Genomic and epidemiological evidence of a dominant Panton-Valentine leucocidin-positive Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus lineage in Sri Lanka with spread to the United Kingdom and Australia
Thushan I de Silva
Posted 17 Jan 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/521260
Posted 17 Jan 2019
Objective: To undertake the first detailed genomic analysis of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) isolated in Sri Lanka. Methods: A prospective observational study was performed on 94 MRSA isolates collected over a four month period from the Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital, Sri Lanka. Screening for mecA, mecC and the Panton-Valentine leucocidin (PVL) -associated lukS-PV/lukF-PV genes and molecular characterisation by spa typing was undertaken. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) and phylogenetic analysis was performed on selected multilocus sequence type (MLST) clonal complex 5 (CC5) isolates from Sri Lanka, England, Australia and Argentina. Results: All 94 MRSA harboured the mecA gene. Nineteen spa types associated with nine MLST clonal complexes were identified. Most isolates were from skin and soft tissue infections (76.9%), with the remainder causing more invasive disease. Sixty two (65.9%) of isolates were PVL positive with the majority (56 isolates; 90.3%) belonging to a dominant CC5 lineage. This lineage, PVL-positive ST5-MRSA-IVc, was associated with community and hospital-onset infections. Based on WGS, representative PVL-positive ST5-MRSA-IVc isolates from Sri Lanka, England and Australia formed a single phylogenetic clade, suggesting wide geographical circulation. Conclusions: We present the most detailed genomic analysis of MRSA isolated in Sri Lanka to date. The analysis identified a PVL-positive ST5-MRSA-IVc that dominates MRSA clinical infections in Sri Lanka. Furthermore, transmission of the strain has occurred in the United Kingdom and Australia.
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