Differentiation of qacA and qacB using high-resolution melt curve analysis, and both qacA and qacB but not qacC or norA types increase chlorhexidine minimal inhibitory concentrations in Staphylococcus aureus isolates.

Differentiation of qacA and qacB using high-resolution melt curve analysis, and both qacA and qacB but not qacC or norA types increase chlorhexidine minimal inhibitory concentrations in Staphylococcus aureus isolates.

J Microbiol Immunol Infect. 2020 Oct 10;:

Authors: Lin KH, Lin CY, Huang CC, Ho YL, Yang SF, Ho CM

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Chlorhexidine is one of the most essential ingredients in infection control applications. Except qacA, the effects of other various efflux-medicated biocide genes (including qacB, qacC, qacEΔ1, qacH or norA) on biguanides resistance are still controversial. In addition, most of the studies have discussed the effect of qacA/B on clinical S. aureus isolates but not that qacA or qacB individually.
METHODS: In total, 254 methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), selected 30 methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) clinical isolates from different patients during 2014-2015 and 15 S. aureus quality control strains (including Mu3 and Mu50) were included in the study. Various biocide genes, including qacA/B, qacC, qacH, qacEΔ1, and different types of norA, were determined through conventional PCR. S. aureus isolates with qacA/B (+) were analyzed using high-resolution melting curve (HRM) to differentiate qacA from qacB. The chlorhexidine MIC was determined using the agar dilution method. Univariate and multivariate statistics were analyzed to see which biocide resistant genes had effects on chlorhexidine MIC.
RESULTS: Results of all HRM analyses (n = 22) were consistent with those of Sanger sequencing for differentiation of qacA from qacB. None of the isolates harbored qacH and only one MRSA harbored qacEΔ1. The harboring rate of qacA, qacB, and qacC among MRSA/MSSA isolates was 7.1% (n = 18)/0%, 38.2% (n = 97)/0%, and 7.5% (n = 19)/3.3% (n = 1), respectively. The most type of norA was norAI (n = 158), followed by norAIII (n = 87) and norAII (n = 9) among MRSA isolates. Based on the results of multivariate logistic regression analyses, only qacA and qacB would increase chlorhexidine MIC from ≤ 1 ug/ml to ≥ 2 ug/ml in MRSA isolates (P < 0.001) but not qacC or norA types (P=0.976 and 0.633 or 0.933, respectively). In addition, only qacA but not qacB was contributed to elevate chlorhexidine from ≤ 1 ug/ml to 4 ug/ml in MRSA isolates (P < 0.001 and 0.017, respectively).
CONCLUSION: HRM analysis can be a great method to differentiate qacA from qacB. The biocide gene with the most effect on chlorhexidine MIC in S. aureus isolates was qacA, followed by qacB, but qacC and different types of norA did not have any effect on chlorhexidine susceptibility. Further investigation on the influence of qacB, qacC and types of norA on chlorhexidine susceptibility is necessary.

PMID: 33097426 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]