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J Antimicrob Chemother. 2012 Aug;67(8):1828-34. doi: 10.1093/jac/dks157. Epub 2012 May 4.

Two novel arginine catabolic mobile elements and staphylococcal chromosome cassette mec composite islands in community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus genotypes ST5-MRSA-V and ST5-MRSA-II.

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Department of Hygiene, Sapporo Medical University School of Medicine, Sapporo 060-8556, Japan.



The arginine catabolic mobile element (ACME) is a novel staphylococcal genetic island. ACME is located downstream of the staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec), forming the ACME-SCCmec composite island. Recently, ACME II (located upstream of SCCmec IV) was described from a methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strain M1 in Denmark (ST8-MRSA-IVa) and 15 MRSA isolates in Ireland (ST22-MRSA-IVh). We report the novel genetic characteristics of the ACME-SCCmec composite islands found in Japanese community-acquired MRSA (CA-MRSA) isolates.


ACME-SCCmec composite islands from two ACME-arcA-positive CA-MRSA isolates with the genotypes ST5-MRSA-V (SR141) and ST5-MRSA-II (SR388) were characterized using long-range PCR and nucleotide sequencing.


Both isolates harboured a 12 kb DNA region primarily identified in ACME II in Staphylococcus epidermidis ATCC 12228 upstream of each SCCmec. The arcA and its flanking regions in SR141 and SR388 showed high sequence identity (99.8% at the highest) to those in MRSA M1 and M08/0126 (the representative of 15 Irish ST22-MRSA-IVh isolates), suggesting that the ACMEs of these four isolates originated from the same ancestral gene. The ACME II-like element in SR141 included an insertion sequence IS1182 at a position close to SCCmec, resulting in a new variant. SR388 contained ∼11.5 kb of the J1 region of type I SCCmec (J1 SCCmecI) between orfX and ACME (orfX-J1 SCCmecI-ACME II), unlike the homologous region in M08/0126 (orfX-ACME II-J1 SCCmecI).


This is the first report of the ACME II-like element inserted upstream of SCCmec in CA-MRSA with the genotypes ST5-MRSA-V and ST5-MRSA-II.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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