Re-emergence of early pandemic Staphylococcus aureus as a community-acquired meticillin-resistant clone

Lancet. 2005 Apr 2-8;365(9466):1256-8. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(05)74814-5.


During the 1950s, the notorious penicillin-resistant clone of Staphylococcus aureus known as phage type 80/81 emerged and caused serious hospital-acquired and community-acquired infections worldwide. This clone was largely eliminated in the 1960s, concurrent with the widespread use of penicillinase-resistant beta lactams. We investigated whether early 80/81 isolates had the genes for Panton-Valentine leucocidin, a toxin associated with virulence in healthy young people. Multilocus sequence analysis suggested that descendants of 80/81 have acquired meticillin resistance, are re-emerging as a community-acquired meticillin-resistant S aureus (MRSA) clone, and represent a sister lineage to pandemic hospital-acquired MRSA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Bacterial Toxins
  • Bacteriophage Typing
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Community-Acquired Infections
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Exotoxins
  • Genes, Bacterial
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Leukocidins / genetics
  • Methicillin Resistance*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / epidemiology*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / microbiology
  • Staphylococcus Phages / classification
  • Staphylococcus aureus / genetics*


  • Bacterial Toxins
  • Exotoxins
  • Leukocidins
  • Panton-Valentine leukocidin