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Clin Microbiol Infect. 2009 Aug;15(8):748-55. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-0691.2009.02850.x. Epub 2009 Jun 11.

Comparative genomic analysis of European and Middle Eastern community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CC80:ST80-IV) isolates by high-density microarray.

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Deparatment of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Creighton University School of Medicine, Omaha, NE 68178, USA.


Infections as a result of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) are an issue of increasing global healthcare concern. In Europe, this principally involves strains of multi-locus sequence type clonal complex 80 sequence type 80 with methicillin resistance in a staphylococcal chromosomal cassette (SCCmec) type IV arrangement (CC80:ST80-IV). As with other CA-MRSA strains, CC80:ST80-IV isolates tend to appear uniform when analysed by common molecular typing methods (e.g. pulsed field gel electrophoresis, multi-locus sequence type, SCCmec). To explore whether DNA sequence-based differences exist, we compared the genetic composition of six CC80:ST80-IV isolates of diverse chronological and geographic origin (i.e. Denmark and the Middle East) using an Affymetrix high-density microarray that was previously used to analyse CA-MRSA USA300 isolates. The results revealed a high degree of homology despite the diversity in isolation date and origin, with isolate differences primarily in conserved hypothetical open reading frames and intergenic sequences, but also including regions of known function. This included the confirmed loss of SCCmec recombinase genes in two Danish isolates representing potentially new SCCmec types. Microarray analysis grouped the six isolates into three relatedness pairs, also identified by pulsed field gel electrophoresis, which were consistent with both the clinical and molecular data.

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