Entry of Panton-Valentine leukocidin-positive methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus into the hospital: prevalence and population structure in Heidelberg, Germany 2015-2018.

Sabrina Klein, Julius Hannesen, Philipp Zanger, Klaus Heeg, Sébastien Boutin, Dennis Nurjadi


Staphylococcus aureus is one of the major pathogens causing community-and healthcare-acquired infections. The presence of the virulence factor Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) is associated with recurrent infection and clinical severity and generally regarded as a feature of community associated-methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). To date, the focus of PVL-positive MRSA in hospitalized patients has been on outbreaks. We aimed to investigate whether PVL-positive MRSA has penetrated the community-hospital barrier by determining the prevalence of PVL in MRSA of hospitalized patients. MRSA strains isolated from patients hospitalized textgreater 48 h in Heidelberg University Hospital between 2015 and 2018 Isolates were analysed for the presence of PVL and subjected to spa-typing. PVL-positive MRSA were then characterized by whole genome sequencing. We analysed 740 MRSA isolates in the study period and identified 6.2n = 46) PVL-positivity. 32.6positive MRSA met the criteria for nosocomial acquisition. The most frequent clones among the PVL-positive strains were ST80-t044 (21.7 n = 10/46) and ST8-t008 (19.5 n = 9/46). WGS identified three possible transmission clusters involving seven patients. In conclusion, we found successful epidemic PVL-positive MRSA clones entering the hospital and causing nosocomial infections. Preventive measures and constant surveillance should be maintained to prevent transmissions and clonal outbreaks.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)13243
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 01.08.2020

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