ST8/SCCmecIV community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) has been a common threat, with large USA300 epidemics in the United States. The global geographical structure of ST8/SCCmecIV has not yet been fully elucidated. We herein determined the complete circular genome sequence of ST8/SCCmecIVc strain OC8 from Siberian Russia. We found that 36.0% of the genome was inverted relative to USA300. Two IS256, oppositely oriented, at IS256-enriched hot spots were implicated with the one-megabase genomic inversion (MbIN) and vSaß split. The behavior of IS256 was flexible: its insertion site (att) sequences on the genome and junction sequences of extrachromosomal circular DNA were all divergent, albeit with fixed sizes. A similar multi-IS256 system was detected, even in prevalent ST239 healthcare-associated MRSA in Russia, suggesting IS256's strong transmission potential and advantage in evolution. Regarding epidemiology, all ST8/SCCmecIVc strains from European, Siberian, and Far Eastern Russia, examined had MbIN, and geographical expansion accompanied divergent spa types and resistance to fluoroquinolones, chloramphenicol, and often rifampicin. Russia ST8/SCCmecIVc has been associated with life-threatening infections such as pneumonia and sepsis in both community and hospital settings. Regarding virulence, the OC8 genome carried a series of toxin and immune evasion genes, a truncated giant surface protein gene, and IS256 insertion adjacent to a pan-regulatory gene. These results suggest that unique single ST8/spa1(t008)/SCCmecIVc CA-MRSA (clade, Russia ST8-IVc) emerged in Russia, and this was followed by large geographical expansion, with MbIN as an epidemiological marker, and fluoroquinolone resistance, multiple virulence factors, and possibly a multi-IS256 system as selective advantages.
Journal: PloS one