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TECHNOLOGICAL WATCH

Type of information: TECHNICAL ARTICLES

In this section, you can access to the latest technical information related to the PISA project topic.

Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Sequence Type (ST) 5 Isolates from Health Care and Agricultural Sources Adhere Equivalently to Human Keratinocytes [Public and Environmental Health Microbiology]

Staphylococcus aureus is part of the nasal microbiome of many humans and has become a significant public health burden due to infections with antibiotic-resistant strains, including methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) strains. Several lineages of S. aureus, including MRSA, are found in livestock species and can be acquired by humans through contact with animals. These livestock-associated MRSA (LA-MRSA) isolates raise public health concerns because of the potential for livestock to act as reservoirs for MRSA outside the hospital setting. In the United States, swine harbor a mixed population of LA-MRSA isolates, with the sequence type 398 (ST398), ST9, and ST5 lineages being detected. LA-MRSA ST5 isolates are particularly concerning to the public health community because, unlike the isolates in the ST398 and ST9 lineages, isolates in the ST5 lineage are a significant cause of human disease in both the hospital and community settings globally. The ability of swine-associated LA-MRSA ST5 isolates to adhere to human keratinocytes in vitro was investigated, and the adherence genes harbored by these isolates were evaluated and compared to those in clinical MRSA ST5 isolates from humans with no swine contact. The two subsets of isolates adhered equivalently to human keratinocytes in vitro and contained an indistinguishable complement of adherence genes that possessed a high degree of sequence identity. Collectively, our data indicate that, unlike LA-MRSA ST398 isolates, LA-MRSA ST5 isolates do not exhibit a reduced genotypic or phenotypic capacity to adhere to human keratinocytes.

IMPORTANCE Our data indicate that swine-associated livestock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA) ST5 isolates are as capable of adhering to human skin and have the same genetic potential to adhere as clinical MRSA ST5 isolates from humans. This suggests that humans in contact with livestock have the potential to become colonized with LA-MRSA ST5 isolates; however, the genes that contribute to the persistence of S. aureus on human skin were absent in LA-MRSA ST5 isolates. The data presented here are important evidence in evaluating the potential risks that LA-MRSA ST5 isolates pose to humans who come into contact with livestock.

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