Relationship between biofilm gene expression with antimicrobial resistance pattern and clinical specimen type based on sequence types (STs) of methicillin-resistant S. aureus


The ica genes in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) play an important role in biofilm formation. The aim of this study is to define effect of antibiotic resistance and clinical specimens to the expression of ica genes based on their sequence types (STs) and clonal complex (CC). One-hundred (100) S. aureus strain were collected from two teaching therapeutic centers in Hamedan, Iran. Then, the PCR, qPCR, and MLST were used to characterize strains. The results indicated that 29 (29%), 15 (15%), and 5 (5%) strain were strong, mediate, weak biofilm producer, respectively, and the icaA (17%) and icaC (14%) genes were the most abundant. However, two unique STs (3667, 491) in Iran were reported and ST30 and ST11 were the most abundant STs and CC30 and CC5 were observed among MRSA and MSSA strains. High activity in ica locus was observed among strains collected from wound and catheter strains. Also, expression level of icaA gene increased in all strains except ST30 and ST491. Moreover, the highest expression level was observed in CC1, CC7, and CC11. Likewise, activity of the icaC gene was only observed in CC5. Furthermore, the expression of all ica genes in CC5 was significantly correlated with the type of biofilm and the clinical sample. In this study demonstrated that the frequency distribution of STs and CCs in different strains of MRSA was higher than methicillin-sensitive strains. Also, the type of clinical specimen and expression of ica genes played an important role in this abundance.

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The authors of this article are grateful to Hamadan University of Medical Sciences for their financial support in conducting research.

Author information

MRZ designed research; HT, SD and MJ performed experiments. HT and MRA wrote the manuscript.

Correspondence to Mohammad Reza Arabestani.

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Tahmasebi, H., Dehbashi, S., Jahantigh, M. et al. Relationship between biofilm gene expression with antimicrobial resistance pattern and clinical specimen type based on sequence types (STs) of methicillin-resistant S. aureus. Mol Biol Rep 47, 1309–1320 (2020).

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  • Methicillin resistant S. aureus
  • Virulence factors
  • Biofilm
  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Gene expression