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Molecular Characteristics, Antimicrobial Resistance and Virulence Gene Profiles of Staphylococcus aureus Isolates from Wuhan, Central China

Authors Fu Y, Xiong M, Li X, Zhou J, Xiao X, Fang F, Cheng X, Le Y, Li Y

Received 15 February 2020

Accepted for publication 9 June 2020

Published 30 June 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 2063—2072


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Suresh Antony

Yu Fu, Mengyuan Xiong, Xuehan Li, Junying Zhou, Xiao Xiao, Fang Fang, Xiaohuan Cheng, Yingbang Le, Yirong Li

Department of Clinical Laboratory, Zhongnan Hospital, Wuhan University, Wuhan, People’s Republic of China

Correspondence: Yirong Li
Department of Clinical Laboratory, Zhongnan Hospital, Wuhan University, Wuhan, People’s Republic of China

Purpose: This study aimed to investigate the molecular characteristics, antimicrobial resistance and virulence genes profiles of S. aureus isolates from Wuhan, central China.
Materials and Methods: A total of 302 non-duplicate S. aureus isolates were collected successively during January–December 2018 and subjected to multi-locus sequence typing (MLST), staphylococcal protein A (spa) typing and Panton–Valentine leucocidin (PVL) and staphylococcal enterotoxin A, B, C, D, E, G, H and I (sea, seb, sec, sed, see, seg, seh and sei) detection. All methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) isolates were additionally subjected to staphylococcal chromosomal cassette mec(SCCmec) typing.
Results: Of the 302 S. aureus isolates, 131 were categorised as MRSA, yielding a rate 1.4 times the average rate in China during 2018 (43.4% vs 30.9%). Thirty-one sequence types (STs) and 82 spa types were identified. The most prevalent clones were ST5-t2460 (10.9%), ST239-t030 (9.3%), ST188-t189 (7.9%) and ST59-t437 (6.3%). Notably, the continued prevalence of ST239-t030 in Wuhan differs from other areas in China. SCCmec types and subtypes I, II, III, IVa and V were present in 0.8%, 36.6%, 26.0%, 20.6% and 8.4% of MRSA isolates. A comprehensive analysis identified ST5-t2460-SCCmec II (25.2%,), ST239-t030-SCCmec III (19.8%) and ST59-t437-SCCmec IVa (7.6%) as the major clones among MRSA isolates. The genes pvl, sea, seb, sec, sed, see, seg, seh and sei were detected at respective frequencies of 11.9%, 42.1%, 49.7%, 45.0%, 20.9%, 33.8%, 60.5%, 25.8% and 66.9%.
Conclusion: ST239-t030 remains one of the most prevalent clones in S. aureus isolates from Wuhan, leading us to conclude that S. aureus isolates from Wuhan possess unique molecular characteristics. The S. aureus isolates also exhibit unique antimicrobial resistance profiles and harbour relatively high numbers of enterotoxin virulence genes, compared with other reports from China.

Keywords: Staphylococcus aureus, molecular characteristics, antimicrobial resistance, virulence

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