E-BUGS-138 - Whole-genome comparison of meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus CC22 SCCmecIV from people and their in-contact pets
Released on 2 November 2013, last updated on 2 June 2014
BACKGROUND: Meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections remain important medical and veterinary challenges. The MRSA isolated from dogs and cats typically belong to dominant hospital-associated clones, in the UK mostly EMRSA-15 (CC22 SCCmecIV), suggesting original human-to-animal transmission. Nevertheless, little is known about host-specific genetic variation within the same S. aureus lineage. HYPOTHESIS/OBJECTIVES: To identify host-specific variation amongst MRSA CC22 SCCmecIV by comparing isolates from pets with those from in-contact humans using whole-genome microarray. METHODS: Six pairs of MRSA CC22 SCCmecIV from human carriers (owners and veterinary staff) and their respective infected in-contact pets were compared using a 62-strain whole-genome S. aureus microarray (SAM-62). The presence of putative host-specific genes was subsequently determined in a larger number of human (n = 47) and pet isolates (n = 93) by PCR screening. RESULTS: Variation in mobile genetic elements (MGEs) occurred frequently and appeared largE: The variation found amongst MGEs highlights that genetic adaptation in MRSA continues. However, host-specific MGEs were not detected, which supports the hypothesis that pets may not be natural hosts of MRSA CC22 and emphasizes that rigorous hygiene measures are critical to prevent contamination and infection of dogs and cats. The host specificity of individual heavy-metal resistance genes warrants further investigation into different selection pressures in humans and animals.
comparative genomic hybridization by array, strain or line design
Whole-genome comparison of meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus CC22 SCCmecIV from people and their in-contact pets. Loeffler A, McCarthy A, Lloyd DH, Musilova E, Pfeiffer DU, Lindsay JA.