Unconventional SCCmec types and low prevalence of the Panton-Valentine Leukocidin exotoxin in South African blood culture Staphylococcus aureus surveillance isolates, 2013-2016.

Unconventional SCCmec types and low prevalence of the Panton-Valentine Leukocidin exotoxin in South African blood culture Staphylococcus aureus surveillance isolates, 2013-2016.

PLoS One. 2019;14(11):e0225726

Authors: Singh-Moodley A, Strasheim W, Mogokotleng R, Ismail H, Perovic O

Abstract
Staphylococcus aureus is a healthcare-associated pathogen that can harbour multiple antimicrobial resistance determinants and express multiple virulence factors e.g. Panton-Valentine Leukocidin (PVL). Unknown staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) typing patterns were previously observed among 11% (n = 52) of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) isolates; we further investigated these as well as the proportion of PVL, encoded by lukS/F-PV, in 761 S. aureus isolates from patients with a diagnosis of pneumonia/lower respiratory tract, skin/soft tissue, bone and joint infection. S. aureus isolates from blood culture were identified and antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed using automated systems. Conventional PCR assays were used to identify the ccr and mec gene complexes in mecA-positive isolates with an unknown SCCmec type and screen for lukS/F-PV. Epidemiological data was used to classify isolates as healthcare- or community-associated infections. Antimicrobial susceptibility profiles according to SCCmec type and PVL were reported. Of the unknown SCCmec types, isolates were interpreted as type I-like (86%, 38/44), type II-like (9%, 4/44) and type III-like (5%, 2/44). Eight isolates did not produce definitive results. Of all MRSA isolates, majority were multidrug-resistant as indicated by their non-susceptibility to most antimicrobial agents; 92% were healthcare-associated. PVL was seen in 14% of the isolates (MRSA: 25%, MSSA: 75%); 56% were classified as healthcare-associated infection. The SCCmec typing method did not definitively classify all unknown isolates into clearly defined types. It showed that majority of these isolates were not the conventional types; untypeable elements appeared to be composite SCCmec elements, consisting of multiple ccr gene complexes. Majority of the MRSA isolates were non-susceptible to most antibiotics indicating that multiple resistance genes are present in our population. Furthermore, the proportion of PVL was low and more prevalent in MSSA.

PMID: 31774877 [PubMed - in process]