Date: 03 Nov 2010

High prevalence of ST121 in community-associated methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus lineages responsible for skin and soft tissue infections in Portuguese children

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In order to evaluate the incidence of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) in Portugal, we analyzed a collection of 38 S. aureus isolates recovered from 30 children attending the pediatric emergency department of a central hospital in Lisbon due to skin and soft tissue infections. Molecular characterization identified seven clonal lineages among the 35 methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) isolates, of which the major lineage PFGE A/t159/ST121 included 63% of the isolates. The three MRSA isolates belonged to the Pediatric clone PFGE D/t535/ST5-IV (n = 2) and to the European CA-MRSA clone PFGE G/t044/ST80-IVc (n = 1). All isolates harbored several virulence factors, namely, leukocidins. Panton–Valentine leukocidin (PVL) was produced by isolates from five MSSA lineages and by the ST80 MRSA. Of interest, this is the first reported isolation of CA-MRSA ST80 in Portugal.