High frequency of Panton-Valentine leukocidin genes in invasive methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus strains and the relationship with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Córdoba, Argentina
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In the study presented here, the genetic characteristics of methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) strains isolated from patients attending hospitals in the city of Córdoba, Argentina, during 1999–2002 were evaluated to determine their genetic relationship with methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) clones as part of an effort to control the potential emergence of new epidemic MRSA strains. The results showed there is a high frequency of MSSA strains carrying Panton-Valentine leukocidin genes in invasive infections in Córdoba, Argentina, particularly in those occurring in hospital settings. Panton-Valentine leukocidin genes were found in the genomic background of one clone (ST30-N pulsotype) belonging to a successful internationally distributed MSSA lineage (clonal complex 30), which is closely related to the EMRSA-16 pandemic clone. These genes were also detected in the ancestral clone (ST5-M pulsotype) of the most prevalent MRSA epidemic clone causing healthcare-associated infections in this region, known as the Cordobes/Chilean clone. The molecular characterization of circulating MSSA strains, including the detection of Panton-Valentine leukocidin genes, is thus a useful marker for investigating the evolving epidemiology of hospital- and community-acquired MRSA clones.
The members of the Córdoba S. aureus Collaborative Study Group are as follows: A. Monterisi and M. Rocchi (Hospital Nacional de Clínicas); E. Diaz and R. Lamberghini (Hospital Militar de Córdoba); A. Littvik and T. Lopez (Hospital Rawson); S. Yudowsky (Hospital Infantil); L. Carvajal and C. Culasso (Hospital de Niños); O. Perlo-Morales and M.S. Aiassa (Hospital Córdoba); M. Vilaro and M.E. Bongiovanni (Hospital Privado de Córdoba); S. Mangiaterra and S. Barbon (Hospital Italiano de Córdoba); L. Wolff and B. Vercelli (Clinica Privada Velez Sarsfield); E.M. D’Andrea and A. Lopez (Hospital de Urgencias); G. Pino and V. Muñoz (Hospital San Roque) and M. Bottiglieri (Clinica Reina Fabiola).
This work was supported by the Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica (ANPCyT) (PICT 05-13446 BID 1728-OC-AR to JLB), National Council for Scientific Research and Technology of Argentina (CONICET), the Secretaría de Ciencia y Técnica-Universidad Nacional de Córdoba (SECyT-UNC). JLB is a career investigator member of CONICET.
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