July 19, 2019  |  

Transmission of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus via deceased donor liver transplantation confirmed by whole genome sequencing.

Donor-derived bacterial infection is a recognized complication of solid organ transplantation (SOT). The present report describes the clinical details and successful outcome in a liver transplant recipient despite transmission of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) from a deceased donor with MRSA endocarditis and bacteremia. We further describe whole genome sequencing (WGS) and complete de novo assembly of the donor and recipient MRSA isolate genomes, which confirms that both isolates are genetically 100% identical. We propose that similar application of WGS techniques to future investigations of donor bacterial transmission would strengthen the definition of proven bacterial transmission in SOT, particularly in the presence of highly clonal bacteria such as MRSA. WGS will further improve our understanding of the epidemiology of bacterial transmission in SOT and the risk of adverse patient outcomes when it occurs.© Copyright 2014 The American Society of Transplantation and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons.


July 19, 2019  |  

Evolution of hypervirulence by a MRSA clone through acquisition of a transposable element.

Staphylococcus aureus has evolved as a pathogen that causes a range of diseases in humans. There are two dominant modes of evolution thought to explain most of the virulence differences between strains. First, virulence genes may be acquired from other organisms. Second, mutations may cause changes in the regulation and expression of genes. Here we describe an evolutionary event in which transposition of an IS element has a direct impact on virulence gene regulation resulting in hypervirulence. Whole-genome analysis of a methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) strain USA500 revealed acquisition of a transposable element (IS256) that is absent from close relatives of this strain. Of the multiple copies of IS256 found in the USA500 genome, one was inserted in the promoter sequence of repressor of toxins (Rot), a master transcriptional regulator responsible for the expression of virulence factors in S. aureus. We show that insertion into the rot promoter by IS256 results in the derepression of cytotoxin expression and increased virulence. Taken together, this work provides new insight into evolutionary strategies by which S. aureus is able to modify its virulence properties and demonstrates a novel mechanism by which horizontal gene transfer directly impacts virulence through altering toxin regulation. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


July 19, 2019  |  

Single-molecule sequencing reveals the molecular basis of multidrug-resistance in ST772 methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a major cause of hospital-associated infection, but there is growing awareness of the emergence of multidrug-resistant lineages in community settings around the world. One such lineage is ST772-MRSA-V, which has disseminated globally and is increasingly prevalent in India. Here, we present the complete genome sequence of DAR4145, a strain of the ST772-MRSA-V lineage from India, and investigate its genomic characteristics in regards to antibiotic resistance and virulence factors.Sequencing using single-molecule real-time technology resulted in the assembly of a single continuous chromosomal sequence, which was error-corrected, annotated and compared to nine draft genome assemblies of ST772-MRSA-V from Australia, Malaysia and India. We discovered numerous and redundant resistance genes associated with mobile genetic elements (MGEs) and known core genome mutations that explain the highly antibiotic resistant phenotype of DAR4145. Staphylococcal toxins and superantigens, including the leukotoxin Panton-Valentinin Leukocidin, were predominantly associated with genomic islands and the phage f-IND772PVL. Some of these mobile resistance and virulence factors were variably present in other strains of the ST772-MRSA-V lineage.The genomic characteristics presented here emphasize the contribution of MGEs to the emergence of multidrug-resistant and highly virulent strains of community-associated MRSA. Antibiotic resistance was further augmented by chromosomal mutations and redundancy of resistance genes. The complete genome of DAR4145 provides a valuable resource for future investigations into the global dissemination and phylogeography of ST772-MRSA-V.


July 19, 2019  |  

Complete bypass of restriction systems for major Staphylococcus aureus lineages.

Staphylococcus aureus is a prominent global nosocomial and community-acquired bacterial pathogen. A strong restriction barrier presents a major hurdle for the introduction of recombinant DNA into clinical isolates of S. aureus. Here, we describe the construction and characterization of the IMXXB series of Escherichia coli strains that mimic the type I adenine methylation profiles of S. aureus clonal complexes 1, 8, 30, and ST93. The IMXXB strains enable direct, high-efficiency transformation and streamlined genetic manipulation of major S. aureus lineages.The genetic manipulation of clinical S. aureus isolates has been hampered due to the presence of restriction modification barriers that detect and subsequently degrade inappropriately methylated DNA. Current methods allow the introduction of plasmid DNA into a limited subset of S. aureus strains at high efficiency after passage of plasmid DNA through the restriction-negative, modification-proficient strain RN4220. Here, we have constructed and validated a suite of E. coli strains that mimic the adenine methylation profiles of different clonal complexes and show high-efficiency plasmid DNA transfer. The ability to bypass RN4220 will reduce the cost and time involved for plasmid transfer into S. aureus. The IMXXB series of E. coli strains should expedite the process of mutant construction in diverse genetic backgrounds and allow the application of new techniques to the genetic manipulation of S. aureus. Copyright © 2015 Monk et al.


July 19, 2019  |  

Parallel epidemics of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus USA300 infection in North and South America.

The community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) epidemic in the United States is attributed to the spread of the USA300 clone. An epidemic of CA-MRSA closely related to USA300 has occurred in northern South America (USA300 Latin-American variant, USA300-LV). Using phylogenomic analysis, we aimed to understand the relationships between these 2 epidemics.We sequenced the genomes of 51 MRSA clinical isolates collected between 1999 and 2012 from the United States, Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador. Phylogenetic analysis was used to infer the relationships and times since the divergence of the major clades.Phylogenetic analyses revealed 2 dominant clades that segregated by geographical region, had a putative common ancestor in 1975, and originated in 1989, in North America, and in 1985, in South America. Emergence of these parallel epidemics coincides with the independent acquisition of the arginine catabolic mobile element (ACME) in North American isolates and a novel copper and mercury resistance (COMER) mobile element in South American isolates.Our results reveal the existence of 2 parallel USA300 epidemics that shared a recent common ancestor. The simultaneous rapid dissemination of these 2 epidemic clades suggests the presence of shared, potentially convergent adaptations that enhance fitness and ability to spread.© The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.


July 7, 2019  |  

Methicillin-susceptible, vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Brazil.

We report characterization of a methicillin-susceptible, vancomycin-resistant bloodstream isolate of Staphylococcus aureus recovered from a patient in Brazil. Emergence of vancomycin resistance in methicillin-susceptible S. aureus would indicate that this resistance trait might be poised to disseminate more rapidly among S. aureus and represents a major public health threat.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of Staphylococcus aureus Z172, a vancomycin-intermediate and daptomycin-nonsusceptible methicillin-resistant strain isolated in Taiwan.

We report the complete genome sequence of Z172, a representative strain of sequence type 239-staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec type III (ST239-SCCmec type III) hospital-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Taiwan. Strain Z172 also exhibits a vancomycin-intermediate and daptomycin-nonsusceptible phenotype.


July 7, 2019  |  

Mutation in the C-di-AMP cyclase dacA affects fitness and resistance of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

Faster growing and more virulent strains of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are increasingly displacing highly resistant MRSA. Elevated fitness in these MRSA is often accompanied by decreased and heterogeneous levels of methicillin resistance; however, the mechanisms for this phenomenon are not yet fully understood. Whole genome sequencing was used to investigate the genetic basis of this apparent correlation, in an isogenic MRSA strain pair that differed in methicillin resistance levels and fitness, with respect to growth rate. Sequencing revealed only one single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the diadenylate cyclase gene dacA in the faster growing but less resistant strain. Diadenylate cyclases were recently discovered to synthesize the new second messenger cyclic diadenosine monophosphate (c-di-AMP). Introduction of this mutation into the highly resistant but slower growing strain reduced resistance and increased its growth rate, suggesting a direct connection between the dacA mutation and the phenotypic differences of these strains. Quantification of cellular c-di-AMP revealed that the dacA mutation decreased c-di-AMP levels resulting in reduced autolysis, increased salt tolerance and a reduction in the basal expression of the cell wall stress stimulon. These results indicate that c-di-AMP affects cell envelope-related signalling in S. aureus. The influence of c-di-AMP on growth rate and methicillin resistance in MRSA indicate that altering c-di-AMP levels could be a mechanism by which MRSA strains can increase their fitness levels by reducing their methicillin resistance levels.


July 7, 2019  |  

Turkey meat as source of CC9/CC398 methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in humans?

Livestock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) of clonal complex (CC) 398 were first reported to cause severe infections in humans in 2005 [1]. Direct animal exposure is considered the most effective means of MRSA CC398 transmission from livestock to humans. However, about 20%–38% of MRSA CC398 cases among humans cannot be epidemiologically linked to direct livestock contact, indicating other transmission pathways [2]. As recently reported in this journal by Larsen et al [3], poultry meat may serve as a vehicle for livestock-to-human transmission. Here, we present similar findings for CC9/CC398 MRSA (displaying spa type t899 and related), which shares unique characteristics with human clinical isolates in Denmark as shown by Larsen et al [3], strongly supporting the implication of poultry, especially turkey meat, as the source of CC9/CC398.


July 7, 2019  |  

Genomic analysis of ST88 community-acquired methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Ghana.

The emergence and evolution of community-acquired methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) strains in Africa is poorly understood. However, one particular MRSA lineage called ST88, appears to be rapidly establishing itself as an “African” CA-MRSA clone. In this study, we employed whole genome sequencing to provide more information on the genetic background of ST88 CA-MRSA isolates from Ghana and to describe in detail ST88 CA-MRSA isolates in comparison with other MRSA lineages worldwide.We first established a complete ST88 reference genome (AUS0325) using PacBio SMRT sequencing. We then used comparative genomics to assess relatedness among 17 ST88 CA-MRSA isolates recovered from patients attending Buruli ulcer treatment centres in Ghana, three non-African ST88s and 15 other MRSA lineages.We show that Ghanaian ST88 forms a discrete MRSA lineage (harbouring SCCmec-IV [2B]). Gene content analysis identified five distinct genomic regions enriched among ST88 isolates compared with the other S. aureus lineages. The Ghanaian ST88 isolates had only 658 core genome SNPs and there was no correlation between phylogeny and geography, suggesting the recent spread of this clone. The lineage was also resistant to multiple classes of antibiotics including ß-lactams, tetracycline and chloramphenicol.This study reveals that S. aureus ST88-IV is a recently emerging and rapidly spreading CA-MRSA clone in Ghana. The study highlights the capacity of small snapshot genomic studies to provide actionable public health information in resource limited settings. To our knowledge this is the first genomic assessment of the ST88 CA-MRSA clone.


July 7, 2019  |  

The recent emergence in hospitals of multidrug-resistant community-associated sequence type 1 and spa type t127 methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus investigated by whole-genome sequencing: Implications for screening.

Community-associated spa type t127/t922 methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) prevalence increased from 1%-7% in Ireland between 2010-2015. This study tracked the spread of 89 such isolates from June 2013-June 2016. These included 78 healthcare-associated and 11 community associated-MRSA isolates from a prolonged hospital outbreak (H1) (n = 46), 16 other hospitals (n = 28), four other healthcare facilities (n = 4) and community-associated sources (n = 11). Isolates underwent antimicrobial susceptibility testing, DNA microarray profiling and whole-genome sequencing. Minimum spanning trees were generated following core-genome multilocus sequence typing and pairwise single nucleotide variation (SNV) analysis was performed. All isolates were sequence type 1 MRSA staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec type IV (ST1-MRSA-IV) and 76/89 were multidrug-resistant. Fifty isolates, including 40/46 from H1, were high-level mupirocin-resistant, carrying a conjugative 39 kb iles2-encoding plasmid. Two closely related ST1-MRSA-IV strains (I and II) and multiple sporadic strains were identified. Strain I isolates (57/89), including 43/46 H1 and all high-level mupirocin-resistant isolates, exhibited =80 SNVs. Two strain I isolates from separate H1 healthcare workers differed from other H1/strain I isolates by 7-47 and 12-53 SNVs, respectively, indicating healthcare worker involvement in this outbreak. Strain II isolates (19/89), including the remaining H1 isolates, exhibited =127 SNVs. For each strain, the pairwise SNVs exhibited by healthcare-associated and community-associated isolates indicated recent transmission of ST1-MRSA-IV within and between multiple hospitals, healthcare facilities and communities in Ireland. Given the interchange between healthcare-associated and community-associated isolates in hospitals, the risk factors that inform screening for MRSA require revision.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of Amycolatopsis orientalis CPCC200066, the producer of norvancomycin.

Amycolatopsis orientalis CPCC200066 is an actinomycete exploited commercially in China for the production of norvancomycin, an important glycopeptide antibiotic structurally close to the well-known vancomycin. The availability of the complete genome sequence of CPCC200066 would greatly strengthen our understanding of the regulation pattern of norvancomycin biosynthesis and ultimately improve its production, as well as potentiate discoveries of novel bioactive compounds. Here we report the complete genome sequence of A. orientalis CPCC200066, a circular chromosome consisting of 9,490,992bp. Forty putative secondary metabolite biosynthetic gene clusters, including norvancomycin, were predicted, covering 20.3% of the whole genome. To facilitate genetic manipulation of this strain, an efficient transformation system was established by constructing a novel integrative vector pIMBT1, which could be transferred into CPCC200066 by electroporation with high efficiency. FBT1 attB sites were also identified in other known Amycolatopsis genomes, indicating pIMBT1’s prospect to be a novel vector for genus Amycolatopsis. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of a community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcusaureus hypervirulent strain, USA300-C2406, isolated from a patient with a lethal case of necrotizing pneumonia.

USA300 is a predominant community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strain causing significant morbidity and mortality. We present here the full annotated genome of a USA300 hypervirulent clinical strain, USA300-C2406, isolated from a patient with a lethal case of necrotizing pneumonia, to gain a better understanding of USA300 hypervirulence. Copyright © 2017 McClure and Zhang.


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