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Microb Drug Resist. 2019 Feb 14. doi: 10.1089/mdr.2018.0292. [Epub ahead of print]

A Distinct Geographic Variant of sasX in Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus ST239 and ST368 Lineage from South India.

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1 Department of Clinical Microbiology, Christian Medical College, Vellore, India.
2 Department of Orthopaedics, Christian Medical College, Vellore, India.


Staphylococcal surface protein sasX is a colonization mediating virulence factor in ST239 methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains, which potentially contribute to its successful establishment. We aimed to study the presence and dissemination of sasX in clinical MRSA isolates and among MRSA carriers. A total of 450 nonduplicate clinical MRSA isolates recovered from blood cultures between 2013 and 2017 were included in this study. In addition, 93 nasal swabs were collected from patients receiving hemodialysis, after obtaining consent and screening for MRSA colonization. sasX polymerase chain reaction and sequencing were carried out for all isolates. Multilocus sequence typing was performed for all sasX-positive isolates. Of the tested clinical MRSA isolates, 11% (nā€‰=ā€‰48) were positive for sasX gene. Among hemodialysis patients, 26% (nā€‰=ā€‰24) were characterized as MRSA carriers. However, all MRSA strains isolated from nasal swab were negative for sasX gene. Overall, we observed 10% (11% in clinical MRSA isolates and 0% in MRSA carriers) of sasX-positive MRSA in this study. ST239 and ST368 were the predominant sasX carrying MRSA lineages. The majority of sasX carrying MRSA strains were characterized as Staphylococcus epidermidis surface protein I (sesI; 71%), a sasX homolog native to S. epidermidis. This study highlights the dissemination of sasX/sesI to ST368 (CC8), ST3324 (CC8), ST772 (CC1), and ST22 (CC22). The presence of S. epidermidis-specific invasive factor sesI in clinical MRSA strains provides evidence for horizontal transfer between these closely related species.


; MRSA; ST239; ST368


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