High resolution phylogenetic analysis of livestock-associated Staphylococcus aureus

Project Details


The use of whole genome sequencing of S. aureus strains of animal origin to investigate the evolutionary history of S. aureus associated with humans and animals. Investigation into the genetic processes underlying adaptation to different species. Examination of the frequency of host-switching events by contemporary strains of S. aureus and during evolutionary time.

Key findings

Host-switching from livestock by Staphylococcus aureus results in the emergence of new clones which are pathogenic for humans.
Endemic livestock clones of S. aureus originated in humans.
Some clones of S. aureus are highly promiscuous and have disseminated to many different host species e.g. CC133
Mobile genetic elements are markers for specific host-species and contribute to host-specificity
Mutations in the core genome can play a critical role in adaptation to new species eg SNP in dltB required for infection of rabbits
Avian strains of Staphylococcus aureus contain a subfamily of beta-converting phages with an avian-specific immune evasion cluster (IEC)
Effective start/end date14/11/1118/02/15


  • BBSRC: £420,385.00


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