Whole genome sequencing identifies zoonotic transmission of MRSA isolates with the novel mecA homologue mecC

Ewan M. Harrison, Gavin K. Paterson, Matthew Thomas Geoffrey Holden, Jesper Larsen, Marc Stegger, Anders Rhod Larsen, Andreas Petersen, Robert L. Skov, Judit Marta Christensen, Anne Bak Zeuthen, Ole Heltberg, Simon R. Harris, Ruth N. Zadoks, Julian Parkhill, Sharon J. Peacock, Mark A. Holmes*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

161 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Several methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) lineages that carry a novel mecA homologue (mecC) have recently been described in livestock and humans. In Denmark, two independent human cases of mecC-MRSA infection have been linked to a livestock reservoir. We investigated the molecular epidemiology of the associated MRSA isolates using whole genome sequencing (WGS). Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) were defined and compared to a reference genome to place the isolates into a phylogenetic context. Phylogenetic analysis revealed two distinct farm-specific clusters comprising isolates from the human case and their own livestock, whereas human and animal isolates from the same farm only differed by a small number of SNPs, which supports the likelihood of zoonotic transmission. Further analyses identified a number of genes and mutations that may be associated with host interaction and virulence. This study demonstrates that mecC-MRSA ST130 isolates are capable of transmission between animals and humans, and underscores the potential of WGS in epidemiological investigations and source tracking of bacterial infections. See accompanying article http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/emmm.201302622

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-515
Number of pages7
JournalEmbo Molecular Medicine
Volume5
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013

Keywords

  • Cattle
  • mecC
  • MRSA
  • Sheep
  • Zoonosis
  • Resistant Staphylococcus-Aureus
  • Evolution
  • Spread
  • MECA(LGA251)
  • Contributes
  • Adaptation
  • Virulence
  • Carriage
  • Adhesion
  • Protein

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