Background: The role of Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) in skin and soft-tissue infections is not clear.
Objective: Our purpose was to determine the prevalence of PVL gene carriage among Staphylococcus aureus strains isolated from primary and secondary skin abscesses.
Methods: A prospective study was conducted. From July 2003 to June 2008, S. aureus isolates from skin abscesses were screened for the PVL genes. The abscesses were considered primary if they occurred on previously healthy skin and secondary in all other cases.
Results: Fifty-seven patients presenting with S. aureus skin abscesses were included in the study. The PVL genes were detected in 40 (70%) of the 57 S. aureus isolates. Thirty-eight (92.7%) of the 41 primary skin abscesses were due to PVL-positive strains, compared to only 2 (12.5%) of the 16 secondary skin abscesses (p < 0.001).
Conclusions: Primary skin abscesses are mainly caused by PVL-positive S. aureus strains.
Copyright 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel.