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Antimicrobial resistance, virulence genes profiling and molecular relatedness of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strains isolated from hospitalized patients in Guangdong Province, China

Authors Liang Y, Tu C, Tan C, El-Sayed Ahmed MAEG, Dai M, Xia Y, Liu Y, Zhong LL, Shen C, Chen G, Tian GB, Liu J, Zheng X

Received 29 October 2018

Accepted for publication 20 December 2018

Published 25 February 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 447—459


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Cristina Weinberg

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Suresh Antony

Yingjian Liang,1,* Changli Tu,1,* Cuiyan Tan,1 Mohamed Abd El-Gawad El-Sayed Ahmed,2,3,4 Min Dai,5 Yong Xia,6 Yan Liu,7 Lan-Lan Zhong,2,3 Cong Shen,2,3 Guanping Chen,2,3 Guo-Bao Tian,2,3 Jing Liu,1 Xiaobin Zheng1

1Department of Respiratory Medicine, The Fifth Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, Zhuhai, China; 2Department of Immunology, Zhongshan School of Medicine, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China; 3Key Laboratory of Tropical Diseases Control, Sun Yat-sen University, Ministry of Education, Guangzhou, China; 4Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Misr University for Science and Technology (MUST), 6th of October City, Egypt; 5School of Laboratory Medicine, Chengdu Medical College, Chengdu, China; 6Department of Clinical Laboratory Medicine, Third Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, China; 7Clinical laboratory, The Fifth Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University, Zhuhai, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Purpose: The main objective of this study was to decipher the prevalence, antimicrobial resistance, major virulence genes and the molecular characteristics of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) isolated from different clinical sources in southern China.
Materials and methods: The present study was performed on 187 non-duplicate S. aureus clinical isolates collected from three tertiary hospitals in Guangdong Province, China, 2010–2016. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed by the disk diffusion method and by measuring the minimum inhibitory concentration. Screening for resistance and virulence genes was performed. Clonal relatedness was determined using various molecular typing methods such as multilocus sequence typing, spa and staphylococcal chromosomal cassette mec (SCCmec) typing. Whole genome sequencing was performed for three selected isolates.
Results: Out of 187 isolates, 103 (55%) were identified as MRSA. The highest prevalence rate was found among the skin and soft tissue infection (SSTI) samples (58/103), followed by sputum samples (25/103), blood stream infection samples (15/103) and others (5/103). Antimicrobial susceptibility results revealed high resistance rates for erythromycin (64.1%), clindamycin (48.5%), gentamicin (36.9%) and ciprofloxacin (33.98%). All isolates were susceptible to vancomycin. Resistance genes and mutation detected were as follows: aac(6’)-aph(2”) (24.3%), dfrG (10.7%), rpoB (21.4%), cfr (0%), fexA (1.94%), gyrA (35.92%), gyrB (0.97%), grlA (20.4%), grlB (10.68%), ermA (21.4%), ermB (18.44%), ermC (21.4%) and lnuA (18.44%). Profiling of virulence genes revealed the following: sea (11.7%), seb (21.4%), sec (0.97%), sed (0.97%), hla (86.41%), hlb (17.48%), hlg (10.68%), hld (53.4%), Tsst-1 (3.9%) and pvl (27.2%). Clonal relatedness showed that ST239-SCCmecA III-t37 clone was the most prevalent clone.
Conclusion: Our study elucidated the prevalence, antibiotic resistance, pathogenicity and molecular characteristics of MRSA isolated from various clinical sources in Guangdong, China. We found that the infectious rate of MRSA was higher among SSTI than other sources. The most predominant genotype was ST239-SCCmecA III-t37 clone, indicating that ST239-t30 clone which was previously predominant had been replaced by a new clone.

Keywords: MRSA, antibiotic resistance, resistance genes, virulence factors, molecular typing, whole genome sequencing

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