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Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2013 Jan;32(1):33-42. doi: 10.1007/s10096-012-1711-x. Epub 2012 Aug 18.

A correlative analysis of epidemiologic and molecular characteristics of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus clones from diverse geographic locations with virulence measured by a Caenorhabditis elegans host model.

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1
Centre for Antimicrobial Resistance, Alberta Health Services/Calgary Laboratory Services/University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada.

Abstract

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains from different geographic areas have different genetic backgrounds, suggesting independent clonal evolutions. To better understand the virulence of MRSA strains and the relationship to their clonal and geographic origins, we undertook an analysis of epidemiologic, molecular, and virulence characteristics of a large number of MRSA isolates from geographically diverse origins, in a Caenorhabditis elegans infection model. A total of 99 MRSA isolates collected between 1993 and 2010 at the Geneva University Hospitals from diverse global origins were characterized with Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL), toxic shock syndrome toxin (TSST), accessory gene regulator (agr) group, staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec), S. aureus protein A (spa), multilocus sequence typing (MLST), and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) typing. Epidemiologic data were provided from clinical records. The bacterial virulence was tested in a C. elegans host model. The inter-relationships of epidemiological/molecular characteristics in association with nematocidal activities were analyzed with univariate and two-factor analysis of variance (ANOVA). Community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA) strains were more virulent than hospital-associated MRSA (HA-MRSA), with higher nematocidal activities in CA-MRSA strains (0.776 vs. 0.506, p = 0.0005). All molecular characteristics (PVL, TSST, spa, SCCmec, MLST, and PFGE types) showed a significant association with nematocidal activities on univariate analysis (p < 0.005). PVL was not a significant predictor after adjusting for genomic backgrounds using spa, MLST, or PFGE typing. The dominant CA-MRSA strains in North America showed higher nematocidal activities than strains from other regions (p < 0.0001). Strains with global origins containing distinct genetic backgrounds have different virulence in the C. elegans model. Nematocidal activities were most highly correlated with SCCmec, spa, MLST, and PFGE typing, suggesting that genomic background rather than a single exotoxin characteristic was the most discriminating predictor of virulence.

PMID:
22898726
PMCID:
PMC3545200
DOI:
10.1007/s10096-012-1711-x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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