Prevalence and Genetic Characteristics of Staphylococcus aureus CC398 Isolates From Invasive Infections in Spanish Hospitals, Focusing on the Livestock-Independent CC398-MSSA Clade

Front Microbiol. 2021 Feb 9;12:623108. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2021.623108. eCollection 2021.


BACKGROUND: Livestock-associated (LA)-CC398-MRSA is closely related to pigs, being unfrequently detected in human invasive infections. CC398-MSSA is emerging in human invasive infections in some countries, but genetic and epidemiological characteristics are still scarcely reported.

OBJECTIVES: To determine the prevalence of Staphylococcus aureus (SA) CC398, both MRSA and MSSA, among blood cultures SA isolates recovered in Spanish hospitals located in regions with different pig-farming densities (PD) and characterize the recovered isolates.

METHODS: One thousand twenty-two SA isolates (761 MSSA, 261 MRSA) recovered from blood cultures during 6-12 months in 17 Spanish hospitals (2018-2019) were studied. CC398 lineage identification, detection of spa-types, and antibiotic resistance, virulence and human immune evasion cluster (IEC) genes were analyzed by PCR/sequencing.

RESULTS: Forty-four CC398-MSSA isolates (4.3% of SA; 5.8% of MSSA) and 10 CC398-MRSA isolates (1% of SA; 3.8% of MRSA) were detected. Eleven spa-types were found among the CC398-MSSA isolates with t571 and t1451 the most frequent spa-types detected (75%). Most of CC398-MSSA isolates were Immune-Evasion-Cluster (IEC)-positive (88.6%), tetracycline-susceptible (95.5%) and erythromycin/clindamycin-inducible-resistant/erm(T)-positive (75%). No statistical significance was detected when the CC398-MSSA/MSSA rate was correlated to PD (pigs/km2) (p = 0.108). On the contrary, CC398-MRSA isolates were all IEC-negative, predominately spa-t011 (70%), and the CC398-MRSA/MRSA rate was significantly associated to PD (p < 0.005).

CONCLUSION: CC398-MSSA is an emerging clade in invasive infections in Spanish hospitals. CC398-MRSA (mostly t011) and CC398-MSSA (mostly t571 and t1451) show important differences, possibly suggesting divergent steps in host-adaptation evolutionary processes. While CC398-MRSA is livestock-associated (lacking IEC-system), CC398-MSSA seems to be mostly livestock-independent, carrying human-adaptation markers.

PMID:33717011 | PMC:PMC7945039 | DOI:10.3389/fmicb.2021.623108