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Diversity of staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec elements in nosocomial multiresistant Staphylococcus haemolyticus isolates

Szczuka, Ewa, Krajewska, Magdalena, Lijewska, Dagmara, Bosacka, Karolina, Kaznowski, Adam
Journal of applied genetics 2016 v.57 no.4 pp. 543-547
Staphylococcus haemolyticus, chromosomes, cross infection, genes, methicillin, multiple drug resistance, patients, phenotype, sequence analysis
Staphylococcus haemolyticus is the second, most frequently isolated coagulase-negative staphyloccus (CoNS) from patients with hospital-acquired infections, and it is usually resistant to methicillin and other semisynthetic penicillins. The purpose of this study was to characterize staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) elements and assess the in-vitro activity of antibiotics against 60 S. haemolyticus strains recovered from hospitalized patients. All these strains expressed methicillin resistance and carried a mecA gene. Moreover, all strains possessed a multiresistant phenotype, i.e., exhibited resistance to more than three classes of antibiotics. Eleven strains (18 %) harbored the SCCmec type V, containing ccrC and mec complex C. Three isolates harboring the ccrC gene did not contain a known mec complex. One strain positive for mec complex C was not typeable for ccr. This suggests that ccrC and mec complex C may exist autonomously. Only four strains carried mec complex B, whereas none of the S. haemolyticus harboured mec complex A. A new combination, which is mec complex B-ccrAB ₛₕᵢₚ, was found in S. haemolitycus. The ccrAB ₛₕᵢₚ was also identified in two strains of S. haemolitycus in which the mec gene complex was not identified. The results of the present study indicate that in S. haemolyticus the mec gene complex and the ccr genes are highly divergent. However, ccr sequence analysis does not allow the identification of a new allotype, based on a cut-off value of 85 % identity. The ccr genes in the S. haemolitycus strain showed ≥96 % sequence identity to the ccrAB2 genes.