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Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2010 Apr;29(4):457-63. doi: 10.1007/s10096-010-0884-4. Epub 2010 Feb 26.

Molecular fingerprinting of Staphylococcus aureus from bone and joint infections.

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Medical Clinic and Policlinic I, University Hospital Dresden, Dresden, Germany.


The objective of the study was to determine if a clonal complex (CC) of Staphylococcus aureus or certain virulence and adhesion factors were associated with infections of bones and prosthetic implants. One hundred and nineteen isolates were characterised using microarrays. There was no evidence for a single virulence factor or CC being causative for bone and implant infections. Isolates belonged to 20 different CCs, with CC8 (19.33%), CC45 (17.65%) and CC30 (12.61%) being dominant. Population structure and the relative abundances of virulence genes was similar to previously described isolates from healthy carriers. Differences to carrier isolates included a higher proportion of CC45, a lower proportion of CC15, as well as a higher abundance of sak (staphylokinase) among patient isolates. For 23 patients with infections of total knee or hip prosthetics, it was possible to simultaneously obtain nasal swabs. Fifteen (65.2%) carried S. aureus in their anterior nares. In nine of them (39.1%), isolates from the infection site were identical to carriage isolates. This suggests an elevated risk of infection for S. aureus carriers and the possibility of endogenous infection in a high proportion of them. Therefore, the pre-operative screening and eradication of S. aureus in patients receiving total joint prosthetics should be considered.

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