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Infect Genet Evol. 2014 Jan;21:554-62. doi: 10.1016/j.meegid.2013.04.026. Epub 2013 Apr 27.

Population genetics and the evolution of virulence in Staphylococcus aureus.

Author information

  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Melbourne, Victoria 3052, Australia; Austin Centre for Infection Research (ACIR), Infectious Diseases Department, Austin Health, Heidelberg, Victoria 3084, Australia; Microbiology Department, Austin Health, Heidelberg, Victoria 3084, Australia.
  • 2Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Melbourne, Victoria 3052, Australia; Department of Microbiology, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria 3800, Australia; Austin Centre for Infection Research (ACIR), Infectious Diseases Department, Austin Health, Heidelberg, Victoria 3084, Australia; Microbiology Department, Austin Health, Heidelberg, Victoria 3084, Australia.
  • 3Department of Microbiology, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria 3800, Australia.
  • 4Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Melbourne, Victoria 3052, Australia.
  • 5Department of Microbiology, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria 3800, Australia; Department of Infectious Diseases, The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria 3181, Australia; Division of Infectious Diseases, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA. Electronic address: anton.peleg@monash.edu.

Abstract

Staphylococcus aureus is one of the most important human pathogens, causing life-threatening infection in the community and hospital setting. The population genetics of S. aureus and the evolution of virulence is the focus of this review. We describe the various techniques in determining S. aureus population structure and discuss the insights gained from whole genome sequencing of various S. aureus strains. The emergence of community-acquired, methicillin-resistant S. aureus provides a framework for the discussion on evolution of virulence, and the role of horizontal gene transfer in the development of virulence and antibiotic resistance is explored. The knowledge generated from population genetics has the potential to inform strategies to assist in the prevention or treatment of this highly successful human pathogen.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

KEYWORDS:

Methicillin-resistant S. aureus; Molecular epidemiology; Multi-locus sequence typing; S. aureus

PMID:
23628638
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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