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Historic methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus: expanding current knowledge using molecular epidemiological characterization of a Swiss legacy collection


Abstract

BACKGROUND

Few methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) from the early years of its global emergence have been sequenced. Knowledge about evolutionary factors promoting the success of specific MRSA multi-locus sequence types (MLSTs) remains scarce. We aimed to characterize a legacy MRSA collection isolated from 1965 to 1987 and compare it against publicly available international and local genomes.

METHODS

We accessed 451 historic (1965-1987) MRSA isolates stored in the Culture Collection of Switzerland, mostly collected from the Zurich region. We determined phenotypic antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and performed whole genome sequencing (WGS) using Illumina short-read sequencing on all isolates and long-read sequencing on a selection with Oxford Nanopore Technology. For context, we included 103 publicly available international assemblies from 1960 to 1992 and sequenced 1207 modern Swiss MRSA isolates from 2007 to 2022. We analyzed the core genome (cg)MLST and predicted SCCmec cassette types, AMR, and virulence genes.

RESULTS

Among the 451 historic Swiss MRSA isolates, we found 17 sequence types (STs) of which 11 have been previously described. Two STs were novel combinations of known loci and six isolates carried previously unsubmitted MLST alleles, representing five new STs (ST7843, ST7844, ST7837, ST7839, and ST7842). Most isolates (83% 376/451) represented ST247-MRSA-I isolated in the 1960s, followed by ST7844 (6% 25/451), a novel single locus variant (SLV) of ST239. Analysis by cgMLST indicated that isolates belonging to ST7844-MRSA-III cluster within the diversity of ST239-MRSA-III. Early MRSA were predominantly from clonal complex (CC)8. From 1980 to the end of the twentieth century, we observed that CC22 and CC5 as well as CC8 were present, both locally and internationally.

CONCLUSIONS

The combined analysis of 1761 historic and contemporary MRSA isolates across more than 50 years uncovered novel STs and allowed us a glimpse into the lineage flux between Swiss-German and international MRSA across time.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Few methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) from the early years of its global emergence have been sequenced. Knowledge about evolutionary factors promoting the success of specific MRSA multi-locus sequence types (MLSTs) remains scarce. We aimed to characterize a legacy MRSA collection isolated from 1965 to 1987 and compare it against publicly available international and local genomes.

METHODS

We accessed 451 historic (1965-1987) MRSA isolates stored in the Culture Collection of Switzerland, mostly collected from the Zurich region. We determined phenotypic antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and performed whole genome sequencing (WGS) using Illumina short-read sequencing on all isolates and long-read sequencing on a selection with Oxford Nanopore Technology. For context, we included 103 publicly available international assemblies from 1960 to 1992 and sequenced 1207 modern Swiss MRSA isolates from 2007 to 2022. We analyzed the core genome (cg)MLST and predicted SCCmec cassette types, AMR, and virulence genes.

RESULTS

Among the 451 historic Swiss MRSA isolates, we found 17 sequence types (STs) of which 11 have been previously described. Two STs were novel combinations of known loci and six isolates carried previously unsubmitted MLST alleles, representing five new STs (ST7843, ST7844, ST7837, ST7839, and ST7842). Most isolates (83% 376/451) represented ST247-MRSA-I isolated in the 1960s, followed by ST7844 (6% 25/451), a novel single locus variant (SLV) of ST239. Analysis by cgMLST indicated that isolates belonging to ST7844-MRSA-III cluster within the diversity of ST239-MRSA-III. Early MRSA were predominantly from clonal complex (CC)8. From 1980 to the end of the twentieth century, we observed that CC22 and CC5 as well as CC8 were present, both locally and internationally.

CONCLUSIONS

The combined analysis of 1761 historic and contemporary MRSA isolates across more than 50 years uncovered novel STs and allowed us a glimpse into the lineage flux between Swiss-German and international MRSA across time.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Medical Microbiology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Molecular Medicine
Life Sciences > Molecular Biology
Life Sciences > Genetics
Health Sciences > Genetics (clinical)
Language:English
Date:5 February 2024
Deposited On:08 Apr 2024 09:39
Last Modified:30 Jun 2024 01:41
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1756-994X
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1186/s13073-024-01292-w
PubMed ID:38317199
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)