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Pediatr Res. 2010 Sep;68(3):237-41. doi: 10.1203/00006450-201011001-00463.

Arginine catabolic mobile element is associated with low antibiotic resistance and low pathogenicity in Staphylococcus epidermidis from neonates.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway.


The arginine catabolic mobile element (ACME) in Staphylococci encodes several putative virulence factors. ACME appears to have been transferred from Staphylococcus epidermidis into Staphylococcus aureus and is strongly associated with the epidemic and virulent S. aureus USA300. We sought to determine the distribution of ACME in 128 S. epidermidis blood culture isolates from neonates and to assess ACME's impact on antibiotic resistance, biofilm production, invasive capacity, and host inflammatory response. ACME was detected in 15/64 (23%) invasive blood culture isolates and 26/64 (40%) blood culture contaminants (p = 0.02). ACME-positive S. epidermidis isolates displayed less antibiotic resistance (p < 0.001) and were collected from more mature neonates (p = 0.001). Biofilm production was more prevalent among ACME-negative isolates (61/87) compared with ACME positive (18/41; p = 0.004). Among the 64 children considered having an invasive infection, ACME did not influence the maximum C-reactive protein level. In an in vitro whole-blood sepsis model, there were no differences in the inflammatory response between ACME-positive and ACME-negative isolates. We conclude that ACME in S. epidermidis from neonates was associated with less antibiotic resistance and also does not seem to be associated with increased pathogenicity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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