Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

MRSA strain gained dominance with help from skin bacteria

Date:
December 17, 2013
Source:
American Society for Microbiology
Summary:
Scientists believe they have an explanation for how the most common strain of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) rapidly rose to prominence. Research suggests that the strain recently acquired a number of genes from common skin bacteria that allow it to grow and thrive on the skin where other strains of MRSA cannot.

Scientists believe they have an explanation for how the most common strain of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) rapidly rose to prominence. Research published in mBioฎ, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, suggests that the strain recently acquired a number of genes from common skin bacteria that allow it to grow and thrive on the skin where other strains of MRSA cannot.

"Over the past 15 years, MRSA has become a major public health problem. It is likely that adaptations in specific MRSA lineages drove the spread of MRSA across the United States and allowed it to replace other, less-virulent S. aureus strains," says Paul Planet of Columbia University, the lead author on the study.

Since it was first identified in the late 1990s the USA300 strain of MRSA has undergone an extremely rapid expansion across the United States. It is now the predominant cause of community-acquired MRSA skin and soft tissue infections and has been implicated in MRSA outbreaks among professional football teams. The strain is genetically distinguished from other strains by a cluster of genes known as the arginine catabolic mobile element (ACME.)

"Using phylogenetic analysis, we showed that the modular segments of ACME were assembled into a single genetic locus in Staphylococcus epidermidis (a relatively harmless bacterium typically found on human skin) and then horizontally transferred to the common ancestor of USA300 strains in an extremely recent event that coincided with the emergence and spread of this strain" says Planet.

The researchers identified one ACME gene in particular, called speG, that conferred on USA300 strains the ability to withstand high levels of polyamines, compounds produced by the skin that are toxic to other strains of MRSA. Polyamine tolerance also gave MRSA multiple advantages including enhanced biofilm formation, adherence to host tissues and resistance to certain antibiotics, according to the study.

"We suggest that these properties gave USA 300 a major selective advantage during skin infection and colonization, contributing to the extraordinary evolutionary success of this clone," says Planet.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Microbiology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. P. J. Planet, S. J. LaRussa, A. Dana, H. Smith, A. Xu, C. Ryan, A.-C. Uhlemann, S. Boundy, J. Goldberg, A. Narechania, R. Kulkarni, A. J. Ratner, J. A. Geoghegan, S.-O. Kolokotronis, A. Prince. Emergence of the Epidemic Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Strain USA300 Coincides with Horizontal Transfer of the Arginine Catabolic Mobile Element and speG-mediated Adaptations for Survival on Skin. mBio, 2013; 4 (6): e00889-13 DOI: 10.1128/mBio.00889-13

Cite This Page:

American Society for Microbiology. "MRSA strain gained dominance with help from skin bacteria." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131217085321.htm>.
American Society for Microbiology. (2013, December 17). MRSA strain gained dominance with help from skin bacteria. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131217085321.htm
American Society for Microbiology. "MRSA strain gained dominance with help from skin bacteria." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131217085321.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) — Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) — Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) — At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) — Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins