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  |  

Acquisition of virulence factors in livestock-associated MRSA: Lysogenic conversion of CC398 strains by virulence gene-containing phages.

Staphylococcus aureus MRSA strains belonging to the clonal complex 398 (CC398) are highly prevalent in livestock and companion animals but may also cause serious infections in humans. CC398 strains in livestock usually do not possess well-known virulence factors that can be frequently found in other MRSA sequence types (ST). Since many staphylococcal virulence genes are residing on the genomes of temperate phages, the question arises why livestock-associated (LA-) CC398 strains are only rarely infected by those phages. We isolated and characterized four temperate phages (P240, P282, P630 and P1105) containing genes of the immune evasion cluster (IEC) and/or for the Panton-Valentine leucocidin (PVL). Sequence analysis of the phage genomes showed that they are closely related to known phages and that the DNA region encoding lysis proteins, virulence factors and the integrase exhibits numerous DNA repeats which may facilitate genomic rearrangements. All phages lysed and lysogenized LA-CC398 strains. Integration of IEC phage P282 was detected at ten sites of the hosts’ chromosome. The prophages were stably inherited in LA-CC398 and enterotoxin A, staphylokinase and PVL toxin were produced. The data demonstrate that lysogenic conversion of LA-CC398 strains by virulence-associated phages may occur and that new pathotypes may emerge by this mechanism.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of Staphylococcus epidermidis 1457.

Staphylococcus epidermidis 1457 is a frequently utilized strain that is amenable to genetic manipulation and has been widely used for biofilm-related research. We report here the whole-genome sequence of this strain, which encodes 2,277 protein-coding genes and 81 RNAs within its 2.4-Mb genome and plasmid. Copyright © 2017 Galac et al.


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.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequences of five representative Staphylococcus aureus ST398 strains from five major sequence heterogeneity groups of a diverse isolate collection.

Staphylococcus aureus sequence type 398 (ST398) is a rapidly emerging livestock-associated strain causing zoonotic disease in humans. The course of pathogen evolution remains unclear, prompting whole-genome comparative studies in attempts to elucidate this issue. We present the full, annotated genomes of five newly isolated representative ST398 strains from five major sequence heterogeneity groups of our diverse isolate collection. Copyright © 2017 McClure and Zhang.


July 7, 2019  |  

Evolutionary origin of the staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec).

Several lines of evidence indicate that the most primitive staphylococcal species, those of the Staphylococcus sciuri group, were involved in the first stages of evolution of the staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec), the genetic element carrying the ß-lactam resistance gene mecA However, many steps are still missing from this evolutionary history. In particular, it is not known how mecA was incorporated into the mobile element SCC prior to dissemination among Staphylococcus aureus and other pathogenic staphylococcal species. To gain insights into the possible contribution of several species of the Staphylococcus sciuri group to the assembly of SCCmec, we sequenced the genomes of 106 isolates, comprising S. sciuri (n = 76), Staphylococcus vitulinus (n = 18), and Staphylococcus fleurettii (n = 12) from animal and human sources, and characterized the native location of mecA and the SCC insertion site by using a variety of comparative genomic approaches. Moreover, we performed a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis of the genomes in order to understand SCCmec evolution in relation to phylogeny. We found that each of three species of the S. sciuri group contributed to the evolution of SCCmec: S. vitulinus and S. fleurettii contributed to the assembly of the mec complex, and S. sciuri most likely provided the mobile element in which mecA was later incorporated. We hypothesize that an ancestral SCCmec III cassette (an element carried by one of the most epidemic methicillin-resistant S. aureus clones) originated in S. sciuri possibly by a recombination event in a human host or a human-created environment and later was transferred to S. aureus. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.


July 7, 2019  |  

Zinc resistance within swine associated methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Isolates in the USA is associated with MLST lineage.

Zinc resistance in livestock-associated methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA) sequence type (ST) 398 is primarily mediated by the czrC gene co-located with the mecA gene, encoding methicillin resistance, within the type V SCCmec element. Because czrC and mecA are located within the same mobile genetic element, it has been suggested that the use of in feed zinc as an antidiarrheal agent has the potential to contribute to the emergence and spread of MRSA in swine through increased selection pressure to maintain the SCCmec element in isolates obtained from pigs. In this study we report the prevalence of the czrC gene and phenotypic zinc resistance in US swine associated LA-MRSA ST5 isolates, MRSA ST5 isolates from humans with no swine contact, and US swine associated LA-MRSA ST398 isolates. We demonstrate that the prevalence of zinc resistance in US swine associated LA-MRSA ST5 isolates was significantly lower than the prevalence of zinc resistance in MRSA ST5 isolates from humans with no swine contact, swine associated LA-MRSA ST398 isolates, and previous reports describing zinc resistance in other LA-MRSA ST398 isolates. Collectively our data suggest that selection pressure associated with zinc supplementation in feed is unlikely to have played a significant role in the emergence of LA-MRSA ST5 in the US swine population. Additionally, our data indicate that zinc resistance is associated with MLST lineage suggesting a potential link between genetic lineage and carriage of resistance determinants.Importance Our data suggest that coselection thought to be associated with the use of zinc in feed as an antimicrobial agent is not playing a role in the emergence of livestock-associated methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA) ST5 in the US swine population. Additionally, our data indicate that zinc resistance is more associated with multi locus sequence type (MLST) lineage suggesting a potential link between genetic lineage and carriage of resistance markers. This information is important to public health professionals, veterinarians, producers, and consumers. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus colonizing strain M92.

M92 is a methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) colonizing strain belonging to ST239-MRSA-III. It frequently shows local nasal colonization in our hospital staff, but has never been associated with infection. We sequenced the complete genome of M92, in order to compare it to highly virulent MRSA strains to gain insight into MRSA virulence factors. Copyright © 2017 McClure and Zhang.


July 7, 2019  |  

Next-generation sequence analysis reveals transfer of methicillin resistance to a methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus strain that subsequently caused a methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus outbreak: a descriptive study.

Resistance to methicillin in Staphylococcus aureus is caused primarily by the mecA gene, which is carried on a mobile genetic element, the staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec). Horizontal transfer of this element is supposed to be an important factor in the emergence of new clones of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) but has been rarely observed in real time. In 2012, an outbreak occurred involving a health care worker (HCW) and three patients, all carrying a fusidic acid-resistant MRSA strain. The husband of the HCW was screened for MRSA carriage, but only a methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) strain, which was also resistant to fusidic acid, was detected. Multiple-locus variable-number tandem-repeat analysis (MLVA) typing showed that both the MSSA and MRSA isolates were MT4053-MC0005. This finding led to the hypothesis that the MSSA strain acquired the SCCmec and subsequently caused an outbreak. To support this hypothesis, next-generation sequencing of the MSSA and MRSA isolates was performed. This study showed that the MSSA isolate clustered closely with the outbreak isolates based on whole-genome multilocus sequence typing and single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis, with a genetic distance of 17 genes and 44 SNPs, respectively. Remarkably, there were relatively large differences in the mobile genetic elements in strains within and between individuals. The limited genetic distance between the MSSA and MRSA isolates in combination with a clear epidemiologic link supports the hypothesis that the MSSA isolate acquired a SCCmec and that the resulting MRSA strain caused an outbreak. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of Staphylococcus lutrae ATCC 700373, a potential pathogen isolated from deceased otters.

Despite their relevance to human health, not all staphylococcal species have been characterized. As such, the potential zoonotic threats posed by uninvestigated species and their contribution to the staphylococcal pangenome are unclear. Here, we report the complete genome sequence of Staphylococcus lutrae ATCC 700373, a coagulase-positive species isolated from deceased otters. Copyright © 2017 Veseli et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Genomic insights into the virulence and salt tolerance of Staphylococcus equorum.

To shed light on the genetic background behind the virulence and salt tolerance of Staphylococcus equorum, we performed comparative genome analysis of six S. equorum strains. Data on four previously published genome sequences were obtained from the NCBI database, while those on strain KM1031 displaying resistance to multiple antibiotics and strain C2014 causing haemolysis were determined in this study. Examination of the pan-genome of five of the six S. equorum strains showed that the conserved core genome retained the genes for general physiological processes and survival of the species. In this comparative genomic analysis, the factors that distinguish the strains from each other, including acquired genomic factors in mobile elements, were identified. Additionally, the high salt tolerance of strains enabling growth at a NaCl concentration of 25% (w/v) was attributed to the genes encoding potassium voltage-gated channels. Among the six strains, KS1039 does not possess any of the functional virulence determinants expressed in the other strains.


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