Sequence type (ST) 59 is an epidemic lineage of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) in Asia. Two ST59 clones are prevalent in Taiwan: the Taiwan clone (TW) causes severe infections, whereas the Asian-Pacific clone (AP) is usually commensal. In this study, we sequenced the genome and transcriptome of the representative strains of these two clones and found their differences to focus on three mobile genetic elements: TW carries SCCmec Type VT, Panton-Valentine leucocidin (PVL)-encoding prophage FSa2, whereas AP carries SCCmec Type IV and staphylokinase (SAK)-encoding prophage FSa3. The anti-virulent role of SAK was confirmed using murine skin and bloodstream infection models. FSa3 usually integrates into the hlb gene, but in AP was found to be integrated at the genomic island ?Saß. The mutation of the attB site "TGTATCCAAACTGG" to "TGTATCCGAATTGG" led to a failure in the integration of FSa3 in hlb, prompting atypical integration at other sites. The sak gene possessed remarkably different patterns of distribution among the different STs of S. aureus. We conclude that the atypical integration of FSa3 may help S. aureus adapt to the human host habitat and that the subsequent loss of FSa3 contributes toward the development of a virulent CA-MRSA lineage for wider horizontal transmission. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Journal: Infection, genetics and evolution