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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Distribution of the ACME-arcA gene among methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus from England and Wales.

BACKGROUND: The ST8-SCCmecIVa (USA300) methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) clone can harbour the arginine catabolic mobile element (ACME). The arc gene cluster within the ACME may function as a virulence or strain survival factor. We determined the distribution of the ACME-associated arcA gene among genetically diverse MRSA from around England and Wales. METHODS: MRSA isolates (n = 203) of diverse genetic types, referred to the England and Wales Staphylococcus reference laboratory, were tested for the presence of the ACME-arcA gene. ACME-arcA-positive isolates were characterized by toxin gene profiling, PFGE and spa sequence typing. MICs of a range of antimicrobials were also determined. RESULTS: The ACME-arcA gene was detected in 17 isolates. Twelve were related to known ST8-MRSA-SCCmecIVa isolates of the USA300 lineage by pulsotype and were resistant to oxacillin, with variable ciprofloxacin and erythromycin resistance. Outside the USA300 lineage, four of the remaining five ACME-arcA isolates were closely related ST97-MRSA-SCCmecV, Panton-Valentine leucocidin (PVL)-negative, resistant to oxacillin and variously resistant to erythromycin, ciprofloxacin, clindamycin, gentamicin, tetracycline and fusidic acid. The remaining isolate was ST1, PVL-positive and resistant to fusidic acid as well as oxacillin. Thirteen out of the 17 isolates were associated with skin and soft tissue infections. CONCLUSIONS: The detection of ACME-arcA in diverse MRSA types highlights the mobility of the elements encoding ACME-arcA genes. The diversity of strain types and resistance profiles among ACME-arcA-encoding MRSA is a cause for public-health concern and demands continued surveillance and close monitoring.[1]


  1. Distribution of the ACME-arcA gene among methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus from England and Wales. Ellington, M.J., Yearwood, L., Ganner, M., East, C., Kearns, A.M. J. Antimicrob. Chemother. (2008) [Pubmed]
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