Low Prevalence of Livestock-Associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Clonal Complex 398 and mecC MRSA among human isolates in North-West England

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Abstract

Aims
Livestock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA) is an important public health problem in many countries. Despite reports of such isolates being found in both animals and humans in the United Kingdom few data are available on the prevalence in humans of such isolates. A prevalence study was therefore undertaken in the north-west of England.
Methods and Results
One thousand two hundred and forty-two human MRSA isolates collected during 2015 were screened by PCR to detect two of the major forms of LA-MRSA: clonal complex (CC)398 and mecC MRSA. Isolates identified were further characterized by antimicrobial susceptibility testing and whole-genome sequencing using HiSeq technology. A single mecC MRSA isolate and three CC398 LA-MRSA were identified among the isolates screened. All four isolates were from MRSA screening. A phylogenetic analysis, including previously sequenced isolates from the United Kingdom, provided strong evidence for the genomic and epidemiological linkage between a pair of animal and human isolates of CC398 LA-MRSA in England. These data are indicative of animal and humans isolates of CC398 LA-MRSA being involved in the same transmission network and is the first demonstration of such closely-linked animal and human isolates of this lineage in the UK.
Conclusions
The study indicates there is a low prevalence of CC398 LA-MRSA and mecC MRSA among MRSA isolates in the sampled population.
Significance and impact of the study
While the study demonstrates that LA-MRSA were rare among human MRSA isolates in the sampled population, the data provides a baseline for the future surveillance of what is a significant public health challenge in some regions. The demonstration of linked human and animal isolates of CC398 LA-MRSA, supported by genomic and epidemiological data, reinforces the need for such surveillance and for continued awareness of the risks that LA-MRSA may pose in the UK.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Applied Microbiology
Early online date13 Jan 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Jan 2020

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