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Exploring the evolution and epidemiology of European CC1-MRSA-IV: tracking a multidrug-resistant community-associated meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus clone
Microbial Genomics  (IF5.237),  Pub Date : 2021-07-05, DOI: 10.1099/mgen.0.000601
Megan R. Earls, Eike J. Steinig, Stefan Monecke, José A. Samaniego Castruita, Alexandra Simbeck, Wulf Schneider-Brachert, Teodora Vremerǎ, Olivia S. Dorneanu, Igor Loncaric, Michèle Bes, Alicia Lacoma, Cristina Prat Aymerich, Ulrich Wernery, Marc Armengol-Porta, Anita Blomfeldt, Sebastian Duchene, Mette D. Bartels, Ralf Ehricht and David C. Coleman

This study investigated the evolution and epidemiology of the community-associated and multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus clone European CC1-MRSA-IV. Whole-genome sequences were obtained for 194 European CC1-MRSA-IV isolates (189 of human and 5 of animal origin) from 12 countries, and 10 meticillin-susceptible precursors (from North-Eastern Romania; all of human origin) of the clone. Phylogenetic analysis was performed using a maximum-likelihood approach, a time-measured phylogeny was reconstructed using Bayesian analysis, and in silico microarray genotyping was performed to identify resistance, virulence-associated and SCCmec (staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec) genes. Isolates were typically sequence type 1 (190/204) and spa type t127 (183/204). Bayesian analysis indicated that European CC1-MRSA-IV emerged in approximately 1995 before undergoing rapid expansion in the late 1990s and 2000s, while spreading throughout Europe and into the Middle East. Phylogenetic analysis revealed an unstructured meticillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) population, lacking significant geographical or temporal clusters. The MRSA were genotypically multidrug-resistant, consistently encoded seh, and intermittently (34/194) encoded an undisrupted hlb gene with concomitant absence of the lysogenic phage-encoded genes sak and scn. All MRSA also harboured a characteristic ~5350 nt insertion in SCCmec adjacent to orfX. Detailed demographic data from Denmark showed that there, the clone is typically (25/35) found in the community, and often (10/35) among individuals with links to South-Eastern Europe. This study elucidated the evolution and epidemiology of European CC1-MRSA-IV, which emerged from a meticillin-susceptible lineage prevalent in North-Eastern Romania before disseminating rapidly throughout Europe.