Clonal Diversity, Low-Level and Heterogeneous Oxacillin Resistance of Oxacillin Sensitive MRSA

Infect Drug Resist. 2021 Feb 19;14:661-669. doi: 10.2147/IDR.S288991. eCollection 2021.


PURPOSE: This study investigates the phenotypic and genotypic resistance features of OS-MRSA clinical isolates and their distinctive sensitivities to oxacillin.

METHODS: 1200 clinical isolates of Staphylococcus aureus were enrolled in this study. Automated antibiotics susceptibility tests on VITEK-2 and BD Phoenix-100TM, cefoxitin disc diffusion method, oxacillin broth microdilution method, mecA, and mecC gene detection were performed to identify OS-MRSA. MLST, PFGE, SCCmec, and spa typing methods were employed to determine genotypes of OS-MRSA isolates. Heterogeneous resistance of OS-MRSA isolates was detected using the population analysis profiling method, and PBP2a latex agglutination assay was used to detect the expression of PBP2a protein for 14 OS-MRSA isolates and their highly resistant subpopulations.

RESULTS: A total of 14 OS-MRSA isolates (1.17%, 14/1200) were identified, and all of the isolates were confirmed to be positive with the mecA gene and negative with the mecC gene. All of the 14 OS-MRSA isolates were identified as MSSA by VITEK-2, BD Phonenix-100, and oxacillin broth microdilution methods, while 21.43% (3/14) isolates were determined to be MRSA by the cefoxitin disk diffusion method. Genotypes of the 14 OS-MRSA isolates were diverse, and no dominant clones were identified. The prevalence of pvl gene among 14 OS-MRSA isolates was high up to 64.29% (9/14). All of the isolates showed heterogeneous resistance to oxacillin, while frequencies of the oxacillin-resistant subpopulations ranged from 10-9 to 10-5 and differed significantly among different isolates.

CONCLUSION: The overall prevalence of OS-MRSA was relatively lower, but lower oxacillin MICs, low testing sensitivity of routine antibiotics susceptibility testing methods and weak PBP2a protein expression were observed in this study. 14 OS-MRSA showed diverse genotypes and universal heterogeneous resistance, and inaccurate laboratory identification and improper antimicrobial usage may promote the induction of highly resistant subpopulations and lead to treatment failure.

PMID:33642870 | PMC:PMC7903957 | DOI:10.2147/IDR.S288991