Presence and molecular epidemiology of virulence factors in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strains colonizing and infecting soldiers.
ABSTRACT: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has emerged as an important cause of skin and soft-tissue infections (SSTI). The understanding of the molecular epidemiology and virulence of MRSA continues to expand. From January 2005 to December 2005, we screened soldiers for MRSA nasal colonization, administered a demographic questionnaire, and monitored them prospectively for SSTI. All MRSA isolates underwent molecular analysis, which included pulsed-filed gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and PCR for Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL), the arginine catabolic mobile element (ACME), and the staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec). Of the 3,447 soldiers screened, 134 (3.9%) had MRSA colonization. Of the 3,066 (89%) who completed the study, 39 developed culture-confirmed MRSA abscesses. Clone USA300 represented 53% of colonizing isolates but was responsible for 97% of the abscesses (P < 0.001). Unlike colonizing isolates, isolates positive for USA300, PVL, ACME, and type IV SCCmec were significantly associated with MRSA abscess isolates. As determined by multivariate analysis, risk factors for MRSA colonization were a history of SSTI and a history of hospitalization. Although various MRSA strains may colonize soldiers, USA300 is the most virulent when evaluated prospectively, and PVL, ACME, and type IV SCCmec are associated with these abscesses.
Project description:The arginine catabolic mobile element (ACME) is prevalent among methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) isolates of sequence type 8 (ST8) and staphylococcal chromosomal cassette mec (SCCmec) type IVa (USA300) (ST8-MRSA-IVa isolates), and evidence suggests that ACME enhances the ability of ST8-MRSA-IVa to grow and survive on its host. ACME has been identified in a small number of isolates belonging to other MRSA clones but is widespread among coagulase-negative staphylococci (CoNS). This study reports the first description of ACME in two distinct strains of the pandemic ST22-MRSA-IV clone. A total of 238 MRSA isolates recovered in Ireland between 1971 and 2008 were investigated for ACME using a DNA microarray. Twenty-three isolates (9.7%) were ACME positive, and all were either MRSA genotype ST8-MRSA-IVa (7/23, 30%) or MRSA genotype ST22-MRSA-IV (16/23, 70%). Whole-genome sequencing and comprehensive molecular characterization revealed the presence of a novel 46-kb ACME and staphylococcal chromosomal cassette mec (SCCmec) composite island (ACME/SCCmec-CI) in ST22-MRSA-IVh isolates (n=15). This ACME/SCCmec-CI consists of a 12-kb DNA region previously identified in ACME type II in S. epidermidis ATCC 12228, a truncated copy of the J1 region of SCCmec type I, and a complete SCCmec type IVh element. The composite island has a novel genetic organization, with ACME located within orfX and SCCmec located downstream of ACME. One PVL locus-positive ST22-MRSA-IVa isolate carried ACME located downstream of SCCmec type IVa, as previously described in ST8-MRSA-IVa. These results suggest that ACME has been acquired by ST22-MRSA-IV on two independent occasions. At least one of these instances may have involved horizontal transfer and recombination events between MRSA and CoNS. The presence of ACME may enhance dissemination of ST22-MRSA-IV, an already successful MRSA clone.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Several studies have addressed the epidemiology of community-associated Staphylococcus aureus (CA-SA) in Europe; nonetheless, a comprehensive perspective remains unclear. In this study, we aimed to describe the population structure of CA-SA and to shed light on the origin of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) in this continent. METHODS AND FINDINGS: A total of 568 colonization and infection isolates, comprising both MRSA and methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA), were recovered in 16 European countries, from community and community-onset infections. The genetic background of isolates was characterized by molecular typing techniques (spa typing, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and multilocus sequence typing) and the presence of PVL and ACME was tested by PCR. MRSA were further characterized by SCCmec typing. We found that 59% of all isolates were associated with community-associated clones. Most MRSA were related with USA300 (ST8-IVa and variants) (40%), followed by the European clone (ST80-IVc and derivatives) (28%) and the Taiwan clone (ST59-IVa and related clonal types) (15%). A total of 83% of MRSA carried Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) and 14% carried the arginine catabolic mobile element (ACME). Surprisingly, we found a high genetic diversity among MRSA clonal types (ST-SCCmec), Simpson's index of diversity = 0.852 (0.788-0.916). Specifically, about half of the isolates carried novel associations between genetic background and SCCmec. Analysis by BURP showed that some CA-MSSA and CA-MRSA isolates were highly related, suggesting a probable local acquisition/loss of SCCmec. CONCLUSIONS: Our results imply that CA-MRSA origin, epidemiology and population structure in Europe is very dissimilar from that of USA.
Project description:Widespread infections with community-associated (CA) methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) have occurred in the United States with the dissemination of the USA300 strain beginning in 2000. We examined 105 isolates obtained from children treated at the University of Chicago from 1994 to 1997 (75 methicillin-susceptible S. aureus [MSSA] and 30 MRSA isolates) in order to investigate for possible evidence of USA300 during this period. Infections were defined epidemiologically based on medical record review. The isolates underwent multilocus sequence typing (MLST), as well as assays for the Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) genes, the protein A gene (spa), and arcA and opp3, proxy markers for the arginine catabolic mobile element (ACME), characteristic of USA300 MRSA. MRSA isolates also underwent staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) typing and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) subtyping. MSSA isolates belonged to 17 sequence type (ST) groups. The 12 epidemiologically defined CA-MRSA infection isolates were either ST1 (n = 4) or ST8 (n = 8). They belonged to 3 different PFGE types: USA100 (n = 1), USA400 (n = 5), and USA500 (n = 6). Among the CA-MRSA infection isolates, 8 (67%) were PVL(+). None of the MRSA or MSSA isolates contained arcA or opp3. Only one MRSA isolate was USA300 by PFGE. This was a health care-associated (HA) MRSA isolate, negative for PVL, that carried SCCmec type II. USA300 with its characteristic features was not identified in the collection from the years 1994 to 1997.
Project description:Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) isolates carry the methicillin resistance gene (mecA) on a horizontally transferred genetic element called the staphylococcal chromosome cassette mec (SCCmec). Community-acquired MRSA (CAMRSA) isolates usually carry SCCmec type IV. We previously reported that 76% of 17 CAMRSA isolates (multilocus sequence type 59) obtained from pediatric patients with skin and soft tissue infections (SSTI) from Taipei did not carry SCCmec types I to IV. We used DNA sequence analysis to determine that the element harbored by these nontypeable isolates is a novel subtype of SCCmec V called SCCmec V(T.) It contains a ccrC recombinase gene variant (ccrC2) and mec complex C2. One SSTI isolate contained molecular features of SCCmec IV but also contained ccrC2 (a feature of SCCmec V(T)), suggesting that it may harbor a composite SCCmec element. The genes lukS-PV and lukF-PV encoding the Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) were present in all CAMRSA SSTI isolates whether they contained SCCmec type IV or V(T). SCCmec V(T) was also present in 5 of 34 (14.7%) CAMRSA colonization isolates collected from healthy children from Taipei who lacked MRSA risk factors. Four (80%) of the these isolates contained lukS-PV and lukF-PV, as did 1 of 27 (3.7%) SCCmec IV-containing colonization isolates. A total of 63% (10 of 16) of the SSTI isolates and 61.7% (21 of 34) of the colonization isolates tested were resistant to at least four classes of non-beta-lactam antimicrobials. SCCmec V(T) is a novel SCCmec variant that is found in multiply resistant CAMRSA strains with sequence type 59 in Taipei in association with the PVL leukotoxin genes.
Project description:In recent years, the dramatic increase in community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) infections has become a significant health care challenge. Early detection of CA-MRSA is important because of its increased virulence associated with the arginine catabolic mobile element (ACME), Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL), and other toxins that may contribute to disease severity. In particular, the USA300 epidemic clone has emerged and now represents the cause of as much as 98% of CA-MRSA skin and soft tissue infections in the United States. Current diagnostic assays used to identify CA-MRSA strains are based on complex multiplex PCRs targeting the staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) DNA junction, a multitude of genes, and noncoding DNA fragments or on a number of lengthy sequence-typing methods. Here, two nucleotide polymorphisms, G88A and G2047A, that were found to be in strict linkage disequilibrium in the S. aureus penicillin-binding protein 3 (pbp3) gene were also found to be highly associated with the USA300 clone of CA-MRSA. Clinical isolates that contained this pbp3 allele were also positive for the presence of SCCmec type IV, the ACME, and the PVL toxin gene and matched the t008 or t121 molecular spa types, which are associated specifically with the USA300 CA-MRSA clone. A single allele-specific PCR targeting the G88A polymorphism was developed and was found to be 100% sensitive and specific for the detection of USA300 CA-MRSA and 91.5% sensitive and 100% specific for the detection of all CA-MRSA isolates in this study.
Project description:BACKGROUND: A six-fold increase in pediatric MRSA infections, prompted us to examine the clinical profile of children with MRSA infections seen at Mercy Children's Hospital, Toledo, Ohio and to characterize the responsible strains. METHODS: Records were reviewed of pediatric patients who cultured positive for MRSA from June 1 to December 31, 2007. Strain typing by pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFT) and DiversiLab, SCCmec typing, and PCR-based lukSF-PV gene (encodes Panton-Valentine leukocidin), arginine catabolic mobile element (ACME) and cap5 gene detection was performed. RESULTS: Chart review of 63 patients with MRSA infections revealed that 58(92%) were community acquired MRSA (CAMRSA). All CAMRSA were skin and soft tissue infections (SSTI). Twenty five (43%) patients were aged < 3 yrs, 19(33%) aged 4-12 and 14(24%) aged 13-18. Nineteen (76%) of those aged < 3 yrs had higher incidence of perineal infections compared to only 2(11%) of the 4-12 yrs and none of the 13-18 yrs of age. Infections in the extremities were more common in the older youth compared to the youngest children. Overall, there was a significant association between site of the infection and age group (Fisher's Exact p-value < 0.001). All CAMRSA were USA300 PFT, clindamycin susceptible, SCCmec type IVa and lukSF-PV gene positive. Nearly all contained ACME and about 80% were cap5 positive. Of the 58 USA300 strains by PFT, 55(95%) were also identified as USA300 via the automated repetitive sequence-based PCR method from DiversiLab. CONCLUSIONS: CAMRSA SSTI of the perineum was significantly more common among toddlers and that of the extremities in older children. The infecting strains were all USA300 PFT. Further studies are needed to identify the unique virulence and colonization characteristics of USA300 strains in these infections.
Project description:Determine the prevalence and relatedness of Staphylococcus aureus anterior nares colonization in individuals with community-associated staphylococcal skin and soft-tissue infection (SSTI).Observational cohort.US Army soldiers undergoing infantry training.Trainees who developed SSTI from May 2010 to January 2012.Participants underwent anterior nares culture at the time of presentation for purulent SSTI. We determined the prevalence of S. aureus nasal colonization and strain relatedness between colonizing and clinical isolates with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE).We enrolled 1,203 SSTI participants, of whom 508 had culture-confirmed S. aureus SSTI. Overall, 70% (357/508) were colonized with S. aureus. Phenotypically, concordant colonization was more common with methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA; 56%; 122/218) than methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) SSTI (41%; 118/290; P < .01). With PFGE, 48% (121 of 254) of clinical-colonizing pairs were indistinguishable, and concordant colonization was more common with MRSA (53%; 92/173) than MSSA SSTI (36%; 29/81; P < .01). Restricting analysis to concomitant MRSA-MRSA or MSSA-MSSA pairs, 92% (92/100) of MRSA SSTI were indistinguishable, and 40% (29/72) MSSA SSTI were indistinguishable (P < .01). All 92 MRSA pairs were USA300.On the phenotypic level, concordant anterior nares colonization with incident staphylococcal SSTI is more common in MSSA than MRSA; however, the opposite is observed when accounting for molecular typing, and MRSA SSTI displays greater concordance. USA300 was responsible for strain concordance with MRSA SSTI. Studies are needed to examine the roles of nasal and extra-nasal carriage, colonization preceding infection, and increased virulence in the pathogenesis of MRSA SSTI.ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01105767.
Project description:The epidemic character of community-associated methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA), especially the geographically widespread clone USA300, is poorly understood. USA300 isolates carry a type IV staphylococcal chromosomal cassette mec (SCCmec) element conferring -lactam antibiotic class resistance and a putative pathogenicity island, ACME (arginine catabolic mobile element). Physical linkage between SCCmec and ACME suggests that selection for antibiotic resistance and for pathogenicity may be interconnected. We constructed isogenic mutants containing deletions of SCCmec and ACME in a USA300 clinical isolate to determine the role of these elements in a rabbit model of bacteremia. We found that deletion of type IV SCCmec did not affect competitive fitness, whereas deletion of ACME significantly attenuated pathogenicity or fitness of USA300. These data are consistent with a model in which ACME enhances growth and survival of USA300, allowing for genetic "hitchhiking" of SCCmec. SCCmec in turn protects against exposure to β -lactams. Keywords: Wild type control vs mutant Overall design: Wild type untreated in triplicate is compared to three mutants in triplicate in both exponential and stationary growth phases, totalling 24 samples
Project description:USA300 is a pandemic clonal lineage of hypervirulent, community-acquired, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) with specific molecular characteristics. Despite its high clinical relevance, the evolutionary origin of USA300 remained unclear. We used comparative genomics of 224 temporal and spatial diverse S. aureus isolates of multilocus sequence type (ST) 8 to reconstruct the molecular evolution and global dissemination of ST8, including USA300. Analyses of core SNP diversity and accessory genome variations showed that the ancestor of all ST8 S. aureus most likely emerged in Central Europe in the mid-19th century. From here, ST8 was exported to North America in the early 20th century and progressively acquired the USA300 characteristics Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL), SCCmec IVa, the arginine catabolic mobile element (ACME), and a specific mutation in capsular polysaccharide gene cap5E Although the PVL-encoding phage ?Sa2USA was introduced into the ST8 background only once, various SCCmec types were introduced to ST8 at different times and places. Starting from North America, USA300 spread globally, including Africa. African USA300 isolates have aberrant spa-types (t112, t121) and form a monophyletic group within the clade of North American USA300. Large parts of ST8 methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) isolated in Africa represent a symplesiomorphic group of ST8 (i.e., a group representing the characteristics of the ancestor), which are rarely found in other world regions. Isolates previously discussed as USA300 ancestors, including USA500 and a "historic" CA-MRSA from Western Australia, were shown to be only distantly related to recent USA300 clones.
Project description:The epidemic character of community-associated methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA), especially the geographically widespread clone USA300, is poorly understood. USA300 isolates carry a type IV staphylococcal chromosomal cassette mec (SCCmec) element conferring -lactam antibiotic class resistance and a putative pathogenicity island, ACME (arginine catabolic mobile element). Physical linkage between SCCmec and ACME suggests that selection for antibiotic resistance and for pathogenicity may be interconnected. We constructed isogenic mutants containing deletions of SCCmec and ACME in a USA300 clinical isolate to determine the role of these elements in a rabbit model of bacteremia. We found that deletion of type IV SCCmec did not affect competitive fitness, whereas deletion of ACME significantly attenuated pathogenicity or fitness of USA300. These data are consistent with a model in which ACME enhances growth and survival of USA300, allowing for genetic "hitchhiking" of SCCmec. SCCmec in turn protects against exposure to β -lactams. Keywords: Wild type control vs mutant Wild type untreated in triplicate is compared to three mutants in triplicate in both exponential and stationary growth phases, totalling 24 samples