Genotyping of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus from the United Arab Emirates
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Abstract: Reports from Arabian Gulf countries have demonstrated emergence of novel methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains. To address the lack of data from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), genetic characterisation of MRSA identified between December 2017 and August 2019 was conducted using DNA microarray-based assays. The 625 MRSA isolates studied were grouped into 23 clonal complexes (CCs) and assigned to 103 strains. CC5, CC6, CC22 and CC30 represented 54.2% (n/N = 339/625) of isolates with other common CCs being CC1, CC8, CC772, CC361, CC80, CC88. Emergence of CC398 MRSA, CC5-MRSA-IV Sri Lanka Clone and ST5/ST225-MRSA-II, Rhine- Hesse EMRSA/New York-Japan Clone in our setting was detected. Variants of pandemic CC8-MRSA- [IVa + ACME I] (PVL+) USA300 were detected and majority of CC772 strains were CC772-MRSA-V (PVL+), “Bengal- Bay Clone”. Novel MRSA strains identified include CC5-MRSA-V (edinA+), CC5-MRSA- [VT + fusC], CC5-MRSA-IVa (tst1+), CC5-MRSA-[V/VT + cas + fusC + ccrA/B-1], CC8-MRSA-V/VT, CC22- MRSA-[IV + fusC + ccrAA/(C)], CC45-MRSA-[IV + fusC + tir], CC80-MRSA-IVa, CC121-MRSA-V/VT, CC152-MRSA-[V + fusC] (PVL+). Although several strains harboured SCC-borne fusidic acid resistance (fusC) (n = 181), erythromycin/clindamycin resistance (ermC) (n = 132) and gentamicin resistance (aacA-aphD) (n = 179) genes, none harboured vancomycin resistance genes while mupirocin resistance gene mupR (n = 2) and cfr gene (n = 1) were rare. An extensive MRSA repertoire including CCs previously unreported in the region and novel strains which probably arose locally suggest an evolving MRSA landscape.