Emergence of novel methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strains in a tertiary care facility in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Senok, Abiola C
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Purpose: There is a need for continuous surveillance of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) to identify emergence of new strains. We hypothesize that MRSA strains areevolving with ongoing acquisition of SCCmec elements. This study was carried out to evaluate the evolution of MRSA at a tertiary care facility in Saudi Arabia. Methods: MRSA isolates associated with invasive clinical infection, which were identified in 2017 at the microbiology laboratory, King Khalid University Hospital (KKUH) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, were studied. The molecular characterization of isolates was carried out using StaphyType DNA microarray (Alere Technologies GmbH/Abbott, Jena, Germany). Results: The 125 MRSA isolates studied belonged to 18 clonal complexes (CC) which were distributed into 32 strain assignmen ts. The predominant CC were CC5 (n=30), CC6 (n=17),CC80 (n=13), CC22 (n=12), CC361 (n=12). The findings dmonstrated the first identification of CC152, CC361 and CC1153 MRSA as well as ST5-MRSA-[I+fus], “Geraldine Clone”, CC6-MRSA-IV (PVL+) and CC88-MRSA-V (PVL+), WA MRSA-117 in Saudi Arabia. Four novel variants were identified: CC5-MRSA-[VI+fus+tirS], CC22-MRSA-[V/VT+fus] (PVL+), CC152-MRSA-[V+fus](PVL+) and CC361-MRSA-[VT+fus]. Fifty-four isolates (n/ N=54/125; 43.2%) including the novel strains carried the Q6GD50 SCCfusC gene while the Panton-Valentine leukocidin genes were present in 30.4% (n/N=38/125). Conclusion: The findings demonstrate an expanding MRSA repertoire in our setting including emergence of previously unreported clonal complexes and novel strains. The high carriage of fusC gene suggests a role for fusidic acid misuse in driving the evolution of the MRSA genome and underscores the need for increased monitoring of antibiotic use.