Systematic Surveillance Detects Multiple Silent Introductions and Household Transmission of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus USA300 in the East of England

Michelle S. Toleman, Sandra Reuter, Francesc Coll, Ewan M. Harrison, Beth Blane, Nicholas M. Brown, M. Estee Török, Julian Parkhill, Sharon Peacock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background. The spread of USA300 methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) across the United States resulted in an epidemic of infections. In Europe, only sporadic cases or small clusters of USA300 infections are described, and its prevalence in England is unknown. We conducted prospective surveillance for USA300 in the east of England. Methods. We undertook a 12-month prospective observational cohort study of all individuals with MRSA isolated from community and hospital samples submitted to a microbiology laboratory. At least 1 MRSA isolate from each individual underwent whole-genome sequencing. USA300 was identified on the basis of sequence analysis, and phylogenetic comparisons were made between these and USA300 genomes from the United States. Results. Between April 2012 and April 2013, we sequenced 2283 MRSA isolates (detected during carriage screening and in clinical samples) from 1465 individuals. USA300 was isolated from 24 cases (1.6%). Ten cases (42%) had skin and soft tissue infection, and 2 cases had invasive disease. Phylogenetic analyses identified multiple introductions and household transmission of USA300. Conclusions. Use of a diagnostic laboratory as a sentinel for surveillance has identified repeated introductions of USA300 in eastern England in 2012-2013, with evidence for limited transmission. Our results show how systematic surveillance could provide an early warning of strain emergence and dissemination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-453
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Volume214
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016

Keywords

  • MRSA
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • USA300
  • molecular epidemiology
  • whole-genome sequencing

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