =3 antibiotic classes was observed for 48.8% of the isolates. The emergence of CA-MRSA in Denmark was caused by diverse strains, both well-known and new CA-MRSA strains. The results suggest multiple introductions of MRSA as an important source for CA-MRSA infections in Denmark.
Molecular methods based on sequencing, such as spa typing, have facilitated epidemiological typing of bacterial isolates compared to the gold standard pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), a technically more demanding method. We studied methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in 4 Swedish counties from 2003 through 2005, and compared spa typing and PFGE results to epidemiological data. Of 280 MRSA isolates, 91 were from sporadic cases and 189 were associated with 35 outbreaks. A total of 50 spa types and 74 PFGE patterns were detected. 60 (21%) of the MRSA isolates carried the Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) genes. 12 of the PVL-positive MRSA were healthcare associated. 25 of the spa types and 31 of the PFGE patterns were associated with outbreaks. In 1 of the outbreaks we found isolates with different but closely related spa types, and in 6 of the outbreaks we observed isolates with different but related PFGE patterns. In this low-endemic setting, with outbreaks limited in time and place, we found spa typing to be a useful tool for epidemiological typing of MRSA, due to its rapidity, accessibility, ease of use, and standardized nomenclature.
In Europe, community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) infections have been caused predominantly by isolates belonging to the "European CA-MRSA" clone (sequence type 80, staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec type IV). In this study, the epidemiology of European CA-MRSA was investigated on a nationwide scale, covering the period from 1993 to 2004. Denmark has been a low-prevalence country regarding MRSA since the mid-1970s but has experienced an increase in the number of new MRSA cases in recent years. Our results show that European CA-MRSA contributed to this increase. The isolates primarily caused skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) in patients outside hospitals, and transmission between household members was the predominant mode of spread. Although some of the isolates were found in hospitalized patients, nosocomial transmission seemed likely in only one instance, pointing to endogenous infections as an important factor. Compared to the CA-MRSA clone most common in the United States (USA300), the European CA-MRSA clone seems less well adapted to persist in hospital environments. Patients with a recent history of travel or family relation to the Mediterranean or Middle East were highly overrepresented. The epidemiological data indicated that the European CA-MRSA isolates were introduced into Denmark on multiple occasions, paralleled by an increasing level of genetic diversity of the isolates found during the study period. European CA-MRSA has previously been described as a rather uniform clone. However, we found pronounced, diverse pulsed-field gel electrophoresis subtypes, staphylococcal protein A gene (spa) types, and susceptibility patterns.