Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) - genotyping of Community Acquired Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus, including the subtyping of PVL toxin producers using Real-Time PCR

Costello, Mary-Ellen Clare (2010) Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) - genotyping of Community Acquired Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus, including the subtyping of PVL toxin producers using Real-Time PCR. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Staphylococcus aureus is a common pathogen that causes a variety of infections including soft tissue infections, impetigo, septicemia toxic shock and scalded skin syndrome. Traditionally, Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) was considered a Hospital-Acquired (HA) infection. It is now recognised that the frequency of infections with MRSA is increasing in the community, and that these infections are not originating from hospital environments. A 2007 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that Staphylococcus aureus is the most important cause of serious and fatal infections in the USA. Community-Acquired MRSA (CA-MRSA) are genetically diverse and distinct, meaning they are able to be identified and tracked by way of genotyping. Genotyping of MRSA using Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) is a rapid and robust method for monitoring MRSA, specifically ST93 (Queensland Clone) dissemination in the community. It has been shown that a large proportion of CA-MRSA infections in Queensland and New South Wales are caused by ST93. The rationale for this project was that SNP analysis of MLST genes is a rapid and cost-effective method for genotyping and monitoring MRSA dissemination in the community. In this study, 16 different sequence types (ST) were identified with 41% of isolates identified as ST93 making it the predominate clone. Males and Females were infected equally with an average patient age of 45yrs. Phenotypically, all of the ST93 had an identical antimicrobial resistance pattern. They were resistant to the β-lactams – Penicillin, Flu(di)cloxacillin and Cephalothin but sensitive to all other antibiotics tested. Virulence factors play an important role in allowing S. aureus to cause disease by way of colonising, replication and damage to the host. One virulence factor of particular interest is the toxin Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL), which is composed of two separate proteins encoded by two adjacent genes. PVL positive CA-MRSA are shown to cause recurrent, chronic or severe skin and soft tissue infections. As a result, it is important that PVL positive CA-MRSA is genotyped and tracked. Especially now that CA-MRSA infections are more prevalent than HA-MRSA infections and are now deemed endemic in Australia. 98% of all isolates in this study tested positive for the PVL toxin gene. This study showed that PVL is present in many different community based ST, not just ST93, which were all PVL positive. With this toxin becoming entrenched in CA-MRSA, genotyping would provide more accurate data and a way of tracking the dissemination. PVL gene can be sub-typed using an allele-specific Real-Time PCR (RT-PCR) followed by High resolution meltanalysis. This allows the identification of PVL subtypes within the CA-MRSA population and allow the tracking of these clones in the community.

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ID Code: 37662
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: Huygens, Flavia
Keywords: Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), genotyping, Community Acquired Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 30 Sep 2010 05:28
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2011 13:50

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