Characterization of PVL-Positive MRSA Isolates in Northern Bavaria, Germany over an Eight-Year Period

in: Microorganisms (2023)
Szumlanski, Tobias; Neumann, Bernd; Bertram, Ralph; Simbeck, Alexandra; Ziegler, Renate; Monecke, Stefan; Ehricht, Ralf; Schneider-Brachert, Wulf; Steinmann, Jörg
Purpose: Community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strains (CAMRSA) are spread worldwide and often cause recurring and persistent infections in humans. CAMRSA strains frequently carry Panton–Valentine leukocidin (PVL) as a distinctive virulence factor. This study investigates the molecular epidemiology, antibiotic resistance and clinical characteristics of PVL-positive MRSA strains in Northern Bavaria, Germany, isolated over an eight-year period. Methods: Strains were identified by MALDI-TOF MS and antibiotic susceptibility was tested by automated microdilution (VITEK 2) or disk diffusion. PVL-encoding genes and mecA were detected by PCR. MRSA clonal complexes (CC) and lineages were assigned by genotyping via DNA microarray and spa-typing. Results: In total, 131 PVL-positive MRSA were collected from five hospital sites between 2009 and 2016. Predominant lineages were CC8-MRSA-[IV+ACME], USA300 (27/131; 20.6%); CC30-MRSA-IV, Southwest Pacific Clone (26/131; 19.8%) and CC80-MRSA-IV (25/131; 19.1%). Other CCs were detected less frequently. Resistance against erythromycin and clindamycin was prevalent, whereas all strains were sensitive towards vancomycin and linezolid. In total, 100 cases (76.3%) were causally linked to an infection. The majority (102/131; 77.9%) of isolates were detected in skin swabs or swabs from surgical sites. Conclusions: During the sample period we found an increase in the PVL-positive MRSA lineages CC30 and CC1. Compared to less-abundant lineages CC1 or CC22, the predominant lineages CC8, CC30 and CC80 harbored a broader resistance spectrum. Furthermore, these lineages are probably associated with a travel and migration background. In the spatio-temporal setting we investigated, these were arguably drivers of diversification and change in the landscape of PVL-positive MRSA.

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